Leave Your Message After The Beep

I have things neatly arranged so an e-mail is generated whenever a call comes in to the phone at home.

I realize that may sound strange and other-worldly, so for any millennials who might be reading this, I’ll explain:

A “home phone” is a telephone that stays in the house.  Odd, I know.

This comes in handy for people like me who happen to know a lot of other people who were born in the previous century.  This population still believes calling “home” is the best way to reach someone.  Should one of these troglodytes leave a message, I’ll be able to read it within moments.

That is seldom the case these days.  And yesterday, a very 21st century thing happened.



That’s right.  If you read between the lines, you can see that a machine called my machine and left a message.

That message was sent by the machine on the desk at home to the machine in my pocket.  The message?
Press 3 to tell the machine not to call my machine anymore.

I listened to the message and I can confirm that’s what happened.  Unfortunately, when I heard the message, it was too late to press 3 to do anything, because the machine that called was no longer listening.

Too bad.  I regret the missed opportunity that could have led to fewer machine-generated calls in the future.

I think what I need is a machine that can respond quickly by pressing 3 when it matters most.  Then I wouldn’t have to know anything had happened.

Twenty years from now, how will messages reach you?  




49 thoughts on “Leave Your Message After The Beep”

  1. your name is connelly and it is required that you acknowledge st patricks day. dale is nit a very irish name but still….

    in 20 years i believe that communication will be done on a direct basis. all phone calls texts emails tweets and what ever form of communication will be directed to the id location you have assigned yourself and all letters mail communication will come via the portal directly to your data center. newspapers, broadcasts reminders calendars thought of the day to greet you as you wake, a copy of the birthday wish you automatically generated to your friends out there in the eworld. phone calls to land lines will be a memory like the party line. the new iwatch due out april 10 2015 will be a day in history that is noted by those who follow such things. remember when we all had appliances strapped on instead of simply accessed via the bluetooth version of the implant we all have in 2035. it goes in a tooth crown and is the only way to be in touch with all the data needed to function. the readout on the inside of our contact lenses tell us what and when who where and why. monitors the choices to made and records the events for reference in the years to come. the files in the cloud are able to access any moment in time if not from your data base certainly for someone elses and the ease of accessing others records is a given.

    an email telling how your mchine received a message from another machine. how droll. like a clip of rod taylor in a time machine.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Party lines – once I was talking with a young person about changing technology and explaining how things were so very different when I was his age. “I can remember when many people had party lines, and now almost everyone has a phone in his pocket.” I got a very blank look. “Party line – what’s that?”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am not sure I want to put up with a world in which I no longer have the excuses “I left my phone at home”, “I forgot to charge the phone”, or “we were on the Island and there was no signal”.

    The idea that we must be available to all and sundry at their whim is not progress.

    I had a major breakthrough back when the s&l was an over-tired toddler I was trying to get to sleep that just because a phone was ringing, I did not have to answer it. Ditto when sitting down to supper.

    Some people have not figured out that I know this. They think I have a glitteting social life or something, for I surely must not be home if I don’t answer the phone. They do not believe in leaving a message. They will call again when I am home, like maybe in the next 5 minutes. … or five minutes after that….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so ancient I remember when it wasn’t possible to directly “dial” a number. One picked up the phone and requested a connection when an operator came on to ask “number please.”

      I now waste a lot of timing analyzing the differences between my generation and all the more recent ones. One of my conclusions is that I belong to a generation that still sees phone calls as personal, which means we cannot comfortably ignore them. We are incensed by robotic sales calls because they violate the basic idea that someone calls us because they have something to say to us. For me–and others like me–it is unacceptably rude to fail to pick up. For younger people, picking up is a discretionary act.

      One of my family members, a man I like, never picks up. He monitors his incoming calls and chooses those he will respond to. I am unable to call that person because I simply cannot accept waiting to see if he cares enough about me to respond. So I simply don’t call him. We could have a nice talk if his phone habits were different, but instead we have virtually no relationship at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Morning all. I fear that in 20 years we’ll have chips in our brains and we won’t actually talk any more!

    I still have a home phone. I am just terrible at keeping my cell phone with me, so if you want to reach me at night or on the weekends, the home phone is the better bet. I have two friends, each of whom seems to think it’s a crime to get my answering machine, either on the home phone or the cell. Personally I don’t think it’s a sin to not be available every single second.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Good morning. Don’t ask me about how messages will be sent in the future because I can’t keep up with more current developments in messaging. I keep telling myself that most people I know do texting and I should learn to do this, but I haven’t. The same is true for tweeting. I like live conversations, if not in person, at least over a phone. I will admit that I do make extensive use of email and find it very useful.

    Is there is some way we could do more to enhance live person to person conversation in the future. That’s what I want. Amazing electronic devices for communication have their limitation in my opinion and the most advanced ones are likely to be very expensive and only available to those that have big bucks.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rise and Dance a Jig All You Irish O’Baboons!

    I have the email feature on my work phone Intake Line also–it is a handy work saver which I appreciate everyday. Unfortunately, we are taking a waiting list now because we all have full caseloads, so voice message or email messages are a bit irrelevant.

    I wouldn’t know how messages will happen in the future. I don’t seem to have any intuitive ability to envision such things. So I shall wait for the message future to reveal itself.

    I do remember a time when messages were presented on a pink slip taken in cursive handwriting. The pink slips were stacked on a metal spindle for storage. As a Kelly Girl Temp, I wrote hundreds of these messages.

    Back in the Olden Days.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. you know if you cured them they could go home and make room for the next folks. its the not getting them to move on that keeps you full.
      maybe you could start doing therapy by message.
      “im having a problem”
      “never mind I figured it out”
      hey I have a different problem”
      “never mind”

      could work well
      and today a bottle of jameson and a green beer could make it feel like a nationalistic downward spiral.


  6. By the way… did anybody else ever make those tin can walkie talkies that Dale has in the picture? I did – one of the Captain Kangaroo kid crafts.


    1. Are you nuts, Barb? Of all days, St. Patrick’s Day is the day to avoid a “good Irish place”; it’ll be full of noisy and, most likely, inebriated revelers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Most people would recommend Kieran’s Irish Pub in Minneapolis, for it is a classy joint. But real Irish folks aren’t that classy, so I recommend the Half Time Rec in Saint Paul. The last time I went there my erstwife got tiddly on dark beer and invited the Irish band to come home to sleep in our home. Fortunately, they were too sober to accept.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. You could try Pat’s Tap. I don’t think it’s particularly Irish, but it sounds a bit top-o’-the-morning-to-ye. The Pat it is named after is a woman, so probably short for Patricia rather than Patrick. But it’s kinda close…isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I rather prefer my messages in a short, written form like a text. It teaches people to be concise and get to the point. Besides the fact, many people leave lousy, unintelligible messages — with my husband at the top of the list. Many times, he will leave these long “stream of consciousness” messages, idly speaking whatever pops into his head. Truly annoying.

    But in the future, we will all be psychic and just transmit appropriate information in little bunches — and then just keep the rest to ourselves.


      1. Joanne–nice to see you on here again! I thought maybe I was to decipher the ABD and practice my psychic message-taking skills 🙂


    1. Reminds of this message under the caption “Why men shouldn’t be allowed to take phone messages”:

      Someone from Gyna Colleges called. They said the Pabst beer was normal.

      I thought you didn’t like beer?

      Liked by 5 people

  8. Husband is so happy that he no longer has email at work. In 20 years, I hope messages reach me in any form, just as long as I am competent to understand them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can appreciate that. I spent the last weekend with my mother in her Memory Care facility. Competence is a wonderful thing. I wonder if the elderly psychic’s use crumpled tin foil antennae?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. in 20 years, i hope to be at the Baboon Retirement Home, so most important communication can be done in person or through this blog. While i am comfortable with things like texting, email, etc., I hate talking on the phone, and I figure in 20 years time I will say to hell with new technology, if anyone who doesn’t live at the BRH wants to talk to me, they can come visit me.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I’m neither Irish (to my knowledge) nor born on St Patty’s day, but I’ve laid claim to this day for decades so people might remember me. My actual birthday is six minutes after midnight on the 18th. Tonight, I plan on going to my Cheers bar in full regalia – a leprechaun in a little green short dress with fake leather 7″ wide lace up belt, hat, and green forearm pull-ups. This is how I’ll celebrate my 71st year on the planet and I’ll dance it in. Hopefully, I’ll be doing the same thing a year from now.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Happy birthday, O’Cb. Hope you had a wonderful jump start on your celebration.

        I just returned an hour ago from the annual Irish ceilidh that I volunteer at. Such fun, and this year there were a lot of new faces, a very good sign.


  11. My voicemail does not get used much these days. I get texts and emails mostly, and the peopke a generation before me don’t leave messages, they just keep calling back every five minutes. (And I worry it is my sainted neighbor, in need of help).

    But I do also get the calls Dale describes and I would like a machine that screened the landline a directed those calls to my machine, which could then tell their machine to please hold, because their call is very important to us.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I’ve heard that you can throw off the robocalls by starting your answering machine message with the three tones the phone company uses just before they say “We’re sorry, the number you dialed is not in service.” The robotic software recognizes the three tones and flags your number as invalid. Doesn’t matter what you say following the three tones.

    I haven’t tried it, myself, but if it really works, it’s quite ingenious.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You can find them on YouTube. It might be better to imitate the tones on a musical instrument that would sound close enough to fool a robotic dialer, but would be just different enough so that if a person called they wouldn’t hang up thinking your phone has been disconnected.


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