Rushville Republican

Church

June 28, 2013

Can you hear me now, Uncle Sam?

You can imagine my feelings when I recently found out that good old Uncle Sam was checking up on my phone calls, e-mail messages and the rest of the social networking. Finally, somebody is really watching out for me.

It is more than that. Somebody is so interested in my affairs they are getting involved in my telephone conversations. I must admit that at first I was a little suspicious about all of this.

For example. What does Uncle Sam know about me and my phone calls that I do not know?

I get an awful lot of telephone calls during the course of a week. Some are friends, some are family, some are trying to sell me the Brooklyn Bridge. Even if I lived in New York City, I would not want to own the Brooklyn Bridge. Can you imagine how much it costs to keep that thing up and running?

As I said, at first I was a little suspicious about somebody listening into my phone calls. Then I remembered that back in “the day,” everybody did that. We had what was called the “party line” telephone system. That meant that everybody was connected to everybody else.

My grandmother for example, lived in a valley up in the mountains. She was on the party line, of course, and everybody had a special ring. Grandma’s ring was two long and one short rings. Whenever the telephone rang, dear old grandmother knew who was being called and, being a nosy person, she usually listened into the conversations. I am not picking on my grandmother, for everybody did it. Everybody knew everybody was doing it.

It was gossiper’s heaven.

I think there is something to be said for everybody knowing everybody’s business. That way everybody is up on the things they are talking about. Of course, there is a dark side to it. I am semi-ashamed to reveal that I was part of that dark side.

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