Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah BATPHONE

If somehow, heaven forbid, my apartment were to catch on fire or for whatever reason I had to evacuate quickly, there aren’t many things I’d grab. I love the things I have, but honestly, most of them are replaceable. That’s why I have renter’s insurance, right?

So what would I grab? Well, my cats, of course. My laptop and camera (because, while those are replaceable, they also are really portable and can be quickly thrown in a backpack.) The couple of photo albums from when I was a kid. My Happy Book — a scrapbook of cards and notes I’ve received over the years from students. And two small objects I inherited from my grandparents a couple of years ago — an old music box, and the Batphone.

I remember being fascinated with this phone as a kid. We had push-button phones at home, but Grandma and Grandpa had this on a credenza in the back of their big den, and I loved its powerful ring, its vibrant red color, its whirring dial, and its heft. This thing weighs at least a metric ton — if I never needed to defend myself from an intruder, I’d probably reach for this phone in one hand and my cast iron frying pan in the other. I loved just picking up the receiver and dialing… or just putting my fingertips in the little holes and sliding the dial around even when it was on the hook.

That’s my grandparents’ phone number in the center, too… back when the area code for their region of Los Angeles County was still 213. I’ve forgotten pretty much every relevant phone number from when I was a child — I remember the one we had when I was a little kid, the one we had when I was in junior high and high school, and this one — my grandparents’ number. I think the next oldest number I remember after those is my last landline that I had when I was in college. Over the years, I guess I’ve relegated everything else to the rubbish heap of memory, cleared out to make way for more important things. And yet I still remember my grandparents’ phone number. And it only ever sounds right to me with the original 213 area code.

One of those odd quirks of memory, I suppose.

Old red rotary dial telephone

This still works, believe it or not. $100 says my cell phone won't still be around 50 years from now... or at least not in any usable format.

7 Responses Subscribe to comments

  1. Your sis

    I still hate you for getting that. ;-)

    Oct 01, 2010 @ 1:11 am

  2. Kari

    I'd apologize, but I like it too much. :-D

    Oct 01, 2010 @ 1:13 am

  3. ashley fiction


    Oct 01, 2010 @ 3:46 am

  4. Mor mor

    I sent the link off to my siblings. Kim responded right away. Said she had always wanted to get a little glass dome for the phone just like in the show. The memory made me smile. And cry. Thank you!

    Oct 02, 2010 @ 2:38 am

  5. Kari

    I totally should get a glass dome for it!! :-D

    I'm glad you liked the picture–I figured I'd make you smile, and guessed I might make you cry. There's not a time that I look at the phone where I don't think about Bestemor and Bestefar. :-)

    Oct 02, 2010 @ 2:43 am

  6. Michael N. Marcus

    That's a nice phone, but it's not BatPhone.

    It's an ordinary red rotary-dial phone, and millions were made just like it for General Telephone and the Bell System.

    If you want a more realistic BatPhone (with a flashing light), see BatDomes, too.

    Oct 05, 2010 @ 1:34 am

  7. A neat bit of Sacramento history - How I See Life

    […] old stuff that’s still useful. This is why I love all the churches I saw in Europe, and my Batphone, and my apartment, and my dishes and old kitchen sink. And it’s probably why I’m bound […]

    Jan 25, 2011 @ 9:56 am