ALL RIGHT, freshmen. Today in Social Studies 1-A, we shall discuss the collect telephone call. This is probably the most important course you will take in your four years of school. Now let me see, with a show of hands, those of you who have made collect telephone calls . . . Hmmm - everyone in the room. That's wonderful. Why so we make collect telephone calls, Mr. Kaplan?"
"So we don't have to pay for the calls ourselves. All you need is a dime and when you make the call you get it back."
"Because if we don't call collect they'll never hear from us."
"Right. The next question, Ms. Riley. Suppose parents refuse to accept your collect telephone call?"
"They never do. They're so nervous when they hear the operator say, 'I have a collect call from . . ., they always shout, 'We'll take it' before they even hear the name."
"That is correct. What are the advantages of placing a collect call besides the obvious one of not having to pay for it? Mr. Spring?"
"You can talk as long as you want to in the pay phone booth without the operator interrupting you and telling you that your time is up."
"When do you call your father collect at the office, and when do you call your mother collect at home?"
"You call you father collect at the office when you need money. You call you mother collect at home when you just want to chew the fat."
"Fine. Now let's get to the more complicated part of the collect telephone call. Suppose you want to call your girlfriend in another city, and you don't have the money to do it. How do you make the call? Nolan?"
"You call the operator and tell her you want to charge the call you're making to your parents' number. Then the operator calls your parents and asks them if it's okay. But you shouldn't try it unless you've spoken to your parents during the last week, or they'll start wondering why you're spending their money to call your girlfriend when you haven't spoken to them."
"Mr. Nolan has made a very important point. Don't charge a call to your parents when you call your boyfriend or girlfriend, unless you've called them first. It is usually better to make the call to your friend just after you've spoken to your parents, while they're still in a good mood."
"Professor, I have this boyfriend and my parents don't like him, so they won't let me charge my calls to him on their phone. What should I do?"
"Charge it to your boyfriend's parents' phone. The telephone company doesn't care who pays for the call."
"I have this rotten sister, Professor, and whenever I call collect, and my parents aren't there, she refuses to take the call. What can I do about it?"
"How old is she?"
"Tell her you'll report her to the telephone company."
"Professor, my parents are very old-fashioned, and don't believe in collect telephone calls. They think because I'm in college I should write them letters."
"What is the question, Ms. Gordon?"
"What's a letter?"
"It's an archaic form of communication where one sits down with a pen and writes what has happened on a sheet of paper. The paper is then placed in something called an envelope, addressed to the receiver and must be accompanied by a 15-cent postage stamp. While it is one way of keeping in touch, it does have a disadvantage."
"What's that, Professor?"
"You can't send it collect."