Subject: Phone Review
Date: 11 Jan 1999 00:00:00 GMT
Organization: The Innsmouth Look, Inc.
Newsgroups: alt.freaks, alt.slack.devo, alt.foot.fat-free
Sorry for the massive crosspost, but this is a matter of EXTREME
RELEVANCE for all three newsgroups.
My doltish ex-roommate has moved about 40% of her crud out of the room.
This leaves me TVless, but I don't mind terribly. And yesterday, my
good pal Sean-o took me 'phone shopping.
I don't know why I put that apostrophe there. Getting old, I suppose.
Perhaps I will eventually speak of attending the moving picture show.
Be that as it may, I had a certain phone in mind. The TalkBoy F/X+,
from Tiger Toys.
Two years ago, I had seen television advertisements for the Clueless
Phone, a translucent pink telephone with various intriguing features.
The phone could be used normally, or the microphone and speaker could be
popped out and used as a headpiece. There was also an "eavesdropping
detector" that would make a noise if an extension was picked up. Three
buttons made sound effects; if I recall correctly they were an annoying
voice saying "As if," "Gag me with a spoon," and perhaps some other
Watching the commercial, I was both gladdened that a telephone of such
diverse utility was being manufactured and saddened that it was so
fancy-frilly and pink. Suddenly, in the last five seconds, the ad
mentioned a similar model in grey and purple, with (presumably)
different sound effects, aimed at boys. Hot dog!
I haunted the toy stores for several months, but never saw the male
model. I was almost to the point of purchasing the pink phone when they
suddenly vanished entirely. I took the whole affair as a lesson in
timely decision making, and resigned myself to using Trimline model
telephones until such technology existed that I could carry a Maxwell
Smart-style shoe phone.
Then, this holiday season, the ads popped up again. There was a big
difference, though; the commercials spent most of their time extolling
the merits of the TalkBoy F/X+, then included a short message at the end
about the Clueless phone.
The last time I was at a large toy store, my escort was trying to
convince me to buy a light saber so we could "have space battles." Not
learning from experience, I decided to wait until a later expedition to
purchase the telephone of my dreams.
At this time, my enthusiasm had cooled slightly. My roommate's cordless
phone was the phone in use at the dorm, and there was little chance that
she'd let me plug this one in instead. Loud, screaming fights with your
boyfriend just aren't the same when your telephone is capable of
altering your pitch to a Chipmunk-like squeal.
I didn't mention that feature, did I? It wasn't emphasized in the ads,
and I had forgotten it by the second time I went to find a phone. I had
just learned Weinman was moving out, and had also started coming down
with a killer cold. Sean was in town, and took the excuse to poke
around Toys "R" Us for a while. We found the kids' phone aisle, and saw
some strange things.
The Sabrina, the Teenage Witch phone still baffles us. It claimed to be
able to predict when you would get a phone call. Sean and I stared at
the box for the longest time, trying to figure it out.
SEAN: I wonder if this "prediction" comes in the form of a "ringing"
ME: I'm still trying to determine into which part of this device one
There were also some telephones selling under the name "Way Cool
Phones!" One model was a Princess phone, with push buttons and a swirly
green/white/orange color scheme, reminiscent of early plastics. The
rest seemed to be identical to ordinary phones, except much chunkier and
with annoying pastel or neon colors and an odd matte finish.
They had an ample supply of TalkBoy F/X+ phones. I picked one up and
looked at the packaging.
"Hey, Sean, this has a VOICE MODULATOR, too!"
"WHOA! Annna, can we go to your dorm and plug it in before I go back to
Corvallis? If it's HALF as cool as it sounds, I want one."
I purchased it uneventfully. We drove back to the dorm, and I sent Sean
to the call box downstairs. I'd like to say we had a pleasant
conversation, but Sean couldn't stop laughing enough to say much.
The earpiece fit my ear all right, and the volume control was a nice
touch. There were only four settings on the voice modulator, but that's
enough for civilian purposes. Unfortunately, using the voice modulator
allows you to hear your own modified voice through the earpiece, about a
quarter of a second after you have said something. It makes it a bit
confusing to talk.
The three sound effects on the boys' version are
1. Chipmunk laugh
I think they should have substituted a horn saying Ah-OOOO-gah for #1.
As my roommate received most of the phone calls around here, and I am
not actively calling people due to a violent cough, I have not yet used
the voice modulation device or even the sound effects on an unsuspecting
Speculation is that I might have bronchitis again. If it gets worse
tomorrow, or I just get sick of listening to myself cough, I suppose
I'll have to phone up the doctor's office.
Hello. <doorbell noise> I need to make an appointment with Dr.
<annoying laugh> Junior. I think I have <boiiiing> bronchitis.
| <atruwe (at) gladstone.uoregon.edu> | Annna Truwe |alt.slack.devo|
| "Dad-blame it, BDSM people need to get way more funky!" |
| -- Laura Goodwin | also annna (at) earthling.net |
Special note to everyone out there in Usenet land: Sean-o not only took
me phone shopping, he also gave me his perfectly good answering machine,
for the sole reason that it plays an electronic song while rewinding,
and he just can't stand it. He's a swell guy.