Reading those old DOS journals, I find this.
Kids, here's what life was like Before Google.
July 8, 1993
|Anna r. on TV 1990s|
I look for the name of the theatre in the flyer she sent us. It isn't there, but she's at the New Hope Performing Arts Festival.
I get out the atlas. New Hope is near Philadelphia.
Buster sits on the atlas.
|Buster visiting bathtub|
I remove Buster from the phone book. Philadelphia's area code is 215.
Theatres usually have the phone numbers of florists handy, so I call Philadelphia information at 1-215-555-1212 and ask for the phone number of the New Hope Performing Arts Festival.It's 215-862-5880.
I call 215-862-5880. I get a tape reminding me that the play opens tonight.
I call Information again. They can't look up a number without the name of the florist. I explain my quest. They find the New Hope Flower Shop, 215-862-3169.
I call 215-862-3169. I get a crackling noise.
I think perhaps it's because Buster walked on the phone.
I call it again. I get a crackling noise.
I call it a third time. I get a dial tone.
I call the operator and explain my problem. She calls the number. She gets a busy signal and a crackling noise. She tries again, and says it's out of order.
I call Philadelphia information. They can't read the yellow pages but they'll transfer me to the service people who can.
The service people find a number in the yellow pages for Tiffany's Florist, 215-862-1200.
I call 215-862-1200. "The number you have called, 862-1200, has been disconnected. Repeat: the number you called..."
I consider Flowers by Wire. But if I can't get through, how could they? And how would I know in time if they failed?
I call Philadelphia information and ask to be transferred to a service person. No, not about a faulty line. No, not about new service. I want the people who can read the yellow pages. Reprovingly: "That is just a courtesy we provide...I'll switch you over." I get a dial tone.
I call Philadelphia information again asking for the yellow pages service. "Certainly, I'll connect you."
I get a dial tone.
I call again, pleading not to be cut off. "Yes, I'll stay with you until you're transferred, but I'll put you on hold, don't get worried."
I get a silent line.
I get the yellow pages people!!
I ask "Have you got time to hear my problem?" "Yes, if it's not too long." I summarize the morning so far. I ask if there's a newspaper in New Hope. "I can read the yellow pages for you, but there is a service center in New Hope. Would you like that?"
That would be great, perfect.
Buster sits on the page I'm taking notes on.
I call the New Hope center at 215-862-5880. It's busy. I put my automatic re-dialer on and it calls every 30 seconds for ten minutes. Still busy.
I try the automatic re-dial for another ten minutes. I decide everything in New Hope has been washed out by a heat wave.
So much time has elapsed that perhaps the box office is open, so I call the theatre again. A tape reminds me that the play opens
I call Philadelphia information. I'm put right through to the yellow pages. This time I get all the rest of the New Hope florists: the Pod Shop and Boxwood Gardens.
Boxwood Gardens sounds like a garden store, so I call the Pod Shop at 215-862-2037. A young woman answers immediately. Roses are $60 a dozen. We settle on assorted summer flowers. I mention my morning's adventures. She laughs and says "We're all the same florist anyhow."
Break a leg, Anna!
|Watching Cat TV with Norm|