Dorothy Parker: A telephone call

I read this story for the second or third time today. Let me assure you that when once you start reading it, you will reach the end in breathless pace.

I am not going to give you any synopsis of the story even in the sketchy manner that I have been rendering in the case of other narratives.

This romantic story takes us back to a bygone era when communications facilities were not in such an advanced stage as they are at present.

Young men and women who fall in love today (I was going to write boys and girls, but even if I do I might be nearer the truth) have a myriad ways of keeping in touch with each other even if their bodies are removed from one another.

It is sickening to find young people using their mobile phones while walking on the roads – even when crossing – even while negotiating dangerous corners with vehicles going pell-mell. (I always wonder whether one should be mobile while talking on a cell phone.)

Yesterday I would not have walked some 100 metres when I came across five young women with their mobile phones glued to their bejewelled ears in this kind of insouciant situation.

With whom would they have been chatting away?

Link:

http://www.classicshorts.com/stories/teleycal.html

Quote

If I didn’t think about it, maybe the telephone might ring. Sometimes it does that. If I could think of something else. If I could think of something else.

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4 Responses to Dorothy Parker: A telephone call

  1. Absolutely adolescent! Extremely, irritatingly crazy and childish!Somehow I hate to see teens and even adults infatuated and behaving like this!
    Most of the specimens with cell phones glued to their bejewelled ears are also silly beings with no sense of propriety or necessity or dignity or intelligence!!! Immaturity and irresponsibility!
    A ‘romantic’ story! My idea of ‘romantic’ is different!

  2. Ganesh says:

    Not sure if I am the only one who feels like this, but the fact that I reached the end in breathless pace was due to the fact that I skimmed over most of the story after finding that the words were getting repeated in the same manner, and conveying the same situation.

    Mrs. PP has made some observations above (I think her comments are with respect to the girl’s behavior) which, I feel, need to be ascribed to the story and the writing as well.

    One of the most disappointing stories that I have been linked to, on this blog 😦 The only redeeming point of this blog entry is the social commentary made by Mr. Rishikesh 🙂 (which made me approach the story with high expectations)

    (Not sure if I would have appreciated the story if I had been in a different frame of mind)

  3. cgrishikesh says:

    I agree that this story is not in the same class as many others that I have written about.
    But I included it as I was in a nostalgic moment as I glanced at the title and remembered the storyline from my earlier reading.
    It takes us back to those years when the only telephone in our homes was a unsleek black instrument in the main hall – with no “extensions” and no cordless. The days of the mobile were never imagined.
    Maybe, if the narrator belonged to that period when she had a mobile, she would have gone about her chores and errands without sitting somewhere anxiously waiting for the telephone to ring.
    The story may be a little monotonous to read, for it is not like others – it does not have any series of events, leave alone twist or turn like those in some of the other stories.
    It describes a state of the mind of a person in a given situation; we must look at it in that perspective.

  4. Shuchi says:

    I had missed reading this story earlier. I didn’t mind it as much as Mrs. PP and Ganesh did. I think it captures the narrator’s state of mind very well, though it may not be terribly exciting to read for a person outside that situation.

    Regarding being mobile when on the mobile, what do you say about Idea’s “Walk when you talk” ads?

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