My Most Missed Forms of Communication: Payphone’s and Nextel’s

When I was 13, my Mom used to drop my best friend and I off at the Island Queen dock to catch the first boat over to the Vineyard. We loved going to MV for the day. We did the same shit we did in Falmouth but it felt like we were on a separate continent.

We literally did nothing but walk around, eat pizza slices and steal shit from stores. I’m not proud of that last statement, and I literally only did it once and then cried the entire boat ride home because I was convinced the Cops would be waiting for me at the dock, but everyone goes through a shoplifting phase and if you say you didn’t then you probably also deny peeing in the shower.

Seriously, no one likes a liar.

Anyways – back in the 1900’s, most adults, let alone 13 year old poor kids from East Falmouth, didn’t have cell phones and weren’t allowed to have pagers because those “were for drug dealers”. Soo in order to tell my mom what time we needed to be picked up, I would have to call her collect from a payphone on the Vineyard.

I clearly didn’t have the 10 cents required to place a call since I was fucking stealing beanie babies, so was forced to call her collect, and she would get pissed if she had to accept the charges.

My favorite part was trying to fit everything I needed to say into the 3 second window that was supposed to be used for your name.

My mom: “Hello?”

[Operator]: “Hello…will you accept a call from…It’sJennyWe’reTakingThe3OclockBoatBackBye”

Worked every time.

Remember when anyone who was anyone had a Nextel as their primary form of mobile communication? Forget Nokia (actually don’t, because Snake was legit) but Nextel brought communication to a whole new level.

Nothing screamed “I’m the shit” like standing in line at the grocery store or out with friends and hearing the coveted “bleep bleep” followed by your friend’s voice saying something super important like “Hey – you there?” To which you’d naturally take out your high grade walkie-talkie and respond back “Yeah, what’s up?”.

And if someone pulled the border-line stalker move of ‘alerting’ you so that your phone would beep until you answered? Jesus, I could only dream of being that wanted.

The best was when you were going back and forth with someone and you both tried to say something at the same time and you got that awful noise that was equivalent to a whale being murdered by a band of Asians. Worst.

Oh and there was also Boost mobile, which was like a ghetto version of Nextel. Apparently it was more affordable, which basically just meant that if you used one you were poor.

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