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I once received a call for my ex-wife on a kitchen telephone I had not used or even seen in months. After searching for this antique through 15 rings, I found it under a stack of old Economist magazines and a sack of kitty litter.

I told the caller that my ex had left for the grocery store five years earlier, and my feeling was she probably wouldn’t be back. I then pondered the odd object I had in my hand.

Landline telephones are the horse-and-buggy of communications, artifacts of a bygone era. Why do we keep the ugly, near-dead plastic relics in our homes or offices?

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