Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Total Phone Revisited

Does anyone remember the 80's when "Total Phone" came out?

Does anyone remember when you would call someone and, God forbid, they were on the phone and you got a busy signal?

At first we thought Total Phone was awesome - you had this thing called "call waiting" so we didn't have to worry about talking for hours on the phone and Dad getting angry because he couldn't get through. (Actually, it was Mr. Murphy who would get angry. The Murphys had 6 kids and lived two doors up. Many times around dinner we would get a call from Mr. Murphy asking us to run down to his house and "tell those damn kids to get off the phone!" (apparently he was trying to call Mrs. Murphy?))

One cool feature of Total Phone was the ability to get all your friends on the phone together. We figured out who of us had Total phone, then we'd call 1 person who didn't have it, and 1 who did. The one who did would call another friend who did, and etc. until we ran out of kids with Total Phone. Then all 6 or 8 or 10 of us would try to talk at once. Hilarious.

Last night, my sisters & 1 brother brought me right back to the 80's as we conference called each other. I had no idea my phone would still do that - apparently "Total Phone" is now standard. I was talking to my sister K, who had talked to Brother T. They hung up so Brother T could call Brother G & then get back to K. K called me, then T called back K on call waiting. She told him, "Hang up, we'll call you back." 5 minutes later and 10 failed attempts by K, I gave it a try and it worked. Then we realized we needed sister J on the phone. So Brother T tried it - we already ruled out K as a total failure. Oh My Goodness, that was pathetic. I am the baby of 5 and clearly the most technologically advanced, which is not saying much at all.

It went something like this:
T: What do I do?
ME: Hit flash, dial her number...
T: No no wait I have to write this down. Where's a pen. Damn that one doesn't work. Ok now I need paper. Yeah, this will do. Ok, What do I do?
ME: H-i-t Flaaaash
T: (writing) Flaaassh... (speaking) OK now what?
ME: Dial her number
T: What's her number? (she has lived in her house for 25 years!! Same number!!!)
ME: (tells him number)
T: ok then what?
ME: Hit flash
T: Do I have to wait until she picks up?
ME: (exasperated) NO! Just hit flash just like when you picked up your phone both K and I were on remember?
T: Oh yeah. Let me try this (mutters to himself "Flash, number, flash...")

Amazingly it worked. And I only pulled out a few hairs...

Very funny. I don't think we'll be trying that again. God Forbid I tell them about Skype or Oovoo!!


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I never did total phone and I never use the conference call feature on my cell phone. I'd probably need a pen and paper, too!

dkuroiwa said...

wow. i must have REALLY lived in the country as i have never heard of Total Phone (i DO remember the "party line" that we had with Aunt Sarah and Kenneth across the street....yeah, THAT was fun! NOT!).
conference call? i wonder....can we do that internationally?? ;-D

ChiTown Girl said...

I don't know how the hell I missed this post until today, but I'm laughing my ass off!!! I've been using the conference call feature on my phone forever!! I always had it on my home phone (I've never heard of "total phone," it must be called something different here) and I use it all the time on my cell phone. I hate trying to make plans with more than one person, and all that back and forth calling has to happen. I just get everyone (usually my mom and sister) on the phone at once, and we figure out whatever it is we're trying to do. Sometimes, my sister will get my brother on the line, too.

Thanks for the laugh! Your brother sounds like my mother, which is why WE call HER!

Wunderwoman said...

I live in a very rural area and have never heard of total phone. But, oohhh explain Skype and Oovoo, please!

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

We should party on the line with you me and Kate. Conference call on the iPhone, Baby! Easy peasy. We could all eat truffle fries and talk. Why wait until you're in town, right?

yogurt said...

I've never even been on a 3-way or or any-way call or conference call of any kind. You put me to shame, you queen of phone.

yogurt said...

And I've never heard it referred to as total phone.