Searching for a Fax Machine in the Air Conditioner Factory

NB: Paper Cut Flophouse was a group blog that ran in the late aughts. Most posts were written by two contributors: me, using the pseudonym Roman Briton, and my friend Pompeston, the mastermind of the endeavor. This is a cross-posting of a post I originally wrote for PCFH; here’s a link to the original.

I wanted to find out if a particular phrase a friend made use of the other day had actually originated with a particular artist or not. The following is a loose sampling of the results Google returned to me:

Sometimes I’m reminded of a postcard I saw long ago. It was a sort of Lichtenstein, pop-comic-book style card. There was a woman talking on the phone, and she was saying, “Oh my God, I forgot to have children.” When I was twenty, a friend gave me a T-shirt bearing a comic strip frame of a glamorous woman weeping dramatically, over the caption “I can’t believe I forgot to have children.” You know that illustration with a stylish woman talking on the phone, saying, “Oh my God, I forgot to have children”? There is a funny cartoon of a middle-aged woman, hand to head, exclaiming, “Oops, I forgot to have children.” It was one of those 1950s cartoons of a glamorous brunette, with a speech bubble saying: “I can’t believe I forgot to have children.” It is kind of like the Roy Lichtenstein cartoon-style painting, which is of a woman on a bus, and she says in a balloon over her head: “Oh no, I forgot to have children!” And one day I suddenly realized that T-shirt where the woman says “Oh my God, I forgot to have children” was me. Headlines like “Hey, I forgot to have children!” cause some of our listeners to hyperventilate. Others have seen the cartoon of the woman exclaiming, “Oops, I forgot to have children,” and decided it wasn’t such a joke. The cartoon of a crying woman saying “Oh my God, I forgot to have children” is more applicable than ever. Charlotte: But we’re 38! These are the years. Carrie: Yes, I know, I’ve heard. I’m running out of time. I don’t even have time to eat this cookie. Charlotte: How is it? Carrie: It’s so good I forgot to have children.

And I have realized that the Web is only as reliable as our own memories, only as smart as our own minds, only as good as our own senses of responsibility and codes of ethics; and therefore, I have concluded that we are all doomed to hell.