Phone Booths


Today, let’s talk about phone booths. If you are too young to know what they are, borrow your parents’ book of ancient American history. There used to be a wonderful activity we would engage in as kids. It taught us fellowship, teamwork, and tolerance of body odor. It was called “seeing how many people you can cram into a phone booth.”

This critical American pastime had its origins in South Africa, dating back to the mid-1950s, when students there claimed to have fit 25 people in a space approximately three feet square and eight feet high. British students tried, but couldn’t outdo the South Africans.

American and Canadian college students had a go at it, and the craze spread across the continent, with increasingly elaborate “rules” in phone booth stuffing. Lots of variations were tried, like stuffing people in a car or in a booth underwater. One of the shorter-lived fads of the 1950s and ’60s, phone booth stuffing faded by 1970. But its basic premise was good. It is always a good thing when we can bring people together.

The Bible says, “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free, and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (1 Corinthians 12:13).


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