Retro Regret

Telephone parts

Before telephones could take pictures or act as miniature computers to settle trivia bets, it only did this.

It was 1979, a time when a device was a synonym for doohickey really meaning a whatchamacallit you couldn’t comprehend. The underprivileged people of this backward decade relied solely on the landline for personal telecommunication. To put things in perspective, the computer looked like this:

1979 CoCo3system


John Sontag was reclining in a lazy chair with the base of the phone resting on his stomach. It was red. The phone; not the lazy chair, nor his stomach. It was a red traditional touchtone phone, colored like the Batphone®. Somewhere in the cluttered living room was a bell jar that covers the phone when not in use. He held the handset a good three inches from his head. He was talking to his loud sister, Jill. Her voice was shrill, like metal scraping on concrete. To further her annoyance, she spoke fast. This combination was as lethal as a punch in the eye from a salty fist while receiving an ice enema.

John paused a moment to look around, before softly saying, “I think the cat is trying to kill me.”

With this, Pounce, the obese cat, waddled in, glaring at John the whole while. If looks could talk, it said, “The minute you close your eyes tonight.” Followed by a precise imitation of a neck snapping. Pounce skulked into the kitchen.

The phone bobbed up and down on John’s belly, as his breathing became erratic out of fear. A bowl of Planters Cheez Balls® beside him quivered. Specks of orange dust were scattered all over his shirt, and especially around his crotch.

“I know it sounds crazy, but the other morning, I woke up with a cat toy jammed up my nose.” He nodded as squawks came out of the ear hole of the phone.

“Yeah, I should probably eat better and quit smoking so much pot.”

Meanwhile, Pounce was in the kitchen clumsily sharpening knives.

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