Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Buck Stops Where?

I'm such a wimp. In my pretend world I'm a tough-as-Sally-Hanson's nails investigative reporter, holding the heinous, Earth-defiling villains and water wasters under the searing white heat of my inquisition (which nobody expects). I slash with my rapier-like pen (actually, my 5-year-old, pre-Intel PowerBook G4 laptop keyboard, but that lacks poetic umph), striking fear and shame in their hearts. I'm the genetic mutation of Woodward, Bernstein, Stevie Segal and Godzilla.

My fantasy is broken when the phone rings. The guy in charge of facilities maintenance for a major Santa Barbara institution is just getting around to returning my call.

Sweet! I can lure him in, spring the trap and feel him squirm on the other end of the phone. Now where are my questions? I had them right here. Damn! I'll try to remember off the top of my head.

"Billy, so glad I caught up to you," he says cheerfully, unaware of the impending onslaught I have planned. "I'm so sorry I didn't get back to you last week. I was up to my eyebrows in meltdowns and intended to call. Then I ran across your message and called you right away. What can I do for you, buddy?"

Buddy? The guy sounds friendly, sincere. "Too bad Jack. Justice must be served and punishment meted out. I'm on a deadline for Edhat and I need answers!" No, I didn't actually say that, but I sure was thinking it, in a gruff, cigar-chomping tone.


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