The April Fool Archive

Morgue Phone Operator Interviewed    (April Fool's Day - 1959)

The Chicago Daily Defender interviewed Otto Ebar, the man responsible for answering the phones at the Cook County Morgue on April 1st, the day when numerous calls are received for Mr. Stiff, Mr. K. Dever, Mr. Casket, Mr. Graves, Mr. Rigor, or Mr. Mortis. Ebar said, "he has to brace himself for when business executives and general office girls discover they have been tricked by some of their associates, some let their venom out on him. 'But the vast majority are terribly nice about it.'"

Ebar said the calls average about four or five a minute and that the men are more likely to berate him than the women who readily admit their embarrassment and refuse to give their name.
One important lawyer called, Ebar disclosed, and asked if he could speak to 'Mr. Stiff.' His secretary had left the message for him, he added.
When Ebar finally got around to telling him it was the County Morgue number his secretary had given him, but that for him to call any time he liked, the lawyer replied:
'Don't worry, you'll be hearing from me real soon because my secretary will be visiting you. Her name will be Mrs. Stiff.'
[The Chicago Defender, Apr 2, 1959.]

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