"Hello?" My son said, his voice quaking as he held the cradle a foot from his ear. "I can't hear." His sister came by and overheard her dad's voice coming out of the mouth...piece. "Is that you DAD?" she shouted.
Empowered with new knowledge, my son began shouting at the phone as well. A second sister entered the room, attracted by the shouting. "Can I have a turn?" Their father tried to explain to anyone who might possibly hear him, "You don't have to scream. Just talk in your normal voice with the phone next to your ear and mouth."
The gaggle of children began telling their father about their day, "I'm going on a field trip!..I am too! NO You're NOT! YES I AM! I got an A. Did you pick up the X-box? CAN WE HAVE PIZZA FOR DINNER? "PIZZA!" "PIZZA!" "PIZZA!" "PIZZA!" The chorus swelled.
From the phone I heard their dad comment, “Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.” Spousal code for me to interrupt the party line.
The kids filed out of the room during our brief conversation, for fear they might hear adult stuff like the word love.
"I don't think they know how to operate the retro phone."
"Why don't you test that theory. Tell them, I'm happy to get pizza if they call and order it."
I summoned the troops and gave them the conditions of the test. I also collected the smart phones from the two teenagers, and turned off the computer. I wrote down the number for the pizza place and left the room.
Twenty minutes later, I found the teens in the kitchen, boiling water for pasta.
After I learned why, I phoned my husband, "Just come straight home."
"They couldn't figure it out?"
"They could push the buttons."
"Then what was the problem?"
"They couldn't figure out how to hang up."
Imagine if I'd made them use the phone book.