Until very recently, I had a party line. It was an inexpensive service on a phone I didn't use often. Naturally, sometimes I'd pick up the phone only to hear someone's voice, which meant I couldn't place my call until my neighbor hung up. Luckily, my neighbor wasn't particularly chatty, so the line was generally free very quickly. And if there ever had been an emergency, I'd simply have asked the other parties to hang up, and I'm sure they would have. So sharing with my neighbor was an inconvenience I could live with.
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