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Get In The Phone!

The Matrix is an awesome movie. Not a perfect movie, but an awesome one still. One time in my college dorm, someone had The Matrix on TV, and a few of us were watching. It got to that scene near the end, where Neo and Trinity are going to leave the Matrix by answering a telephone and sort of teleporting into or through it. Agents are closing in, and the telephone starts ringing. Trinity is going first, but first she has to make an angsty confession to Neo about love and prophecies. Why can's she wait till they get out? So the phone just keeps ringing while they talk, and someone in the dorm starts yelling at her, “Get in the phone!” Soon all of us are shouting the same thing at the television.

Later that day, a phone in one of the dorm rooms starts ringing. It rings several times, without either resident of that room paying attention to it, so someone shouts, “Get in the phone!” That got a lot of laughs, but even better, it got the phone answered.

This was back in the day when people let their answering machines (physical devices in the home) answer incoming calls, then listened to the messages being left in real-time, possibly deciding to pick up the phone and talk to the caller. (If your elderly relative ever leaves you a voice mail like “Are you there? Pick up the phone!” this is why.) So a few times when I called home, I actually left messages asking Mom to “Get in the phone!” Of course I had to explain it to her at some point. I've told this story to my friends, and they occasionally use the phrase, though with voicemail service largely replacing actual answering machines, “Get in the phone!” isn't very useful anymore.

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