Wednesday, January 29, 2020


At Weekly Scribblings Rommy has
asked us to think about the phrase “You can’t
teach an old dog new tricks”.  A humorous
story comes to mind.
Submitted to Poets and Storytellers United
January 29, 2020

My friends and I planned a pleasant afternoon of bridge.  All in our senior years, we nonetheless were proud owners of recently acquired cell phones.  Technology wasn’t going to pass us by!  None of us were yet familiar with the musical tones we’d chosen for incoming calls. Our phones tucked safely in our purses, our bridge game progressed when we heard music. “Is that your phone?” I asked Charlotte, and in turn we each around the table delved into our purses to check our phones……until someone looked out the window to see the Good Humor ice cream truck cruising down the street playing it‘s tinkly little tune to attract customers!   After having a good laugh at ourselves we resumed the game, someone commenting about teaching old dogs new tricks.

I can’t speak for my friends, but my personal telephone experience began with an old-fashioned wall crank phone.  Our “ring” on the party line was a long and two shorts. One long ring connected us to “Central” at her switchboard in the little telephone office in a nearby town, and she could connect us to parties on other lines.  One very long ring meant everyone on the party line should pick up to receive community news….a bit of a quantum leap to cell phones.   Ah, so many old dogs, so many new tricks!


  1. Hysterical and informative. And you are so right, so many new tricks. Tricks that arrive so fast that we all become old dogs sooner than later.

    Now I'm craving ice cream.

  2. Nice one Bev. You madd me 😊
    Happy you dropped by to read mine


  3. Yes I remember those old wall phones with the earpiece on a long cord which couls be held on either ear and the speaker a little high as a small kid to reach. Nowadays phones are mainly entertainment devices rather than the old communication system and cameras of course!

  4. Thanks for the reminder, Beverly. We too had a wall phone that was to be cranked. I think ours was long short long short. Dad in his later sold seed corn (corn used as seed to be planted) out in the old young chicken house. That old phone was out there but he was more modern then. Well, a customer stole it. He didn't try to find out who but he thought he knew who.

  5. I love this story, Bev! You made me chuckle. I still use the landline when I’m at home and take my mobile when I’m out and about – only to find it needs charging!

  6. LOL, fun ring tones have made for several silly stories in our home too.

  7. My parents didn't even get a phone until a little later on, but my grandparents had one of those wall phones. How magical and mysterious it seemed to me! And oh yes, I also recall those days, more recently, of 'Whose phone is that?' Loved this story and its telling, Bev.

  8. Oh, my first phone experience was the same thing. My mama caught me listening in to a conversation, but I was only six. I was a pistol. I just got a new phone..always something to learn if you're willing. (There's grumbling in the learning for me.)

  9. Your story is precious and I can remember too when I got my first cell phone. But, we old dogs do learn new tricks. It's the only way to survive all this new technology.

  10. A happy and funny little story - oh, those party lines!? My grandmother knew everything that was going on in her part of the county, or so it seemed.