Monday, April 20, 2009

538 Clinging to the Old Ways

538 Clinging To The Old Ways 21st Century Style

Ronald Reagan was king of this.  He wanted to take us back to a time that never was.  But there's a little of that in all of us. "The old ways were better," the "good old days," all that.  Makes you long for the days of the pioneers or the Civil War or World War II.  

There is an exception.  No one wants to go back to the "good old days" of the "great" depression.  This one's good enough, thank you.

Some of the Amish and their sartorial soul-mates, the Hasidim of Crown Heights do their best to live in the 1600s.  (Interesting that both groups started within decades of each other and only about 700 miles apart.)  The more conservative among us would like to be stuck in the 19th century.  Most of us are fine with the 21st.

But technology has allowed some to hold on to the 20th.

Which brings us to clinging to the old ways, 21st Century style.

It has to do with telephones and area codes.  

Yes, we may have to pay 21st century prices, but we can keep our 20th century cell phone area codes even if we no longer live in them.

The 516 cell phone lives and works in the 814 area code.

There are all kinds of excuses.  "...never had time to change numbers..."  "everyone has this number and they don't forward the calls..."  Or maybe it's Long Island snobbery.  We can't keep our out of state license plates or drivers' licenses.  We can't keep mail forwarding for more than a short time.  We can't get a real "down home" bagel or slice of pizza or hard roll or Pastrami on rye, but we can cling to 516 or 917 914, 201 and if you're really early to the mobile phone world, the coveted 212.  But it's none of that.  It's clinging to the old ways.

There's no such thing as a cross town bus or a subway.  There's no ocean.  The tallest building is, what, five stories?  But we have our area codes.


--This is almost as meaningless as the Super Bowl, the Academy Awards and the Emmys.  Exxon Mobil has raced ahead of Wal-Mart to the top of the list of the Fortune 500. When you get that high on the mountain, no one can breathe -- plus, the top of the heap ain't what it used to be.

--Is it just me?  Or is light beer getting even more watery than when they started making it?  Oh, well, at least the bottles and cans are recyclable. 

--And while on the topic of nutrition, this breakthrough.  Mainstream bakers of packaged bread have apparently figured out the deep, dark secret previously known only to the manufactures of Levy's Real Jewish Rye Bread.  They've copied the ability to take the bread out of the hot oven already stale.

I'm Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2009

1 comment:

Steve Lanzone said...

It's gotten to the point that you can't tell where anyone lives anymore by their area code.

Many people are skipping land lines and going with a cell phone only - and when you sign up for a cell phone, they'll give you pretty much any area code where there's a number available (all except 212, I'd imagine).

I, for example, have a 201 area code for my cell - and have NEVER lived in a NJ county where that area code was available for a land line.

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