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Payphones- Do they exist anymore?

Updated on February 14, 2011

 Are payphones on the endangered species list?

Continue reading and you will understand why I asked.

A few days ago I was with a friend of mine and decided to go do some shopping. Not that I'm a big shopper, but it's winter time, cold out, and there were some sales going on for some power tools. A Craftsman Table Saw to be exact.  But that is a moot point.

As I was saying, we headed to the "Big" city to check out the Table Saw and a few other pieces of equipment that were "MUST HAVE". (providing the prices were right of course)

All was fine until my buddy's truck stalled out on us at the red light in the middle of downtown.  But after a few cranks with the key and some humbling (embarrassed) looks at the impatient honkers who had to be at tomorrow yesterday, the truck fired up and we were on our way.

It was a sign that all was not well, and we failed to pay attention. (If we had only known)    We decided to grab a burger at the local McD's before stopping at Sears. We parked the truck and went inside. after we got our order, (still don't know why a grown man orders a Happy Meal even if he swears the burger tastes better) we went to a corner booth and began watching out the window at the busy city life as we ate.

When we were done and back at the truck, it acted up again as he tried to start it. He blamed it on the cold weather and that was that. Off to SEARS with a Bang and a poof of black smoke out of the exhaust. We made it to SEARS parking lot but we never did get to check out the Table Saws or the Cordless Skill saws.

Just as we pulled into the parking space the truck made a big BANG and went instantly quiet. My buddy hit the key and not a sound was made. Easy fix, acted like the battery cable may have popped off. So he popped the hood, jumped out of the truck and headed to the front.

I didn't move. Why should I freeze my tail off if all the problem is, is a loose connection that he can fix? That was my line of thinking anyways. He came back to the cab, jumped in and still nothing. Hmm Now what.  We needed a tow, the problem was more then we could handle. What happened to the day when vehicles could be fixed (atleast enough to limp home) with some wire, duct tape, screwdriver and a hammer? Damn technology! 

No problem, a little inconvenient but no problem. He would just give his brother a call and have him bring out his car trailer. But we did hit a small problem, It just so happened that neither of us had brought our cell phones. So off we went hunting for the elusive pay phone.

I do have one question, When did they stop having payphones installed everywhere?

I mean, I never really realized that payphones were disappearing from the face of the earth at an alarming rate! Someone contact somebody, so the world can be made aware of this. Something has to be done. I know there is an endangered species list for animals  but what about a endangered list for conveniences?

After some asking around at some of the customer service desks at some of the nearby stores. (did you know they won't allow you to use the phone if it is an out of town call?) We were saved by a nice  lady with a cell phone. We offered to give her $10.00 for the 1 minute use of her phone but she declined it.

Shortly after we were on our way back home with a dead truck on a car trailer and we never did get to do any shopping.



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    • Mike B. profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike B. 

      7 years ago

      Truckstop Sally,

      looking back at it all, it was funny. But at the time it was starting to get a little aggravating when we couldn't get to a phone. That is until that nice lady came to our rescue. But in general, I've learned to take life as it comes and try not to get to stressed out about stuff you can't control. Things happen and nothing we can do about them.

      hmm, who knows, probably $1.25 lol

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 

      7 years ago

      Funny hub (sorry laughing at the truck's expense). If you could find a pay phnone, I wonder how much a call would cost these days. 50 cents?

    • Mike B. profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike B. 

      7 years ago


      i just hadn't realized that what used to be taken for granted has apparently been obsolete now for over a year around here. The people at the customer service desk looked at us funny when we asked where the store's payphones were. You can be sure I'll never leave my cell phone at home again. lol

    • nextstopjupiter profile image


      7 years ago from here, there and everywhere

      I had a similar problem in Summer 2009 when I traveled in Finland, a country where all payphones disappeared but then I found a hotel where I could make a call for free.


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