By Ben Welter
When you were a teen, stuck at home with the flu or the measles, how did you pass the time? I read a lot of books and watched a lot of TV and drank a lot of flat 7-Up. The 15-year-old lad topping this Minneapolis Star account of boys gone wild dialed a lot of telephone numbers — AND EARNED A TRIP TO THE PSYCHIATRIST.
‘LOVE THY NEIGHBOR …’
Boys Will Do Some Funny Things
|March 1943: This industrious young man at Dunwoody Institute demonstrated the proper use of a phone when you’re bored: Take it apart. (Photo courtesy mnhs.org)|
Boredom and the pangs of thwarted puppy love today had put two Minneapolis residents on record as the most annoyed individuals on earth, a la telephone.
One of these is Mrs. H.N. Buesen, 3856 Thirty-seventh avenue S.
At 11 a.m. yesterday, her doorbell and telephone started to ring. The telephone callers wanted to verify orders for various commodities phoned in for her to commercial houses.
The door callers came with deliveries of diverse articles ALL UNORDERED BY HER.
During the day, she told police, she clocked 75 liquor deliveries, six chow mein deliveries, 35 deliveries of coal or fuel oil, 10 grocery orders, three radio trucks, two refrigerator trucks and a tow car.
By the end of the day she was verging on nervous prostration, but no amount of mental effort could conjure up the name of anyone who would want to pull a trick like that on an unsuspecting neighbor.
Finally she had a thought. The 15-year-old son of a neighboring family had been home from school that day with illness. Police called on him.
HE DENIED EVERYTHING.
In the home telephone directory, however, they found a page had been creased – in the classified section listing liquor stores.
HE ADMITTED MAKING THE CALLS.
He had the friendliest of feelings toward his victim, he said, and didn’t want to cause any trouble.
But he simply had telephonitis and was bored stiff after being in the house three or four days.
He appeared before Lieut. Magni Palm, juvenile officer, today and was turned over to the child guidance clinic for an examination by a psychiatrist.
The other victim was the father of a girl who had been wooed by a pair of ardent young swains. He told her to tell them not to hang around any more. They didn’t, but they wanted to get even.
THEY ORDERED A TON OF COAL SENT TO HIS HOUSE. THE FATHER SENT IT BACK. A PLUMBER ANSWERED A RUSH CALL TO THE HOME AND WAS SENT BACK. NEXT TO APPEAR WAS A PIANO TUNER.
By this time the father was wise.
The two young men were picked up and reprimanded. Their joke, they were told, didn’t affect the father so much as it did the merchants and artisans, innocent victims.
|November 1940: Loading up a Great Lakes Coal & Dock Co. truck. (Photo courtesy mnhs.org)|