It was a time of payphones and the pound sign, Travis Burton recently explained to his bewildered teen daughters after they complained their iPhones had no reception at the restaurant they were eating at.
“Yeah, we had to use different codes with the pound sign, like 9-1-1 meant it was an emergency,” he said. “I once got a double 9-1-1 from one of my friends when he needed me to come pick him up because he was late for baseball practice. And then of course you had 1-4-3, which I sent to your mom because it meant ‘I love you.'”
After explaining that pagers only had numbers so it wasn’t the same as texting, Burton tried to convince his kids that his first pager was “super-cool” at the time because it was clear.
“Yeah, your mom had a red pager with some stickers on it,” he told them. “This was before flip phones, even.”
“Wait…phones used to open?” his 14-year-old daughter asked. “That’s so stupid, how did you know who was calling before you opened it?”