The reason why?
Because the price of a payphone call here in the city of Ottawa has recently risen to 50 cents. Plus, I am a cheapo.
These two factors combined mean that I am not using a payphone anymore for any reason less urgent than calling for my own ambulance!
What has this world come to?
When I was a kid [← Oh my God, I have turned into my father]… when I was a kid, using the payphone costed a mere 10 cents.
That is fair, I think.
Ten calls for a buck! Excellent. Who can’t live with that?
Then it went up to 25 cents.
OK, I’m not going to jump off a bridge over it or anything. 25 cents. A quarter.
But, here is how the new Payphone Robbery recently revealed itself to me.
I was driving down Strandherd Street and stopped to use a payphone. Put in the 25 cents. Nothing. The display read out some jibberish about my having a 25 cent “credit”. But no call went through. I thought the phone itself was broken.
So I drove to the next phone booth.
Same deal. “Credit” but no call.
Then it dawned on me… this thing is wanting me to put in another quarter?
NO DAMN WAY!
For 50 cents, I’ll write a letter!
Now here’s the thing.
99% of you reading this little rant of mine… you own a cellphone. So, the whole phenomenon of Payphone Robbery is irrelevant to you. PLUS, you are saying to yourself, “Cipriano, isn’t it time that you sort of got with the programme here and….”
I have previously spoken somewhere about what I think of our silly cellphone culture.
Plus, I think that holding it next to your head like that gives you brain cancer.
Hence, I will not buy a cellphone.
I would rather adopt a somewhat more radical, yet, in my opinion, more feasible approach.
I am going to quit phoning people altogether!
And might I just add one more thing here?
It is you people, the ones with cellphones, all 99% of humanity out there that have caused this Payphone Robbery. This 50 cent problem! It’s all your fault!
See, the phone companies have been losing money. Why? Because everyone is using their own cellphone.
So they hike the rates of payphone usage, to compensate.
Thing is, I think this strategy is going to backfire on them.
Because see, people like me, part of that last 1% who still think that the Indians did it best with their smoke signals and all…. this Last Vestige of Antiquity… many of us are going to give in, and finally GET cellphones.
Because of the Payphone Robbery.
Whereas, [are you following me?]…. the smarter thing for the phone company to do would be to revert back to The Age of the Dime!
But they’ve made their greedy quick-fix of a choice.
And I will not bow, nor give in.
For me, when I am away from home, I am going to maintain my NNFA-NNFP Rule©.
No Need For Ambulance → No Need For Payphone.
That is, unless I have to order a pizza.
There are still some phone calls that are… umm… non-optional matters of life and death!