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Story About Love
Information Please Part 2

 

Next on Information Please Part 1 | 2 | 3

 

Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary died. I called "Information, Please" and told her the sad story. She listened, and then said the usual things grown-ups say to soothe a child but I was inconsolable.

I asked her, "Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?"
She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, "Paul, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in."
Somehow I felt better.

I was on the telephone on another day.
"Information, Please."
"Information." said the now familiar voice.
"How do you spell fix?" I asked.

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All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much. "Information, Please" belonged in that old wooden box back home, and somehow I never thought of trying the tall, shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall.

As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me. Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity, I would recall the serene sense of security I had after calling "Information, Please". I now appreciate how patient, understanding and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.

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A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle. I had about half an hour or so in between flights. I spent fifteen minutes on the phone with my sister, who now lives there. Then without thinking what I was doing,
I dialled my hometown operator and said, "Information, Please."
Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well, "Information."
I hadn't planned this but I heard myself saying, "Could you please tell me how to spell fix?"

 

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Next on Information Please Part 1 | 2 | 3