What a world, when cassettes are making a comeback, all tunes loose and stretching, with songs breaking up after half a dozen plays. The smart money’s on landlines as the next big thing, with Bakelite handsets leading to glass-voiced operators. It’ll be a fine time for elocution, and for beautiful fingers nested in wires, and halls will ring to urgent bells calling us all to hope, tears, and long, long silences. There will be queues once more on every street corner, shuffling in the Sunday rain, and children will be raised like offerings to a calmly bemused God in order to hear the voices of distant grandparents. But I’m a busy man, with smart money and no time for the snake of strangers jingling their fistfuls of change. So, I’ll buy myself a yellow Trim Phone and keep it trilling in a gilded cage, where I’ll wire it up to an answering machine, then listen at my leisure to distorted voices as they stretch and break and never get round to telling me why they called.




Oz Hardwick






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