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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Information Enigma Or Even More Reasons I Am A Pacifist

I live in a crazy old farmhouse. It has wall-phones in the back porch from various eras. Some are quite old and I'm cautious about what era I phone --sometimes a pressure from without can upset an equilibrium within. One needs help, direction --directory assistance, yes, but sometimes one needs more. In the photo below, I am dialing a three-digit number familiar to everyone in the USA and Canada born after 1930: " Information. What city, please?"
"All of them. Any will do."

"Are you a Chuck Berry fan, sir?"

"Always and forever, but...what does that...?"

"Please listen to the tutorial while I connect your call, Geo.:"

Chuck Berry- Memphis Tennessee


"Information. What city, please?"

"Excuse me..."

"Yes, Geo.?"

"Wait a minute, how'd you know my name?"

"Because you once called from a Paso Robles filling station in 1969 when you misplaced Norma's phone number that year and I recognize your voice. How may I direct your call?"

"You, you're the same operator...47 years later?"

"Sir, I have been the only information operator on the North American Continent since 1930."

"So that's why you always sound the same?"

"Of course. Will you be needing further information? I do have calls waiting."

"How could that be?"

"It's because I know everything. All information comes from me, and I know why you called."

"I called because I have the jumps, ma'am."

"I know, Geo., North Korea sent a missile over the Superbowl on Sunday. Ask your question."

"Does the United States Military intend to invade my family's country of origin?"

"You mean Portugal?"

"Yes, specifically the Azores."

"They did at one time, 1940-41, under War Plan Gray.  The idea was to set up bases behind Navy blockades (oooh, you should get a load of War plan Red ), but this is classified information. However, I'll go back to some year nobody cares about and declassify it. One moment please....yes, the year all the Ford Pintos exploded, 1974."

"Mine didn't!"

"You're welcome!"

"What have you, ma'am?

"This map, Geo. I'm rather pleased with it:"
"Impressive! But how does this help?"

"I simply changed the photographic vista from nautical to aerial . Lighter shades of blue were subsequently seen as clouds instead of shallows. This took the Azores from islands in the sea to islands floating around in the sky."

"Amazing, so my great grandparents descended from the sky?"

"Information depends upon on accuracy, Geo. Whatever I say becomes true. But right now I have other information to address."

"Like what?"

"Like changing the first line of Hamlet from "Hey, remember that time in Denmark when I got so nervous?" from flashbacks to something better. Then I have to convince all life that they own the world equally with all other life. But most of all, right now, I have a search to conduct in 1959. Let's see: south side; ridge; 1/2 mile from Mississippi Bridge. Should be no problem...Hello, Marie?"

"Hello?"

"(sotto voce) Bye Geo."

"Bye Poppy."


27 comments:

  1. You get so many pertinent and topic-appropriate comments that as usual I'll go a different direction....
    In WW2, prior (1932-1968) and some time after, Antonio Salazar was the President, and is viewed as something of a facist. However, he was neutral in most respects, dealing with both the allies and the axis governments. What is interesting to me, having read a biography on my recent cruise that ended in Lisboa, is that he pursued a complex agenda, rescuing refugees during WW2 and keeping them from the nazi's, while trading with both side materials needed. His downfall came with modernity, and the revolutionary forces in the youth of Europe, circa '68.
    BTW, her voice is also used in several airports, too.
    Cheers, Geo.

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    1. Ah Mike, Antonio has been described as anti-communist, anti-democracy, anti-socialist, anti-liberal, antisydicalist and a few more I can't remember, but he was pro-family. Even so, I'm glad my great grampas hightailed out of there in the 1850s and 60s. We knew very little about Estado Novo when I was born a century later. My forbearers just went where the food was. Good thing too!

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    2. P.s.: Also, remember Casablanca --everybody waiting for the plane to Lisbon.

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  2. A loud emphatic and slightly teary YES. I am particularly in love with Poppy's conviction that ownership of the world should be shared.

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    1. Agreed, EC. We are stewards of this planet as much as bees and ladybugs. With all devoted life-forms in combination, we can make this the best planet in the world!

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  3. Yikes! Your chat with THE information operator brought flashbacks of James Coburn in the President's Analyst. TPC has all the real power. The Phone Company. Though your Operator seems magnanimous. TPC not so.

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    1. The Phone Company is all jazzed up right now with new technology, Tom. But, by and by, they'll get back to the good old reliable thing they used to be --certainly if Poppy has anything to say about it. And, since she married Santa Clause earlier this month, I think folks are ready to listen.

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  4. Awesome. I didn't know you had a happy home in Memphis, Tennessee.

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    1. Kerry, I remember hearing that song on "Top 40" AM stations as a kid and feeling so sorry for little Marie that I had to write a conclusion to Mr. Berry's song. Poor kid HAD to get that call and know her daddy loved her.

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  5. So is she going to tell us what was thrown from the Tallahatchee Bridge or keep it from being thrown?

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    1. Good question, Emma. Bobbie Gentry's song said: "Mama" says that she "got some news this mornin' from Choctaw Ridge" that "Billie Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge." And I often wondered what got thrown off there ahead of that, so did the rest of the world --but I'm afraid to call Information and ask!

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  6. Well, I needed something pleasurable and entertaining to read and you provided it (as always). Actually, a North Korean missile over the Superbowl isn't exactly pleasurable, but memories of "Information" are very intriguing. And I always suspected it was the same operator.
    I don't think I've ever heard that Chuck Berry song before. If I did, I don't remember it.

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    1. I think it WAS the same operator, Jon. In fact, only 10 minutes ago, I was on the phone to my internet provider trying to find out why I was locked out of my Blogger site. The technician at Frontier was quite pleasant but not so formal as the old Information Operator. Good thing too, because I drank wine throughout her instructions and had to repeat myself several times. Now it's getting on toward 2 a.m. and I am sleepy --however, very happy to reply to your comment. Chuck Berry is a great favorite of mine and the featured song is one that always begged a happy ending --I had older siblings who played it incessantly.

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  7. Have you visited the land of your forefathers, Geo.?
    By the way: there is more than one operator, Geo., but that is too long a story, I will try and photograph the evidence. (Very personal, very sweet).
    North Korea makes me nervous, too. I hope that nobody presses the wrong buttons on telephones or whatsoever.

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    1. I've never visited Portugal, Brigitta, but was born along a bend in the Sacramento River where Portuguese immigrants established truck farms long ago.

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  8. Hmmm, North Korea sending a missile over the super bowl....don't give them any ideas.

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    1. I'm afraid they got the idea on their own, Sandra. The rocket passed right over Levi Stadium on Sunday night.

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  9. I'm sorta for all the critters in the world sharing it equally, until I think about certain animals of the human variety ... one of which might be a certain North Korean leader, plus all the others who think animals don't have feelings ... All the REST of the critters can share equally.

    Thank you for the Chuck Berry song; a familiar one to me, and it has helped snap me out of my negativity.

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    1. O Jenny, I seriously doubt N. Korea would engage in world warfare with their current oil reserves --enough to run their country for 2 months under normal conditions. War? It'd be gone in a week and the whole place would grind to a halt. Their only ally, China, depends on contracts from countries Kim wants to intimidate, so no help there. And no worries, Ok?

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  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, which was: "I love old things. They look so great and full of spirit for me. My friend from paper writing service agrees. She actually has her granny's old phone. She still uses it)."

      I had to edit out it's commercial backlink.

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  11. Great dialogue. Thanks for my morning laugh...

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    1. Most kind Sage. Hope you're recovering on schedule.

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  12. There's a certain amount of comfort in imagining one benevolent Operator taking care of business for all of these years. MUCH better than the not-so-benevolent Big Brother.

    Very nice of you to make the connection to Marie at the end of your post, dude. :)

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    1. Agreed. Back then the Information Lady was the operating system for a continent in the Analog Age. And if Marie was "only 6 years old" in 1959, she's 63 now and should not have been left on hold. Had to fix that.

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  13. Chuck Berry's music might be great but not so much his morals, especially his respect for women. We were living in Wentzville near St. Louis when he was accused of being a video-recording Peeping Tom at the restaurant he owned there. Poor Marie! You know, maybe Poppy could help him out by sharing some of his experience with hypnosis.

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    1. Thanks for the heads-up! I'd never looked into Berry's history of offenses and just now did. I can assure you my time traveler won't be sent anywhere near that.

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