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Stories About Love
Information Please Part 1

 

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When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighbourhood. I remember the polished old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box.

I was too little to reach the telephone, but I used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it. Then, I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person - her name was "Information, Please" and there was nothing she did not know. "Information, Please" could supply anybody's number and the correct time.

My first personal experience with this genie-in the-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbour. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer. The pain was terrible, but there didn't seem to be any reason to cry because there was no one home to give sympathy.

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I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger and finally arrived at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the foot stool in the parlour and dragged it to the landing. I climbed up and unhooked the receiver in the parlour and held it to my ear.

"Information, Please." I said into the mouthpiece just above my head.
There was a click or two before a small clear voice spoke into my ear, "Information."
"I hurt my finger." I wailed into the phone. The tears came readily now that I had an audience.
"Isn't your mother home?" came the question.
"Nobody's home but me." I blubbered.
"Are you bleeding?" the voice asked.
"No," I replied.
"I hit my finger with a hammer and it hurts."
"Can you open your icebox?" she asked.
I said I could.
"Then chip off a little piece of ice and hold it to your finger." said the voice.

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After that, I called "Information, Please" for everything. I asked her for help with my geography and she told me where Philadelphia is. She helped me with my math. She told me my pet chipmunk which I had caught in the park just the day before would eat fruit and nuts.

 

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