Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Unwanted

One would think the phonebook would have gone out with fire call boxes and disco balls, but apparently they have managed to somehow hang on. Every couple of months I get a phone book from one of several telecom entities, the problem is what to do with it. I no longer need it to look up numbers, the pages are too small to use for starting charcoal, and since the invention of toilet paper, even that use is not an option.

The latest phone book is in English and Spanish, just in case I wake up one morning with the ability to speak Spanish. As with instructions in many languages the Spanish option just makes the book more confusing, a remarkable accomplishment seeing that it is just a phone book. It will go nicely with all the Spanish TV stations I get in my cable package though. Despite the attempt at reaching a new market, most folks have access to a computer or know the number of the person they are calling in the first place. Plus a cell phone addict isn’t going to schlep tow pounds of paper with them so they can make calls. Think texting while driving is bad? How about looking numbers up in a phone book while behind the wheel?

All that aside, the problem is what to do with the devil be damned collection. I suppose they make nice ballast for the garbage can and help keep it from tipping over during high winds and coyote forays, but beyond that they seem a patent waste of time, resources, and the effort expended bring them form the end of the driveway into the house. I did try just pitching it into my neighbor’s driveway, but they never pick anything up so eventually the book creeps back into my yard, as though it has a life of its own and wants to live with me. I didn’t even leave out a saucer of milk so it isn’t as if I have been encouraging the thing.

I do know they make lousy backstops for basement shooting range; a .22 caliber bullet passes right through five of them and still ricochets around the back room. While that is kind of exciting in its own way, it isn’t the result that was expected. Maybe they could be used instead of sand bags in case of a flood or to soak up oil. They do seem highly absorbent, but then there’s the problem of what to do with a big stack of wet oily phone books. They are bad enough when they are dry. Making a phone book sculpture in the front yard just brings down the wrath of the homeowners association (I thought it was very artsy, but then that is n the eye of the beholder I guess).

So now off to the garage top contemplate my stack o’ books and try to find a creative (and non-offensive) way to put them to good use. Or I could look up the number of some company that recycles phone books…


At 4:35 PM, Blogger Sister Copinherhair said...

Ha ha! I know! Seriously, who uses phone books anymore? Besides my mother, that is...

At 8:19 PM, Blogger boneman said...

take it to any paper recycling place...or any church...or just drop them off in phone booths.
At least you can get a grin thinking about someone coming up on a phone booth with thirty or fourty phone books. (I'm only average, you see, so others have had this same idea)

At 8:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

we tear out
a handful of pages,
stuff 'em into plastic graocery bags,
and feed 'em to area wildlife

waste not, want not


At 6:42 PM, Blogger Becky said...

I just went private with my blog. Seems I got me a seriously crazy stalker. Anyways, I need your email to add you to my list of people who can read. Just shoot me an email at newagehippie@juno.com and I will add you to my list.

At 3:31 PM, Blogger foam said...

practice your he-man skills by tearing the phonebooks in half ..

i promise, women will be swooning all over you .. or not .. or they will .. who knows?

At 4:45 PM, Blogger nanuk said...

Just mail them up to my wife - she won't throw anything out. BTW, our phonebooks are trilingual - Inuttitut, French and English.

"Drowning in phonebooks since 1989"

At 2:50 AM, Blogger M Zaib said...

According to recent research by Ofcom, 37% of adults and 60% of teens admit to being ‘highly addicted’ to their smartphones, with users checking their smartphones on average, 34 times a day. Additionally, 51% of adults and 65% of teens use their smartphones while socializing with others, and 22% and 47% respectively, confess to answering their smartphones even while on the toilet.

‘Moodoff Day’ on February 26th asks smartphone and mobile device addicts (and those that don’t yet consider themselves such) to spend a morning without their beloved devices.

If you feel you could benefit from a morning without smartphones and mobile devices and want to encourage others to follow suit, go to www.MoodOffDay.org and pledge your support. You can even post your personal experiences of smartphone addiction or upload funny images showing smartphone addicts in action at www.facebook.com/MoodOffDay


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