“And Now That You’re On The Right Road, Don’t Forget His Area Code…”

In 1962, the President of AT&T decided to introduce a solely numeric code for telephones.  Previously, telephone owners were provided names such as Triangle, Poplar, Crestview, State, etc., whose first two letters could be found on any telephone, making it easier for owners to remember telephone numbers.  Allan Sherman satirized the President’s decision in a funny and rousing song, Let’s All Call Up AT&T And Protest to The President, march!, in his album, My Son, The Celebrity.   Sherman sings:  “Let us wake him up from his slumber.  Get a pencil, I’ll give you his number.”  Then comes a ridiculously long spewing of digits followed by the quote from the post’s title.  Another silly long stream of numbers follows.  However, in retrospect, Allan Sherman was something of a prophet.  A few years later, zip codes were introduced.  Credit card numbers became more prevalent.  Social security numbers, VINs for cars, numbers to locate departments within an individual entity came into being.  Now there are numbers to access checking accounts, confirmation numbers for purchases, numbers in user names and passwords.  And the end is nowhere in sight.  An improved means of communication, or a ridiculously long spewing of digits?  I leave it to you.