A pretty hostile interview with the ghost of Alexander Graham Bell
By Sharon Miki, Ghost Whisperer
With all of the SnapChatting and Tindering and Grindring that’s going on nowadays, it’s hard for a modern Luddite to find someone to really take the blame for everything that’s wrong in the world. As such, when presented with the opportunity to interview the ghost of one of the most famous inventors of communication technology—the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell—I immediately scheduled it into my PalmPilot. Here is a transcript of our interview:
Sharon Miki: Hello, Mr. Bell. So, for starters—who do you even think you are?
Ghost of Alexander Graham Bell: I’m the ghost of Alexander Graham Bell.
SM: Fair enough. Can you please tell the readers of the Other Press where they might have heard your name before?
GOAGB: I’m assuming that—as the one and only inventor of the telephone—your readers will recognize me as the father of modern communications?
SM: Eh, some people might have heard of that, but…
GOAGB: Okay fine. Your readers will know me because they have probably had one of my namesake phone plans at some point, and have thus probably cried out into the depths of the night, “I hate Bell!” while trying to get Wi-Fi.
SM: That’s how I know of you! So tell me: what made you so interested in communications?
GOAGB: Well, my wife and my mama were both deaf—[pause] yes, it has been noted that I might have some Oedipal issues—so I would say that I had a lot of personal motivation to advance the study of hearing and speech and stuff.
SM: Would you say that you were the harbinger of the end of romance?
SM: [Raising an eyebrow sarcastically] … Are you sure?
GOAGB: Okay, fine, yes! I ruined everything. And I’ll admit that I never foresaw the potential for sexting. But how could I have known that the joyous, giddy exchange of words over a line would turn into the lackadaisical mass thumb-jabbing of eggplant emojis?
SM: Some might say that you should have thought of all that.
GOAGB: But that telephone has done plenty of good for the world, too! Think of 9-1-1, calling your mom, and not having to wait for days to read a response from your boyfriend about what he wants for dinner later!
SM: Uh huh, sure, but what about when you get those calls from robots telling you that you’ve won a cruise when you actually have not won a cruise?
GOAGB: Yeah, that’s the worst.
SM: Or when your boyfriend calls you to break up with you, not even giving you the basic human decency of looking you in the eyes when he tells you it’s over?
GOAGB: That is also bad.
SM: Whatever. I’m over it. Moving on—if you could say one thing to the young people of today, what would your message be?
GOAGB: I would say, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry for what I’ve done.”
SM: Thank you. That’s all I’ve ever really wanted to hear.