< Riegel Entry No. 2, Code Zero >
Pharm Phantasy Series
When I returned from Australia the first time (1972) I could hardly wait to go see my good friend Michael and all the work that he had completed on his castle since my last visit. When I left ten months previously Michael was working on a new phone/alarm system that promised to be state of the art.
Well guess what he was doing when I returned? That’s right, he was still working on the same phone/alarm system. Although, system is not the word I should be using as it implies a ‘logical order, orderliness, definite plan, arrangement, systematic order, etc., etc.’ and Michaels phone system was none of the above. When he showed it to me and explained its capabilities, I understood the true meaning of “Rube Goldberg contraption,” yet it did work, somehow. I considered myself a little geekie at the time having completed my Architectural and Electrical Engineering degrees but was still ill prepared to comprehend this leviathan which Michael called his “Sanity.” In electronics when designs go bad they can really go BAD and only in Michael’s mind could something go this bad and still end up working properly, well, working anyway.
This next poem is about Michael’s mind-boggling phone/alarm system (which is the subject of Michael's famous letter to Glen, reproduced on the index page), which still amazes me to this day. This poem also remains one of my favorites in the “Pharm Phantasy” series. --Ron
I believe we’ve come a long-long way
As we can call to Chesapeake Bay
And all because this Scottish gent
The telephone he did invent.
But little did he ever envision
A system with such mortal precision
As this orchestration of phone vanity
Which ‘Mother Goose’ calls “Sanity”.
If you dial the right sequence
You can electrify the fence
But if you slip and dial wrong
A heavenly tune might be your song.
By dialing code set six, seven, eight
You flush the tank and close ‘The Gate’
And if you want for cabbage and wine
Dial code set ninety nine.
If it’s in love you wish to be
Dial numbers three, three, three
And thru ten thousand miles of wires
Here comes all your heart desires.
But just remember one small thing
That if by chance your phone should ring
And Satan beckons your soul to go
Dial salvation at CODE ZERO!!
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