The Breakup of Pa Bell

Can you just imagine what would have befell
If telephone whiz Alexander Graham Bell
Had waited a bit before calling his pal:
            "Watson—I need you—come here"?
You see, he'd spilled acid all over his shirt
Which caused him that infamous utterance to blurt—
The first 9-1-1 call!—and first person hurt
            Cuz of not using hands-free phone gear.

I s'pose in those days of unmotored existence
A call room-to-room was considered long-distance.
But how did he dial without operator assistance—
            Let his fingers (and thumbs) do the walking?
Though he would, after all, have been mighty perplexed
At hearing a silver-tongue-feminine-sexed
"Deposit, please, twenty-five cents for the next
            Three minutes," before starting talking.

And surely he'd think he'd been done a disservice
To hear that recording that tends to unnerve us:
"The number you've dialed is no longer in service
            In area code 0-4-2."
Just imagine his ire at Watson his crony
Whose assistance would seem just a bit more than phony
On hearing his telephone-greeting-baloney
            (When at last Bell could finally ring through):

"You've reached Mr. Watson; he's away from his phone;
Or perhaps on another line" (read: "Leave me alone").
"Leave a brief, detailed message right after the tone,
            And he'll call you before he's retired."
Or worse, if the darned busy signal's pulsating,
He'd think, "If I'd only invented call-waiting!"
I can just hear him now, his first message restating:
            "Watson—get outta here—you're fired!"

                                    —Anon AT&T Mouse

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