Flashback: Have A Cow, G.I.!

“American troops in Saudi Arabia have been listening with amusement to Baghdad Betty, Iraq’s version of Tokyo Rose, who tries to demoralize them with her radio broadcasts. In one monologue, she warned them that their wives back home were sleeping with ‘famous movie stars,’ including Tom Cruise, Arnold Schwarzenegger and even Bart Simpson….” David Ellis

Flashback: Have A Cow, G.I.!Time, 1991)

I have used this anecdote in my tech writing class, so I was surprised to read on Snopes that this particular joke comes from a Johnny Carson skit (though Carson’s list of names was different). The joke was spread in late 1990, via the Usenet group rec.humor.funny, in a post that claimed “This was reported by an American serviceman in the Middle East and picked up by the Clarinet news service.” There really was a Baghdad Betty, who was famous for not quite getting American culture right.

The above article is from the Time.com archive, which shows you the above 53-word blurb and then offers to sell you the full article, which, the page informs me, is 53 words long. So, what will I get for my $2.50? Not much, I guess.

Far more annoying is the fact that, when you hit the “go back” button, you get a pop-up window that reads, “Don’t pass up on this opportunity to sign up for the TIME archive and read the article you selected.” How many people, after already signaling their lack of interest in purchasing the article by clicking “go back”, are going to change their minds because the “go back” button spawns a pop-up?