If I could go back in time and kill anyone in the history of the world, it would be that psychopath Alexander Graham Bell.
I hate the phone. I hate the phone more than I hate gingivitis and that cramp you get sometimes in your calves. I hate the phone more than I hate the remake of The Taking of Pelham I, 2, 3 and that Tiffani Thiessen doesn’t get nearly enough face time on White Collar. I hate the phone more than Steve Jobs hated Google.
The first thing I do when I start a new job is find a place to hide the phone. Because I know that day is coming when I’ll be daydreaming about finding another job, or I’ll be in my happy place, which is made of bacon and caramel and shows 70s movies all day and is in Holborn in London, and I’ll be drifting off into an ethereal, bodiless existence, where I’m not me but that other me that I was supposed to be before they raised all the prices, and that fracking phone will ring, startling me back into reality.
And worse than the kidney-jiggling sound of the phone itself is the thought that on the other end . . . is a person. Who wants to talk. To me. About things. And I’ll be expected to respond. And then that person will respond. And then I will have to find a way to respond again without betraying that tone. That tone that says I’d rather be guillotined with a rusty blade than continue this exchange one more minute…
Out of thin air, a voice, importuning me to do something I have no desire to do. Like work.
I’ve been known to keep the phone on the floor, locked away in a filing cabinet, in a drawer, buried under books and papers. I refuse to have a phone in the house. I own a smart phone only so I can stream The IT Crowd while standing on line at Fries and Franks.
Oh for the days when primitive transportation delayed communication such that one could go years without having to speak to another human being! The silence. The isolation. The peace.
But no. Along comes Alexander Graham Bell and his infernal machine to kill the romance of long distances.
Well, someone has dug up a recording of this sadist. Listen for yourself. You can hear the malice in his voice, the villainy. This is what I imagine Satan would sound like after being pulled over for driving drunk and he doesn’t have his license and it’s a rented car.
I curse you, Bell! I curse you and your demonic voice box!