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Christine Natale

Rookie (August 9,1955 / Glen Ridge, New Jersey)

One Hundred Years of Telephones


Old movies
The comedy of the missed phone call
The tragedy of the missed phone call

The lighted phone booth at the deserted gas station
by the empty highway in the middle of the night
Knocking on the door of the spooky old house to ask to use the telephone
because the car broke down in the middle of nowhere

A midnight call from a terrifying predator
A fake telephone call from the wrong lover
The phone call from a lover with the whole family standing around to listen
The urgent call from the reporter trying to file his story
The split screen calls of the funny party lines

Fumbling for a nickel or a dime
Hiding in the phone booth
Waiting for a phone booth
Crying in a phone booth

Waiting anxiously for the phone to ring
Trying to work up the nerve to make the call
Cranking the phone and hollering at the operator
Waiting for the long distance call to be put through
Waiting for the secretary to get the client on the line

The missed phone call
The interrupted phone call
The sotto voce phone call
The pantomime phone call

The crossed lines and overheard conversation
The phones are out because of the storm
The phone lines are cut by the maniac

“Call Northside 777”
“BUtterfield 8”
“Sorry, Wrong Number”
“Dial M for Murder”

The Batphone of Gotham
The “hotline” phone to the President of the United States
Clark Kent’s dressing room

A red British phone booth
The mountain retreat with no phone
The phone brought to the restaurant table
Being called away from the table to take a phone call

“Excuse me Sir, but there is a strange woman on the telephone for you.”
“Excuse me Madam, but there is a strange gentleman on the telephone for you.”
“Who was that Darling? ” “Wrong number.”
“Number, ple-ase.”

Submitted: Thursday, February 10, 2011

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