Visit 4: Apr99
"If It's Existing, It's Probably Already There"
Free Market Pointlessness
Hello, Kerry Page!
Yeah, I heard your commercial about owning a pay phone.
And I have a few questions.
Is it possible to own an existing phone? Or do you have to put a new one in?
What do you mean, buy an existing. . . .
An existing pay phone.
Yeah, you can. Sure.
Can I put it anywhere I want?
Uh, if it's existing, it's probably already there.
Well, I'm talking about a new one.
A new location?
Yeah. Can I put it anywhere I want?
Can it be in any state?
Except for Connecticut, yes.
Except for Connecticut. So California would be all right?
Yeah, not a problem.
'Cos I just got back from visiting a pay phone that's in the Mojave Desert--
--waaaayy. . .about 12 miles off of I-15.
It's really the only phone in the area.
I'm thinkin', I could put another one in there.
And then, you know. . .compete!
'Cos it doesn't seem like it's right that there's only one. I mean, that's like a monopoly or something. That's not right.
So I'm thinkin' I'd put a pay phone in there. Now the other problem would be is that I'd have to be on he same line. It's just one row of telephone poles that goes out to this thing.
Like, twelve miles. I mean this is in the middle of nowhere. I was afraid of getting eaten by animals. Seriously. We were there at night. It was pretty hard to find, it was just on this dirt road and there's cinder miners that work out there, and that's the only phone there is. That's it.
There's another one miles away in Lanfair.
Well, you know, you see, something like that, that might have to go through the city, or the county ordinance.
There isn't any city. It'd have to be San Bernardino County.
It'd have to be somebody who owned the land.
It'd be San Bernardino County.
You just can't slap a phone in there without nobody's permission.
So I have to get a permit or something?
Yeah, exactly. You need to find out what the recourses are in that particular area and see if you can't put the phone--
I mean, what needs to be done. Who owns the land, or if it's state or government, you know, owned, or whatever the case may be. And then find out if they'll allow you to put a pay phone there.
I would think that that would be--that they would welcome that.
Yeah, well, they might.
You would think they would. So I would just contact the county authorities.
Now, what's your role in this?
Well, we'll sell you the phone. You just need one phone?
So you sell me the actual phone?
Phones, exactly. To put it into that location.
And so you will install it.
We'll have somebody come out there & install it. Correct.
Now, you realize this is waaaaay, waaaaaaaaaay in the middle of nowhere.
Yeah. That's not a problem.
Not a problem. Well, that's a good thing. Now what would be my cost for putting in a phone? The one that's out there now is a full, old-timey phone booth.
All right, well, this'll probably just be a pedestal and a closure.
You're looking at about a cost of about almost close to $2,000.
Two grand just for the equipment?
Is that installed?
Depending on the install, probably about $300 for that type of location.
Wow, so I'm looking at twenty-three hundred bucks.
But that's a one-time thing, right?
That's it. And all the revenue you collect of that phone is yours!
Wow. Now I wonder how many people would use a phone out there?
I couldn't even begin to tell ya!
I'll tell you what, a lot of people shoot at it! I can say that much. There's no glass left in that thing.
It's totally shot up. And it's only twenty cents a "shot" out there. Not like here, twenty-five cents. So that would take me a while to make twenty-three hundreds bucks back.
No question about it.
Hmm. Well, it's an intriguing proposition.
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Visit 4: Apr99
Visit 4: Apr99