Thursday, September 3, 2009

On telegrams

The following is a digression from the archives – one I did not initiate – but I did discover it (amongst papers on the Middle East. Probably a misfile. Probably I should have notified the staff. But as it’s positively going to give the next researcher a good laugh too, I thought I should pretend I never saw it. And post it here instead).


Classification: SECRET [blogger’s note: don’t worry – it’s been declassified. They don’t let me see the juicy stuff]




[blogger’s note: What I really like about the telegrams are the CAPITAL LETTERS. Everything they say sounds very IMPORTANT. I can’t help but picture the Clark Gable-like AMBASSADOR in FRANKFURT shouting out to his PRETTY SECRETARY the words she speedily would TYPE before a PIMPLY DELIVERY BOY took the message to the TELEGRAPHIST. The AMBASSADOR would then try to figure out what UNDERWEAR his SECRETARY was or wasn’t wearing that day, while she secretly would feel pretty BUMMED that she probably would have to SLEEP WITH HIM again in order to get that PROMOTION. I am aware that I might be over-analyzing due to the CAPITAL LETTERS…]

ACTION DEPARTMENT 48 [blogger’s note: here follows a lot of technical jibberish on which stations and departments should and should not receive a copy; what the telegram is referring to (if anything) etc. For your convenience, I will skip this – also it's awfully boring to type]


IN 1961 RETURNING FROM OFFICIAL TRIP FROM EVIL COMMUNIST STATE [name altered] CAUGHT SMUGGLING TO SLIGHTLY LESS EVIL COMMUNIST STATE [name altered] A PACKAGE OF FALSE TEETH [no alterations made. Seriously!] (ABOUT 2000) [still no alterations – and you ask why I tend to laugh out loud in the researcher room?] AS FAVOUR TO COLLEAGUE. [Blogger’s note: now, here I smell something burning in the pineapple; fish in the suitcase; fudge in the bathwater – who would smuggle false teeth for a colleague? And what did this colleague need 2000 teeth for? Last I checked a grown human being only had 32 permanent teeth, though I do acknowledge that evolution may have come a long way since the 1960s. People may have needed more teeth back then, false or otherwise. Still… Fishy? With dill sauce all over it.] UNDER DETENTION ARREST FOR 4 MONTHS, HOWEVER, RELEASED AND REINSTATED TO FORMER RANK AND FORMER POSITION [IN – the annoying thing about telegrams is that they cut words that don’t significantly alter the meaning. It’s chat speak from back when “chat” was a cat in French] SLIGHTLY LESS EVIL COMMUNIST STATE AIR FORCE.


LAKES [name altered]

[Blogger’s note: since one technically isn’t supposed to misuse the documents of the archive, I figured a little anonymity couldn’t hurt. Secondly, this is also a precaution in case the deputy in Frankfurt – chances are the actual ambassador was away at some cocktail party and definitely did not send this himself – really did have an affair with his secretary. Sometimes it takes an over-active imagination to be spot-on… Finally, I figured that BRWKAKZXWAZK actually could still be alive. He could be someone’s father. Or grandfather. Or dentist.]


Galen Kindley--Author said...

I would rather be under arrest for four months…than go to the dentist. In which case, I would need 2000 false teeth. Makes sense to me.

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Watery Tart said...


I fell off my chair three times. The telegram is pretty darned funny, but your depiction is FABULOUS!

Confessions of a Watery Tart

Anonymous said...

My money is on a tooth fairy plot to rule the world...

hopelessbratt said...

Bwahaha! [Name altered] is going to poison the teeth and install them in communist state[name altered]'s leaders at the dentist office.

I love the little romance going on there too!

Cruella Collett said...

Galen - oh, you're one of those people whose hairs stand up when they hear that whiiiiizzzz...? Fortunately, I've never been cursed with that phobia (zero cavities - at least up until my last visit to the dentist which, granted, has been a while), but I do think that if a dentist (or anyone else) ever tried to put 2000 false teeth in my mouth I might be a little worried...

Tami - I'm sorry if you hurt yourself falling off the chair (might I suggest a chair that is less slippery?) ;)

Anonymous (I am terribly curious who this is, by the way...) - tooth fairy plot! THAT'S what the Cold War really was about, wasn't it? I might have to incorporate this into my thesis (after all - it seems plausible that the number of cavities is inverse proportional to the number of peace treaties actually signed in a region... Now THERE'S a new perspective on the Arab-Israeli conflict...)

Maria - another excellent conspiracy! I wonder if FRANKFURT ever knew who they were dealing with [name altered]...

Chary Johnson said...

Mari, you are FLIPPING hilarious. I LOVED this blog entry. Thanks for a really GOOD laugh.

Cruella Collett said...

Chary - I'm only the messenger (with some heavy side comments, I'll admit) - for more entertainment I highly recommend a visit to the National Archives. People did some crazy stuff in the olden days! Glad you liked it :)

Rayna M. said...

Mari, if I lose my job I have you to blame. I was supposed to be working on a presentation, but had to digress and go blog hopping. I thought I was taking abundant precautions by keeping lots of other windows open, but when I laughed out aloud the fifth time, I knew there was no way I could hide what I was doing.

But then, if I do lose my job, maybe it is my fault. I should have known better than to sneak in here when I was surrounded by people.

Cruella Collett said...

Natasha - I am truly and deeply sorry for the possibility of you losing your job due to my misuse of US government property.
I may have to face being sued by the archives, by Galen (whose dentist phobia resurfaced), by Tami (whose bum surely did not approve of being fallen on) and by you for losing your job. And possibly by the tooth fairy for allowing slandering comments on my blog.
But, I cannot afford to step down - this is a fight for the freedom of speech, after all ;)

(Glad you liked it)

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