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<   No. 646   2004-11-02   >

Comic #646

1 {scene: The Joneses and Sallah are taking a break by the side of the road.}
1 Prof. Jones: Look, there's one way to settle this. Sallah, call Berlin and ask where Colonel Haken is currently assigned.
1 Sallah: Yes, professor! {walks off to find a phone}
2 Monty: Don't be ridiculous, dad! You can't just phone the Nazi High Command and ask where their officers are conducting top secret missions!
3 Monty: The very idea is preposterous! Only a complete idiot would fall for a ploy as transparent and patently absurd as that.
4 Sallah: {returning} Santorini!
4 Prof. Jones: Never underestimate the stupidity of a Nazi, Junior.

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They've obviously pulled up for a rest stop near a telephone somewhere...

2013-11-21 Rerun commentary: It's interesting watching old movies, as in made before the 1990s, where if people want to contact someone they need to find a phone booth. I was struck by this especially when recently rewatching On Her Majesty's Secret Service, in which a critical scene takes place where James Bond has to race to find a phone booth to report the villain's plans back to MI-5 headquarters. Nowadays of course he'd simply pull out his phone from his pocket. (Assuming they're not already tracking him and hearing everything around him from a tiny microphone implanted in his ear or something.)

EDIT: Reader Alec C. provides the following historical information:

In the late 50s and early 60s, when the UK had acquired a nuclear deterrent, there was some discussion as to how the Prime Minister could order a retaliatory attack if he was in his car, travelling across the country (and presumably hearing about the attack on the broadcast radio). There was a suggestion that they should try to join the networks of the national auto breakdown organisations, at the time the only ones which had nation-wide two way radio networks. However, in they end they decided just to ensure that the PM's chauffeur always had enough coins to make a call from a coin box [phone]. So Bond was hardly on his own.

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