Thursday, July 27, 2006

Phone Booth 

There is a scene in the 1978 Superman film where Clark Kent is looking to change into his alter ego. The mild-mannered reporter races down the street, goes past a new telephone stand (out in the open instead of in a booth) while giving it a double take, and eventually changes clothes in a revolving door at super speed. This was a cute reference to the comic book hero's habit of changing in an old-fashioned phone booth.

The news media has finally caught on to the decline in phone booths with this story. For those of you who read SCSU Scholars during breakfast, the following may be unappetizing:

In the late 1970s and early '80s, the phones became increasingly unpopular with community boards and local officials afraid of drug dealers. Eventually, Verizon changed all its phones to refuse incoming calls and removed phone booths, which had become grim repositories for trash and human waste.

"There was a time when all kinds of criminal elements would set up a sidewalk office using a pay phone," recalled Smith, the Verizon spokesman.

But the phone stands that replaced them are still magnets for trash and vandalism, and some still smell distinctly of urine.
More apple juice with your breakfast?