Call me Charlton Heston

A hysterical female voice was on the end of the telephone line that, because of her high-pitched alarmed tone, I couldn’t make out who it was. I passed the receiver over to my wife to see if she could decipher the caller’s problem.

I miss the old original phones. The ones with the huge round dialling face. It was an effort trying to ring an 8 or a 9 number on one of those cumbersome machines. Your pointer would trail round the track with a NASCAR’s differential until it reached the end of the line. Then you let go and the wheel spun back. Pure bliss.

“It’s Rachel. One of her CD’s is jumping.”

Everybody believed the hype: CD’s are indestructible. Give me a video tape any day.

“Gimme the phone,” I was given the phone, “Listen Rachel, calm down a minute, it’ll be OK. Now listen carefully. Get a nice, clean, smooth cloth and carefully wipe the disc. Wipe it from the origin to-” Rachel barked at me. “The origin is the centre of the disc, the bit with the hole. So wipe it from the ori- …from the middle and gently stroke to the edge of the disc in a straight line. Under no circumstances use a circular motion.”

I heard Rachel taking deep breaths as she composed herself. I waited until she cleaned the sick disc, all the while softly helping her to relax. Time came when she had to insert the CD into the slot where lurked the laser. I heard the door slam shut followed by a whirring, loading sound. Rachel reached out with her long fingernails and pressed play.

7 thoughts on “Call me Charlton Heston”

  1. Hi, JW.

    Good post as always, But elephant in room!

    Good luck and best wishes. Whatever I may have said about the Huns in the past was, of course, joshing. RFC are one of the great and, I trust, abiding institutions of Jockland. I have loved to resent them for most of my footballing-supporting life but I have never had anything less than respect for them and for their great players of the past.

    I am fairly certain that my Highland Dad was a blue nose and would have killed for the chance to play for them.He only ever managed a few games for Inverness Caley and a trial for Queen’s Park but the odd remark led me to believe that he was never indifferent to the fortunes of ‘ra peepul’, despite his claims to be a rugger sort of chap.

    Most of my best relatives and a lot of my friends are or were Teddy Bears. I feel your hurt. Partly because we might be right behind you down the tubes but mostly because you have a proud history, a devoted world-wide following and you just did not deserve the scumbags who dragged you down to your present state.

    I apologise to fellow Charioteers for the extreme Jockishness of this comment which may mean very little to them.

    It matters to JW and to me.

  2. My problem with modern phones is that it is no longer appropriate to use the word ‘dial’ when calling a number. I remember reading a John Grisham book a few years back. His hero kept punching numbers on his cell phone. After about the 10th time in as many pages, I gave up on him.

    I am sure this debate has occurred many times before, but what are the arguments, for and against Rangers and ****ic joining the Premiership? It seems to me that they are so much bigger than the rest of their Scottish Rivals, that there is always a bit of a mismatch.

  3. John,
    Thank you for your comment. If I had the knowledge to do so, I would give it a thumbs up.
    Circumstances at Rangers seem to be changing hourly. It’s still worrying.

    Apologies for editing your comment. The c word is not allowed on my posts. 😉
    Knowing that your previous fodder was the likes of Umberto Eco and Max Hastings, even more eye-opening was the revelation you attempted to read a John Grisham book. Only on the Chariot.

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