E.T. knew, like, eleven fking words.
Everybody remembers two.
[Ed. note: No, Ricky. Valiant effort, but “Ellliottttttt” is not one of them.]
They’re so memorable because they’re so simple (and, admittedly, because it was pretty damn cute to watch that vacuum talk like a toddler). This much is clear.
But they’re also so memorable because they’re so universal. Everyone’s phoned home.
What aisle do you find baking soda in? Phone home.
It’s Christmas. Phone home.
You crashed your car? Phone home.
Whatever happened to your Beanie Baby collection? Phone home.
It’s Sunday morning.
[Ed. note: Stevie Spielberg did a much better job hammering this point home.]
Yesterday, my folks disconnected their landline.
It is a move I could not support more. Both Mother Bar and Father Bar have cell phones and never use the landline outside of talking to family and dodging telemarketers whose companies still think they can be a viable source of revenue. Really, I should be as outraged at my parents for keeping the landline this long as I was when I found out a few years ago that my pop was still paying to use email.
Disconnecting the landline is the only rational decision to make.
But when my Ma texted me yesterday morning to let me know that they had finally done it, that the number was no longer in service, it broke me up a little bit.
There would be no more phoning “Home”.
There would be phoning “Dad”. There would be phoning “Mom”.
But there would be no more phoning “Home”.
Ultimately, it’s an issue in nomenclature alone. When I was calling home up through yesterday, I was really only calling Mom, or calling Dad, or calling one of my siblings doing their best Mom or Dad impression, trying to pull a fast one that’s never funny but always funny. The function, purpose and content of these phone calls will not change at all; this is a matter of semantics, and a trivial one at that.
Really, I’m fortunate to still have a home to call, even if it’s by means of a calling Mom or calling Dad. I’m fortunate to still have a Mom and Dad to call in the first place.
But damn if it wasn’t something going into my phone and deleting “Home” with the knowledge that it wouldn’t be returning until I made a new one for myself.
There’s a very small part of me that wants to rail against technology, rail against advancements for this stupid, precarious bit of feels. I know that part of me is a dumb idiot, though, that it’d be deferring to the curmudgeon as a crutch to handle the unpleasantness of change. Nothing is really happening, I’m being melodramatic, and this is the natural progression of such things. There isn’t anything to be mad at.
Heck, I’m sure there was a candy columnist at a newspaper in the 1920s who dedicated entirely too many words to his disappointment at the P.O. Box system.
I still feel weird about it.
“E.T. … search contacts?”
– “Like a Kit Kat for grownups.” –Nate Bar
– It’s a pretty good description. Slight coffee notes, Kit Katty crisp, just more delicate and refined. Delicious.
Change is certainly difficult….I suppose we could always add the “extra device” that comes with the family cell phone package, leave it on the counter in the kitchen and call it “home”.
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