Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Book for the Ages

I opened the gate and there it was, kicked off to the side, just a shadow of its former self. The Yellow Pages. Time was, not so long ago, that the Yellow Pages was a hefty book. The thing that had been dropped off at my house yesterday barely registered on the scale. It was so light that Mark could have picked it up, which he didn't. I did. I picked up that book of unwanted advertising, that waste of paper, and marched right up the sidewalk, into the house, through to the kitchen, and out the back door where I dropped it into the recycling bin. I remember my first Yellow Pages. Back in 1972 when I got my first telephone. No kids, not like the phone you carry around and futz with all day. I got a proper telephone that was wired into the wall permanently so that if I wanted to move it I would have had to call Illinois Bell Telephone and paid for that move. Oh yes, that was the phone company, Illinois Bell. There were no others to choose from. I couldn't get pissed off, throw a tantrum, and sign up with another company. I was stuck with Ma Bell. I did have one cool modern option on my first phone, I ordered it with touch tone. Touch tone, which means it had buttons instead of a rotary dial, cost extra. It is an extra charge that I believe I am still paying to this day. Anyway, back to the Yellow Pages. With that phone service in 1972, I got delivered to my apartment two books. The Yellow Pages, and the White Pages. I had arrived, the telephone company had acknowledged that I was an adult. I don't think anybody uses the Yellow Pages anymore. We have Google, Yelp, and others on the internet. If I want to find something I don't have to heft that big book out and leaf through the pages. Just a few keystrokes and every service that I need shows up on the screen. So I don't think they should be wasting the trees and ink on all those books they deliver to your door. Really, they only need to print one, for my mother.

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