“Allo? Nobody Home.” Click


Since my Grandfather hated the telephone, every caller heard those words and hang-up every time he ”answered”. My Mom and her sister could barely get Grandpa to answer the phone, much less take a message. Once his brother Angelo, who lived six blocks away, walked to Grandpa’s house to tell him he was going to call so Grandpa had better pick up the phone. He then walked back to his own house to call. I think he was just making a point. I hope he was just making a point because the alternatives are too strange to consider.

One reason Grandpa hated the phone was because he was afraid of it – a lot of people were in the old days. He thought you could be electrocuted through the earpiece and no amount of explanation could shake his belief. He thought that if sound traveled through the wires, electricity could too. Of course, this is the man who refused to teach his children to swim because “only kids who know how to swim, drown. Kids who don’t know how to swim, don’t go near the water.” It’s hard to argue against that kind of logic.

I don’t know how much Grandpa influenced me but I almost never answer my own phone. Every caller has to talk through my answer machine and I’ll either pick up or call them back later when I want to – sometimes. People are now shocked when I answer my phone. I always hear, “This is you? I was expecting your machine.” Some sound quite disappointed.

Is screening calls inconsiderate? Well think of how many people call you to whom you’d like to talk – or talk at that moment. Once I figured my percentage to be about 1 in 5 or 6. Those aren’t great odds.  Certainly not good enough for  me to pick up.

Rude? Well give me a call and we’ll talk about it.  Right.



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