It’s time to wish the Sound of the Beep a fond farewell.
We started running the Sound of the Beep at The Rhinoceros Times in the mid 1990s. I had read an article about a newspaper hooking up an answering machine to a phone line and transcribing the results to the delight of its readers. I called up the editor to find out if there was more to it than that. He said that there wasn’t and warned me that for a month or two we’d be inundated with calls but then the calls would dwindle down to a couple a week.
He was right about being inundated with calls, but wrong about the dwindling down part. We thought when we had a website where people could comment it would kill the Beep, but that didn’t do it either.
I know that for years we had to run at least 2,500 words of Beep a week or the next week the Beep would be full of angry calls about not running enough Beep.
With all the work we put in writing and editing articles, it is painful to admit that for a lot of people the Beep was always their favorite part of the Rhino.
So the Beep survived a lot longer than it should have, but without a print edition there isn’t much reason to continue to have a call-in line and as that editor predicted the calls have dwindled down to nearly nothing, it just took a couple of decades longer than he estimated.
I would like to thank all the callers to the Beep over the years, you know who you are and we thank you for letting us know how you really felt. And I would like to offer a special thanks to the Independent Thinker and say hello to Otis who’s been saying hello to me for years.