Shout Out from Space --- "Sorry, Wrong Number"




British astronaut, Tim Peake, dialed long distance from space.  More about that in a minute (or a few units in tele-talk).

It used to be there was one phone in the house, usually in either the kitchen or hallway or some other public space in the house.  Once upon a time extensions cost extra money, and you didn’t even own your phone.  You rented it from Ma Bell, AT&T.

In my childhood home the phone was in the kitchen, and for privacy, the powder room near-bye became a make shift phone booth.  Phone what?  Yes, I know.  Those are gone too.

Local calls were billed by the unit, and long distance or “toll” calls were rare and usually only done around the holidays and special occassions. Toll calls were expensive, and the connections weren’t always good, and in many cases you could not dial direct, even though the nation had mostly gone to ten digits for phone numbers, even if letters did disguise the first two numbers, such as “GA” for “Garden”, an area of the Chicago metro region.

When you did get connected you talked, sometimes shouted.  Even if the connection was good.  It was the idea that it was a long way from Chicago, Illinois, to Miami, Florida, so it was human nature to shout.

Now, however, phones are used and not used.  Most often you get a text today, if the message is short.  Or somebody somehow “facebook’s” you.

British astronaut, Tim Peake, dialed long distance from space.  Yes, the space they shoot rockets up onto and where the latest ideration of the International Space Station floats.   He dialed the wrong number, getting some unknown woman on the other end, whilst he said, “Hello, is this planet Earth”.

Peake apologized for dialing wrong, a costly mistake some forty years ago.

I wonder if he was shouting?

It’s a long way from England to the International Space Station.

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