I have this disease late at night sometimes, involving alcohol and the telephone. I get drunk, and I drive my wife away with a breath like mustard gas and roses. And then, speaking gravely and elegantly into the telephone, I ask the telephone operators to connect me with this friend or that one, from whom I have not heard in years.
My uncle was the first one in my family to get a telephone. It was like going to the moon. He came running over to tell us, and we were so proud. A telephone! We didn't have to go to the candy store to phone any more. We went around telling everyone. But we didn't hear from my uncle for three days, so my father got worried. He said, Let's go over there. We got there, and my uncle was very depressed. I asked, What's the matter? He said, I got a telephone and nobody called me. He didn't give his number out - he didn't know that you had to!
I won't telephone him. I'll never telephone him again as long as I live. He'll rot in hell, before I'll call him up. You don't have to give me strength, God; I have it myself. If he wanted me, he could get me. He knows where I am. He knows I'm waiting here. He's so sure of me, so sure. I wonder why they hate you, as soon as they are sure of you.
When I grew up in India, telephones were a rarity. In fact, they were so rare that elected members of Parliament had the right to allocate 15 telephone lines as a favor to those they deemed worthy. If you were lucky enough to be a wealthy businessman or an influential journalist, or a doctor or something, you might have a telephone.
I learned how to cover race riots by telephone. They didn't pay me enough at my first newspaper job to venture onto the grounds of South Boston High School when bricks were being thrown. Instead, I would telephone the headmaster and ask him to relay to me the number of broken chairs in the cafeteria each day.
Neil and Buzz, I am talking to you by telephone from the Oval Office at the White House, and this certainly has to be the most historic telephone call ever made. . . . Because of what you have done, the heavens have become a part of man's world. As you talk to us from the Sea of Tranquility, it inspires us to redouble our efforts to bring peace and tranquility to Earth.
Richard M. Nixon
In order to get one of the greatest inventions of the modern age, in other words, we thought we needed the solitary genius. But if Alexander Graham Bell had fallen into the Grand River and drowned that day back in Brantford, the world would still have had the telephone, the only difference being that the telephone company would have been nicknamed Ma Gray, not Ma Bell.
I am the man who comes and goes between the bar and the telephone booth. Or, rather:that man is called 'I' and you know nothing else about him, just as this station is called only 'station' and beyond it there exists nothing except the unanswered signal of a telephone ringing in a dark room of a distant city.
An American critic wrote that she would rather be forced to read the New York telephone directory three times than watch the film A Zed and Two Noughts, a third of which was a homage to Vermeer. Conceivably, if you are a list-enthusiast like me, the New York telephone directory might be fascinating, demographically, geographically, historically, typographically, cartographically; but I am sure no compliment was intended.
Once more Jane sat staring at the telephone. This time she was filled with a confidence that was new to her. Stan Crandall. Stanley Crandall. He liked her! He had seen her once, and even though had been rumpled and grass-stained and having a terrible time with Sandra, he liked her well enough to go to the trouble of finding out her name and calling to ask her to go to the movies. Jane smiled at the telephone and gave a sigh of happiness
When it comes to telephone calls, nobody is listening to your telephone calls. That's not what this program is about. ... What the intelligence community is doing is looking at phone numbers, and durations of calls; they are not looking at people's names and they're not looking at content. ... If the intelligence committee actually wants to listen to a phone call they have to go back to a federal judge, just like they would in a criminal investigation.
Bell seated himself behind the desk, motioning for Nancy to stand opposite him. There was tense silence for a moment. Then Bell reached for a desk telephone. "I am going to call the police, Miss Drew, and turn you over to them on a charge of trespassing, breaking, and entering with an attempt to steal." "I wish you would," Nancy replied. "if it is possible over that dummy telephone.
Communication media enabled collective action on new scales, at new rates, among new groups of people, multiplied the power available to civilizations and enabled new forms of social interaction. The alphabet enabled empire and monotheism, the printing press enabled science and revolution, the telephone enabled bureaucracy and globalization, the internet enabled virtual communities and electronic markets, the mobile telephone enabled smart mobs and tribes of info-nomads.
Seemed to me a phone was an impersonal instrument. If it felt like it, it let your personality go through its wires. If it didn't want to, it just drained your personality away until what slipped through at the other end was some cold fish of a voice, all steel, copper, plastic, no warmth, no reality. It's easy to say the wrong thing on telephones; the telephone changes your meaning on you. First thing you know, you've made an enemy. Then, of course, the telephone's such a convenient thing; it just sits there and demands you call someone who doesn't want to be called. Friends were always calling, calling, calling me. Hell, I hadn't any time of my own.
Mary Lou suddenly realizes that Mack calls the temperature number because he is afraid to talk on the telephone, and by listening to a recording, he doesn't have to reply. It's his way of pretending that he's involved. He wants it to snow so he won't have to go outside. He is afraid of what might happen. But it occurs to her that what he must really be afraid of is women. Then Mary Lou feels so sick and heavy with her power over him that she wants to cry. She sees the way her husband is standing there in a frozen pose. Mack looks as though he could stand there all night with the telephone receiver against his ear.
Bobbie Ann Mason