rotary phone was replaced by a swanky-looking push button one, I always wondered what that little piece of plastic in the cradle was. It was removable and if one turns it over, like in this photograph, it sticks out in a rather odd manner. It took me years to figure this one out. And I never bothered asking anybody. Didn't consider it a biggie.
But when I bought a new phone, the plastic piece was round and had a slot to allow for it to be twisted around. On it were these words that finally lit the room above my shoulders — "desk" and...wait for it..."wall". That's when it struck me. The ear piece has a little notch where the extended plastic tip goes into. It prevents the handset from slipping off the cradle when the telephone is hung up against the wall. Oh the joy of finally knowing what this bloody is piece is for.
I ran to the ol' Beetel phone, turned the plastic piece over, hung up the phone on a nail near my PC and voila! If not richer, I shall at least die a wiser man. Hah!