You find the funniest things in the middle of nowhere



One of the highlights of Point Reyes is the beach, which is fairly protected and secluded (you can easily have miles of beach all to yourself.) The drive out to the beach is down a long, windy road that zig zags the mountains of the park. Off that road we saw a bobcat, a possum-looking thing and a few nutjob cyclists. Other than that it was natural landscape and isolation for as far as the eye could see.

As we finally neared the beach and the end of the road Jack suddenly veers onto the shoulder, slams into park and jumps out of the car. “Hold on, I need to make a phone call!”


There, on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, was a pay phone.

Huh? What the haybales is that doing there? And it had a fairly current phone book attached to it. How funny is that?


First, a little background … when I first met Jack he didn’t own a cell phone. He didn’t believe in them. He used to lecture long and hard about the beauty of not owning a cell phone (the freedom la la la), that he was perfectly fine using pay phones (blah blah blah), that he didn’t like being tied to communication, which obligated him to answer the phone and therefore talk to people (yada, yada). Until he moved to California where the pay phone is becoming extinct and the ability to communicate is handy. Then he got a cell phone and his life changed forever. Now, he gets annoyed with me if I don’t pick up my cell phone each and every time he calls. Now he lectures long and hard about how you need to keep it on hand for “safety”, etc. Me thinks life has an ironic sense of humor.

Now, every time we see a pay phone we point it out, just because they’re rare. When he saw this phone, well … he just had to call someone. And he really, really wanted to call someone collect because that’s kind of a rarity these days, too.

Who could he call that would appreciate the irony of this situation?

His mom. Of course.

Every son must call his mother collect from the middle of nowhere at least once in his life. It’s like a rite of passage or something.

So, he calls. Oop. She’s not home. He calls her cell. Oop, he got voicemail.

Oh, well.

He walks back to the car, just a little dejected. As he climbs back into the car the pay phone rings. We both freeze. Uh oh!

He runs back to the phone and picks it up, “Hello?”

Nothing. Darn. He tries to redial. No good. Double darn! Was that his mom calling back or just some strange coincidence?

He gets back in the car, “Call my mom!” I grab my cell and quickly dial her number. Oh, shoot! No signal! (Maybe this is why there’s a pay phone way the heck out here.)

So, we start driving back inland towards the main road twenty minutes away. Finally, we get a signal. As soon as the signal comes in my cell phone rings.

It’s his mom and she’s worried, “WHAT’S WRONG?!!”

Us: Oh, nothing … we just wanted to call you collect from a strange pay phone in the middle of nowhere.

Mom: So, everything’s okay? You’re not in jail? No one’s hurt?

Us: Um, Yes?

Mom: OH MY GOD! I just aged ten years!!! Don’t DO that!

And then she let out a big sigh of relief and laughed.


We’re sure glad Jeanne has a great sense of humor. (And we thought it was so funny that the first thing she asked was if we were in jail. Hmmm … leaves possibilities for the future, I guess.)


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