I heard it on the party line

Does anybody remember the days before cellphones? The days when you could look up telephone numbers in something called a telephone book? And businesses were listed in the yellow pages?

There is an entire generation walking around today who doesn’t know what a rotary phone is. And they don’t know that when Southern Bell was the only telephone company, there was such a thing as party lines, when a number of families shared the same telephone line. The ring pattern let each family know who was being called.

If someone inadvertently left the phone off the hook, an entire line would be unusable until someone noticed. Unless, that is, everyone kept a bird dog whistle next to the phone in case of just such an

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