Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column wondering if anybody still sends telegrams.
We go through the mountains of e-mail we receive every morning – most of which is spam junkmail that somehow slips through the supposed filters in the system, despite being clearly labeled in the subject with promises to enlarge certain appendages or provide us glimpses of young Asian girls in heat. As we read and delete (although not necessarily in that order), we can’t help wondering what happened to telegrams.
Seems there was a time, before the electronic age took the world in a double-arm-bar-full-nelson-choke-hold, telegrams were a booming thing. Not only did you have your standard “Send money fast. Stop.” telegrams, there was the candy-gram, the strip-o-gram, the guy-in-the-gorilla-suit-o-gram and flowers-by-wire telegram stuff.
If you ask us, there are all sorts of niches the telegram business never ventured into that could be sure-fire money-makers:
n The snowball-o-gram – This would be great for all your friends who live in places where the white stuff never falls. For an extra fee, the delivery boy would throw it at the recipient.
n The horse-o-gram – For fans of “The Godfather” movies, who really want to send a strong message. A horse head is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes.
n The pig Latin-gram – This probably wouldn’t be an effective form of communication, but we just think it would be funny to watch people standing on their doorsteps listening to some guy say, “Ank-thay so uch-may or-fay the irthday-bay ift-gay, Amma-gray.”
n The graffiti-gram – You don’t have to be home to get this message. You’ll just need to keep turpentine handy.
n The tattoo-o-gram – Skin art aficionados would love this, we think, but if you’re putting it on the delivery person, we suppose that means there’s a short lifespan to her career.
Oh, the possibilities.
We have an inkling of what those detainees in Guantanamo and elsewhere in the world might be going through. Basically, opening a box has proved to us we’d never be able to handle a painful interrogation. Not that those detainees are being tortured or anything, of course.
Us, we were opening up a box. The people who sent us the box kindly taped the lid to the bottom of the box on four sides. We were using our thumbnail to snap the tape by sliding it along the crack between the box lid and bottom. Mistake. Because, when we had to apply a significant amount of pressure to snap the tape, the lid of the box went full-force into our cuticle, right underneath our thumbnail.
This might not sound like that big of a deal, but when you have this sort of injury it basically means your thumb is out of commission (it hurts any time we apply pressure to it). And, if you recall, the opposable thumb is sort of what separates us from most of the rest of the animal kingdom. Basically, we’re not better of than a horse or a jellyfish right now. We’re half-a-monkey.
Fortunately, however, nobody ever gives us crap for sucking our thumb.
It’s Saturday. Send us your favorite pudding or Jell-O recipes; we feel like dessert taste-testing this weekend: email@example.com, fax at (970) 668-0755 or just read the recipe a la Bill Cosby on the voicemail at (970) 668-3998, ext. 237.
We’re out delivering telegrams nobody asked to have delivered …
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