Are anyone’s fingers still doing the walking?

If I mentioned “Let your fingers do the walking,” would it mean anything to you?
It would if you’re over 40. Okay, 50.
The old slogan for the Yellow Pages came to mind Monday when I found a new phone book lying under the fountain grass near my front gate. God only know when it was thrown there. And God only knows why.
Does anyone need a new phone book these days? Or even an old one?
Here’s a confession: I have six old phone books under my TV to make it fit better on its stand. They’ve been there for a couple of years.
That’s about all they’re good for.
A new one is not good for much more.
And that’s from a guy of the phone book generation.
A few years ago, I was chatting with someone about a possible interview for a column. “I’ll give you a call,” I said, “are you in the book?”
Her college-aged daughter cracked up. “You say that, too?” she exclaimed. “I thought my mom was the only one who says that.”
At first I was going to ask her “Say what?” but then it hit me. The book, as in the phone book, only means something to people my age. Not only do young people not have phone books, most of them don’t have phones. Well, not “land lines” anyway, as they refer to the contraptions sitting in the houses of their parents and grandparents.
Young people have smart phones only. And when they need a phone number, they go to whitepages.com.
The book? Are you kidding?
How about the phone books we used find chained in phone booths? How about phone booths themselves?
“The Fonz” on “Happy Days” and some of my friends before “The Fonz” even existed, used to answer the phone with, “It’s your dime, start talking.” The reference, of course, was to “pay phones.” To call someone was to “drop a dime.” So cool back then. And so meaningless today.
We still have a “land line” in our house, but I must admit I’ve succumbed to the cell phone craze. But only to a degree.
A few years ago I was playing tennis with my friend when we heard this unusual sound. “Listen,” he said, “that bird sounds just like a cell phone.”
I agreed. Then realized it was a cell phone. My cell phone.
By the time I got to it, the person had hung up.
Funny, isn’t it, how we all still say we “hang up” after a call, even though there is no device to hang up?
We may not drop a dime any more, but we still hang up.

Ed Ackerman