Superman and phone booths?

August 7, 2013 

I haven’t seen the movie ‘The Man of Steel’ yet so maybe you can answer a question for me. Are there phone booths in the movie? I was wondering because, they don’t make phone booths anymore.

Which reminds me, I miss things of the past like record albums, Marathon Bars and phone booths. Look up on the history channel if you don’t know or type it in on Google. Phone booths were cool. They were great for getting a break from the rain, although during a bad rainstorm it could get crowded in a hurry. In the 50s, teenagers would pile in to see how many they could get in one. How many times did people walk by a phone booth and reach in the change return? If by chance you did reach in and pull out a dime, it made your day. Imagine that, a dime made your day? I can’t make my teenager’s day with $10.

There was always some good doodling in the phonebook hanging in a phone booth. Now? The only place we can get a number when we’re looking for a good time is the Wal-Mart bathroom stall and I am not calling any of those numbers. When my best friend couldn’t remember his girlfriend’s number, I could always tell him to go look in the phone booth. Can’t do that anymore.

A problem with the phone booth was there was nowhere to lay the phone book. You had to hold it with one hand and flip through the pages with the other. Sometimes, if you were coordinated enough, you could lay it on the three inches of "shelf" under the phone while holding it there with your belly as you dropped change in, tried to read the number and dial it at the same time.

The movies were filled with great phone booth scenes, like Dirty Harry running from one to the next to get his next move from the maniac killer; people being run down by someone in a car while in a phone booth. Why did these people always run to a phone booth? Did they actually think it was going to protect them?

There was even a movie a few years ago filmed almost entirely in a phone booth. What was it called? The Phone Booth. I have been watching old crime shows from the 70s. I noticed almost every episode had a telephone booth scene. Don’t you think that San Diego scene in Jurassic Park II would have been better if the T-Rex had picked up a phone booth and swallowed the person inside? What about the opening sequence of Get Smart or who can forget Tippi Hedren in The Birds.

And of course, what would Superman do without a phone booth? He couldn’t go to a phone stand. Even a few years ago on a rare occasion you could still see one of those. A phone with three small walls and a small roof on a pole sometimes with a phone book hanging down. They weren’t bad because you could make a call without getting out of the car. But for Superman? That would have let us in on a few secrets we have always wanted to know. Like, why does he wear his underwear on the outside? Or, does he leave his clothes in the phone booth and does he fold them neatly or just throw them in a pile? Did he come after his clothes when he was done being Superman or did he have an endless supply? I guess we will never know.

You used to be able to give directions much easier, too. You could tell a lost traveler to take a right at the next street then turn left at the corner with the phone booth. Now what can you say? Turn left where there used to be a phone booth? Then again they probably have GPS, anyway. It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…certainly not a phone booth.

Denny Craft is a freelance writer/humorist and has just completed the book, “Cats Lay Eggs.”

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