"We Don't Let Dorothy Crack The Eggs Anymore" Chapter 20 -DDD Direct Dial Disorder

My electric mixer broke down and I was going stir crazy, so I didn't need a new problem.

But there was the house bill co-payer mumbling a grumble and clutching papers, cluttering up the kitchen.

"Who made a call to Minneapolis?" the spouse wanted to know.

"Minneapolis? Who do we know in Minnesota? Nobody, that's who!"

"I got a bill here from the telephone company and it says we made a call to Minneapolis. So who did it?" Vexed is what I was.

It would take the NKVD and a few THRUSH agents to worm a confession out of the four carbon copies (ages 4 to 8) who share my abode.

Even when the upper lip is rimmed with chocolate or jelly, they'll deny bare-faced they've made forays into the refrigerator.

No evidence on this caper. But I get a fat clue. It's this phone company propaganda on the radio that got to them apparently.

"The one you want to reach is as close as the 1 on your dial," is how it goes.

But what about someone you don't even know?

I'd consider we're pretty darn close now. I mean a $4.87 phone charge on a call to Minneapolis is a close call, all right.

And it's probably happening all over the country with this DDD (I have my own words for their abbreviation.)

Cooing at you comes this voice suggesting direct-distance dialing. You dial one, the area code and the phone number and then machines plug you in with your party. No operators intervene. Simple? So simple even a child can understand.

One of our little ones must have put two and two together and come up with that digit one and dialed young finger-swings behind it to dial into some unsuspecting Minneapolis home.

I caught 4-year-old Dorothy red-handed, finally, blithely poking her chubby fingers into the dial. "I'm calling Tommie, Tommie from our school," she said.

"What is Tommie's number?" was my snarling demand.

Dorothy, who just learned to count at nursery school, began in her wee voice, "One, two, three, four...."

"Stop! That's enough!"

"But..." she started to sob. I promised to call Tommie and she promised to call me..." Sob. sob.

The reason I'm worried. Obviously, Tommie isn't getting through to us. And if she's doing the same number system as Dorothy, someone in this land of amber waves of grain is going to get a big shock. It may be in Minneapolis. Or San Francisco.

And if these tots ever demonstrate this prowess to the gang at the church nursery school in a "Show and Tell" spree, consider the chaos that could result.

Dial one for staggers. That one on my dial is too close for comfort.