sos: continuous sequence of three dits, three dahs, and three dits

“You’re such a luddite, you need a smartphone that works in Morse code.” Zeke’s pronouncement after my previous cellphone disaster. Technology and I stopped syncing about 1875. Since then, well, it isn’t pretty.

Like tonight. New snarkphone – “she” points out my mistakes – every possible plus on the planet – yes Zeke bought it for me, more fool him. Keeps telling me she’s thirsty, bottom of the keg dry. Energy vampiress wants her share of electric blood. But, she’s being bitchy – now I’ve got her umbilical cord hooked up, she won’t take the juice.

I could call Zeke from what’s left of my old phone. Or, go on line to tech support. Or say to hell with you and let her turn to dust on the charging pad.

I’m working on my fairy tale – apparently we have to do this as part of an underground network now* – when she starts making these strange sounds.

– · – ·    – – · –    – · ·  – · – ·    – – · –    – · ·  – · – ·    – – · –    – · · in a sequence. Silence. Then · · · – – – · · · · · · – – – · · ·  · · · – – – · · · . Sounding like the dits and dashes of Morse code. Jumping in sync to the taps.

My old phone always was better as a camera, so I tape the phone in full display. Felt like watching the mating routine of a bird of paradise being done in interpretive dance by a smartphone. 

The noise and motion continue to repeat, switching mostly to the second dance, for another two hours. I’ve skimmed the on-line manual, been to forums and tech support Q & A. Seems I have done it again. No one has queried about a phone behaving that badly. After on and off listening, I swear it’s Zeke’s Morse code prediction.

Finally pay attention to my reminders. That’s right – HMS Titanic is sinking tonight, taking with her a chunk of my family tree. Third class, not first class, passengers. Seems they never had it so good til they got aboard ship** They would never have it any better.

I find a sound sample; a replication of the ship’s SOS (and CDQ the previous distress call for radio transmission). I keep playing the tiny sound bite. I expect my phone to ring in response. Not only do I have a snarkphone, I have a séancephone, channeling a family distress call – an SOS that’s taken over 100 years to reach me. Wonder what the Morse code is for “Hi Folks?”


Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver 50: “sending out an SOS

* see Message in a Bottle by Michael @ Morpethroad

**third class was better on the Titanic than most transatlantic crossings. 

– · – ·    – – · –    – · · CDQ;  · · · – – – · · · SOS

I’ve only seen a bit of the movie, but I definitely have heard this song a lot.


11 thoughts on “sos: continuous sequence of three dits, three dahs, and three dits

  1. julespaige January 31, 2016 / 9:19 pm

    Interesting about technology. I really enjoyed this story. I have a snarky flip phone, which isn’t at all smart. (Not that I even have it on often).Oh, wait, the phone could be smart, it’s just that I’m not…

    A few years back our paper, on one some such anniversary of the Titanic had a menu of the first night for first class… which included squab. A fancy name for pigeon. I wonder where they got the foul?

    I haven’t seen the more modern movie but I remember seeing a movie where towards the end of the film there was a couple (perhaps one of them was telling the story of surviving the incident and why) who may have seen a medium who warned them not to go on the Titanic. And they didn’t.


    • taleweavering February 3, 2016 / 10:27 pm

      I have this image on some crew member back in Liverpool with a net catching the squab on the wing. I imagine the squab/pigeons were specially raised for the occasion. Not just any pigeon could go first class on a White Star Liner. Likely mourning doves, rather than rock/city/statue pigeons on the Titanic, if not domestic.
      The Titanic movie I like is called A Night to Remember (b & w 1958) and is less sentimental and more historical than Hollywood’s later block-buster version.
      I lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia where some of the bodies from the ship are buried. There has always been interest in the ship, but the Leonardo DiCaprio movie exploded that!

      Liked by 1 person

      • julespaige February 4, 2016 / 8:39 am

        Every once in a while on the history channels I see the program where there is a bit of history about the Titanic. And how an operator in a close ship had taken a little snooze and didn’t get the S.O.S… But then there were so many who should have been more responsible.

        I never did see the DiCaprio version. Funny about the squab, but really I guess fancy food is fancy food. Why does anyone eat caviar? Or truffle mushrooms found by the snouts of trained hogs?


        • taleweavering February 4, 2016 / 5:32 pm

          True. A lot of the fancy stuff I find rather appalling for various reasons.
          Yes, the on-going study of the Titanic has raised some interesting questions. Certainly, the disaster led to major changes in safety, technology, responsibility.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. summerstommy2 January 29, 2016 / 8:19 pm

    Well a fascinating take on the prompt I have to say….in many ways I am glad I don’t have a snarkphone, mine is snarky as it is without being programed to be so… would be weird though wouldn’t after all those years getting that message…..


    • taleweavering January 30, 2016 / 6:52 pm

      When I was writing up the prompt, I thought of the idea of receiving a message from some other place or time. I’ve been thinking about the Titanic and reading about it lately, so I decided to go with SOS. Would be strange to get a morse code message in the 21st century.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Suzanne January 29, 2016 / 12:12 am

    I love the time travelling sci fi feel of this. A seance phone would be quite a device.


    • taleweavering January 29, 2016 / 4:31 pm

      Thanks, Suzanne.
      A séance phone would be interesting. I imagine someone has already incorporated into their stories/poems!
      But, phoning the past really intrigues me. Maybe I’ll write more about that.

      Liked by 1 person

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