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A friend's child wanted to call one of his friends from school and I told him he needed to have their phone number or his parent's name because we could look in the phone book, but we'd need his parent's name. He looked at me very matter of factly thumbing through the phone book and said, "Where's the kid's section?" I just had to laugh!
I used to think that when you called "information" that they could really give you "information". I asked the operator once :How many people there were in Brooklyn". She was not amused. I also used to call them at Christmas time and sing carols for the operators. Sometimes they enjoyed it...sometimes not.
When you get the error message that ends "...if you need help, hang up, and then dial your operator," I heard "hang up, and burn down your operator."
I didn't think that the phone people actually wanted you to set an operator on fire, but I just figured that "to burn down" was a saying or idiom of some kind that I just hadn't learned yet.
I used to think there was this group called the "Local Trude" and I kept accidentally dialing their telephone number when I meant to call home or call one of my friends. I didn't know who this "Local Trude" was, but I didn't like them.
Then one day I realised that it was just a recording saying "Your call could not go through", but I'd misheard it as "You called the Local Trude."
After watching some TV programme I used
to think that 666 was the devils phone
number. For some strange reason I got a
number unobtainable tone if I dialled it
from my house phone but one day I tried
dialling it from a phone in a hospital and
got an answer. I asked if it was the devil
and they told me it was the cardiac arrest
number. Next minute loads of paramedics came
running into the room thinking that someone
was having a cardiac arrest. I ended up in
lots of trouble for making that call.
The phrase, "the line is busy," always made me imagine a lion at a telephone switchboard working frantically trying to connect all the calls going through. Unfortunately at the time that my parents were calling he was just too busy to put their call through.
When i was about 5, i remember sitting
at home on the telephone to my father
I was eating jam sandwiches at the time
and he told me that i hsould put
little crumbs down the leads so he
could taste it
i used to believe that this was true
every time i was ont the phone to some
one ans was eating something i used to
send crumbs down the telephone line
i used to think that any time i pressed the 0 on the phone it would dial the operator. so even in the middle of the phone number i would press the 0 as fast as i could so that it wouldnt dial the operator instead.
When I was young I used to think that our phone only worked for English speaking people. And that if you wanted to speak another language on the phone you'd have to buy that specific phone.
Car phones were just coming out when I was kid...I used to think that your lisence plate number was you car phone number so the people you met on th eroad could call you to chat.
When I was small (5?), I thought I figured out how to use the telephone on my own. My best friend's name was Jennifer, so I decided to call her one day. I picked up the receiver and was delighted to discover that there were letters corresponding to the numbers. I simply dialed her name (it was the same as mine, I knew how to spell it): j-e-n-n-i, etc. By the second "e," it began to ring, and a man I didn't know answered. I dutifully gave the phone to my mom.
I thought that when only 'life and death' telegrams could be sent, that it meant that new-born babies were in this category. This wasn't helped by the fact that I actually worked on the Post Office counter.
Because I could never figure out how telephones worked, I thought they used wires to connect everyone's house up with everyone else's in the world.
I used to think that you could show something to the person on the other end o the phone line by holding the receiver up to the object. I still remember trying to show my grandmother a present I got for Christmas. I held the receiver to the present and said "See, Gramma?"
When I first phoned a call centre, they told me that I was put on hold. Then some music like Greensleeves was played into my ear. I thought that the person on the other end got out her recorder and played it to me down the phone!
In my childhood, to make a phone call, you picked up the receiver and waited for a live operator to say, "Number, please?" She would make the call for you.
I believed that if the telephone operator could tell you when a line was busy, they should also be able to tell you when no one was home.
I used to believe that written messages could be passed through the phoneline. I spent ages trying to send cards through the reciever! I even tried to send my grandmother some icecream...
I used to believe that each U.S. state's local phone company was named after the state the company was located. (This was in the late 1980s, after AT&T was split up.) I believed this because I knew that Indiana's phone company was "Indiana Bell" and Illinois had "Illinois Bell," so naturally I thought there was a "Florida Bell," a "New York Bell," and a "California Bell."
When I was little I called a radio show to request a record for my mum. I got the busy signal but I thought that if I stayed on the line, listening to the busy signal, that when the line was free, I would be put straight through....I was on the phone for HOURS!!
When I was about 4 and 5, I believed that the voices heard on the telephone handset travelled in the space made by the coils in the cord, and that I could interrupt the conversation by putting a finger into that space.