When I was a boy, everyone I knew was on a "party" phone line. There were six families on our phone line. If the phone rang twice, that meant it was for us.
The favorite indoor sport of all youngsters was to listen in on other people's telephone conversations. I cannot tell you how many times I have had a neighbor shout at me, "Get off the phone! This is a private conversation!"
All sorts of myths developed around having heard parts of telephone conversations. We were convinced that a girl in our neighborhood washed her hair with "Tide" detergent, because she had wild hair and we heard her mention the "Tide" soap powder in a phone message.
Beware of rumors that circulate about people. Be skeptical of them. And refuse to spread them.