She was, indeed, a smooth operator

Posted on April 30, 2006

It turns out that the first paragraph of my book is a fraud! You would probably think this is a bad thing, but it seems to keep the media running toward Dan Brown and Kaavya Viswanathan, so maybe I should try to publicize this as well. The only problem is that I didn't lift passages from my favorite author or pretend to invent a biblical conspiracy. I just made up something that never happened on "Andy Griffith."

Juanita from New Albany, Ind,. writes: "I have just read the first paragraph of your book 'The Developers.' There is a glaring error which I have to correct before I continue to the second paragraph. As an 'Andy Griffith' show addict, having seen all the episodes numberous times, I must correct you ... there never was an image of a human phone operator or a switchboard. The phone operator was Sarah, who was never seen, and neither was a switcboard. Now, with that settled, I'll try the second paragraph."

And she's right! Sarah was never pictured on the show. So maybe Matt must have been thinking about a different show, or old footage of a telephone company. I've seen probably three-fourths of every "Andy Griffith" episode, and until Juanita made that comment, it never even struck me that it didn't occur. If you don't know what I'm talking about, here's the first paragraph of "The Developers:"

On occasion, Matt wished some technologies, like telephony, had never advanced. He envisioned the days where human operators had to make call connections, plugging wires in a Battleship-like board that covered a wall the size of South Carolina. Not that Matt was old enough to ever witness one in action; the only images he had of a working model were from "Andy Griffith" reruns.

Of course, if you insert the word "mental" right before "images," maybe that would give the paragraph a better understanding. Maybe we'll have a vote to see if it's worth rewording. Until then, I'm going to attempt to find the old switchboard footage.