Took a terrific trip to the historic gold rush town of Barkerville last week.  If you haven’t been there, it’s a real step back in time to the late 1800s, when gold was growing on trees!  But there’s another reason that makes being in Barkerville just like the old west: no cell phone service.  This is a shock to the system, not unlike seeing Stephen Harper trying to dance with the Inuit, it leaves you feeling unhinged, disconnected from humanity, not to mention a tad queasy.  Now, I can live without a cell, but when we’re travelling, my Mother is babysitter to the 2 cat boys, and you remember Nelson, the deep thinker, had that blocked willy a while back?  So I like to be easily reachable just in case he needs his vents blown out again.  The plan was to get to the hotel, and then call her with the number.  But this was a charming 1930s inn, with only a pay phone in the lobby.  A WHAT you say??  Yes, a phone that hangs on a WALL, for the PUBLIC.  Well, I hadn’t used a pay phone since Cher had her original face, so no surprise, I didn’t have enough quarters to shove in the thing.  My husband said, “Just make it collect, she’ll accept the charges, she IS your Mother.”  I was dubious, not about her being my Mother, I’m mostly certain about that, but about whether I could manage old technology, and she could manage ANY technology.  So, I dialled. Robot voice came on and asked me to say my name.  I started to say Linda Cullen, and then I thought, my Mother doesn’t need my last name, so I stopped short, which then made me sound as if  I was stating my name to paramedics after having fallen and hit my head on the curb.  It rings her line.  She answers.  Robot voice, “This is a collect call from…(head injury me:Linnn-DA??)…Press 1 if you accept this call…or say YES now.”  Silence.  Robot, “You did not answer (Mom: YES!) in the allotted time.”  4 times we tried, my Mom saying YES at exactly the moment the robot spoke.  In the silent gaps, I was screaming, say YES, PRESS ONE!!!  I think the robot hung up on us. Afterward my Mom said, “I didn’t know if I was supposed to say yes, or you, it was confusing!”  I’m not really picking on her.  I know this will be me in 30 years.  Someone will be trying to communicate with me using a space age technology we can’t even imagine, and I’ll be confused, and I’ll say, “Well, I didn’t know if I was supposed to SPEAK into the glowing pulsating orb, or insert it…so, I chose option #2…no?  Oh dear.  I’m going to need a doctor.”

For more fun go to Linda’s website

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