Spotted in the wild:

I thought dinosaurs were extinct.

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41 Responses:

  1. midendian says:

    Dear god! Was it functional?

  2. boggyb says:

    They're still quite common over here in the UK, even though we've got more or less universal cellphone coverage. There's even an old red phone box a few minutes away from me (BT likes to replace them with the newer glass ones, but being Brits we like to put preservation orders on the old ones :).

  3. gytterberg says:

    Did it work? What you saw may have been a fossil.

    Actually quite often when I see a payphone it's in use. I think it's because the supply of them has fallen far faster than the demand for them.

  4. mcity says:

    Grandpa, what's that?

  5. mc_kingfish says:

    Was this sitting in a pile of word-processors and checkbooks?

  6. jcheshire says:

    50¢? Seriously? I would have thought they had raised it to $1 by now.

  7. waider says:

    Walking home from the office on Thursday, I saw an aluminum post sticking out of the sidewalk, leaning slightly off perpendicular. I was a good ten or fifteen feet past it before I realised it was the support for a (now absent) payphone.

  8. It has a label on it, are you sure it's not part of some open-air museum?

  9. ammitbeast says:

    I'm frightened! What is it!? Will it hurt us?

  10. wealhtheow says:

    Because there are certainly zero other instances of sad anachronism to be found in Berkeley.

  11. fruitylips says:

    Not 20 min ago, I was boggling at a pay phone in an actual phone booth (like the kind Clark Kent always looked for to change into Superman) with sliding doors and everything.

    It's over in Vasona Park in the South Bay (I don't recall if that's Campbell or Los Gatos over there) by the ranger's office.

    • jwz says:

      There are a couple of fancy phone booths in Rincon Center, and for a long time they had no phones in them and a sign that declared them "privacy booths" or some such nonsense. But now they're bolted shut, and I find that kind of sad.

      • lafinjack says:

        A sad commentary on our times, etc.

      • romulusnr says:

        they had no phones in them and a sign that declared them "privacy booths"

        Jesus hell! I wish they would actually make and place more of those. There's nothing worse than trying to hunt down a quiet place that gets signal so you can make a decent sounding phone call.

  12. latemodel says:

    WTF are you doing in Berkeley?

  13. fatherbingo says:

    Photo taken with a camera phone.

    Kind of like playing Super Mario Bros. on a Wii.

    • jwz says:

      I tried to take a picture of my cell phone with the pay phone, but I didn't have enough quarters.

      • 205guy says:

        I was about to skip this thread of fake ironic-nostaligia, but this comment makes up for it. I mean, c'mon people, I saw three payphones outside the caltrain terminal today and I actually walked by one on the main street in Menlo Park as I was reading this on my iPhone.

        And no, I didn't find that ironic, they fill a need, especially around transportation. All the phones around bars got trashed and were thus uneconomical, but travelers and commuters still need them from time to time. There's a ton at airports still, and I've used them when forgetting my charger on trips, etc.

        Less ubiquitous but perhaps more sorely missed are the lack of internet terminals. Again, you still find them a airports and I have used them since I travel sans laptop, but everywhere else, they went away as fast as they popped up. Kinko's (copy centers) have them if you're ever in need.

  14. skywaterblue says:

    I have actually used this phone.

  15. romulusnr says:

    booths are where it's at.

    Ellensburg phone booth

  16. pikuorguk says:

    My landline stopped working the other week. Not wanting to run up a huge bill ringing the free number from my mobile (which is just stupid - it costs more to ring a "free" number than it does a number which belongs to another mobile operator!), I decided to find a payphone.

    And hour later, after having walked most roads within a mile of my house I eventually found one. It had a sticker on it saying the box would be removed soon due to lack of use.

  17. schoschie says:

    Cow? Cow. Yip yip yip yip yip, cow.

    Moooooooooooooooo!
    Moooooooooooooooooooooo!

    Nope nope nope, not cow.

  18. dagbrown says:

    I was boggled when I saw a teenaged girl talking on something very much like that the other day.

    In Shibuya.

    I thought that Japanese girls were issued mandatory cell phones by the government at the age of 6 so that they can attain enough skill to text at the legal minimum speed of 150wpm by the time they hit the Age Of Maximum Gossip (14, that is).

  19. unwoman says:

    Wow, and it's still $.50, which is the same amount it was the last time I used a pay phone in.... maybe 2000?

    Pay phones are probably now only used for crime, by criminals who can't find prepaid mobiles.

  20. ladykalessia says:

    And only $.50! Amazing. I remember in high school how big a deal it was when they raised the price to $.75. Mostly because kids kept bugging the front office for change so they could call mom for pickup.

    Things the next generation will never even *think* of...

  21. atleast once week at DNA I get asked "where is a payphone near here". Ironic is seeing homeless people on 11th st. Using prepaid or metro pcs cell phones. They do get $250 a week from the city for being homeless.

    • coldacid says:

      $250 a week? Good thing for you guys the homeless here in Toronto ON don't know about that. They only get $25/wk from the province.

  22. I think there's actually been a slight resurgence of the things here in Seattle, after their nadir a few years ago. Maybe the Invisible Hand just overshot a little.

  23. It's in a bart station. They made a big whoopie a year or so ago about getting cell coverage in one or two downtown stations, but out there in the burbs? There's probably some homeland security theatre requirement to have one there so dutiful citizens, in their role as the eyes and ears of peace officers, can report all suspicious activity immediately.

    • httf says:

      I was stunned when I realized that there's no cell coverage in the subways in NY. Positively uncouth. BART has coverage Embarcadero through Civic Center (and whenever above ground of course), so actually I never have to go more than a few stops without coverage for most of my regular commutes.

  24. httf says:

    FTW were you doing in Berkeley? To my horror, I recognized the floor molding first (then noticed the sign). That's my commute destination, and I spend too much time there, staring at the floor.

    But yeah, several bart stations still have pay phones, and not just the wall mounted ones near the entrances and exits.

  25. n_by_nw says:

    Oh come on, she's not that fat.