Friday, October 14, 2011

#79: Fresh Delivery, But No Threes

Red Hook, Brooklyn

I know land lines and traditional phones are going the way of the dodo, but have we really fallen so far as to be unable to even cobble together an accurate rendering of what one looks like? Look at this phone. Now look at the numbers encased in its aw-shucks, folksy little grid. Notice anything amiss? Yep. This is either the work of a revisionist 3-hater or the work of the world's worst Sudoku player. Either way, I have to stand up for chronology here -- sure somebody has to. I will, however, bestow a few crumbs of brownie points on this deli sign for charm -- the more I try to work myself into an indignant state over its inaccuracy, the more the wonky telephone grows on me.

By the way, when was the last time you really looked at the keypad of a phone? (Oh, right. About five minutes ago, when you were crossing the street, sending that text message.) And did you ever notice how telephones have the numbers 1, 2, 3 at the top while calculators have 7, 8, 9 at the top and 1, 2, 3 at the bottom? (Let's not even bring this hand-painted phone into the picture -- it's complicated enough already.) And if you're scratching your head now, wondering why they're arranged differently, then fortunately, I've tracked down the answer for you.

Actually, it was my friend Kristopher who first pointed this curiosity out to me. He's one of those friends who spikes your punch, plays all your favorite New Order records, and then tells you all sorts of engineering trivia, which believe me, if you don't have a friend like this, you need to get one.

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