The shopping mall near my house has the cutest little phone booth set up just outside the grocery store.
Now, in this age of cellphones, it’s nearly impossible to find any pay phone at all, so to have such a cute one so nearby is like having some sort of tourist attraction in the neighbourhood.
It’s one of those red phone booths that you see in London, England, (in fact, I think it is actually one of those that’s been retrofitted with a Bell Canada pay phone*).
It’s been a while since I’ve done a “pay phone fairy” good deed (and left coins in the coin return), so I thought today would be a good day. Also, I figured that anyone who’d actually enter this booth, must really need to make a phone call. (Since there’s really no other reason to go inside… plus, the door is really heavy and hard to open… Superman, if you’re reading this, try a flimsy East York booth instead.)
So I gathered up my strength, yanked open the heaviest door in the history of doors and went inside. It felt really neat. Like I’d stepped into a time machine and once I’d left the booth, I’d be in Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square.
Nope, back in outer Scarberia.
But I did leave a couple of quarters in the coin return, so even if the next person couldn’t time travel with them, at least they could make a local call….
Telephone box trivia
- The red telephone “box” can be found in the U.K., Malta, Bermuda and Gibraltar. (Did not know that.)
- The colour red was chosen to make them easy to spot. (That much I figured.)
- The red telephone box, made of cast iron, was the result of a competition in 1924 to design a kiosk that would be acceptable to the London Metropolitan Boroughs. (Cast iron??? No wonder the door was so heavy!)
*It is! I was right. This is a description of the booth in my local shopping mall: “Authentic British Phone Booth from 1926 is one of 2 phone booths from the 1920’s imported from Britain that now rest in the mall. There is a plaque on one but they’ve pressed it against a pillar so hard to read.” Hmm, wonder where the second one is?
P.S. U.K. songstress Adele doing a Sam Cooke classic. Enjoy!