If you’re anything like me, you probably received new phonebooks on your doorstep this week…
You were probably just sitting in your living room, watching a little Maury and minding your own business, and then you heard that all-too-familiar *thump* on the sidewalk outside your front door. Worried that one of those stupid neighbor kids finally hurt themselves on your property and is now probably going to try and sue you for a hundred million dollars, you sprang from the couch to see what was the matter. Then what to your wondering eyes did appear, but a … white plastic bag with a bunch of huge books in it.
Of course, we all know that our good friend S. Claus would never see fit to deliver such a pointless gift, and even though it is a bit of a relief to not find a screaming 10 year-old on your porch, clutching his leg in pain, if you’re anything like me you’ve got to wonder … why are we still doing this whole phonebook thing?!
I mean, seriously – when was the last time that you actually used a phonebook, or at least used it for the purposes of actually looking up someone’s phone number? Using one to smash bugs or prop up a table or give your kid a boost at said table doesn’t count – I’m talking about actually pondering the contact information for a particular person or place of business, and then flipping through pages in the book to find that information.
Show of hands – anyone???
The ironic thing is, I’m realizing that some of you younger folks out there who’ve grown up on technology might not have the slightest idea of what I’m even talking about right now! You see, back in the day, phone companies decided to take everybody’s number in town and write them all down in one gigantic book every year, and then hand them out so that everyone knew how to call each other. There was usually only one phone company in town, so it’s not like you had lots of different books, but they were still really big and bulky because again, they contained the names and numbers of everybody in town! And as for wanting to call somebody who lived in the next town over? Well, I guess maybe you could try to call someone that you knew over there and ask them to look in their book?
In retrospect, it is a pretty crazy system and it’s no wonder that your generation is kind of running out of trees to make paper from these days, but at this point I think the least that we could do is sort of get with the times and admit that phonebooks are just about as useless and antiquated as pay phones here in today’s age. Yeah, it’ll be a bummer for the guy who designs the covers with all of those malpractice lawyer referral ads, but seriously – right now as I type, I have three different devices within reach that I could use to look up somebody’s phone number, and that’s counting even being able to do it right there on the phone itself! Each of these also gives me access to an encyclopedia that’s 113 times the size of the World Book editions that used to take up three entire shelves on my bookcase … what say maybe it’s time to dump keeping 20 pounds of books filled with random numbers around the house while we’re at it?!
It’s time to make a stand and rise up against the evil and unnecessary phone book industry. Do it for the trees, do it for the children … I really don’t care why you do it, just don’t interrupt me during my Maury time again…