One time around midnight back in the 60s, Granny Ruby (my dad’s birth mother) received a phone call. The person on the other end told her that he was with the phone company and there was an indication that something was wrong in her phone that was causing a problem at the switchboard.
He explain that some times that would happen and it need immediate attention and with her help it could be remedied. Would she be willing to help? Being the good and helpful person she prided herself in being she said sure I’ll help.
The fellow ask if her phone cord ran down to a little box by the baseboard. Well yes she replied. (Of course 99.9% of phones did in those days) Good, what happens is when the installers put the phones in they get lazy and instead of cutting the wires off they’ll wad up all the extra and sooner or later it will start to short out. So here’s what I need you to do. Just take the cord and give it a little tug.
To which she did.
Oh, perfect this warning light went off. Looks like it’s all fixed. Oh wait, it’s back on. It’s more serious than I thought. That must mean it’s really tangled up in there. Here’s what I need you to do. Since it’s being stubborn I need you to just lay the phone down and grab the wire with both hand and pull just as hard as you can.
She followed his instructions exactly. Next thing she knew she was standing there holding the wires she’d just completely jerked out of the wall.
Realizing what she has just done she imagined that is was a burglar that pulled that trick on her so he could break in and rob her and she wouldn’t be able to call for the cops. She told about laying there all night afraid to even close her eyes.
The next day she went next door to call the phone company to come repair her broken phone wire.
They told her they had been getting a lots of those calls lately. It was the prank that was going around at that time.