Hypothetically Speaking . . .

. . . . . . . . Because Humor Matters

In Defense of My Home Phone

Written By: Humor Mike - Mar• 28•20

My home phone brings all the boys to the yard … and it’s a Panasonic!

Somehow, I recently found myself the target of some online criticism and ridicule from friends, family, and countrymen. This isn’t exactly out of the norm for me. After all, I do have a day job, so there isn’t much I haven’t heard or been called. As a matter of fact, there was that one day where I was fired before 9 AM because I used staples instead of paper clips on a progress report. I hadn’t even turned on my laptop or gotten my coffee yet that day.

Well, I was minding my own business one evening when the phone rang. At this stage in my life, the only people who ever call me are bill collectors and doctor offices. In any case, I ran to the phone anyway in hopes that maybe, just maybe, it would be Ed McMahon finally calling to tell me that I’d won the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes. I’ve been trying to win since I was 12. Google later alerted me that Ed passed back in 2009. Perhaps I should stop expecting his call.

As it turned out, the call was from Congress. Now, I know that what I do as a humor writer is important, but I never expected Congress to be calling me for my expertise. I would’ve thought that I would’ve needed to write three books, get a doctorate from a partially accredited online school, and win a Nobel Peace Prize for most fabulous blog before they ever requested my advice.

If I’m honest, perhaps they don’t reach out to me because of the unfortunate course of events that took place the last time I was invited to give my testimony. I think I may have been asked to speak on homelessness or crime or something, but what was really bothering me at the time was the fact that the Five Below store was selling items for more than $5, and I was in distress. I couldn’t even focus on crime when I felt I was being robbed myself by going into the store with a crisp five-dollar bill in hand just to learn that the item I wanted was now $10. What a rip-off!

Anyway, my excitement about having Congress show up on my Caller ID led me to make some questionable decisions. First, I took a shower. I mean, you can’t just look or smell any type of way when Congress is calling. Second, I did some vocal exercises to ensure I would sound OK and that I could vocally project over the phone properly when I answered. Perhaps it was what I did next that I should’ve avoided.

For some reason, I got the bright idea to share a picture of Congress showing up on my Caller ID on social media. I couldn’t wait to show how important I was on the Instagram, the Facebook, and the Twitter. Within moments, my post was getting hits left and right. Finally, I’d posted something of merit. Finally, my mother would be kind of proud—maybe.

When Congress calls, we must act…maybe.

As I scrolled through the comments with a notepad in hand, preparing to do my civic duty and capture some thoughts to pass on to Congress, I noticed something disturbing. Instead of people asking me to give Kamala Harris a pound or to get Elizabeth Warren to dance, none of the commenters had a message for Congress at all. Instead, they were distracted by something else in the photo. They couldn’t care less that Congress was calling me. I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

I fought back tears as I read comments like, “What is that?” and, “They still make those?” One person even asked if I was someone’s grandmother. Although I consider myself a relatively good person (especially on Sundays), I’d unknowingly committed one of the cardinal sins. No, it wasn’t lust, greed, or me having 13 items in a 12 item or less checkout line. Instead, my post had shown the world that I was one of the last remaining people on earth who had a home phone. Oh, the horror!

As if 2020 hadn’t gotten off to a rocky enough start, I’d inadvertently begun the landline wars. The gauntlet had been thrown which kicked off a major kerfuffle between the haves and the have-nots. For once, I’d made it to the haves’ side. But, as my luck would have it, the haves appeared to be the losing team in this instance. It was like I’d posted a picture of a dinosaur that I’d been secretly keeping in my basement. People were not happy.

Since I’m kind of an adult, allegedly, I take full responsibility for my choices, actions, and outcomes. That noted, I blame my mother for me still having a landline in 2020. Years ago, my mommy told me that if I didn’t have a home phone, emergency personnel wouldn’t be able to find me in the event of an emergency. For me, this was important ever since that one time I got my belt stuck in the toaster. After that incident, I decided to never again not have the police, firefighters, and paramedics easily be able to locate my whereabouts. I almost died … twice.

I don’t know how others manage it, but having a home phone makes me feel safe. The way my life is set up, if an emergency ever happened, I already know my cell phone would be dead. It could have been charging for five hours straight, but the moment I really needed it, it would conk out. When the paramedics arrived, they’d have no idea who to revive first, me or my cell phone. I would probably be the second choice. That is usually the case.

Having a home phone and a cell phone allows me to clearly separate business from pleasure. I can’t tell you how many times I used to unintentionally answer calls from my doctor’s office or new job prospects with a, “What’s up, yo?” Don’t judge me. That was very cool in the ’90s, and I’m trying to bring it back, one phone call at a time, yo.

My home phone also allows me to protect my apartment. If someone ever breaks in while I’m away, I can simply call my home phone and say, “Hey, bad guy, stop it. Put down my butter and leave my house expeditiously.” Of course, I could use the term “quickly” but “expeditiously” sounds more authoritative, which is exactly what I’d need when push comes to shove. See, I’ve thought this through.

Granted, like all of the Twitter, the Facebook, and the Instagram, you may not get my logic either, and that’s OK. We all aren’t supposed to think alike. People who don’t have home phones are entitled to be wrong. It’s their right as human beings. I won’t criticize them for having bad judgment and not following my mommy’s advice. It’s not their fault they’re bad people. Nope. Let’s just keep them in our thoughts and prayers. At this point, they are a lost cause. Thoughts and prayers are all we can do for them now.

Don’t be jealous of my Panasonic home phone!

Michael Rochelle
Humor blog: www.HumorMike.com
Facebook: michael.rochelle1
Instagram: HumorMike
Twitter: @mikeyllo

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6 Comments

  1. Will S. says:

    Hey Mike. I agree with your perspective. Here’s something funny, though. Several years ago, I was visiting someone who had only a mobile phone. He had no home phone. At the time, I thought that was so unusual. As time went on, I discovered a few other people who also didn’t have a home phone. I couldn’t wrap my head around that. Fast forward to today, I’m one of those people. Yes, I have a home phone number. But, I don’t have a home phone anymore. My mobile phone is my only phone.

    I do see the value in a home phone. Every now and then, there are wireless network outages, and my mobile phone gets a poor signal. If I had an emergency during that time, I might not be able to call anybody. So, I definitely understand your defense of a home phone.

    By the way, I never get excited about what appears on my caller ID. I know some callers can spoof calls. One day, I reached for my call and the number on the caller ID implied I was calling myself. So after that day, I don’t jump at answering a call.

  2. Humor Mike says:

    LOL. I think at some point I will make the choice to not use it. It’s kindof helpful at the moment though while working at home. All these virtual meetings where you may have to call in are ones I choose my home phone for since it’s usually clearer, doesn’t drop the signal, and doesn’t drain my cellphone battery…which I need to scroll through Instagram and The Twitter! LOL. Since it’s included in the $800 a month Xfinity charges me and they threaten me that if I remove a service they will charge me $100 more, I just let the home phones hang out. They aren’t hurting anybody just yet, so…

    Oh, and I do maybe embellish a little in my writing. I NEVER answer my phone when I don’t know who’s calling. I barely answer when I do know who’s calling. I didn’t actually answer the Congress call. They left a message and I listened later. I learned my lesson the hard way when I thought the call was coming from my Mom or something, but it was my student loan people pretending to be calling from my mom’s house. Nope. I’m never answering the phone again. LOL.

  3. Shawn B. says:

    Mike, I can remember the days before cell phone and caller ID and when mobile phones were the size of a brick with a battery the same size. I kept one under the seat of my car for emergencies. I gave up my home phone about a year ago when my son didn’t run down his battery before getting out of school. I wasn’t quick to answer the phone. I too had been a victim of a creditor spoofing a local number. The woman (there were numerous messages for Miss each day) must have owed everyone money. I couldn’t go a day without a call from agent so and so or the county Republican Party. I miss the security of a home phone, but it wasn’t a landline (copper). It was through the local cable company so when the internet went out, so did the phone.

    I used to have the same Panasonic phone. I gave the set to my parents.

  4. Humor Mike says:

    I remember the days before cellphones and caller ID too. Whew, have the years gone by! My first cellphone cost like $.45 per minute and was only free after 9 PM. I was always roaming, even if I was standing in the same spot. And I’m in the same boat you were in. My home phone is through the cable company, so, a power outage or internet outage would definitely do me in. Allegedly, there are backup batteries, but I don’t trust it.

  5. Kieran says:

    I too only have a home phone. Just because my daddy can’t call me or hear me on any other phone.

  6. Humor Mike says:

    Trust me, I understand! Sometimes my cell service likes to play games, so my home phone is the best option when I can’t risk dropping service or saying “Oh, I’m sorry, Oprah. Say that again. You’re breaking up.” Yeah, I think I’m keeping my landline.

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