- Granted, it would present a challenge for a ghost to use the telephone.
- Well, in the Swedish novel The Dung-beetle Flies at Dusk the kindly old lady who has periodically been phoning up the protagonists with helpful if slightly cryptic hints turns out to have been Dead All Along...
- Perhaps every now and then someone about his age, or who sounds like him, calls up ordering Chinese food. Hearing their voice causes Richard and Hyacinth to slip into denial and start talking to them as though they were their son, leaving a very confused person on the other end of the line. Perhaps when he was alive they fought over the fact that he was wasteful with money and could never accept the fact that he might be gay. Now they just imagine him always asking for money so they can always send it to him and always dropping hints about his sexuality so they can always "accept it" as a way to assuage their guilt.
This is inspired by a couple of observations. Firstly, the first time I saw Peggy Thorpe-Bates with a particular haircut and from a particular angle I mistook her for Patricia Routledge (theres an age difference but the episode of Rumpole was made several years before Keeping Up Appearances).
Secondly, the characters do have some significant character traits in common. Both call their father's "Daddy" in a near identical tone of voice. Both are stern-voiced social climbers whose major obsession is to get their husbands, who have no social aspirations, to greater social positions.
Also, while Hildas family certainly seems to have more money than Hyacinths, the differences are no greater than those between Daisy/Rose, Hyacinth and Violet.
This would explain the floral-theme to their names. Also, when Hyacinth and Richard got married, it would allow her to use the "bouquet" pronouncation.
- Hyacinth looked up Richard's genealogy and found that he's of Norman or Huguenot descent, so it's not just out of pretentiousness that she insists on the bouquet pronunciation but rather a different form of snobbery.