January 1st

On this day in 1985 Ernie Wise, off of Morecambe and wise made the first mobile phone call from St Katherine’s Dock in a Cokerney part of London to the Vodaphone headquarters in Berkshire.  The conversation he’d been asked to have was “Hello, this is Ernie Wise here, how are you diddling!” before singing “Bring me Sunshine” . He made it clear the he couldn’t possibly sing the song as it would make him cry as his mate Eric Morecambe off of Morecambe and Wise had died the previous year.

Eric and Ernie lived happily together for many decades before Eric's death in 1984

The Vodaphone people, were a bit cross with him about this, but they said that instead he could not sing the song if he was going to be a big baby about it and instead he should say “Crikey lads, this is a great new phone type thing for people to use on the move.” Ernie, who wasn’t being a big baby, just human unlike the robots at the mobile phone company, agreed to this, because despite having short fat hairy legs, he was a very nice man.

Unfortunately for Vodaphone, the first conversation turned out to be a bit different to the one everyone had agreed to. It went thus:

“Hello, this is Ernie Wise.”

[hissing noise can be heard on the earpiece of his phone]

“Hello, hello, can you hear me?”

[More hissing noise and a voice far off in the distance vaguely heard saying “I’m diddling my thingy”]

“Hello? Hello? Hello? Oh fuck this for a game of soldiers, I’m going home to eat some more mince pies.”

The Vodaphone people then got a right bollocking from their boss, Mr Archibald Herod when he found out they hadn’t put any mobile

The early mobile phone that Ernie used

phone masks in Cockerny London. He was so angry that after the bollocking he went off and killed some babies, because that’s just the type of man he was. He died the following year when he was suffocated by seven veils.

Ernie Wise eventually went back to using mobile phones, but because he didn’t really like baby killers he refused to sign up with Vodaphone.

Today was the birthday of J.D. Salinger. He was born in 1919 and was famous for writing some books, most especially The Catcher in the Rye which featured a character called Holden Caufield who he’d written a short story (Slight Rebellion of Madison) in the 1940s. The big famous novel was published in 1951 and had instant “yeah, whatever” reviews. However, by the end of the decade it was totally famous because lots of moody teenagers liked to read it and pretend that they were Holden Caufield and be all “Like Salinger totally gets me, man!” before turning on, tuning in and dropping out.

J. D. Salinger refusing - yet again - to apologise for killing a Beatle

Of course the book got even more famous when it got John Lennon murdered by some nutbag. Salinger had nothing to say on the subject, because he’d been living in a cave like a giant hobbit for decades because he didn’t like people much and all his books after The Catcher in the Rye ranged from sort of okay to a bit shit.

That said, I tried to read TCITR once and thought it was an appalling pile of shite, but then I am a woman and I wasn’t suffering teenage existential angst, so I probably wasn’t the right audience for it and it was probably better than I thought. Or something.

Anyway, happy birthday Jerome. You’re dead  but as even people like me who thought you were a bit of a bore haven’t forgotten you, I guess you’re still quite famous. How nice for you.

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1 Comment

Filed under Almanac

One response to “January 1st

  1. Rachel Silver

    Oh, darling! Some very good swears in here. I love you.

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