January 18, 2009

How Many Fingers?

1) For some reason, the last few days, I have had a HUGE desire to blog in LIST form. It seems so TIDY. I would like something to be tidy. My brain is not tidy.

2) I put out a distress beacon about needing a quiet place to go DRAFT and my friend Sara, who is currently at Disneyworld with her husband and kids, gave me her whole house.

3) Not to keep. Darn it.

4) This is number four on my tidy list, I am here drafting for 4 days, and Sara has four cats. Two I have cat-crushes on, one I quite like, and one who is full of evil in a very Boggart-y way. I find four to be an EXCELLENT and SOOTHING number, be it list entries, days or most especially cats. They pile around me on the sofa when I sit and slink around my legs like furry serpents when I get up.

5) I need to know---rawther desperately, plot pointily speaking---if *69 EXISTED in 1997. The wiki is full of dateless plagiarism on this topic. I cannot discover if everyone KNEW about it and it was widely available, or if it was NEW or if it was even in place. It seems LIKELY it existed in the world because there was a BAND named Star 69 who put out an ALBUM in England in 1997. So. ASSUMING the band was named after the phone feature, it existed. In England. The band never charted, so there is little info about them, and maybe they were named after a flaming ball of gas in space and a piece of well known slang for a page of the Kama Sutra. WHO KNOWS. Not me.

6) I fail google.

7) I think that if I put the name of a city and the name of a restaurant and the word MENU into google, it should give me THAT RESTAURANT’S website FIRST, or at least on page one. But instead I have to wade through 5 pages MASSIVE corporate sites like Menuism, citymenu, usdiners etcetc ETC ETC ET CETRA ETTTTTT CETTTTRAAAA on into perpetuity, on and on, FOR PAGES AND PAGES, the first 8 of which have NO info about the Sushi place I saw on the way in where I wish to purchase a take-out dinner tonight, but instead has a PLACE HOLDER PAGE with no menu, no directions, no reviews, in fact NO info at ALL, just ADS and a plaintive and vain hope that I might like be the first person to review this place.

8) Sometimes, Google fails me.

9) Please insert your OWN nine here, or put a possible 9 for me in the comments? THANKS!

10) Because I am out of things to say, and it’s tidier to have ten.

Posted by joshilyn at January 18, 2009 2:18 PM

Yes, it existed in the US in 1997. Go here:
and scroll down to "Computer fraud in subscribing to telephone service?" The query is dated May 23, 1997 and refers to *69 as a money-making scheme for the telephone company.

Yes, my google-fu is awesome :-)

Posted by: kmkat at January 18, 2009 2:33 PM

Does it help you to know that I graduated high school in 1996, and I distinctly remember conversations revolving around *69 while I was in high school, so it is therefore safe to assume (based on my memories of high school, however safe that is) that *69 did actually exist back then?

Posted by: Stephanie at January 18, 2009 2:46 PM

It positively existed as early as 1991, because I can clearly remember using that feature when my oldest child was a wee baby and he was born that year.

Posted by: Heather Porterfield at January 18, 2009 3:01 PM

I also recall using *69 in 1997. I was in high school, and it seemed very important because what if a BOY was trying to call me but lost his nerve and hung up when I answered the phone because he was so hopelessly in Luuuuuurve with me?

That would have been a tragedy.

So, yes, there was *69, and yes, it was fairly common knowledge.

Posted by: megan at January 18, 2009 3:19 PM

REM released their song "Star 69" on the album "Monster" in the early Nineties, right? So definitely by 1997.

Posted by: Marla at January 18, 2009 4:05 PM

Another here who remembers *69 as early as 1991 and has vivid memories of using it in grad school. That would be 1991-1993, so you're way safe.

Posted by: Donna at January 18, 2009 5:01 PM

OK it weirds me out that I was about to come reply and say something about REM's Star 69, and someone else already did it - someone with my name! I guess all Marlas are cool...

Posted by: Another Marla at January 18, 2009 5:55 PM

I am 100% SURE that I used *69 myself in 1991 and therefore 99.99999% confident that it existed in 1997! So, I agree with the peanut gallery!

9) I am craving Sushi after FTK post, but am now afraid that Googling it will dash my hopes of finding it...

Posted by: bowdawg at January 18, 2009 5:59 PM

I used *69 in college for sure, from which I graduated in 1991. Also, in England it is called something else.

Posted by: Juno at January 18, 2009 6:22 PM

On the restaurant/menu thing... I have found that if I go to switchboard.com and type in the name of the restaurant and the city, the first thing that comes up is usually that restaurant's information, which includes a link to their web page / menu.

Posted by: toni at January 18, 2009 6:38 PM

I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't even know what you were talking about, the *69 thing. Guess I've never used that fone feature.

But, I can tell you that point no. 9 shouldn't be ignored! 9 is my favorite number. Or perhaps it's more accurate to say that I'm 9's favorite person. I was born on a 9, two of my three birth children were born on a 9 (the other one, impatient little thing, was born on an 8). Nine is three times three and three is an important symbolic number. Hmmmm..... now I'm thinking there's a book idea in there somewhere.... about a person and her numbers..... I'm going off to ponder.

Posted by: Laume at January 18, 2009 7:04 PM

9. *67

Posted by: jean at January 18, 2009 7:25 PM

*69 existed in the (gasp) 80's, because I remember talking about it in high school. I found this page that talk about the history of TouchStar services, which began in the 1980's, although it wasn't available everywhere. http://www.atlantatelephonehistory.info/part5.html
(I can't help myself. I passed Google, and it loves me.)

As for 9 - well, back in the 80's I listened to a song called Kiss Off, by the Violent Femmes, and if I remember correctly 9 was for a lost god. Or a floss job, if you were a teenager with bad hearing. I forget what 8 was for.

Posted by: Sandi at January 18, 2009 10:09 PM

I am very embarassed to admit this but when I first read this neat and tidy list and got to number 5... I missed the *. It's imparative to notice the * in number 5 - otherwise one's mind read's like this "I need to know---rawther desperately, plot pointily speaking---if 69 EXISTED in 1997" and one's mind jumps into the gutter and answer's like this "uh, yeah... I know FOR SURE it existed LONG before 1997"

Posted by: Rene at January 19, 2009 12:16 AM

um. Yeah. I'm with Rene. PAY ATTENTION TO THE STAR part of your request. 69 existed. Couldn't care less about the star part ;-).

Posted by: kathy n at January 19, 2009 12:23 AM

Yeah, I was a little with Rene, then when I figured out your question, I was calculating where I was on the childbirthing order in 1997, while all of your readers were, like, figuring out, like, how cool they were in high school? Oh, dude... I am WAY old...

Posted by: Sarah S. at January 19, 2009 12:35 AM

I'm with Rene, I missed the * part, too. I'm thinking, "How sheltered is Joshilyn that she thinks maybe 69 wasn't around until the late 90s?" But, oh yeah, *69, phone thing. Got it now. Sure.

Posted by: Becca at January 19, 2009 1:37 AM

9) Is take-out sushi safe?

Posted by: nik at January 19, 2009 6:41 AM

My husband thinks I'm the Google queen, but that #7 gets me every time. I find it extremely irksome!

I'm so half asleep I didn't even remember to be a perv with the *69, I accidentally thought of some baseball movie (which was actually 61*)

But maybe I used up my 10-year-old-boy-perviness last night guffawing over a "King Kaulk" advertisement in a magazine (you have to read the choice bits out loud to properly appreciate them)!

Posted by: Brigitte at January 19, 2009 7:47 AM

OMG, I thought I was the only one who thought 69 instead of *69! Hahahaha!

Posted by: Caren at January 19, 2009 2:41 PM

Oh yeah, another one of those high schoolers here, who thought *69 was the awesomest thing in 1997.

Hope you got some take out sushi. I lurve me some good sushi.

Posted by: Lindsey at January 19, 2009 2:54 PM

OK, I am very glad others have replied to this to confirm the *69 point. Because *69 doesn't 'work' as a phone thing in England - we do 1571 - and I really couldn't tell you if that had been invented by 1997...

Posted by: Frankie at January 19, 2009 5:26 PM

Well, thanks to a high school stalker (I graduated in 1998, if that helps), I do know that it was indeed around in 1997. And before that. As you already know, but since you helped dredge up the memory, I wanted something good to come from it. *winks*

Posted by: jess at January 19, 2009 7:05 PM

I am so glad I decided to de-lurk! I was going to assure you about the *69 thing, instead I'm the one finding reassurance... I'm not the only one with my mind in the gutter!

Posted by: Tina at January 19, 2009 7:07 PM

I am singing from the Life of Brian...because when ever I come here I leave in a joyous mood.

Posted by: Cele at January 19, 2009 10:21 PM

I was going to wow you with my uber-librarian skillz and find you verified, citation-worthy proof for the existence of *69 in 1997. Alas, not needed.

I am going to put my pajamas back on and go back to bed now.

and I am so psyched that you are writing another book. write faster! (is that helpful?)

Posted by: babelbabe at January 21, 2009 12:15 PM