Please Say Please

In 1876 when Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas A. Watson conducted a significant experiment in Boston, they had no idea where it would lead.

Technology has advanced so much since then, you can now sit in your pajamas and with a computer and some phone wire, read an account of the historic events as written in Bell’s own hand.


But each time I’ve heard this story, there has been one particular aspect that troubles my Midwestern sensibility.

It’s a small detail, and it seems trite to bring it up. Such a big advance and such a tiny complaint!

Fortunately, by running Bell’s notebook through the Seussifier, I was able to distill my problem down to three verses.

On the tenth day of March in a lab by the bay,
Mr. Bell said a First in the History of Say.
When he called his assistant as scientists do:
“Mr. Watson come here – I want to see you!”

Mr. Watson came running to be seen, of course.
Both to help Mr. Bell and upset Mr. Morse.
For the call that he answered went not through the air
but through vibrating wires as thin as your hair.

So hats off to Bell, so inventive and bold
And Watson, who did everything he was told.
But good children know that in times such as these
One should never say ‘come here’ without saying ‘please’!


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