Mobile phones are quite possibly the greatest gadget of all time. Most of us remember a time when making a phone call on the move meant having to clamber into a foul smelling box and rub your hands over a feast of undesirable DNA just to spend an exorbitant amount of cash on a fuzzy connection. Once ubiquitous, phone booths are now so rare that 2002’s middlebrow thriller Phone Booth seems unrealistic not for tense standoff, nor the plot’s labyrinthine twists and turns, but simply for the idea that a phone booth would ever be used by a human voluntarily. As if to buck that trend, here are a few phone booths that did make a splash in the last few years.
Ever have a hankering to talk to a Belgian? And not a specific Belgian, just any Belgian? Well, your wishes could have come true as on the 11th January, Brussels’ Tourism mavens installed the intriguing and sweet Call.Brussels, an initiative whereby you could ring their specially placed phone boxes located within the heart of the city, perhaps hoping you’ll become so entranced by their lilting lowland lingo that you get on a plane and make a trip tomorrow.
Perhaps speaking to a Belgian is too specific again, and you’d prefer to talk to a large, uninhabited area, and hear your voice echo out into the sprawling void? Well, for that we have Telemegaphone – a dial-up outlet that connects you to a massive speaker erected in a secluded fjord in Western Norway.
Dublin got its own bit of booth beauty a few years ago when super talented designer Mick Minogue made a Lionel Richie installation for the city in association with Eircom. Sadly, some Dubliners let the rest of humanity down by vandalising his sculpture for no reason whatsoever. So maybe that’s why we can’t have nice things.