Saturday, September 09, 2006

Things That Aren't Anymore

I saw some footage of a supermarket cashier doing her little "blind" finger-dance on the keys of the register as she checked out a customer's canned goods. These girls were fast and accurate. The only sound was her chewing gum popping; now it's beep-beep-beep. I wonder when these keyed registers went out of style? How old can a person be who has never seen one of them? Are any still in use?

Seems to me that gas pumps had a handle on them a long time ago. I remember the attendant (usually the owner), cranking the meter back to zero before starting to fill our tank. I definitely remember being the gas jockey who, when asked for "$2 worth," would lock the nozzle and (a) clean the windshield, (b) clean the rear window, (c) check the oil level and, on a good day, (d) check the battery acid level. All this before the pump hit $2.00.

I've seen only one real phone booth lately in a drug store, that in Bar Harbor. Last one I used, with the folding door, had an earpiece separate from the mouthpiece. The latter was attached to the rest of the phone, while the former was on a wire. There was a little fan up in the corner. Now they're just a couple pieces of aluminum with a regular handset. Not even a little seat.

There are so many things that aren't anymore.


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