Molarity Classic: 186-190

Author: Michael Molinelli '82

This week, Molarity Classic reminds us of the days without cell phones and credit cards, but when disco still reigned. We shudder at the thought.

Molarity Classic, 186

186. When this cartoon ran, Joe Jackson’s first album had just debuted. It was the age of New Wave Music, the genre that many of us hoped would forever kill disco.

Molarity Classic, 187

187. The different characters in the strip have allowed me to take “sayings” and twist them to my own purposes. Dion allowed me to be elitist. Mitch allowed me to be sexist. Chuck allowed me to be anarchist.

Molarity Classic, 188

188. In the days before cell phones, Europe had special international payphones that someone would occasionally rig in such a way that you could make calls at no cost. (Coinage was the only way to pay back then.) You could tell which phones these were because there would be a line of 50 people waiting to use them.

Molarity Classic, 189

189. This cartoon was done when there was just one major telephone company nationwide. And since the phone company had no competition, you paid their rates, you got the phone they issued (black rotary with wires the thickness of ziti) unless you paid extra for touchtone buttons or a pink princess phone.

Molarity Classic, 190

190. Back in 1979 if you wanted to make a long distance call from campus you had to get a billing card, something like a credit card (because they did not give credit cards to college students back then), with a dozen numbers on it. Then you would dial your number and an operator would come on and ask you for your telephone billing number. If you felt honest, you would give her your number instead of your roommate’s.

See the first five classic strips. Check back monthly for more classic Molarity strips. Molarity Redux, the updated, continuing adventures of Jim Mole and friends, also is posted monthly. For those new strips, check out the cartoon archives.