Call me (call me) on the line
Call me, call me any, anytime

Don’t call 867-5309. It’s not my number.

It used to be 519-451-5900 growing up. It’s gone.

Don’t call 416-622-3095 either. It is not my number anymore.

It was my number for almost 40 years, starting when Olga and I bought that hole-in-the-sky condominium in 1984. The dial phone hung in the kitchen, modern beige, with a curly retractable cord which allowed you to sit down for a conversation. It was our only phone. And because Olga made the arrangement, it was listed in the phone book as O. Decock. On numerous occasions colleagues or acquaintances would remark they could not find me in the white pages.

The number, 416-622-3095, followed us to our next home, a three bedroom bungalow a few blocks away in the same neighbourhood. We thought ourselves lucky to keep it, not needing to memorize a new one, not having to change our contact info with work or the bank or the municipality or the church or with our friends and relatives. Easy. And it hung again on the kitchen wall, dial, off-white to match the wallpaper. The television was in the basement, so a person had to scamper up the stairs to respond to the ring before it woke the kids, lift the receiver, slightly out of breath, to discover who could be calling at this hour.

When we moved to our current house, different area, same city, the number continued unchanged. Fortunate because the volume of contacts had grown. This time the previous owners left only an empty jack, on the wall, in the kitchen, again. We thought to modernize by acquiring a push button phone, eschewing an answering machine thinking if it was important, they would call back. We did concede to a second phone in the basement recreation room, with the television and VCR, (we did not subscribe to cable) to save racing upstairs to answer a call while watching a movie. We still had to scramble from the second floor when the ringing beckoned us from our beds in the night. As we graduated to cordless, years later, there would be one on each level, although none in children’s bedrooms.

Internet, computers, wireless, cell phones, smart phones, blue tooth, text messaging; the acceleration of communicative devices and software slowly rendered 416-622-3095 obsolete.

The landline’s only purpose was to provide an avenue for strangers to invade the home.

“We are in your neighbourhood doing ductwork.”

“You have won a free cruise.”

“If you do not pay the fine, you will have to show up in court.”

“We are conducting a market survey.”


Call display helped screen the callers but it did not stop the ringing and the announcements.

“Call from 1-800-234-9056”

“Call from 1-888-567-3712”


Called Ma Bell, on my cell, to cancel, saving 50 bucks a month.

416-622-3095 is gone, dead.

Call or text using the smartphone instead. I carry it everywhere: backyard, cottage, driving, walking the dog, another country, in the bathroom. Welcome to the modern world.

Appelle-moi mon cheri, appelle-moi
Anytime, anyplace, anywhere, any way
Anytime, anyplace, anywhere, any day

On my cell.

One thought on “867-5309

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