Operator Error

I carefully studied the crude device with the dangling wires attaching it to the wall, another hanging from its side. I was fascinated as I handled the cone-shaped object, realizing a voice was coming from within. I placed it to my ear.

“Dispatch. How may I direct you?”

Dispatch!! That sounded alarming!

“Direct me? So that’s what this is? A tele-…um, teleport…?”

I heard the sigh of disgust coming from the other end. “Telephone, sir. You’ve picked up your party’s line. And please speak directly into the receiver. Where might I direct you?”

This device could direct me – to coordinates? “I don’t have enough information to…”

“I’ll be more than happy to supply the information you need, sir. I pride myself in doing just that.”

So this was the archaic version of information exchange? Fascinating. I didn’t know humans yet had computerized information devices in this era – especially voice activated ones.

“Locate the Sirinian commander, Inner Alpha Sphere, please.”

The long pause provided a clue regarding how antiquated this system was, as it searched its vast database.

“Sir, do you understand what today is? What occurs in approximately one hour? I don’t have time for your games. I’m not sure what you’re after, but we’ll all be going on break soon to view the lunar landing. I’m not missing history because of you.”

“Is something happening on one of the Sirinian moons today? That can’t be good…”

“Can’t be good?! Are you crazy?! We’re about to have the first man ever to walk on the moon – EARTH’S moon!” Another irritated sigh. “Let me guess. You’re from outer space and you’re just trying to cause me trouble. Now where would you like me to dispatch you?”

Gulp. Best defensive maneuver would be to…

“Well, I’ve got a place for you to go…”


So she was dispatching me?

I was rather embarrassed to later explain to my commander that I thought the human was using a WMD – weapon of mass dispatch – on me.


Crudely dispatching this one to Trifecta this week, for their 33-333 word writing challenge. Come join us!

Yes, the word this week is CRUDE, not dispatch – oh, by its 3rd definition: 3:
marked by the primitive, gross, or elemental or by uncultivated simplicity or
vulgarity <a crude stereotype>

29 thoughts on “Operator Error

  1. Wall mounted telephones are relics of history, for sure. Kids today are super smart about many things but equally as clueless about some of the devices that we used as kids such as rotary-dial phones, rabbit ears for the tv, record albums and turntable needles and many, many more. Fun piece, Jody! There have been lots of dark, serious stories this week so, I appreciate the refreshingly light, humourous take you took on the prompt. 🙂

    • Don’t you often wonder what relics of history we unearth, thinking we have their exact uses figured out? I’d love to hear some of the snickers coming the ancestral burial grounds! 🙂 Great to hear from you as always, Tom.

  2. This sounds like some of the conversations with my husband – neither one of us knows what the other is talking about! I like the time period. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss seeing the lunar landing, either 🙂

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