Sunday, December 07, 2008

Phone's ringing

Yesterday I had a phone call that I just missed by half a second. I did 1471 and found that it was a number I didn't know with a Nottingham area code, called back and there was no answer. Being a superhuman genius, I quickly deduced that it was a phone box, and that the caller must have been my brother, who hasn't got a phone. Nobody else in the country uses phone boxes these days, after all. I typed the number into Google, just in case there's a directory of all public phone numbers in the country on the internet (turns out there isn't, but there is a list of all the phone box numbers, without any attached address. Just in case you want to call one at random, I suppose).

I rang back again, but still nobody answered it. I was hoping that someone would pick it up and tell me where this phone box was located - if it was just down the road from his flat, I could cycle down there and see what he wanted, and also tell him off for being too lazy to come here himself and tell me what he wanted (he's only about a minute away), whereas if it was in the city and next to his favourite pub, I could call that and accept his invitation to lunch/booze/debauchery.

Don't people answer the phone any more if they hear a phone box ringing? I know there was that film about a man who answered a phone and bad things happened, but it hasn't stopped me from theoretically answering phones. It's actually much more exciting than answering your own phone, because it could be anyone in the world, and they almost certainly didn't want to talk to you at all! And you might help a stranger who wants to pinpoint his brother's whereabouts!

There was a happy ending - he called back a bit later on, and only wanted to check whether I was in so he could come round later on his way back from Attenborough. But even so. Answer the phone, next time a phone box rings at you!


Anonymous said...

do these boxes actually work with coins or cards?

Ace* said...

Do you remember when you called me from Manchester that time I tried to book a house for a meet? You ran out of money during the conversation and got cut off. I called back a few times and someone did actually answer! Mind you, that was on a station platform so they'd probably just got sick of listening to a ringing phone...