ANDY MILLER’s  View from Zerex

If you are a member of the Dinosaur clan and have thrown away your land line phone, be prepared to throw away your cell phone too. Every good newspaper piece can use a second lead – so – read on if you want to found a business guaranteed to make you richer than Mark Zuckerberg.

Actually I still have my land line; I very much enjoy talking with friends and my boys with clear reception guaranteed by actual wiring. I never answer it anymore of course; almost all calls come from far flung robots.

Now the robots are infecting our cell phones.  After the first time one used a local 531prefix I called the number back to complain.  The distraught woman on the other end told me her phone number had been hacked.

I’ll never get used to a phone ringing in my pocket.  In our selectively loved past walking out your door cut you loose from the jingling phone.  The first construction job site I had with a phone found the device inside our large toolbox, wired to the pole nearby.  It was so cool to be able to call the lumberyard and get boards delivered, better even than pizza.

In a past so long ago it is murky, it took dialing only four numbers to get another Fraser Valley phone. All long distance calls, even to Granby, required calling the operator. I would sit in the Millers Inn library and listen to my Grandfather C.D. Miller carry on long conversations with the local operator before being patched through for the call he was actually making.

The junk phone call caused death of our land lines was tragic on many fronts.  One lovely local senior, who passed away a few years ago, was a victim of these heartless machines and individuals.  She lived in a rather complicated building where she did not really hear someone at the front door. The best way to pay a visit was to call her first.  In those days she shared with us the excitement of hearing the phone ring, it meant a friend was reaching out.

Slowly but surely this elder friend began to have the same reaction common to all of us to a ringing phone which nearly always resulted in the infuriating  sales pitch.  She finally quit answering her phone, creating one more barrier between a single person living alone and the world she was for so long enthusiastically engaged in.

What are your options after throwing away your cell?  Perhaps a pair of tin cans and a string? This option will certainly severely limit the size of our contact list.

How then to solve this problem and make a fortune large enough to found your own space travel company?  I met a man recently who was formerly in charge of phone security for the White House.  He says we have the technology to block unwanted calls despite what I have been told during my always enjoyable discussions with my phone service providers.

If you found a phone company which employs admittedly complicated but obtainable technology and then promise your subscribers they will no longer receive calls from foreign robots, you’ll have the best product since skis shaped like snowboards hit local shops a number of years ago.

I’m not in favor of the death penalty, unless our legislators choose to make this the sentence for those who own companies which produce robo-call machines.

It is time for us to take our phones back.  Or maybe life would be better with a pair of cans and some kite string.