The Value Of A Telephone

By Edgar Albert Guest

sband said that Ma and me were wanted right away,
An’ so, though it was after 12, an’ bitter cold outside,
We hustled out of bed an’ dressed an’ took a trolley ride;
An’ Jim-that is her husband-met us with a gracious bow
An’ said to me as we stepped in: ‘Well, you’re a grandpa now.’

An’ Ma went flyin’ up the stairs, an’ Jim an’ I stayed down,
An’ talked about the great event, Jim in his dressin’ gown,
As comfortable as you please. An’ then he sorter smiled
An’ said: ‘An hour or two ago I thought that I’d go wild,
The stork was hoverin’ above, an’ I was all alone,
I’ll tell you, Dad, I burned the wires of that old telephone.

‘I telephoned the doctor an’ I telephoned the nurse,
An’ I’m sure the sort of service that I got could not be worse;
I telephoned the druggist, an’ I ‘phoned the neighbors, too,
An’ then when I was through with them, I telephoned to you.
Each minute seemed an hour to me; I thought they’d never come,
You bet I was a busy boy. I made the old wires hum.’

An’ then I laughed an’ said to him: ‘Why, when your wife was born,
We didn’t have a telephone the neighbors ’round to warn;
They got me out of bed at 1 a. m. an’ said to me:
‘You’d better get the doctor now, an’ get him here at 3.’
I had to run four miles that night to bang upon his door,
An’ then to get the nurse I had to hike about two more.

‘That isn’t all the hikin’ that the women made me do;
I had to get her mother’s folks-the same as she made you;
There were no trolley cars back then, at least that late at night;
I ran four stitches in my side, and finished ten pounds light;
I walked an’ did a double trot, a gallop and a pace,
An’ I didn’t even stop to wipe the sweat beads from my face.

‘An’ here you’re in your dressin’ gown, an’ sittin’ by the fire,
An’ everybody’s on the job, all summoned by the wire.
You haven’t even left your house or felt the winter’s Chill
Just think, my boy, without a ‘phone, why, you’d be running still!
You’d still be hiking somewhere an’ wearing out your shoes,
An’ pausin’ for your second wind-that’s how I spread the news!’

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