10 years ago payphones were universally known – everyone knew what they were and how to use them. The tech savvy Millennial generation may be the first generation who don’t.
18 year old Toronto native Logan Ryan got lost on his way from Toronto to Edmonton. He was running low on gas and his GPS took him to an abandoned gas station. His car ran out of gas as he idled the car deciding what to do. He could not get a signal on his smartphone so he stayed in his car waiting for help to come.
Unfortunately he did not know what a payphone is, he was parked next to one the whole time. One quick call and he could have had help within an hour.
Many people below the age of 30 have never seen a car without power windows and locks. They don’t know you can open a car door with a key (ask your kids). Others don’t know about payphones. They have quickly disappeared from the landscape, and with the proliferation of smartphones many people don’t notice the ones that are left.
When people from the city do dumb things we call them “Citiots”
Ryan had a sleeping bag and food so he camped out in his car. The road the gas station was
on was bypassed years ago and only gets local traffic now. After spending 2 nights alone, a farmer going by in a tractor noticed Logan in the car, and offered help.
The farmer – who requested to be unnamed – found the who thing to be amusing. “When people come from the city and do dumb things in the country we call them “Citiots” cus they are idiots from the city.” “But this is different because it would be a dumb move in the city too.” The Farmer explained “I showed him the phone but he didn’t seem to believe what it was as there was no screen on it”
The farmer helped Logan get some gas, food and a hot shower and sent him on his way to Edmonton.
Mr Ryan was casually driving from Toronto to Edmonton and had not yet been reported missing by his family. It is not clear what the purpose of his trip is.
The payphone numbers
In the last 15 years Canada has gone from 150,000 payphones to just over 50,000. Bell Canada told the CRTC that, in 2013, they had 636 payphones that hand no calls in the past year, and 10,500 phones with an average of 1 call/ day.