Ever wonder what the inventor of the phone would think of the latest iPhone? (Photo: Pixabay)

Ever wonder what the inventor of the phone would think of the latest iPhone? (Photo: Pixabay)

Mitchell’s Musings: Late-night visit rings a Bell for Vernon teen

What a hypothetical conversation would look like between a millennial and phone inventor

The scene: a teenager’s bedroom somewhere in the East Hill area of Vernon at 2 a.m.

Liam: “Whoa dude, who are you and what are you doing here? You scared me.”

Alexander Graham Bell: “Why, I am the ghost of Alexander Graham Bell, don’t you recognize me? I’m quite famous.”

Liam: “You don’t look like anyone I know. Are you a politician? You kind of look like one of those.”

AGB: “No, I am an inventor.”

Liam: “Really, I’ve never met one of those before. Have you invented anything I’ve heard of?”

AGB: “Have you heard of the telephone?”

Liam: “No way. You invented the iPhone 11? That’s sick. I have one right here. I was just checking my Facebook and Snapchat accounts.”

AGB: “That’s a phone? It’s not big enough. Where are the cords? How do you dial? Why, for goodness sake, do you have it in bed with you? I didn’t even like having one on my desk due to constant interruptions. How much time do you spend on that thing? Turn it off. What have I wrought? Who makes this contraption and what was wrong with my invention?”

Liam “Whoa, slow down dude. It’s a cellphone so it doesn’t need cords, just cellular towers. Nobody has a landline anymore. You dial by pressing the numbers on the screen and I have it in bed with me to check to see if I’m missing anything on social media. My parents think I spend too much time on it so don’t tell them about this OK? I can check how much time I spent on it right now. Oh, it’s only an hour-and-a-half but then it’s only 2 a.m so that’s not so good. I told them I’d try to keep it under five hours a day.”

AGB: “OMG. How do you get your chores done?”

Liam: “Chores? So you helped make the first iPhone? Way back?”

AGB: “No, I helped make the first telephone, period. In 1876. And it was black and bulky and had cords and we were excited to talk to my assistant Watson in the other room.”

Liam: “Why didn’t you just use a walkie talkie, dude? And now you can talk to anyone around the world, and even see them live at the same time, and tap into the internet if you need to know something, and keep track of your steps and listen to podcasts and take pictures and videos and send them to your friends, and email and check the weather outside or across the world, text, buy concert tickets, download music, check the news, get directions to your friend’s house, and that’s just some of what it can do.”

AGB: “Wow, that’s impressive and I don’t even know what half that stuff is. Although I wonder about record sales, and thermometer manufacturers, and encyclopedia salesmen, camera makers and newspapers and, well, the list goes on I suppose. Can you still talk to people on your phone?”

Liam: “Yeah, but there’s less of that now.”

AGB: “Well, my work here is done. My legacy is intact and I will bid you adieu.”

Liam: “Wait, did you say your name was Bell? That’s funny, that’s the name of my service provider. What a coincidence huh? Can I text you? Are you on Facebook?”

Glenn Mitchell is a columnist and former editor of the Morning Star.