Five Minute Friday: Collect

Pay phone.

(So, I’ve been participating in a “writers’ flash mob” of sorts called Five Minute Friday. In response to a one-word prompt, hundreds of writers sit down and write for five minutes flat. No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font or punctuation; unscripted and unedited. Here’s today’s edition…setting the timer….)

Five Minute Friday: Collect


You don’t hear much these days about collect calls, but I remember them.

You contacted the operator and indicated you wanted to call a number “collect.”

The operator would place the call and when the person picked up on the other end, the operator mentioned your name and asked if that person would accept the charges.

Apparently they still exist as an incredibly expensive option, but in today’s world of “unlimited” calling and texting and emailing and Facebooking and Instagramming and tweeting and messaging and What’sApping, “collect calls” are not in our top-of-mind awareness.

In today’s world of “unlimited” everything and all-you-can-eat buffets, it is hard to remember that somebody, somewhere, pays for everything. Somebody “accepts the charges.”

Cheap gas? What we pay does not really cover the cost of the environmental impact of using the gas.

Cheap clothing? What we pay does not really provide a living wage to those who made the clothes, nor to the people selling them to us.

Cheap food? We pay for it with obesity and health problems.

Perhaps we need to collect ourselves, collect our thoughts, and reverse some things.



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