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6The Daily Tar Heel Thursday, April 16. 1987
grasp the stars
and say 'Hello!'
Oy ANGELA HAMPTON
Famous animal personalities such
as Snoopy, Mickey Mouse and
Garfield have something in common "
with ordinary items such as razors,
beer cans, paper clips and footballs.
They are all members of the rapidly
growing population of novelty
What makes novelty phones so
appealing? What is it that lures
prospective telephone shoppers to
buy NFL football phones that whistle
or duck phones that quack?
Karen Smith, a freshman psychol
ogy major from Miami, can answer
that. While Smith was home for
Christmas, she found her current
dorm-room telephone - a pair of
red hot lips. "It was just unusual,
something different to have," si
savs. "1 iust saw it and liked it."
Some people develop a strong
rapport with their novelty tele
phones. Diana Snyder, a UNC
graduate living in Chapel Hill, says
her boyfriend has had his Mickey
Mouse phone since graduating from
high school in 1982. He got the phone
in California and since then has
moved it with him all over the
country. "It's very easy to use,"
Snyder says. "Mickey holds the
receiver. You just say Hey Mickey,
hold this.' and he does."
Lips and Mickey represent just a
couple of the hundreds of novelty
telephones that exist today.
"Probably the first popular
(novelty) phones were rental
phones." says Linda Herman, vice
president of the Telephone Junction
in Durham. In the early- to mid-70s,
telephone companies sold novelty
phone cases, in designs such as
Mickey Mouse, for around $200. But
the working parts inside the casing
could only be rented. Consequently,
Herman says, novelty phones were
of extremely high quality.
Since that time, novelty telephone
sales have increased tremendously.
Seasonal changes affect the demand
for phones, says Herman.
Christmastime marks the biggest
sales, and Easter and Mother's Day
By MEMSY PRICE
For those of you not into liter
ature or personal graffiti-creating
experiences, song lyrics are where
it's at. And we've found that some
of those, aside from being just
addictive, are pretty dadgum
bizarre. Heeere goes:
A bit from Laurie Anderson's
aong "Let x equal x" would make
great library graffiti:
"I met this guy And he looked
like he might have been A hat-.
are also busy times for novelty phone
stores. Herman says different holi
days influence even the color of
phones people buy. Red phones, for
example, are very popular around
Many companies now make
novelty phones at prices ranging
from $12 to over $300. According to
Herman, novelty phones in lower
price ranges include models of
Porsches, Mercedes and Corvettes,
money clips, razors, fruits and
vegetables, beer and soda cans and
animal figurines. Phones in the
middle price range (from $39.95 to
$79.95) include children's characters
like Garfield, Kermit the Frog,
Snoopy and Mickey Mouse.
But animal personality phones
attract more of the public than just
Freshman Donna Sellers fell in
love with Snoopy when she saw him
in a Raleigh phone store window
holding a receiver in his arm. "I
begged my parents for money to buy
it," she says. But when Mom and Dad
turned her down. Sellers thought
Sncjopy was a lost cause. At Christ
mastime, however, her parents sur
prised her by giving her the phone
as a present.
More expensive phones range
from about $100 to over $300,
Herman says. Included in this cate-
gory are phones made from onyx,
sea shells and see-through lucite,
elephant-shaped phones made of
brass and even phones built into
tables. The list goes on.
Michele Wilson, a sophomore
pharmacy major from Wilmington,
is the owner of a red, white and blue
old-fashioned candlestick phone that
Southern Bell no longer makes.
Wilson says her family acquired the
phone when they moved into their
new home. "Years later, I asked mom
who picked out this ugly phone, and
she said (that) I did." Wilson housed
her novelty piece on her dorm-room
"It's awkward to talk into because
you have to use both hands, Wilson
says! But, she adds, the phone's
uniqueness is a real attention-
check clerk at an ice rink, Which,
in fact, he turned out to be. And
f said: 'Oh boy, right again. Let
x equal x . . . Sure.
Tom Lehrer, a songster come
dian of the '60s, provides some great
Phillips Hall graffiti. The song is
"New math, oh new math,
It won't do you a bit of good to
review math. It's so simple,, So
very simple.' That only a child can
do it . . .
Graffiti to mark bathrooms that
are out of order? How about Sonny
and Cher's "I Got You Babe":
"Yeah, you know we dont
have a pot; But at least I'm sure
of all the things we got. Babe. 1
got you babe . . ." (Perhaps this
could be written over the sink.)
Spe, il can jusi .get put of control. i
Sophomore Ginger Penegar
grabber. "It's kind of a conversation
The most expensive phone Her
man has ever heard of was one made
entirely of 1 4-karat gold one of
only 12 models made by the manu
facturer. When the phone emerged,
the dealer's price tag on it was
$10,000. At this price, a store would
have had to sell the phone for at least
Songs begin to take on new mean
ing. The nonphilosophical and
ridiculous can become meaningful
when thought of as graffiti that
could be read by thousands.
Savings and Loan graffiti? Yup.
Neil Diamond, "Forever in Blue
"Money talks. But it can't
sing and dance And it don't walk
Classified ad graffiti? Why not?
Lou Reed's "Average Guy":
"Average looks, average
tastes Average height, an average
waist Average in everything 1 do.
My temperature's 98.2 . . ." Well,
maybe this is pushing it.
But wait, there could be a market
for this. Maybe "Dear John . . ."
letters with lines from Bob Dylan's
"Pdsitrvel FoUrtW'St'reetT would; (T
uses both hands to communicate
$15,000 to make a profit, according
Popular children's toys often
inspire phone ideas. The Cabbage
Patch phones, which came out right
after the dolls became popular, are
Designers and private companies
are getting in on the act as well. "Four
years ago, many designers were
work. Imagine getting a card from
an ex that said:
"You've got a lot of nerve To
say you are my friend When I was
down You just stood there grin
ning . . ," Ouch.
The possibilities are endless. You
say you have a friend who's a
country music lover and her hus
band just died? What could be more
appropriate than a wreath adorned
with a banner of a George Jones
lyric from "He Stopped Loving Her
"He stopped loving her today
They placed a wreath upon his do
o- or. And soon they'll carry him
Know someone who's a bit tense
about finals? Make them feel better
by telling them aboutCarole King's
on this old-fashioned phone
putting their names on phones like
Pierre Cardin, Herman says. Tyco,
a toy manufacturer, makes the
Garfield phone and the NFL football
phone. One company produced a
Statue of Liberty phone for the
celebration of the statue's restoration
last summer. There are also X-rated
phones on the market today, accord
ing to Herman.
"Smackwater Jack, he bought
a shotgun Cause he was in the
mood for a confrontation He just
let it all hang loose. He didnt think
about the noose. He couldn't take
no more abuse, so he shot down
the congregation ..."
Finally, for the song graffiti to
top all song graffiti. Guaranteed to
confuse even an English major, it's
The Beatles' "I Am The Walrus."
"Yellow matter custard drip
ping from a dead dog's eye Cra
balocker fishwife pornographic
priestess boy you been a naughty
girl You let your knickers down
1 am the eggman I am the walrus
GOO GOO GOO JOOB . . ."
"MOT" ) 'JK :