Phone book parody, part 4: Annual Address From the Phone Book's Ombudsman

Hello, phone book aficionados and well-wishers! Welcome to the latest volume of our beloved phone book. Might I be forthright in my enthusiasm, and venture some assumptions regarding your character. You see, my annual addresses have always been printed on the initial page of the directory, and, in my vast experience in telebibliology, I can hypothesize two classes of people who would read the first page of a telephone reference; the latter type we shall discuss later.

You, my cellular-literate reader, come across more as the former type, which I passionately call "The Explorer." You are the type who hungers for public reference about our community. You cherish printed evidence of our communal existence. "Let Your Fingers Do The Walking" has always been glibly uttered by catchphrase-spouting hipsters for sarcastic effect, like "Na-nu! Na-nu!" or "That's hecka tight." Only you know the sublime passion of sauntering leisurely from one residential listing to the next. Why, with just a flick of the eyes, you can travel from Abraham, Sally on Post Street, to Abraham, Sally R on 23rd Ave. In real life it would take forever, unless you take Pine to Geary, and even then you have to deal with Inner Richmond drivers. The phone book itself is a people aquarium of neighborhood denizens, with names both ethnically polysyllabic and normal American.

Writing a murder mystery about arson and need a name for your victim? Simply trace your finger down our complementary inventory of people's names and...stop! Your deceased's first name is...Patrick. Skim 100 more pages to discover a last name that is...Meyer! The cogs of creativity clicked: the name of the burned-alive victim is Patrick Meyer.

In passing, I've mention the latter type of rigorous phone book reader, the type I call "The Actioneer." Actioneers have no time for exploration or creativity, just immediate needs for inquiries, fire, ongoing criminal goings-on, or other emergencies. Perhaps they are being stabbed, or better. In that case, an Actioneer is probably reading the initial page, not for my annual address, but looking for a phone number to report the current tragedy. To you, first I thank you for taking the time to indulge my lily-gilding. Secondly, the number you need to call is nine one one. And please, before you do, do not call it "nine eleven." And good luck.

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