I was thinking that if you are going to dial a phone number at three fricking fifteen in the morning, you’d damn well ought to be special careful you don’t dial the wrong number and wake someone up. That’s what I was thinking.
Then I got to thinking about dialing phone numbers, and dials in general, and how they’ve kind of disappeared from our lives. Sure we talk about them. “Just dial 1-800…” “Don’t touch that dial!” But when’s the last time we’ve actually interacted with an actual dial? The last dial phone I used was in my teens.
I once inherited this TV from my Grandma (God Rest Her Soul) that had the clunky dial that went ker-chunk with each channel and a separate UHF dial that you could never be sure was exactly turned right because it didn’t ker-chunk. I guess the ker-chunk was a form of reassurance, “Channel 2. Got it! Ker-chunkl”
That TV was kind of cutting edge ’cause it had one of the first remote controls available at the time — a sound activated remote. We found out that the remote was actually based on sound because every time the dog walked into the room the channel would change. Then one day the dog walked in and the channel didn’t change and we figured out that the difference was that the dog’s collar had dropped off. Seems it was the clinking of the tags that caused the channels to change. This was useful to know. So whenever we lost the remote we could just rattle our keys until we hit the channel we wanted. Anyway that was the last dial I could think of that I’d used in a while.
But then I thought of the oven, which is operated by several dials, which blew my whole dial theory. Then I wondered why oven makers don’t replace that “Bake, Broil” dial with one which selects which set of burners to use — upper, lower, or both — which would be more informative…
3:21… I guess I wasn’t going to fall back asleep without some intervention. Who knows what detritus would have run through my mind had I not gotten up, checked on the kids, drank some Ovaltine, and read email (guaranteed to put me in a mood to sleep), and climbed back into bed.