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Once my sister [three years younger] picked up the phone and left it off the hook for a couple minutes. We weren't really allowed to use the phone at the time [I was about 5 or 6]. The lady that comes on when you leave it off the hook long enough started talking, and saying "If you'd like to make a call, please hang up and try again." I didn't know it was a recording, and I got really upset and thought she was really mad at us, and that she was going to contact our parents and get us in big trouble.
I used to believe that when you were on the phone and put someone old old, you could actually put the phone back on the receiver and when you picked it up again, the caller would still be there.
I used to think telephones ran off gas because when it thundered and the electricity went off the telephone still rang.
my daughter, when she was 2 or 3, used to believe that if you put the wrong amount of change into a pay phone, the pay phone would explode. God knows where she got this belief, but I found out about it one day when I stopped the car and got out to use a payphone and she burst into tears, begging me not to use the phone. I asked why and she explained that she feared I'd put in too much change, thereby causing the phone to explode and kill me.
When I was younger I couldn't figure out why telephones needed electricity if a tin can 'telephone' wourked fine without it.
Ever since I was little I've been afraid to talk on the phone because I thought that there are little ghosts in your phone that pretend to be your friend and then jump out of the phone and eat you. Sometimes I still think that.
When I was 6, I would often wonder what would happen if you called your own phone number from another phone in the house. When I asked my mom, she told me that a group of telephone workers watched what numbers you dialed, and if you dialed your own they would come and investigate. Somehow my young brain interpreted this as "A hundred tall, scary men in black trenchcoats will come, stick you in the back of their van, and kidnap you". It's no wonder I left phones alone.
I used to believe that if someone offerered to give you their phone number, you would have to actually permanantly swap your home phone numbers. I liked my phone number, so I would always turn people down when they offered me theirs.
when I was little, I thought that the phone was a gigantic series of tuubes that went everywhere to each house, like really long straws. So then, I believed that you could send stuff through the tubes. I remember telling my best friend over the phone, that I was going to send spagghetti through the phone to my brother in college:P
I believed that telephone operators were in the telephone poles, and I thought that you had to be really skinny to be a telephone operator.
As a kid I believed that the dial tone on your phone was the operator going *oooooooo* all day long. I used to pick up the phone to see if I could catch her not doing it, like on a break or lunch.
I used to believe that "caller i.d." was actually "caller idea" becuase you would have an IDEA about who was calling you.
Before I had my own mobile phone (cellphone) I used to think that if you phoned one, you would hear their ringtone in your reciever!
wen i was rilly little i knew that u couldnt shove food through the phone, but i thought that because spegetti was shaped like the little holes in the phone i could send spegetti throught the phone to the person i was talking to. im not sure how i ever found out the truth because i dont remember ever trying it.....
When I was about four or five (early '70s) and telephones had these things on them called "dials"... well, you know how a phone number is written "555-6792"? I thought that since there was no dash ("-") on the dial, that the dash must mean that you had to pause for a couple of seconds. So, when I called my friend I'd dial the first three numbers (this was about 25 years before the whole 10-digit-dialing nonsense), and pause for a few seconds then dial the remaining four digits. Since it worked, I kept doing it.
(later, when I was first introduced to a TouchTone (push-button) phone I was told by the owner that I had to dial slowly -- that if I punched the buttons too quickly the call wouldn't go through. So go figure.)
I can remember misdialing a phone number as a small child and hearing a pre-recorded voice. The voice said, "If you need help, hang up and then dial your operator." I used to think it said "Bend down your operator." I couldn't figure out how making a telephone operator bend down was supposed to help you make a call...
When I was younger, I tried many times to dial the telephone number of my own house to see if I could hear myself talking. When my parents explained that I couldn't get an answer from the number because it was our own house, I tried taking the cordless phone outside and calling from the backyard, thinking that one of the other phones in the house would ring.
To this day, my father swears that when he was a boy (and phones were more primative) it was possible to call your own number and get a ring. I'm still not sure if I believe this.
I used to think that someone's house number was their telephone number, so I used to try and ring the people who lived opposite by dialling 143.
I used to think that to call my nana, you just had to pick the phone up, and wait (my nana's special like that!). I used to have very long conversations with the recording saying 'please replace the handset, and try again'. I remember i got really upset one time, when the siren noise (to let you know that you've left the phone off the hook) at the other end started, i thought she was mad at me!
I used to think that everyone had a little person just like them that all lived in the telephone.