Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pay phones still exist

I was at the Circle K convenience store at Tanque Verde and Kolb yesterday and parked near a pay phone.

I didn't realize these were still around. I remember when I lived at Kachina Springs Apartments and they removed the pay phones from near the office there about five years ago. At that time, I thought it was the beginning of the end of seeing them.

I saw a recent statistic that there are over four billion wireless phones now on Earth, and six billion people. The same statistic said there are more people with wireless phones than there are with toothbrushes.

The real shock came when I looked more closely at the phone. Four minutes costs one dollar. Holy crap! I remember when you could make a local call on a pay phone for ten cents and talk as long as you wanted. One of the first radio jobs I ever had involved getting a roll of dimes from the business manager so I could take the prize patrol van out. I had to find a pay phone, use a dime (or a few dimes if I was in a town that required a long distance call), and call the radio station to announce where I was so people could come and win a music cassette, t-shirt, or some other prize for showing up. I never used a cell phone doing a radio call-in until about five years into my career.

I now know I need to keep four quarters in change in my car in case my cell phone doesn't work and I need to call someone to tell them something in four minutes or less. And, be lucky enough to find one of these.

Pay phone at Circle K.
Finding one of these is like
spotting a nearly extinct animal
in the wild.