Satiric radio commentary for the 90s from the man who drained Lake Michigan and filled it with hot chocolate!!!

R.I.P., S.O.S.

Stan Freberg here. I read that the Coast Guard is giving up teaching and using the Morse Code. A pity. There goes the last use of a telegraph key, I guess. It's been pretty much phased out by computers. Be right back.[:60 SPOT BREAK]

Freberg again. The telegraph and the Morse Code was invented by Samuel F. B. Morse, back in 1844. They didn't have any computers then, and the dots and dashes of the telegraph keys sent over wire represented the first instantaneous transfer of human thought from one city to another.

His first message was, "What hath God wrought?" Up 'til then, they had to wait for a horse to bring a newspaper from another city. Radio wouldn't be along until much later, when Marconi got tired of sending telegrams.

The world first learned that the Titanic was sinking when a young 14-year old amateur telegraph operator named David Sarnoff, high above New York on top of the Wannamaker building, picked up their s.o.s.--"dit-dit-dit dot-dot-dot dit-dit-dit"--and notified the world. Sarnoff later grew up to found RCA and NBC.

But now, not only the Coast Guard has given up using the Morse Code, so has Western Union. I called them, and a young woman laughed and said, "A telegraph key? Lord, no, ha ha ha, we're all on computers now, honey." Kinda sad.

I'll have to be satisfied by tapping out "dit-dit-dit dot-dot-dot dit-dit-dit" on my granddaughter Riley's forehead.

Stan Freberg here.

Copyright (C)1996, Stan Freberg/Freberg, Ltd. (but not very) Distributed by Dick Brescia Associates and Radio Spirits, Inc.