Butt Dialing

Some of you are of the age that you can actually remember what a rotary dial phones. For those of you too young for such mechanical dinosaurs, it consisted of a dial on top of a black box that made a nice clickity-clack sound with each number you dialed. Think the movie poster for Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder. Oh, wait, you are probably too young for that, too.

If your finger slipped off or you made an error while using a rotary phone, you had to hang up and start all over again. Somehow in the dark recesses of a rusty mind I recall our number when I was a kid. It was Gladstone 359. So you dialed GL359 to reach us. 

Long distance was expensive and so the weekly call to grandparents was a treat and time on the line limited to a quick “I love you.”

Of course things changed and push-button phones came into vogue with their funny sounding bleeps with each number pushed but still you were doomed to failure if your finger found the wrong key. 

With the new-fangled cell phones you can preview the numbers you are dialing and in fact, store any numbers that you use regularly like Bass Pro Shops, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the taxidermist. 

I quickly learned how to store all the numbers of friends and family, business associates, local stores and eateries, gas stations, the doctor and even Trixie so I can find her at a moment’s notice. After all I never know when I may need her assistance to skin out a bear or cook a fish. 

But back to the dialing. While all this new-fangled technology seems to be the answer to all of man's problems there are issues that arise from time to time from carrying these contraptions around in coat or jean pockets. 

The first time someone called me unintentionally I recall getting to hear them yell at the kids for about 30 minutes as the phone just would not hang up. Later they called to apologize for the call and said they had “butt dialed” me.

Not being techno savvy I immediately had visions of someone having some super human powers of touch in their derriere and it made me want to go wash my hands. 

But I soon found out what happens when keys get pushed when a phone is shoved in a pocket or purse and you make a call you do not intend to. 

I remember one day walking in the woods and being hard of hearing didn’t hear the dialing I was doing with every step. Suddenly I heard a man's voice in a heavy accent and came to realize he was on my phone.

I had dialed his number by mistake and suddenly I was talking to a complete stranger. It did work out OK as I made a new friend and ordered 12 dozen of those Chinese Finger Traps from him in the end. You never can have too many of those around the house.

So the next time you are yakking away giving your friends hell or talking about the pastor, be sure and check your phone and make sure they are not on the line. Otherwise you may end up feeling bad and having to put more money in the collection plate next Sunday.