Sunday 8 May 2011

Phone books? People still use phone books?

Dear Yellow Pages,

In the midst of an eventful week that began with the apparent demise of the universe’s most hated man (Loki in the movie Thor and yes, I saw the post-credits scene) and culminated with a not-too-surprising voting result (Jacob Lusk is out of American Idol), I found a few unexpected things left outside my door apart from the usual flyers from caterers, pizza companies and grinning property agents.

One was the new 2011 Ikea Bedroom catalogue, which was rather timely.

I had just seen the movie Thor, which got me in the mood for all things Scandinavian.

As I’m typing this, I’m listening to Ace Of Base, digesting Swedish meatballs and putting off reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Another thing I found outside my door was something called “A Special Petir GE 2011 Pullout” with the People’s Action Party logo on the cover.

Being the savvy social pundit that I am, I suspect it had something to do with the election (but please don't boycott me if I'm wrong).

Also going immediately into the recycling bag was the Yellow Pages consumer buying guide 2010/2011, which is the reason I’m writing to you.

I still remember once upon a time when every year, you made me trod out to some out-of-the-way location to collect these massive phone books that carnival strongmen could tear in half to prove their prowess and a truly talented actor could read out loud and make interesting.

Then I realised I hardly ever used these weighty tomes except as a place to put my telephone.

Eventually, I stopped going out of my way to pick them up when I discovered I could simply put my phone on the table.

After that, I managed to carry on quite happily without a giant phone book in my life.

Then in recent years, you started sending your phone books directly to my home and frankly, I now regard them as junk mail. Very thick junk mail.

I believe you've heard of something called the Internet because you have a website at which lets my fingers do the clicking.

As with other junk mail, I'm sure there are some people who will actually find your hard-copy phone directory useful, but I'm not one of them.

I find the pizza flyers more useful.

So please stop sending your phone books to those of us who didn't ask for them.

I thank you on behalf of the earth. I know you're the Yellow Pages, but being green can also be a good thing.

Next on the playlist: Abba, of course.

Best regards,
S M Ong

- Published in The New Paper, 8 May 2011