Arriving home yesterday, I had a good laugh when I found a brand new Yellow Page phone book sitting on our porch.

A new Yellow Pages arrived at our door

I contemplated taking it directly to our recycle bin… What a waste!

I decided to offer it as a history lesson to my kids, like I did a few months ago when we found a lonesome phone booth.

“Hey kids, check this out. Someone left it outside of our door for us.” I dropped the heavy book onto our kitchen island.

“What is it?” kids. The kids eyed the free book suspiciously.

“Open it and see for yourself.” me.

They opened the book and flipped to a few random sections of it. Clearly, pages after pages of perfectly serious lists of phone numbers had them puzzled.

Just names and phone numbers

“Look, it says plumbers here. It has all their names and phone numbers. What is it for?” 12 year-old.

“Wow, it’s just a list of people’s phone numbers. Is this a phone book?” teen.

“Right. This is the Yellow Pages, a phone book of local businesses. So if you ever need a plumber you can call one of them.” me.

“How do you know which one to call? And where is the review?” teen.

“No reviews! You just pick a name and a number to call when you need service or a product.” me.

“You had no idea and just had to make a call?” teen, frowning.

“The old days were tough on us.” me, sad faced. “Although, miraculously, when we needed a plumber and called someone off of that book, you could expect a plumber to show up and fix your pipe.”

That’s right, I used to get my plumbing fixed without learning how my plumber had previously replaced a family’s old water-heater with superhero speed, or how this same plumber had previously liberated a minor water leak into an all out flood.

I asked my children what we should do with our Yellow Pages. They told me to recycle it. We have Google and Yelp now.

I felt bad for the brand new book, and especially for the poor tree that had to be sacrificed for such a needless purpose. I guess it’s better to recycle it, so it can reincarnate quickly into a more useful existence.

Previous related posts: The Nook Color, the iPad, and the Way Things Used To Be

A Blast to the Past

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Category: Kids, Parents
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