This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 11, 2006 1:16 PM. The previous post in this blog was Read it yourself. The next post in this blog is School tax chaos. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Ding dong

There was a wonderful little editorial in the Times this week about the recent, quiet passage of a great invention -- the telegram. Back in the day, this was the surest and fastest way to get an important message to someone. Picture a time when there was no e-mail, no fax, no Fed Ex, few phones even. You went down to Western Union and wrote out what you wanted it to say, and they wired it to another station, where it was typed out and a messenger in a uniform hand-delivered it.

Wow. I wish that I had gotten one of those at some point in my life or other. But I don't think I ever did, and now I never will.

There were spin-offs: candygrams, flowergrams, singing telegrams, even strip-o-grams. Do any of those still survive? I suspect so, but the real thing they imitate is gone.

This calls for a memorial playing of the songs "Western Union" (a tinny '60s rocker that goes "da-dit-da-da-da") and "Western Union Man" (a sweet R&B croon by Jerry Butler). I've got to have copies of those collecting dust around here somewhere, but they're not on the hard drive. At least, not yet.

Comments (6)

Of course, I also miss the Land Shark!


While I couldn't actually send you a telegram, how about an old joke about sending one? Here goes:

A dog goes into a Western Union office and hands the clerk a telegram to send that says "Woof Woof Woof Woof. Woof Woof Woof Woof Woof."
The Western Union clerk says, "Y'know, the cost of a telegram starts at 10 words, so, you could add another woof here, and it wouldn't cost you any more money."
The dog replied: "Yeah, but then it wouldn't make any sense!"

Consider yourself sent! Now, where's that 45 of my Western Union Man? Oh, there it is, right next to my copy of Let's Get Together by Haley Mills! Yeah, yeah, yeah!

"I once sent a dozen of my friends a telegram saying 'flee at once - all is discovered.' They all left town immediately." -- Mark Twain

"Dear Mary, We all knew you had it in you."
--Dorothy Parker (1893-1967), U.S. writer and wit. Telegram sent to a friend upon the successful outcome of a much-publicized pregnancy.

I once received a telegram, back in the early 70s. It must have been important as it was a telegram, but I don't remember what it said. Of course, it was back in the early 70s.

Then there was the telegram sent by an attorney, which read, in its entirety: "F**k you. Strong letter to follow."

Hey, I remember the 'Land Shark'
Knock knock knock - Candy Gram......

To think that if they had only taught us all Morse Code in grade school we could have had this web or wire thing going many years ago.

Dash dot dash dash to you!

Clicky Web Analytics