Friday, November 25, 2005
How to Report Your Parents to the Government
What we have here is an image of the intercom from the house I grew up in, albeit somewhat abstracted in presentation. The house itself was a modest two-bedroom place (in a nice area), part of an overall tract with clone homes all over the block. The interiors had minimal frills or fixtures, but all drabness was compensated for by the inclusion of the intercom/radio. This was a state-of-the-art communication command post, centrally fixed on the kitchen wall. Purely Atomic Age in its conception.
The idea was that you could be in the kitchen making your deviled eggs, while monitoring the house for various reasons, including: the tell-tale intrusion of communists; magazine page-turning and heavy breathing; listening to termites, etc. This gizmo had great utility. You could patch radio broadcasts through to anywhere in the house, as there were individual speakers in every room, including the outside patio. Great for block parties and summer Luaus.
The tube technology in the radio eventually faded; wires shorted or decomposed. Meanwhile, our astronauts went to the moon and then the future somehow lost its luster after Nixon played the piano in public for the first time. But I'll always remember that gosh-darn intercom, which I affectionately called "Ol' Yeller-adio". We had to put it down with a shotgun blast when, on its last legs, it began rabidly foaming at the speaker. It was a traumatic day but I learned a lot about life then too.