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  • Paul Davidson

The Sadness That Accompanies No More Crank-Calling

You really have got to feel for the children of today.

Because, as technology has improved over the decades, with Caller ID and Star-69 and tons of other telephone related technologies, the art of the crank-call has sadly gone the way of the dinosaurs. For the World’s children and their mischievous friends, crank calling is an art-form that is all but dead.

No longer, can children call someone and tell them they’re from the electric company…and that they’re working on the electrical lines today…and so if their phone rings not to answer it for it is just them [said children pretending to be from the electrical company] for fear of electrocuting the workers. No longer, can children THEN, call right back and let said person’s phone ring over and over and over again until someone answers it — prompting said children pretending to be electric company workers to let-off blood-curdling screams into the receiver.

No longer, can kids on the cusp of puberty call the opposite sex from their sixth grade class and talk to the object of their affection without saying who they are. Endless “C’mon now, who is this?” and “If you tell me, I’ll tell you…” dialogues can no longer be shot back and forth. No longer can anonymous vocal flirting go on. No longer can said opposite sex phone-partners tweak their flirting to the point of getting the crank-callers to actually believe that they want to know who they are, thus giving up sensitive identifying information, resulting in said crank-callers getting nabbed by the object of their affection’s parents [true story].

No longer, can kids dial aimlessly pretending to be someone they’re not, improving their improv skills and their people skills. No longer do children have the opportunity to practice thinking-on-their-feet.

With star-69, Caller ID, call blocking and something called “local stalking laws”, the art of crank-calling is all but gone. A mere memory in the brains of some of us. A mere speck on the timeline of communications history.

Cry out for the injustice, people. For that, I suspect, is the only way the innocence of our crank-calling childhoods will ever return to the rugrats of today.

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