Letter from the Editor

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Big Brother is - um -listening

Phone's for me? It better not be Congressman Foley playing me those Barry White clips again. Did it sound like a bill collector or a Viagra salesperson or a candidate for the board of supervisors? Could you tell them I'm out? Could you tell them I've lost my voice? Could you tell them I've been deported?

Oh, okay, I'll get it.

Yo, it's your dime... speak to me, Ex-Lax, and make it snappy.


Oh, sorry honey! Nobody told me it was you. No, no, I'm NOT especially eager to sleep on the sofa until spring arrives.

Yeah, yeah, sure I can stop at the grocery store on the way home from work. Pop-Tarts... check... apples... okay... Aw, honey, you know the check-out boys laugh at me when I buy those feminine hygiene products! What's that, mouthwash isn't just a feminine product? Well, who knew?

What else? Pizza - pepperoni, cheese, veggie, what?

"Try the barbeque. You see, that stuff is good. Real good."

Honey, when did your voice get so deep? And since when do you have a Texican accent? And you hate barbecue...

"Whoa there. Hate barbecue? That's just plain unAmerican!"

Hey, I know that voice. George W. Bush, is that you on the line?

"Oh shoot... did it again... Nope, this is not me. I'm not on the line. Nope."

C'mon, Mr. President, this is the third time this week. First you interrupted an important phone interview I was doing with Paris Hilton's chihuahua, and then you butted in when I was calling Melanders to ask if their refrigerators were running, so that I could scream 'You better go catch them' into the phone. You know how I love that.

"Alright, heh heh, it's me. But call me G-Dub. Now that I have the Homeland Security power to listen to everyone's phone calls, you and me are going to get to know each other real well. Heck, I have you calling Terrell Owens' Psychic Hotline downloaded on my i-Pod."

Never mind that, George. Why are you eavesdropping on me? Since puberty, my phone calls just haven't been that interesting. Half of the time, I'm not even listening to them myself.


No, honey, no! I didn't mean I wasn't listening when you're talking at - um I mean to - me. I didn't know you were still on the line. Say hey to George.

"Whoa there. Little lady doesn't need to say a word. Why, I've been listening to her on the phone gossiping about her co-workers over at St. Mary's. Darned if those student teachers don't get up to some fascinating stuff."

Look George, what about privacy? What about the Constitution? What about the strange rash - tell me you weren't listening when I was describing that to Doc Archer?

"Shoot son, I get the same thing when I'm all sweaty ridin' my mountain bike around the ranch, y' know. You might want to get some cream on that, Pronto. I tried to tell Ted Kennedy to get some Gold Bond, but he doesn't listen, and have you seen him walk lately? Looks like a three-legged mule at an uphill rodeo. Heh heh."

But George, I've got rights.

"Rights? I'll tell you about rights... It's my right to find out where all those Weapons of Mass Destruction are at. You got any of them over there in Lakeside? Huh?"

No, I don't think so. Although my son has been known to clear an entire block when he gets gas. And I suppose you could count my wife's cooking.


Dear! No! I didn't know you were still on the line! No, wait, don't put the Underdog sheets on the sofa for me! I was making a WMD joke! I was just going to say that your wonderful Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Surprise could put a smile on even the face of an international terrorist!

"Whoa - terrorist? Did you say terrorist? You got Osama eating supper over on Lakeshore Drive, boy?"

*Sigh* No, George, I don't have any terrorists at my house. My daughter gets pretty cranky when she has a bad hair day, though.

"Well, you better watch it. You can just call me George Orwell W. Bush, and this big brother is definitely watching, er, um, listening like it's 1984. Do you hear me son?"

Yeah George, how can I help but hear you? You're on the danged phone every time I pick up to order Honey-Kissed pizza.

"Shoot, do they have barbecue over there? You just can't get decent barbecue east of Crawford. It's a gol-darned conspiracy."

I'm sure they do, George. I'll see if they can put some in the mail for you and your Dad, George Orwell Bush the First.

"That's darned decent of you, boy. And just to show there's no hard feelings, I'll erase that call you made to order Girls Gone Wild on Sulphur Springs."

Um, that must have been the sports crew using my phone.

"Right, that's what they all say, skippy. Heh heh."

I wish you'd stop it George.

"Heh heh. We'll y'all are always saying you want a government that listens to the people. You've got one now."

Well, good luck with the war on terror thing. I hope you hear something interesting, George. And oh yeah, goodnight honey.

"Whoa, now... this ain't Brokeback Mountain..."

George, I wasn't talking to YOU on that one...


Goodnight dear. Goodnight George. Goodnight, whoever might be listening in. Goodnight John Boy...

"Shoot, sleep tight, son... I'll be talking, er, listening, to you tomorrow..."

Yeah, and that's exactly why I can't sleep...