Gwnewch y pethau bychain

Amusing Out of Context Note

This morning at work, I was scanning through our tickets report to see if there were any open issues of interest to me, and the following notation on one of the workorders made me giggle uncontrollably for reasons that would probably not immediately make sense to anyone else in the office. A co-worker, indicating he was going to contact a customer to coordinate work on his cable modem plant, wrote:

“I am going to be getting with Charlie on MTA configs and upgrades later today.”

Will he ever return?


Oh, The Places You’ve Lived!


Questions and Answers


  1. Hee! Fun when that sort of juxtaposition happens. But I had gathered that the song was fairly well-known, or is it not so well-known down your way?

  2. Will he ever return?

    Maybe you’d better make an extra sandwich. Better yet--bring an extra nickel.

    • An early sign that I was actually a Vulcan came when I was first exposed to MTA as a small child. I listened to it and asked my father why Charlie’s wife didn’t put a nickel in with the sandwich so he could get off the train.

      I think I was six.

  3. I seem to be missing something here. Throw me a clue?

      • Re: See the link..

        Thank you, it makes much more sense now. I’ve never heard, or heard of, the song before this.

        • Re: See the link..

          Not just me, then. Thanks for asking. 🙂

        • Re: See the link..

          Glad to be of help.

        • Re: See the link..

          Interesting, I was thinking that I was introduced to the song via filk. But thinking about it it’s possible that I heard it via filkers — American ones in the SCA before I encountered the UK filk community. So perhaps it’s not as well known over here as I’d thought.

          I seem to remember at least one filk of it in something like the NESFA Hymnal, but again that’s probably not very well known over here. Something to dig out and do in a circle, I think…

          • Re: See the link..

            I did a quick look through the Old and New Testaments but couldn’t find anything. But then it’s late, I’m tired and I only looked at titles beginning with Charlie.

            The was, however, a rather long (12 verse) filk of it presented by the Boston In ’98 Bid at the Conadian A masquerade as a skit. It won a number of ribbons and deserved every one of them, IMHO. It’s title was “Charlie On The UFO”, and it tells the story of Charlie’s rise (fall?) from neo-fan to the pinnacle of SMOF-dom, World Con chair.

            Ann O.

          • Re: See the link..

            The Boston one (of which I seem to remember seeing a part of the lyrics, I wasn’t at the bid) was a bit late.

            But I suspect that I was thinking of Fred Small’s “Sergei in the Milky Way”, which was probably sung (when I heard it) by a filker (it came out in 1992).

      • Re: See the link..

        The Kingston Trio had a fairly big hit (at least in the US) in the late ’60s (?) with a version of it that cleaned up some of the political references. As a aging folkie, that’s where I know the song from. Later generations or folks across The Puddle may well not have heard it.

        Ann O.

      • Re: See the link..

        Which was why quite a few people were amused when Charlie Stross asked on rasfc for directions around Boston before the last Noreascon. Someone suggested the MBTA.

  4. Hah!

    Does it strike you as ominous that the pass cards for the MBTA are called Charlie Cards?

  5. You know you need to tell us what happened later or his fate will *still* be unlearned…

    (That’s one of my all-time favorite “novelty” songs, along with “The Battle of New Orleans” and Roger Miller’s “You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd”.)

  6. Bwahahaha!

    Now I’ve got the song playing through my head, thanks.

    When Karl took me to visit the area, I *had* to ride on it.

  7. Will he ever return?


    And his fate, well………………

    Just like Sergei in the Milky Way

  8. It’s sad to think that nobody else there would get the reference. Age or geography?

  9. If the function doesn’t return, does it stall? Use up all the resources (“Charlie on the CPU”)? Go into an infinite loop (named Moebius)?

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