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“Operator”

Posted by purplemary54 on June 15, 2013

Still feeling a little telephone-lagged from last night (sort of like jet-lagged, but with the telephone instead).  Which got me thinking about one of the saddest love songs ever.

Of course, this song is seriously dated now.  No one contacts the operator looking for the telephone number of one of their exes these days.  Aside from the fact that telephone operators as envisioned by the song simply don’t exist anymore (thanks, Internet!), trying to contact an ex like this leads to restraining orders and visits from the police.  At the very least, you get a Cease and Desist letter from a lawyer (thanks, Crazy Stalkers!).

Telephone operators are virtually extinct now because you can just do an Internet search for whatever, or whomever, you’re looking for.  Want to find a Chinese restaurant that delivers in your area?  Internet.  Looking for the movie times at your shopping mall’s multiplex?  Google it.  Need to find a contractor, or buy a new pair of shoes?  Angie’s List and Zappos dot com, respectively.  Ask, Bing, and Google your way to anything you want to know.  Hunt down your ex by entering his/her name into the search engine of your choice; you’ll probably find out way more than you ever wanted to know.

Heck, Jim Croce’s “Operator” was behind the times even when there were still operators, not to mention pay phones on every corner.  When I was a teenager, we couldn’t just drop a dime into the pay phone and expect to make our call: it cost us a quarter.  I still see the occasional pay phone (and I’ve used one or two in the last decade, thanks to forgetting to recharge my cell phone).  A local, non-toll call now costs fifty cents.  That’s more than a stamp.  Of course, a phone call will get you faster results than a letter.  Although if you manage to convince someone to let you use their cell phone to make a call, you could probably get away with reimbursing them for only ten cents.  Isn’t that what all the prepaid plans charge per minute nowadays?

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