Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Don't call us. No really, don't

My dad had an uncle who firmly believed that dinner time was for eating and spending time with family. He felt that the hours between 4 and 6 was the Universal time for dinner and he didn't tolerate outside interferences, especially phone calls.


Pity the poor, unsuspecting telemarketer who called during that time. It didn't matter that they were trying to save him money with cheaper auto insurance; they got an earful. And I don't mean a stern talking-to.

No, Dad's uncle kept a whistle by the phone. If someone called while he was enjoying his pot roast and mashed potatoes he picked up that whistle and answered with a loud, shrill TWEEEEEEEEEET! Then, he hung up and went back to his meal.

This was before caller-id and cordless phones. So unless your table sat right next to the phone which was usually housed on the wall, you had to get up and answer it.

Just sittin' down to my freshly made plate of spaghetti, home-made meatballs and sauce and a nice loaf of garlic bread and RIIIINNNG! Are you kiddin' me? I'd probably blow the whistle too.

Now, I know what you're thinking: What about an emergency? To be honest, I have no idea because he lived out of state so we didn't associate much. Maybe emergencies had to work around that schedule or else you prayed the wife answered instead.

These days it's a still a running joke in the family. Especially when a call comes from some solicitor looking for a donation to his Dumbschmuck Foundation. But back then, everyone in the family knew better than to call between those hours. 

Sounds rude, right?

Not as rude as eating a meal with someone who has their face in their smartphone/ipad/whatever electronic device. I think Dad's uncle would have a fit with today's social media conscious world. Especially at the dinner table.


  1. Funny. I could get on board with a sacred dinner time with no phones. However, 6-8 is more like my dinner times!

    1. I promise not to call your house between 6 and 8. :)