Dead Trees and Ink

22 04 2013



Suspicious Package Near Hospital Was Box Of Phone Books

A suspicious package that forced the evacuations of two medical buildings near St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Monday morning in Belleville turned out to be just a box of phone books.

Belleville Police Chief Bill Clay says a little after 8:00am Monday a worker noticed the package just outside the door of the Medical Arts Building near the hospital on South Third.

Belleville police were called in and they requested the assistance of the bomb squad from the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.

Experts arrived on the scene, x-rayed the device and found it to have no explosives. The box was then opened to reveal the phone books.

Apparently the phone books were delivered by a special courier over the weekend and because of that nobody knew about them.

Nobody was hurt and everyone was allowed back into the buildings about 11:30am.

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital was itself never evacuated.

I can understand why people would see phone books and wonder what the hell they are.  So I’ll clue you in:

Once upon a time, before Ye Olde Internets, there used to have to be big printed books with the addresses and phone numbers of both people/residences and businesses listed in alphabetical order.  What was even more strange is that residential listings were printed on off-white paper and called “white pages,” and business listings were printed on yellow paper and called “yellow pages.”  Complicating things even further, the book called “white pages” had a special section called “blue pages” where the listings for government offices in the area were printed on blue paper.

When our house got the St. Louis white pages once a year, I would always look up the last residential listing.  In almost all editions, one Zebo Zzzent with an Arnold address was the final listing.  One year, though, there were two listings ahead of his or hers (I’m presuming “Zebo” is a man’s name).  However, now that phone books have gone the way of the passenger pigeon for the most part, that little tradition of my childhood and early adulthood is gone with it.



9 responses

22 04 2013

Arnold…you’re barking my language.

I too once did this, looking at the end of the white pages. Since Zebo Zzzent is here in Arnold, one day out of curiosity I went down the street where it claims “he” lives. While there is a house of the listed street address, I get the feeling that there’s no such person with that name living at that address. Because it doesn’t look like the kind of house where someone named “Zebo Zzzent” would live.

22 04 2013

Belleville is 80% white? This is odd behavior by white people. It’s black people that see a box and runaway saying “Massa, massa, I scared”, just as in the manner that all black people in the post office wear blue gloves.

And yes, phone books used to be a great reference.

22 04 2013

By now it has to be half black. It’s basically the new ESL.

22 04 2013

Wiki had 2010 stats. That fast?

22 04 2013

Wiki’s 2010 stats are wrong, IMHO.

22 04 2013
22 04 2013

Yes, but that only lists Belleville as 25% black. It seems way more than that to me.

Maybe the reason Belleville seems more black than it actually is is because blacks tend to make themselves more visible and ostentatious while whites don’t. And, TNB on the streets forces the whites to stay inside.

22 04 2013

What? Whites don’t like peacocks?

23 04 2013
Jill Parish

We still get Phone books in Novi, MI. with white, yellow and blue pages. However, they are wrapped in plastic so we don’t need to call the bomb squad:) Just couldn’t help myself with this non-intellectual comment.

It's your dime, spill it. And also...NO TROLLS ALLOWED~!

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