Interviewer: What is a telephone? What do you use it for? How big is it? What shape is it? How much does it weigh? What type or class of person uses it? Where is it made? Can you eat it? What does it smell like? Is it rigid? How often do you use one? How important is it? Is it portable, and if so, are there any restrictions to its portability? Is it a living thing? Can it perform simple things you ask it to do?
Contestant A: A telephone is something you use to talk to someone far away. It’s mainly for important conversations that are extremely urgent and can’t wait for all involved to be present. It’s about as big as a boot box and roughly the same shape, although it has an earpiece that hangs off the side of it…the earpiece is about the size of a cannoli. Not sure how much it weighs, but it looks like maybe 20 pounds or so. It’s made of wood, so…wood-colored, I guess…brown?… Most all upper-class and even some middle class families have one. Ours was made in Indiana. No, you can’t eat it. I just told you, it’s made of wood. Right now it smells like lemon oil. Yes, it is rigid…wood, remember? I use it almost every week. Sometimes twice in a day, at most. It’s very important in case of an emergency. It’s not portable at all, but that sure would be nice. No, the wood is definitely dead. Well, you can ask the person on the other end of the conversation to do something, but not the telephone, although I suppose you’re technically “asking” it to make a call when you dial a number.
Contestant B: A phone is something you use to call people. Actually, you can use it for just about anything…is this a trick question? It’s like…5 inches by 2 inches, about. It’s rectangular…about 1/2 inch thick. Weighs less than a pound, I think. It’s black. Pretty much everyone has one, except some really old people, babies, and I guess some really poor people. I think they’re all made in China. No, you can’t eat it. Doesn’t smell like anything. Yes, it’s rigid. I use mine constantly. I couldn’t live without it. It’s portable. You just have to be within cell range to use it. It’s not living. You can ask it to do simple tasks, but it can’t, say, go to the store and get you some milk.
– Written by Mr. T on April 2, 2012