New York city is, without a doubt, one of the major tourist destinations in the English speaking world. After all, it contains about eighty museums, a pretty decent ballet, an opera company, and a building whose facade is entirely covered in keys. Well, now a new, very unique attraction has been added to the list: a functioning payphone.
When we heard about this, we sent our roving reporter, Ryan Rocifero, to test it out. He reported (rovingly) that the line to use the phone was several hundred yards long, and composed mostly of children whose parents ought to read The Flying News more often. So instead of standing in line to talk on the phone,1 Ryan went and interviewed the creator of this unique attraction.
Ryan Rocifero: So, Mr. Rastopopoulos, how did you come up with the idea of a payphone as a tourist attraction?
Rastopopoulos: One day, about a year ago, I told my grandchildren that there used to be phones all over the place, and that you could use them if you put money in. And you know what? They didn’t believe me. They told me it was impossible. So I decided to prove it to them. After a lot of searching, I finally dug one up. It dates from the Early Cretaceous, as far as I can determine.
R. Rocifero: So what happened next?
R: Well, it was hard to get the thing working, but when I did, my grandchildren spent a whole hour using it. I took a nap, and when I woke up, I had a profit of $17. Of course, I saw the business potential at once.
RR: Well, I suppose. It certainly seems quite successful. Are their any challenges that you face in running this endeavor?
R: Let’s see. Probably the worst is the amount of time it takes to empty out the quarters. It really cuts into my naps. But still, it’s not such a big deal.
RR: Great. Speaking of naps, I think I’m going to take one now.
So that was the end of the interview. Still, it has been interesting to learn about this latest curiosity. We’re also wondering: “Would anyone pay to use our typewriter?”
“Borkum Payphone,” by Arne Hückelheim. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
- Possibly because he knew we were tired of talking to him anyway. ↩