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Xavier Perez-Pons

GHOSTLY PHONE CALLS

Cleveland, 1881. Mrs. Sonja Smith tries to call her sister on the phone, but an interference occurs and instead she gets in touch with Napoleon Bonaparte. Le Petit Caporal explains to her the strategy he has in mind to face the Battle of Waterloo. Mrs. Smith is so shocked, she can hardly talk; she merely gives him some advice regarding the arrangement of the artillery and hangs up. Afterwards, she tells the tabloids but no one believes her. However, Alexander Graham Bell shows interest in the news and confesses that his primal intention in inventing the telephone was to communicate with ghosts. While people become apprehensive of telephoning lest some ghost get on the phone, Mr. Bell moves to Mrs. Smith’s house hoping to communicate again with “the Little Corporal”. He calls Mrs. Smith’s sister over and over again and again, until she gets fed up and unplugs the telephone. At that moment the bell of the device rings. Mr. Bell acts quickly: he picks up the handset and exclaims: “At your service mon petit general!”. Indeed, it’s Napoleon, but the little corporal is extremely cross with Mrs. Smith. French artillery has been disintegrated as a result of having followed her advices. He adds that he’ll be filing a lawsuit, and slams the phone down.

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