Monday, July 15, 2019

Keeping in Touch

A nice little brochure arrives in the post. It announces a new retirement home opening in Harrow and hopes I may be interested. Yes, I am of that age group that is automatically assumed to be interested in such matters. Idly I scan through it and my eye is caught by the following part of the sales blurb:

... and the telephone point in both the main bedroom and living room means you're always connected

Have the vendors not heard of this remarkable new invention called, if my memory fails me not, wireless? Do they not realise that only one telephone point per household is required if that said household has a modern telephone set with wireless handsets? But wait, surely I have missed something, bear with me, oh yes, I know, there's this brand new invention all the young people are talking about called mobile phones. With one of these in your pocket you are connected no matter where you might be in your home, or (and this is the clever bit) out of it.

I think I can dimly see the logic of the designers of these flats. "Old people are so ignorant of technology" they tell each other between gaps in their Powerpoint presentations "They barely realise that starter handles are no longer needed to get a motor vehicle going. Show them a gramophone and they marvel at how the orchestra has been shrunk to fit into that funnel thing you stick your ear in. They all have just the one phone plugged into the hallway and when it rings everyone in the family rushes down to answer it, just like in those wonderful old TV sitcoms they watch all day while waiting for the wrestling to come on. They'll fall over their Zimmer frames in amazement when we tell them they get two telephone points in our flats."

I am sorely tempted to phone up for an appointment and ask them about provision for stabling the horses, the maid's quarters, if the flats have a back entrance marked "Tradesmen" and where I will be keeping my coal, all the while going "Speak up young man, all you young people mumble so much". They've obviously got a mental picture of me and I do hate to disappoint.

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