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Feel The Burn With A Little Pop Culture Trivia

As a child of the 80’s, sporting a wristwatch was an important timepiece if you cared to know the time. Growing up knowing what’s the time was simple choices: a clock on the wall, an alarm clock or wristwatch.

When you need to know the exact time, you had limited choices. You could listen to the radio and wait to hear them say the time. Turn on the T.V. and hope the news was on one of the 6 channels (pre-cable). The fastest and best way was to call the “Time Lady” (Telephone Lady) from the Time-of-Day Service.  If I remember correctly, the Boston number was 321-1234 or spell out “popcorn”.

Pop Culture Trivia who was the “Time Lady”?

In the ’80’s if you called the Time-of-Day Service number, you heard the voice Jane Barbe, the “Time Lady”.  She was a former big band singer and became the voice of recorded telephone messages in the 70’s and 80’s in the United States.

I guarantee you know her voice, she had some unforgettable lines such as “At the tone, the time will be…“, or “I’m sorry, the number you have dialed is no longer in service.”  She told you the time and current temperature. She did the messages for the busy number or if you had the wrong number.

Jane Barbe was how we got the right time to set our watches or clocks. My father would get mad when we called the line because it cost $0.10 per minute to call.  All three of my sisters and younger brother would call three or more time every day. One month there was a bill for over $60.00 for calling “the time” all month. That meant we called over 600 times for the time.

It takes a licking and keeps on ticking

The 80’s saw a huge jump in monochrome wearable tech. We were saying goodbye to analog clocks.

Now if you were lucky, you had a top of the line wristwatch from Casio or Timex. You know the slogan, “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.”

No more winding up wristwatch – or calling the Time Lady all day to get the time. Having a digital dress watch with the fun Indiglo night-light meant I knew the time in a glance. That was our wearable tech, and it was water resistant.

Well, I did not have the name brand wristwatch, mine was the cheap knock-off which hit the market not long after. Everyone had new wearable tech the good, bad, and ugly. Gone were the days of trying to read the hands on the clock. Telling time would stop being a thinking exercise. I know the time right down to the second, day or night with its creepy green light.

Think about how primitive and prehistoric the 80’s wearable tech was. Nowadays, “smart watches” are amazingly like having a supercomputer on our wrist.


Chato Stewart

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Originally Posted at Chato Stewart’s Mental Health Humor at Psych Central:

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Stewart, Chato. (2018). Feel the Burn. Psych Central. Retrieved on Nov 09, 2018, from





Feel The Burn With A Little Pop Culture Trivia

Chato Stewart

Chato Stewart has a mission, to draw and use humor as a positive tool to live, to cope with the debilitating effects symptoms of mental illness. Chato Stewart is a Mental Health Hero and Advocate. Recovery Peer Specialist board-certified in Florida. Chato is the artist behind the cartoons series Mental Health Humor, Over-Medicated, and The Family Stew - seen here in his blog posts. The cartoons are drawn from his personal experience of living with bipolar disorder (and other labels). [email protected]

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APA Reference
Stewart, C. (2018). Feel The Burn With A Little Pop Culture Trivia. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 31, 2020, from


Last updated: 8 Dec 2018
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