OCD Onset

By |2014-01-11T10:25:33+00:00Jan 2nd, 2014|
I always get a chuckle when I think about having to dig through my pockets for a quarter to use one of these things whenever I’d need to call someone (when I wasn’t at home). I remember having one of those dumb beepers that would go off in a medley of vibrations, tones, and lights (not much different than today’s mobiles). I also remember resuming the frantic hunt for another dime or quarter when that tone would go off in the earpiece, indicating my .25 cents worth audio connectivity was about to expire.

I also get curious about when my particular brand of OCD kicked in because I don’t ever remember having much trepidation about putting one of those vile headsets to my face and blabbering into it. Today, I can’t so much as hold onto a handrail on a bus or subway car without feeling the need to purge my skin in an antibacterial bath. I wonder if the accessibility of having my own personal connectivity devices has aided in the surfacing of this weird psychosis by removing the need to use such crude technology.

So, yeah, that’s what has been on my mind this AM. :)


  1. Patti Colston January 2, 2014 at 11:42 am - Reply

    LMAO +Brian Matiash   those were the days.  Out until the streetlight went out, no one could reach us. If our parents wanted us they called all of our friends (that they knew about) and yes.. how in the hell DID we survive without antibacterial this and that?  Now I hover over the toilet when I pee, flush with my foot, open bathroom doors with elbow, papertowel or cover hands with long sleeves.     Nice shot

  2. Brian Matiash January 2, 2014 at 11:43 am - Reply

    +Patti Colston HA! Yup! on all counts except for having to hover while peeing. I've got that covered just standing. :)

  3. Michael Murphy January 2, 2014 at 11:48 am - Reply

    Can't remember the last time I used one of those things either…certainly not since moving to London 12 years ago. 

    In other news, I love this image.

  4. Brian Matiash January 2, 2014 at 11:52 am - Reply

    +Michael Murphy True enough! But at least you guys have those freaking cool phone booths, Dr. Who style. :)

  5. Patti Colston January 2, 2014 at 11:53 am - Reply

    blah blah blah :)

  6. Sean McLean January 2, 2014 at 11:55 am - Reply

    That was me. My bad.

  7. Michael Murphy January 2, 2014 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    +Brian Matiash That is true :) They are mostly used for photo opportunities, and then for people hanging up adult flyers, and then by tourists.

  8. Jack Torcello January 2, 2014 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    Oh my! How the unwashed masses bring us out in a rash of foetid, dead-skin reveries upon the status and condition of our fellow man!

  9. Christopher Germano January 2, 2014 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    I went and washed my hands after looking at this.  I too would have had no problem back in the day picking up the receiver and using a pay phone.  I wonder if it's just one of those things that happens as we get older – more knowledge of the world makes you not do some of the things you did when you were younger.

  10. Ryan Martin January 2, 2014 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    I hope you don't live in a city +Brian Matiash.That air that you breathe is going to be far worse than the microbes you touch!

  11. John VanRoekel January 2, 2014 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    Or as my grandma used to say: "We all eat a peck of dirt before we die"
    Seriously, antibacterial everything is just making things worse.

  12. Melody Migas January 2, 2014 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    Mine started after my family and I came down with strep throat after going to the Field Museum in Chicago and touching all the hands on exhibits. Thank goodness for wet wipes and cell phones.
    As for old phones, I occasionally have a nightmare were I need to call the police with 7 numbers but I'm stuck using a rotary phone & I keep mis-dialing.

  13. Adnyl Oconnor-DAUDA January 2, 2014 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    to be young again!

  14. Serap Yavuzbas January 2, 2014 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    +Brian Matiash I like your posts.

  15. Vincent Mo January 2, 2014 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    And then they raised the price to 35¢ and you had to carry a quarter and a dime. Even when I do phone screens at Google, I scrub the ear and mouth piece on my pants before putting it on my face. :)

  16. Thomas Maufer January 2, 2014 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    I remember having a card with a 20-ish numbers that I could use to have these calls billed to my home phone so I wouldn't need to carry quarters – I used that number enough that I had it memorized — so sad

  17. Ray Harris January 2, 2014 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    LMAO Brian and Patti!! Now I'm remembering how old I am!

  18. Michael Sutton January 2, 2014 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    Great shot and processing +Brian Matiash do I see a touch of #OnOneSoftware ?

  19. Adam Cantrell January 2, 2014 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    Thought I was the only one who wrote posts dedicated entirely to pay phones in the heat of the cell-phone revolution. I had one of those phreaker boxes that would make the secret 'chirp codes' as a kid that would grant access to the phone system – much fun!

  20. Doug Dillon January 2, 2014 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    good shot and great story +Brian Matiash !!! I remember those things well. Remember the movie "War Games" where Matthew Broderick was at a pay phone with no money and he took the mouthpiece off and touched a pop top to ground to something and got a dial tone. Always wondered if that was accurate or just made a good story. We're probably better off not knowing what's lurking where. I was watching someone at a restaurant the other night and when they sat down, they got out the antibacterial lotion and had the whole family  use it. Mom put it back in her purse and by that time, the waitress brought them the menus and they all grabbed them and started looking. I wondered if they thought about the hands that had touched the menu. LOL!! They never used the antibacterial again. Oh well, like I say….what we don't know is probably better off. Thanks for sharing a blast from the past!!!

  21. Martin Heller January 2, 2014 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    Sorry about the germ phobia/compulsion. It sounds treatable from your description, and not a psychosis. Surely there's an EMDR therapist in the Bay area who can help you.

  22. Jack Torcello January 2, 2014 at 3:06 pm - Reply


  23. Jan Eirik Wold January 2, 2014 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    the quarter was probably more dirty. bacterias don't like room temperature, they prefere body temperature.

  24. Mikael Erminger January 2, 2014 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    BTW, its not "OCD". Its "CDO" – alphabetical, like it should be  ;)

  25. Kelly-Shane Fuller January 2, 2014 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    I love payphones! So much that I have one on my desk at my office. People look at me weird but I love using it :)

  26. Vonda Broughton January 2, 2014 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    These are far, few, and none in between

  27. Kyle Koopman January 2, 2014 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    Awesome photo!
    Now I'm gonna bring my camera to capture a similarly beautiful piece of history. :)

  28. Katy Hinchliffe January 5, 2014 at 10:17 am - Reply

    +Patti Colston  brought your picture to my attention +Brian Matiash .  Same subject different points of view, very cool!   :)

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