I already picked out the phone I am going to get when my two year contract with Verizon expires.
It’s a Western Electric Model 500.
Never heard of the Model 500?
You probably don’t know them by name but you know them.
The Model 500 is better known as the black rotary desk phone. Constructed of thick molded plastic over a sturdy steel chassis, the phone is indestructible and the perfect instrument for the following modern drama:
Them: Hi, is this Greg?
Me: Yes, it is.
Them: How is your day going?
Me: Up until now, great.
Them: Fantastic! This is (garble) from Warranty Services…. as you might be aware the manufacture warranty on your 2010 Honda Civic is about to expire… (garble, garble) Today only, we can offer an amazing opportunity….
The last line is not anything I said, rather it is the delightful sound that the Model 500 headset makes as it is slammed onto its cradle with all the power of an asteroid impact.
The phone is so tough that you could toss in a few more KA-BOOM!!, KA-BOOM!!, KA-BOOM!!‘s just for emphasis.
I have thought about this for a while and created a compendium of reasons why the new and improved smart phones are inferior to the old and antiquated black desk phones of yesterday:
- As I stated above you could bang the receiver – but this bears repeating because the only way you can work out your frustrations with a smart phone – is to jab hard at the END button.
- It was impossible to butt dial a Model 500 rotary telephone. Well… that is not completely true; it has been done – but I refuse to discuss it.
- At least in the old days, you had to leave the phone at home because it was wired to the wall. Now your phone is a constant companion who accompanies you wherever you go – as does everyone else in the world who has a phone.
- The Model 500 is so indestructible that when all the galaxies of the universe are sucked into the mother of all black holes, the only thing that will remain without a scuff or a scratch – will be a Model 500 phone.
- With the old Ma Bell, there were no two year contracts. All contracts involving the Model 500 and Mother Bell were for life.
- Model 500’s came one to a home – so there was at least a theoretical limit to the amount of time a teen could spend on the telephone.
- There was no app for that.
- Before reality TV, all the intimate secrets of the neighborhood were shared on the Model 500 over a party line.
- With a Model 500 you had to know a person’s telephone number. Now I don’t know my wife’s number – I just jab at her photo when I want to talk to her.
- I will leave this reason to you. If you used a Model 500 and the POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) let us know what you thought of them in the comments below.