BA on Assignment

October 31, 2014

Where is the Nearest Pay Phone?

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Written for: Communicado Magazine
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Stop for a minute – When was the last time you saw a pay phone on the street? At a gas station? In a Hotel? You haven’t because they don’t exist anymore…

Dammit if I wasn’t driving down the street one day and realized my cell phone battery had gone dead. No, I did not have a car charger because I had just gotten my new iphone which has a different connector than my previous one for which I DO have a car charger. Stop questioning me and let me get back to my discovery…

So I needed to make a phone call by a certain time and of course, it was moments before the deadline. My first thought was to stop at the nearest gas station. Negative. They don’t have pay phones anymore because people just rip receivers off the phone, cord and all.

Then I though, I’ll stop at a hotel. Negative. I found a “hotel row” and ventured in a total of five hotels to discover – no pay phones. Their explanation was that guests either use their cell phones or the phones in their rooms so there is no need for pay phones. But they do have house phones to call from room to room and for hotel services… 🙁

Luckily, the last hotel was gracious enough to let me use the phone at their concierge desk. But, it really did beg the question, are their any pay phones left anywhere?

So I’ve been on a quest to find pay phones everywhere I go. At the time of this post, I have only found one – in an old dated mall in a suburb.

Other places I plan to investigate… Movie theaters. Libraries. Bus stations. Museums? Help me! Look for pay phones with me… send me pictures on twitter. Maybe I’ll turn this into a social media experiment, like a scavenger hunt. We just have to think of a prize… I’ll think on that…