Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Instant Messaging System circa 1950

I have a friend who actually talks to her children on their cell phones, even if they are in the house.

I remember when I was a little one, before I was nine or ten, my dad had the upstairs room that was over the kitchen which he used as his office/study.  Mom and the kids were downstairs doing their thing while dad was upstairs studying -- for his sermons.

Mom and dad had an instant messaging system rigged up and it went like this: 

Mom would get the broom out of the corner by the chimney (in the kitchen) and she would use the broom handle and tap three times on the floor and dad would know that dinner was ready.  He would come down, usually on the first tap.  Sometimes, however, he must have been engrossed in what he was studying, and he didn't appear at the dinner table which had four hungry kids waiting for him, so mom would rap again on the ceiling, five times.

I don't think she had to make the request more than twice for him to get down to the dinner table.

She also used the broom handle at other times -- if she really needed dad to do some disciplining, she would rap and rap and rap until he came down to take care of that nasty business.  Believe me, you never wanted mom to rap on the ceiling to get dad down for a discipline problem.  No, you certainly didn't. 

Visualize this:  Four children hanging on their mother's arms so she couldn't get that broom handle to rap against the ceiling. 

So, my question is:  which works better -- the old rapping method or the new phone method, or texting, I guess would be another present-day method?

Well, I think that if you are a child and want to avoid daddy's discipline, mom couldn't sneak in a text message using a broom.


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