In what would otherwise be filed under “Is Real Or Is It The Onion?”, The Worcester Telegram’s Sid McKeen proves to be just outside of Just Farr A Laugh’s target demo, the decrepit columnist bemoaning a “disgustingly obscene” prank call he received from “a very young girl, maybe 10 or 11 at the most.”

Probably it™s not so surprising when you consider what coarse fare passes for humor in the media that surround kids today. The many references to sexual and scatological functions and the sniggling double entendres that pop up even on prime-time television surely have an impact on impressionable young minds.

When I was a preteen, we were not above playing games with strangers over the telephone ourselves, but in retrospect our little dialogues were as innocent as Snow White compared with today™s lewdness.

One of our favorite ploys was to dial a local drugstore and inquire sweetly, œDo you have Prince Albert in a can? (That was the name of a popular pipe tobacco in the days when smoking was regarded as something less than a capital offense). œYes, a clerk would respond. To which, we would shout in triumphant glee, œWell, let him out!

We considered that hilarious, the height of one-upmanship, and we™d double up with laughter at our witty tour de force.

It seemed funny at the time. You had to be there, of course.

The call I got last week didn™t strike me as funny in any way. Sick, I™d call it, a sick sign of the times.