By Karen Tucker


Oh, Alexander Graham Bell,
The hands of time have cast their spell
Over the system you invented –
Now it’s all been Radio-Rented.
In the place of plug and cable,
Exchange board and the telephone table,
Everything is digitised,
Computerised, dehumanised.

How could you know what you had done?
They told you it would not catch on!
Yet here we are, some decades later,
Riddled with machines that cater
For the needs of population
Mobile, static and in station.
Communicate by satellite –
I’m in sunshine, you’re in night.

Don’t need to travel round the world.
Conversation can be hurled
To the start and back again.
Don’t even need to take the train
To speak to Mum or order pizza,
See the pyramids at Giza.
On World Wide Web and Internet,
I click the icons and I get

Training, trading, information,
Oh, all kinds of complication!
Order tickets, buy a book,
Find a pen-friend, learn to cook.
That’s not all your phone can do –
Working from home is easy, too.
Modem, answerphone and fax –
If I’m out, don’t call me back.

Leave a message at the tone.
When I’m in I’ll surely phone.
Dinner at eight?  Why, certainly!
My electronic diary
Tells me I’ll be free just then –
But I must be home by ten!
That’s when the conference call comes through.
Then I won’t have time for you.

Oh, go away, don’t bother me!
I’m living electronically.
What need have I for flesh and bone?
I’d rather sit all on my own,
Staring at a little screen.
Anti-social, what do you mean?
Oh, hasn’t phoning turned out fun?
This idea will run and run!