Damien and Breda were at the wits end over their teenage daughter’s use of the home phone.  She had her own mobile but she only used that when she was out and about.

At home she was on the phone day and night and the bills coming in were horrendous.

Things got worse this summer when she made friends with a couple of girls from London while the family was on holiday in Spain.

When they returned to Waterford, the London girls also became part of her chatting network.

It was time to stop the rot so Damien and Breda sat Sarah down and explained to her that she had to change her ways.

They said they would give her extra money each week to buy credit for her mobile but she had to make do with the mobile and not use the house phone except in an emergency. She didn’t like it but her parents insisted the situation wasn’t negotiable.

Then one day last week, Damien came home early from work and there was Sarah curled up on the couch chatting away on the home phone and looking like she had been there for some time.

“For God’s sake, what did we tell you,” said an exasperated Damien, “we told you you could only use the home phone for an emergency.”

“But it is an emergency,” wailed Sarah, “I can’t use my own phone because I’m expecting an important call!”