A man from Topeka, Kansas, decided to write a book about churches around the country. He started by flying to San Francisco and would work east from there.
He went to a very large church and began taking photographs. He spotted a golden telephone on a wall and was intrigued with a sign which reads "$10,000 a minute." Seeking out the pastor he asked about the phone and the sign. The pastor answered that this golden phone was, in fact, a direct line to Heaven and if he paid the price, he could talk directly to God.
He thanked the pastor and continued on his way. As he visited churches in Seattle, Boise, Minneapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee, New York, Atlanta, and on around the United States, he found more phones, all with the same sign and all with the same answer from each pastor.
Finally, he arrived in Texas. Upon entering a church in Dallas, lo and behold, he saw the usual golden telephone, but THIS time the sign read "Calls: 25 cents."
Fascinated, he asked to speak with the pastor. "Reverend, I have been in cities all across the country and in each church I found this golden telephone, and have been told it is a direct line to Heaven and that I could talk to God, but in the other churches the cost was $10,000 a minute. Your sign reads 25 cents a call. Why?"
The pastor, smiling benignly, replied, "Oh, my son, that's very easy to explain. You see, you're now in Texas, and of course, it's a local call from here."