Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Operator speaking

From the Naked City episode “To Dream Without Sleep” (May 24, 1961). Poor Fran Burney (Lois Nettleton) has lost her last dime to a pay phone. An operator speaks:

“If your coin was not returned, please send us a postcard with your name and address, and we will forward the proper amount in United States postage stamps.”
In 1961, that would have meant sending a three-cent postcard to get ten cents in stamps. It hardly seems worth the effort. Would an audience have heard this message as a joke about an offer that few, if any, callers took up? Or did seven cents matter?

There must be eight million pay phones in the Naked City.

Related reading
All OCA Naked City posts (Pinboard)

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