George S. Kaufman wrote the following, which was published in the February 22, 1958, issue of The New Yorker.
When Your Honey's on the Telephone
Well, now, that's a nice sentimental title, isn't it? So -- are we all ready for a glowing story about this darling girl, and how she calls you up on the telephone, and an hour later, dripping darlingness, you hang up in a blaze of glucose, and your whole day is made, and everything is absolutely wonderful from then on?
All right. Now, do you want the facts? The facts are that I am very fond of honey, and I have it for breakfast now and then, and the telephone often rings while I'm eating it -- my number is quite a lot like that of Mt. Sinai Hospital, and a voice generally says, "Give me the maternity ward" -- and while I am taking the phone off the cradle, the wire dangles over the honey saucer just close enough to pick up the merest daub of honey, and from then on everything is not exactly wonderful at all. In fact, it's plain hell.
What follows is not wasteful so far as honey is concerned, because a microscopic amount of honey is enough to do it all. Once a speck of honey gets on the telephone wire, it does the work of a whole bevy of bees, if bees and bevies go together.
One morning in my early and innocent days, I made a quick effort to wipe the honey off the wire, but that was a great mistake. An infinitesimal amount of honey -- hardly any, mind you -- having thus got on my fingers, it quickly transferred itself to the telephone instrument, and from then on there was no way out. Dialling a number a few minutes later, I managed to get just the merest bit of honey -- almost none at all, really -- into most of those little dial holes, thus rendering the telephone useless for the next eight to ten years, or until they invent something to supersede the dial. Then, taking up a fork to finish my eggs, I transferred the merest molecule of honey to the fork. Picking up my coffee cup, I got a very little bit on the cup handle. At this point, I went into the bathroom and washed my hands, first getting just the smallest speck of honey on the bathroom doorknob. When I came back and took up the fork again, there was the honey, on my fingers. I now had the whole breakfast tray taken away and a new breakfast prepared, with new forks and coffee cups and everything. Then I washed my hands and started all over. But the telephone rang again -- they wanted Rupert's Brewery this time -- and I took up the receiver and there was still just the smallest amount of honey on it, and so I got it on the fork again, and when I started to drink my coffee it got on the cup handle again, so I decided there was no use eating breakfast at all that morning. So I began to get dressed, and just the smallest amount of honey got on my trouser belt, so I undressed and took a bath, and when I came out, all clean, I closed the door of the bathroom after me, and there was just this little bit of honey on the doorknob ...
Well, you get the idea. There was only one thing to do. I had the telephone taken out, and I moved to a new apartment. So nowadays, if I have honey for breakfast, I save time by just moving to a new apartment right away.