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Invention Gone Awry
There was a time when answering the telephone required Americans to get out of their chairs, walk to the kitchen, and pick up the line.
Then, a seemingly smart individual invented the cordless phone - and, like most people did, I bought one in the 1980's. After that, I could sit on the couch all day watching TV, reading the newspaper, and answering the phone without ever lifting a foot.


Heaven!


When I could no longer sit on the couch all day because I had a baby, however, the cordless was still, in my mind, a great invention. If the baby was taking a bottle, or sleeping in my arms, I could answer the phone without any complications.


I even appreciated my cordless when my children were toddlers, because I could talk to someone and take sharp objects out of the kids' hands at the same time.
Preschoolers? Yep, I still liked my cordless. Kindergartners? Praise the cordless! Early grade schoolers. I had a picture of the cordless in my wallet.
But last year, things changed. My daughter, not even a teenager yet, mind you, started talking to friends via the phone. Only, after these calls, she gets distracted and leaves the cordless lying around in some undisclosed location, such as in her bathroom, or under the clothes on her floor, or in refrigerator, or at the neighbor's house.


Believe me, it's rather disconcerting to have the next door neighbor knock on your door in his pajamas and announce that you have a phone call.
I can only suspect that the person who invented the cordless either didn't have older children, or didn't properly test out the invention in his own home. Because, - NEWS FLASH - it only works if you can actually find it when you need it. If not, it's just a useless device that rings SOMEWHERE in the distance...like most people's car alarms.


My largest predicament, of course, is that I actually receive important phone calls from people who need to talk to me; only, instead of conversing to them, I'm usually under my daughter's bed trying to find the phone. And when I do finally locate it, the phone stops ringing.


The other day my wife's car broke down, and just as she gave up trying to reach me, I triumphantly dug the cordless out of the compost pile.
I even had to purchase a Caller I.D. so I could return all of the phone calls I miss. People who know me now just let the phone ring once and then wait until I call them back an hour later.


If I need to make a phone call, however, I will take a short cut and track the cordless down using my cell phone. To do this, I call our house and let it ring continually until I successfully hunt down the noise. Sometimes, it's a rather interesting process, especially when someone answers.


Voice: Hello?


Me: Hello? Is this my phone?


Voice: I don't know - describe it.


Me: It's white and cordless. Who is this?




Voice: The mailman. Why is your phone in the Swarner's mailbox?


So, to make a long story short, I'm trading in the cordless for a standard wall unit. Progress!


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