The Tri-Cities Mid-Columbia Telephone Directory

Hilarious reading!
Hilarious reading!

As a man who keeps his promises, when he remembers them, here’s my review of the Tri-Cities Mid Columbia Telephone Directory as promised from my first vlog.

I think it was the action packed cover of the helmeted man in his water vehicle going a bit fast that made me pick up this book and it certainly is just that.

As you can see from my professionally rendered technology portrait – or photo-graph to the new fangled amongst you would know it – I am having an exceedingly amusing time finding the delightfully named residents of the Tri-Cities (of which there are quite a few).

All humour – apart from my elbows – aside, what I am seen cosily clutching is much more than a weighty snigger fest, it is, like so much else in life, a social document of the here and now and one that is a source of endless fascination for me…and I’m not even that much of a numbers person.

Holding this weighty tome, I consider this to be a fascinating insight into the here and now of a place, a community and more interestingly the individual character.  I like to pick a random person’s number and muse upon their life, or find a business and then look for them as I jaunt around town and see how prosperous they seem.

To me it’s a small overview into a tiny part of the overall jigsaw of society.  Almost the essence of modern civilization in your hand.  An intriguing thought occurs though, if we cut out all of the waste and pointless businesses (pointless in the sense of contributing something of worth to society) how much thinner would this book be and how interesting would it remain?

It would be remiss of me to not mention the numbers, hours can – and were – spent on adding up all digits of random phone numbers to see what value they would come too…it’s a playground for adding fanatics and it is actually impressive seeing the many numbers herein.

This is a book of real people’s lives, a glimpse into a certain point of time and I would argue a bit of a classic in these sorts of circles.  I bet the complete set look great on the bookshelves with the lovely coloured pages and individual, dramatic front covers.  It also begs the question, what other insightful tomes of daily life do we see but not notice.

29 Replies to “The Tri-Cities Mid-Columbia Telephone Directory”

    1. Now all I need to possess is a T-shirt with that quotation on and I will be a happy bunny, that we can team up and be a crime fighting animal duo!

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      1. Wittiness and intelligence, eh? Obviously Chatty hasn’t come across my work…am I right? I’m right! Although I suspect I just spelt wittiness incorrectly, so maybe the intelligence bit is, in fact, lacking. Dammit, she was right…the combination is rare. And you should definitely get the T shirt.

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        1. You sir are the doyen of wittiness and intelligence sirrah! You spelt wittiness right as well so I salute you. I think you should have a T-shirt with your face on the front…and the back of your head on the back. It’s genius.

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  1. It would be even better, if the spines of the directories, when placed on the shelf, combined to make a picture, or perhaps a witty saying. After all, what’s the point of having a collection of books unless they looked top notch 🙂

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    1. That would be AWESOME!!!! I would like a picture with explosions and car chases and high octane stuff. A humorous knock knock joke would suffice though. I like your idea…you should patent that make the phone book a source of pleasure for all and also encourage a tense wait for the next edition.

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  2. I have never considered the phone book as a repository of untapped hilarity, but now that you mention it, it’s obvious! Surely there’s some kind of reading challenge in the offing with that.
    The last time we got a phone book, an over zealous deliverer rammed it into the junk mail/newspaper/parcel slot of the letterbox and it has been wedged there ever since, slowly decomposing and rendering our junk mail/newspaper/parcel slot useless. Unsurprisingly, subsequent years’ phone book delivery has been severely hampered and their secrets remain undiscovered.

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    1. Your secret shall remain hidden for my recent hit count is somewhere under the counter and I am glad I have an excuse for that now. A decaying phone book sounds very romantic in a sideways type of way. I was going to name names in the post but then it occured to me, that whilst I remain in the Tri-Cities I do not want an angry mob replete with pitchforks hunting me down and poking me.

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  3. WOW – You just made the phonebook sound like something we should all read.

    Let me add – you have a wonderful smile! 🙂

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    1. I thought I looked a tad evil but I can get on board the wonderful train. Everything is riveting, if viewed in the right way, that’s how I try to live my life these days.

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  4. I daresay not many would have such deep thoughts about the area telephone book but that is what makes you so unique. Your approach to what seems to be so mundane is so very refreshing! As to the owl and bunny duo, I think I would be very afraid of that. Don’t owls like to feast on cute little bunnies? 😉

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    1. I hadn’t considered having my intestines removed by a pointy beak. Having said that we would be crine fighting and if we were cartoon characters, I feel it would render everything more realistic.

      I like seeking out the mundane and trying to view it in a more interesting way. If even the mundane seems exciting then the world will always keep me fascinated and amused. Hopefully keep me in blog posts as well!

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  5. I used to eat phone books when I was a pup. Now I like to smell them. My Mom Person has some really old ones that were her grandparents’ or something. They really smell fine! She has a passion for old phone books and old school yearbooks. Do you have school yearbooks where you live?

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    1. I love smelling old books..and new books. Old editions are the best though, they have a nostalgic and fascinating quality. England doesn’t have yearbooks but then again we are getting so Americanised that it may only be a matter of time. I may hunt something American down to take back with me now you mention it.

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      1. Yearbooks give you a really good slice of Americana. The really old ones are the best. The Mom Person likes the stuff inside the old ones best, I like the smell the best.

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  6. I read the dictionary just for fun but, I must say, I never considered the phone book as a source of entertainment. A whole new world awaits! Thanks for the idea.

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    1. There is a universe of fascination out there and I know that we can find it in the most unlikely places…except sewers, I absolutely draw the line there.

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  7. What a fun way to “read” a community! You’re right, the names and adverts themselves must say so much about the town. I love my local weekly newspaper as well (ridiculously – but wonderfully so – full of details about everything that happened or is happening or is going to happen in our little town).

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    1. I do like to go to the local library every so often and look at the old papers…I love anything like that…in fact I would pick up bundles if there were any going at the local (i.e 14 miles away) second hand bookshop. In fact I may go in and have a look when I land!

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