Dusting Off: The Telephone Booth
It’s no mystery why telephone booths went the way of the hitching post: 90% of Americans now use mobile devices of some sort. (The other 10% use rotary phones to order more hitching posts, apparently.) Yes, the pay phone is obsolete—but we’re not dusting off the pay phone.
It’s the booth we’re after…
In formal establishments they were known as “silence cabinets”: private, cherry-oak respites in which passersby could escape the commotion of the day. The fancy ones had a triangular cushioned seat, a local directory, some notepaper, an above-average pen and, most importantly, a folding glass door—ideal for gathering oneself before a dinner date (or gathering a dinner date afterward, as the case may have been).
The fact is, you needn’t look any further than your office stairwell to see that mobile devices have made telephone booths more necessary, not less. And while we found Gizmodo’s declaration that there is “no reason to talk on your phone anymore unless you’re at home or in one of a few select emergency exceptions” to be a bit ridiculous (should the traveling businessman text goodnight to his daughter?), we are in agreement that talking on the phone in just about any public setting is “extremely annoying.”
Smokers step outside to smoke—why can’t talkers step inside to talk? In the meantime, we’ll just keep waiting for Superman to get all bare-ass naked in the middle of the street.
- — C. Brian Smith