TEMP: I’m thinking of disconnecting my landline. I mean, I have a mobile phone.
ROB: Do it. I did it years ago. I also cut the cable line. We just have super high speed wifi instead, and we stream everything through the Apple TV.
Is there any vital purpose your landline is serving?
TEMP: Nope. It’s doing absolutely nothing except costing me $40 a month.
ROB: Get rid of it. What’s stopping you?
TEMP: My mother.
ROB: Your mother? How is she stopping you?
TEMP: Well she says only trailer trash on welfare don’t have landlines. But she also used to say that only crack dealers had cell phones.
ROB: Well, do you think that’s true?
ROB: Did you start dealing crack when you got your first cell phone?
ROB: Were your friends with cell phones dealing crack?
TEMP: Of course not.
ROB: Well, there goes your mom’s first theory. Do you live in a trailer?
TEMP: No, I live in an apartment in Bay Ridge.
ROB: Do you do trashy things?
TEMP: Like what?
ROB Things your mother would describe trailer trash as doing, exclusive of disconnecting your landline.
TEMP: Ha ha, no.
ROB: OK, are you collecting welfare? Not that there is anything wrong with that, and you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.
TEMP: No, not collecting welfare.
ROB: So, if you disconnect your landline, will you move to a trailer, do trashy things, quit your job and start collecting welfare?
TEMP: Of course not.
ROB: Where does your mother live?
TEMP: In Florida
ROB: You have this thing that is costing you $40 a month, contributing zero to your life, taking up several cubic inches of space in a New York apartment, and you are retaining it because of some weird theory your mother, over a thousand miles away, has, and was wrong the last time she floated a theory like that?
I’d have gotten rid of it, like ten years ago.
TEMP: My mother doesn’t even call my landline. She calls my cell.
ROB: Ah, your crack dealer phone. All the more reason to get rid of the landline. And by the time your mom finds out about it, whom I assume isn’t paying your bills anyway, you will have already lived as a fine upstanding citizen without the benefit of a landline, thereby debunking your mother’s theory, just as you did before by not dealing crack from your cell phone.
TEMP: I guess so.
ROB: And you’ll be $40 richer every months. Multiply that by twelve and you could take a mini vacation in a year.
In my experience, anytime I hear a theory about an action exclusive to a subset of people, it is immediately suspect, and almost always 100% false. Politicians like to employ this tactic. It is kind of a pack mentality/stigmatization technique, but really it only is a shortcut from using your head. People don’t get enough practice with this as it is.
TEMP: That’s true
ROB: Way back in the olden days, when I was a freshman in college, I got my ear pierced. My roommate said, flat out “Only homosexuals get their ears pierced”. Which was funny, because he knew I was straight as an arrow.
TEMP: That’s a weird thing to say.
ROB: It sure is. What’s even funnier was that the girl who pierced my ear for me became my first college girlfriend.
TEMP: Was that before or after she pierced your ear.
ROB: Well after, but that makes my roommates statement even more ridiculous.
But he was an odd guy. He was thoroughly convinced if you played a recording backwards it would summon up the devil, if the artist had “impure thoughts” while he had made the recording. He was literally terrified of somebody playing Ozzy Osborne or Alice Cooper backwards.
TEMP: He was seriously afraid it would summon up the devil.
ROB: Yeah, like he’d open the door of the room, and find the devil walking down the hall. Or he’d walk into the bathroom, find the devil taking a whiz; “Oh my God! Somebody musta been playing Black Sabbath backwards!”
HE had a list of albums that could summon up the devil if played backwards. I had a few of them. He was not comfortable with that.
TEMP: That’s crazy!
ROB: He was an odd guy. He used to drink Pine Sol, too. No lie. He had a bottle of Pine sol, would pour himself a little in a shot glass, drink it, smack his lips and say how good it tasted. I thought he was putting me on until I smelled it, and yep. Pine Sol. When I said it was poisonous, he claimed he had built up an immunity.
Luckily, he wasn’t my roommate for very long. He transferred out after the semester. We went to a state university, and I think he ended up transferring to s small Christian college.
TEMP: So you let a girl pierce your ear?
TEMP: Where did she do it?
ROB: In her dorm room
TEMP: What did she do it with?
ROB: A needle.
TEMP: Did it hurt?
ROB: Not as much as you might think. But I had been drinking.
TEMP: Did it get infected?
TEMP: So it didn’t make you gay, ha ha!
ROB: No. What an interesting social phenomenon it would be if the presence or absence of a little hole in your earlobe dictated your sexual orientation.
TEMP: Do you still wear your earring?
ROB: Rarely. You know, it doesn’t make half the statement it made thirty years ago. When you have sixty-five year old bankers walking around with earrings, it has become very mundane. Truth be known, I don’t even remember to put it in.
TEMP: Well, I have a lip ring
ROB: I see that.
TEMP: Watch this.
[takes out lip ring, takes a sip of water, puffs out bottom lip and shoots a stream of water twenty feet]
ROB: My mother used to say “Do you have a hole in your lip?” if you dribbled your drink.
You actually do have a hole in your lip!
Only people with holes in their lip have their lips pierced!
TEMP: Yeah, but that’s actually true!
ROB: Next time I see you, I’ll show how to construct truth tables! It will do you good!
TEMP: What’s a truth table?
ROB: Well, for one, it will debunk your mother’s logic once and for all!
Disconnect that landline. Make $40!