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Friday Five: Phone Talk
Saturday, Mar. 15, 2003, 12:09 a.m.

Question: Why write when you can dial?

What I Learned: I may have too many phones.

1. Do you like talking on the phone? Why or why not? I know that anyone who has visited Suburban Island, even occasionally, is pretty certain that I would not be averse to talking on the phone. Iíve usually got a good story to tell and I am happy to listen to interesting news from friends near and far. However, I do not want to talk to a person whose main intent it is to sell me something. The Zapper is my friend (and I wrote lovingly about it here). I wish I had Zapper stock just on basic principle. At this point in my life, evenings are usually too full for me to do much talking on the phone and my days seem to be made for working instead of talking right now, so all that is left for telephonic communications is some time on the weekend and conversational bursts on my handy dandy cellular phone.

2. Who is the last person you talked to on the phone? My best friend. Unfortunately, she is - and for many years has been - a long-distance call. The call tonight started on my cell phone but soon migrated to the home phone. You canít hold a cell phone between your shoulder and ear while you talk with much success Ė but thatís just my personal experience. It is Friday night and officially the start of my carefree yet strangely chore-filled suburban weekend. I feel entitled to talk all I want. And I did.

3. About how many telephones do you have at home? Ready for this Ė Five. Not five lines but 5 phones. And just in case you are wondering none of them are in a bathroom.

4. Have you encountered anyone who has really bad phone manners? What happened? Telemarketers who want me to get credit card benefits that I donít need and that cost money I donít want to spend are often on my list because they wonít take no for an answer. No. No. No. And I wonít call that 800 number you insist upon giving me because I am writing it down with an invisible pencil. I am sorry but you have called me too early in the morning, too late in the evening, during a meal, when I am walking in/out the door, when I am trying to work, in the middle of my TV time, and a hundred other inopportune times.

5. Would you rather pick up the phone and call someone or write them an e-mail or a letter? Why or why not? If I have an urgent need to communicate with you Ė then the phone is going to ring. If I want to make sure you have some complicated piece of information then you are going to get an email. A letter Ė the best you can hope for is a Christmas card and it may well be late.

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