Wednesday, January 14, 2004

We Get a Call From Tom DeLay

So there we were last night, trying to decide whether to watch the next-to-last installment of The Simple Life or go to a night meeting with the wind howling over the chimneytops, and the phone rings and a woman asks for me and I say hello, and she says stay on the line for an important message from Tom Delay, who comes on in a pre-recorded message about how his recent polling shows that if the election were held today Democrats would badly beat Republicans in the House and the Senate and that he therefore needs loyal Republicans like me to immediately mortage the homestead and send all the money to his committee to keep the liberals from taking over the country and ending civilization as we know it.

As he's winding down in his spiel, Mr. Delay asks me to please stay on the line to speak to my next handler, who will have some important polling questions to ask me, because the Republican Congressional Committee so very much appreciates and -- yes -- depends on my input ... leading up to -- I assumed -- a pitch for that mortage money. So being the ever obedient Republican that I am, I stayed on the line, and a nice young man who just sounded like a nice young man with a close shave, a blue tie, and a matching blue pocket square asked me if I heard Representative Delay all right, and I said I heard him very clearly. And so he asked if I would be willing to answer a couple of questions. And I said I sure would be willing, even eager. And he asked did I like the direction that President Bush and the Republican House and Senate were taking the country.

Well, now, you don't get an opening like that every night, not when the wind is howling over the chimneytops.

And I said I was not at all happy. And he asked why, the lilt in his voice wilting just a little. And I said, "We're supposed to be the party of small government, so what the hell are we doing passing a budget-busting, deficit-growing Medicare bill." And he said, weakly, "Okay. Anything else?"

So I said, "And this immigration proposal the president is pushing. What're we gonna do ... just throw open the borders to everybody so Wal-Mart can have cheap labor to mop their floors?"

And it got real quiet. So I said, following the lead of every morning caller into C-SPAN, "And another thing--"

And the young man interrupted. "Thank you for participating in our poll." And he hung up, apparently forgetting to ask me for all my money to save the world from liberals.

For my part, I had a very good time (though I missed the opening minutes of The Simple Life).

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