I think it's a shame that you can't send a telegram anymore. This is starting out sounding like a piece that Andy Rooney might do, and if he has and I've accidentally stolen something, Miss Kratchnutt, tell the CBS lawyers to take a number.
If nothing else, Western Union, the last American company that was in the telegram business, gave certain wiseacres a chance to be funny. And where else did we get a chance to end every sentence with the word stop
? When Alexander Woollcott wrote for The New Yorker, he did a long piece on Cary Grant. There was everything in there but Grant's BVD size, and his age. So the editor, Harold Ross, sent Woollcott a telegram. It read:
HOW OLD CARY GRANT? STOP
Woollcott telegrammed back:
OLD CARY GRANT FINE; HOW YOU? STOP...