Monday, December 03, 2007

Pay phones to go way of dinosaur, Yugo

It was only a matter of a time before the pay phone, a relic of the days of Superman slipping a red and blue spandex suit inside of a "phone booth", met its maker.

It became a matter of when, not if, once every eight year old seemed to carry their own cell phone. Some, if not all, of those cell phones carried by kids barely out of diapers who actually know the primetime schedule of the Disney Channel are better than mine. I'm not jealous, I am just making a statement on youth culture (and I use the term 'culture' far too freely).

The implications of AT&T axing their payphone operations will be far reaching. In doing this, they have essentially ended the most effective form of communication for the mob since they relied on carrier pigeon.

Think about it for a moment, if you wanted to place a hit on someone and were a mob member, would you use your home phone? No way, that's an easily traceable call and the likelihood of your home phone being bugged, tapped or "monitored" by the very government we have collectively elected is rather high. As a mobster, what other forms of communication are available to you? Sure, there is e-mail. It's efficient and for the most part free but it, like the home phone, isn't exactly anonymous. You could take a variation and place an ad for your hit on Craigslist but even if you had some bulletproof, untraceable anonymous e-mail address you communicated with, there's still the pesky issue of an IP address.

Well, with all those options off the table, what is left? The pay phone. Sure, it's less sanitary than a truckstop rest room but it's more anonymous than a same-sex hook-up in a Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport men's room so there's your best bet -- the street side pay phone.

But with AT&T's decision to eliminate pay phones, they have single-handedly put a bullet in the proverbial head of the most effective form of mob communication. This move will put an end to mobs in America as a whole. For this purpose alone, a communications company should, nay, must step up and take on the business of pay phones in America and allow the mob and their primitive but effective form of communication to continue and thrive into the 21st century and beyond.


The Future Was Yesterday said...

Perhaps their cell phone sales weren't as high as they wanted, and this is a way to force more to get one?

Mary said...

This summer I had to pick up my son at the boardwalk. Very crowded as you can imagine. He was not at the designated spot and I had forgotten my cell. I was completely lost. There were no pay phones anywhere so that I could call his cell and retrieve him.

Countess B said...

I agree that someone should pick up the slack. I mean, we've all needed the mob for a hit at one time or another, right?