When I was a summer associate, the group of us played a practical joke on one of the team (we loved her - and she is still there - so all's good). All we did was sit at her desk and send a note to the whole office - some 450 people - with some pithy, gushy missive. That sympathetic mortification you're feeling is well placed. So she did what she thought one ought to do - she recalled the message. That's when the gag became an even more awesome practical joke. While everyone got one more message that said, "So and so would like to recall...", she got a receipt from every. single. person. Thank god it was our last day - she got zero done as her Outlook slogged through message after message after message.
And after all that, not a single message was actually recalled. People just got both the actual and "recall" message. It's like MS wanted to give the ability to express your regret to your fellow users and thought it warranted a misleadingly named feature.
Well, as in all things mail, Gmail has rectified this - adding an Undo feature. You have 5 seconds (up-able to 10) to hit undo. Oh, and the service also searches the email for words like "attach" and alerts you if the message you are sending has no attachment.