I threw away some old Motorola Talkabouts today. So old that they did not even have LCD screens to show you the channel ID and the security code. Instead, you did some strange button combination that required fingers to be in different places on your hand.
That button combination is now lost in the sands of time.
When it was performed successfully, the radio would then speak the numbers aloud, in an unsettling voice that would vary the emphasis between syllables.
I remembered carrying them with me in my daily bag. “Just in case,” although the cases wherein I needed them were always few and far between.
The times that I did use them regardless of whether or not I needed them were far more often. Like grocery shopping, or running into the drugstore while another person waited in the car. Over time, they’ve saved me perhaps two minutes while I told someone to meet me at the storefront instead of having me walk back to the car.
I remember using them, clipped on my belt, to coordinate friend’s moving days. I remember scheduling lunch at some of the earliest Anime conventions I attended. Coordinating student events in college was also another use. I remember using them, for some reason, while shopping in White Flint mall.
Now, text messaging is far more efficient and reliable.
I looked at them before I threw them out. The rubber had taken on the greyish white tinge of decay. One of them was missing a volume knob. The weight of one indicated that I had left batteries inside, and I knew that opening the battery compartment was a bad idea. The manufacturing date was June, 1998.
They had been in the drawer for probably over a decade, following me from dorm room to a house that I rented to a condo I rented to a house that I now own. They probably stopped working two or three moves ago, maybe longer than that.
It was time to let them go, but not the memories that accompanied them.
I made a mental note to take the batteries out of the six other radios that I had, and dumped them in the blue bin that my building uses for electronic devices trash.