On yer marks
The invention of the telephone is a much-debated subject, however, it is commonly accepted that in 1876 Alexander Graham Bell was awarded the first patent for an electric telephone.
Long before the days of ‘1471’ and ‘Call Waiting’, during the ninth century, a Chinese alchemist invented gunpowder and several centuries later the first firearm came into being. As firearms developed and evolved, pistols became a popular method by which to start races.
Thanks for indulging me in my Wikipedia-aided history lesson. I shall now get to the point.
As far as my father is concerned the starting pistol and the electric telephone are one and the same thing.
As soon as the phone rings in my dad’s house he’s off, faster than you can say Usain Bolt, in the direction of the house phone.
His personal best saw him get from the utility room to the phone in the hall in 0.0001 of a second (the person on the other end claimed they still had two more digits to enter).
My dad’s role model is Foggy from Last of the Summer Wine. Like Foggy, dad is a fairly laid back guy. That is until you put him in the vicinity of a ringing telephone.
In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a ringing phone that sends him into a flap. He’ll run equally as fast to answer a text message.
For this reason he likes to keep all his phones in the one place (the phone stand in the hall) so as he doesn’t have to change direction mid-sprint and do himself a mischief.
I don’t know where this phone panic comes from. Perhaps it stems from the time when he missed a call from Roy Clarke offering him a role in his favourite sitcom.
Recently my dad took a great picture of Lucy on his mobile phone. I was quite impressed when he showed me that he’d worked out how to attach the picture to my mobile number so that every time I ring him a picture of Lucy appears.
There was a full house over Easter at chez Cousins and dad felt the need to demonstrate his handiwork.
He fetched the house phone and called his mobile, but was disappointed when Lucy’s picture didn’t appear. He then realised, like the rest of us had done two minutes earlier, that the call needed to come from my mobile phone to trigger the picture.
Much laughter ensued and dad trudged to the hall where he put both the house phone and his mobile on the aforementioned phone stand.
About a minute or two later, after dad had come back into the living room and we’d stopped poking fun at his epic fail, his mobile phone let out a beep to signal a message.
In dad’s place by the door was a cloud of dust. The rest of us waited in anticipation to find out who sent the message which nearly caused him to break his neck.
A minute later dad came back into the room, staring at his feet.
“Who was it from?” we asked.
“It was a message to tell me I had a voicemail,” said dad.
“And who was the voicemail from?” we asked.
“When I phoned to try and get the picture of Lucy to come up on my mobile, I forget to hang up so it’s a recording of you all laughing at me,” he said.
You’ll not be surprised to learn we laughed some more but this time he didn’t record it.
My mate has booked Status Quo to play his wedding.
It’s only costing him a pound but in return for the knockdown price he has to let as many people as possible know that Status Quo are now performing professionally as a wedding band.
I suppose you could say he has taken advantage of a ‘quid pro quo’ arrangement.
The answer to last week’s teaser was: Mr Easter keeps a duck rather than a hen and that’s where he gets his ‘free’ eggs from.
Here’s this week’s puzzle: Two hitchhikers were trying to get a lift, watching for passing cars. One was looking east towards the mountains and the other was looking west towards the sea. It was raining heavily, but the sun was also shining.
One of the hitchhikers turned to the other and said, “You’re looking a bit rough today”. How could he tell?