This morning at work, we were talking about Thanksgiving and one of my teammates forwarded a story about the Butterball Turkey Talk Line. For 35 years this enterprising group of Butterball employees has been answering turkey-related questions from consumers every holiday season, helping ensure that John Q. Public hosts a successful Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. It’s a great service they’re providing, and sheds light on just how idiotic some people are. (Sample question: can I put edible glitter in the spice rub? The answer is yes, but the bigger question is, why would you?) Anyway. The article included the following photograph.
We were looking at that and remarking about how dated it was.
“How dated is it?” Deb asked.
“Very,” I replied.
But I found that answer rather lacking for my tastes. I’m a researcher, after all. I seek answers, and was sure I could determine exactly how dated this photo was. So I put my detective hat on and got to work. OK, I suppose detectives don’t actually wear hats unless they are named Sherlock Holmes, but that’s beside the point. Flush with excitement over this new challenge, I set about the task of figuring out the year this photo was taken.
First, I zoomed in on the picture, making it as large as I could. I carefully observed the tiniest of details, certain they contained the clues necessary to decoding this mystery. The calculator was timeless and the highlighter told me nothing. It was impossible to read the contents of the binder. The sweaters, while a fashion no-no, could have been hand-me-downs. Then I noticed the calendar on the wall. It was November, and the 1st was a Saturday. Aha! This was something I could work with.
A little bit of internet sleuthing showed me that the most recent occurrence of a first of November landing on a Saturday was in 2014. One look at those computers – IBMs, I noted – not to mention all that freakin’ yellow, made it obvious this photo was taken much earlier than 2014. There were three other years with a Saturday, November 1 in which computers were commonly used: 2003, 1997, and 1986. I ruled out 2003 for similar technological and fashion-related reasons. Deb guessed 1986, but I was skeptical. I had a computer in ’86 and it was nowhere near as fancy as this one. You can clearly see the text on the monitor is blue and yellow. Back in the mid ’80s you were stuck with green on black (or possibly black and white). Just to be sure, I Googled “IBM computer 1986.” Sure enough, the images that popped up depicted considerably less sophisticated computers. Guess what popped up when I changed my search to 1997? This computer. So, I had cracked the code and solved an ages-old (err…ten minutes, anyway) mystery. Through my deductive line of reasoning, I determined that the above photograph was taken in November, 1997.
Maybe I’m in the wrong line of work?
Word Count Today: 1,187.
Total Word Count: 29,905.