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  #1  
Old 10-24-2000, 07:18 PM
dougie_monty dougie_monty is offline
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How about it? At least when it was cold or rainy you could take refuge in a phone booth for a little while...Now the telephone companies must presume that users don't care about that!
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  #2  
Old 10-24-2000, 07:20 PM
Jack Batty Jack Batty is offline
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And think about poor Clark Kent.
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  #3  
Old 10-24-2000, 07:25 PM
Whammo Whammo is offline
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HOLY SHIT! Your freakin me out here. That is so wild that you post that because Sunday I actually SAW a bonifide Telephone Booth and immediatly thought I should start a thread about it!

It didn't have a door anymore but it was a booth none the less.
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Old 10-24-2000, 07:57 PM
Zenster Zenster is offline
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Dial E For Extinction...

Public urinals... er, telephone booths have gone the way of the horse and buggy. A show called "Design Classics" on PBS covered the demise of the fabulous British red telephone booth.

The upshot of the question boiled down to one central issue. In order to avoid any damage being done by the public to the unit, you essentially had to "pre-vandalize" it. This means removing anything that can be removed and eliminating all fragile aspects of construction.

Nuff said?...
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Old 10-24-2000, 08:48 PM
lurkernomore lurkernomore is offline
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Fat people sued that they didn't have equal access. They didn't fit.
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  #6  
Old 10-24-2000, 09:21 PM
Dijon Warlock Dijon Warlock is offline
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They even finally took out the phonebooth in the SW US desert that people from all over the world were calling. Somebody publicised the location of it on the 'Net, and the throngs of visitors were having adverse enviromental impact. Whatta drag.
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  #7  
Old 10-25-2000, 12:04 AM
CopperTears CopperTears is offline
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Yes.

I remember the phone booth, that bastion of security on a lonely, cold rainy night on an empty road, with it's comforting and cheerful light, the solid folding door that could be securely jammed closed with one foot and the thick, heavy glass. Not to mention the comforting hum of the ventilator fan in the roof.

It sheltered one from wind and rain, could hold two or three people in a pinch, was anchored so solidly into cement that only a tank could move it. A secure haven from bullies for tormented kids who could rush in, close the door and sit on the floor, both feet pressed to the center hinge and ward off an army of attackers.

Lovers could sit on the shelf and have dreamy conversations across the lines with the noise of the traffic dimmed out and a flip of the switch would douse the fan and light if they wanted privacy.

On blustery mornings, it provided a secure waiting place to sip a cup of hot coffee and have a smoke.

More than once a lonely phone booth provided a secure nights sleep for the weary traveler afoot, who could curl up inside, brace the door shut and snooze. It did the same for drunks now and then.

When in a row, the sturdy glass walls muffled the conversations of the people next to you, kept people from peering over your shoulder to get your secret numbers and wind from blowing away your papers.

There used to be booths on every corner in the city. Booths in a row at bus stations. Booths showed up all by themselves in the middle of nowhere and their cheerful light at night was often an assurance that Maw Bell was watching over you and you were not alone.

Then, they broke up Bell Telephone.
Thus ended the era of cheap, good service, simple cheap long distance and phones designed to last roughly a century. In came the 'carpet baggers' with scores of expensive, inefficient long distance companies. Anyone could now make phones and does, but they don't last a century. (You could pound a nail in with one of Bell's black phone handsets and it would still work.)

Prices went up. Long distance went up. Maw and Paw phone providers started producing pay phones and subcontracting for line service and giving places deals to put in their phones.

Bell never did. Bell just asked. Places were pleased to have a Bell phone booth there. M&P companies give the businesses 5 to 10% of the till. Naturally, they take the M&P service and get rid of Bell. Of course, the phones break down a lot, are in open booths, usually away from the building and easily broken.

Maw Bell started pulling out the booths. Too costly to keep up now that revenue had dropped. They put in some of the open stations, but the M&P companies were all over, rushing in to get Bells business with their cheap, crappy phones and expensive long distance services and hidden charges.

Vandals discovered how easily those crappy phones could be broken or robbed without lights or booth to protect them.

Before anyone knew it, the old, comfortable fortress against the world, island of safety in the storm, point of rest for the weary, and rock of comfort for the lost and lonely, was mostly gone.

I think I know where two remain in my city.

I can point out scores of bolts cemented into the corners of sidewalks, which have been cut flush, where booths stood for decades. I can show you the bolts where the one stood that I, as a child, would call my parents to come get me after the show was out on a Saturday, long, long ago.

They went out in silence, without a whimper and without a bang, and we, jaded as we are with the 'marvels' of today, never noticed until they were gone.

Without protest, we let an old, old friend vanish into that long night.

Well, if you'll excuse me, those M&P phones down at the corner just upped their prices again for crappy service, so I've got this 5 pound hammer, see and they're not real sturdy see, and no ones around, see, so I figure I'll go 'fix' them.

I want phone booths back.
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  #8  
Old 10-25-2000, 12:54 AM
Emperor Penguin Emperor Penguin is offline
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Well... I was going to post something I remembered from when I was a wee gipper, but I don't think I can top that last post.

Very nice (and on the subject of the phone booth to boot!)
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2000, 03:35 PM
Skywatcher Skywatcher is offline
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One classic phone booth can be found near the intersection of North 10th and Irving Streets in Arlington, about 2 blocks from Clarendon Metro. About 100 feet from said phone booth is what appears to be a telephone relay station.
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  #10  
Old 10-29-2000, 11:50 PM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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An earlier thread on this subject:


http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...threadid=40627
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  #11  
Old 10-30-2000, 12:08 AM
Roman Caudle Roman Caudle is offline
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Whatever happened to telephone booths?

Too many drunks like to sleep in them.
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  #12  
Old 10-30-2000, 05:55 AM
Carina42 Carina42 is offline
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High maintenance. Copper Tears kept bashing the working parts to bits.

Also in certain parts of town, they became a public nuisance because drug dealers use them. Convenience stores didn't like all those people in baggy pants & skull caps loitering around outside.

And I would bet close to 50% of the population have cell phones now, which make the phone company lots more money.
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