Saturday, April 21, 2012

"Capitol Call: Part Three"


c. 2012 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

My friend Ezekiel Byler-Gregg, of the Burton Daily Bugle, is a rowdy fellow.

I have written here in the past about his recovery from financial woes that came in part because of the nation's 2008 economic meltdown.

Ezekiel seemed to find a sense of calm after calling the White House, and lodging a long-distance protest with one of the switchboard operators over his tax situation, last year.

But recently, my old friend became irritated again, after negotiating to rebuild his credit standing with a local bank.

What follows here is a transcript of his latest rant-by-wire:

OPERATOR - "May I help you?"

EZEKIEL - "This is Ezekiel Byler-Gregg. I am calling from Burton, Ohio."

OPERATOR - "Good morning. How may I direct your call?"

EZEKIEL - "I would like to speak to the president, please."

OPERATOR - "Who?"

EZEKIEL - "President Obama, please."

OPERATOR - "Sir, you can't just call and speak to the president..."

EZEKIEL - "Miss, we are not talking about a king here. Our president was elected by a big ol' majority of voters. Therefore he is subject to us, not the other way around."

OPERATOR - "Mr. Gregg, I think you are confused."

EZEKIEL - "Ahem! That's Byler-Gregg!"

OPERATOR - "There is no need to shout, sir."

EZEKIEL - "Elected officials serve the people in America. Haven't you ever read our constitution?"

OPERATOR - "Mr. Gregg, you need to calm down."

EZEKIEL - "I want to speak with President Obama about the banking situation that faces everyday Americans. Recently, I tried to re-establish my credit standing after the meltdown of '08. It literally involved a process of begging and groveling before the people who supervised our country's financial collapse. I have to prove, longterm, that I possess the discipline to use a line of credit. Do you think Goldman Sachs had to do any of that? How about AIG, or General Motors? Didn't they all effectively prove their own incompetence with financial matters? Isn't that why the government had to bail them out? Why don't they have to prove anything to us, the American people?"

OPERATOR - "Sir, I answer telephone calls. Not questions about the government."

EZEKIEL - "Then let me speak to the president."

OPERATOR - "You can't do that, Mr. Gregg."

EZEKIEL - "Byler-Gregg, dang it!"

OPERATOR - "Sir, you need to control your temper."

EZEKIEL - "I am a citizen of the republic! Of course I can talk to my elected officials! Whoever they are!"

OPERATOR - "Wait... do you work for Fox News? Those people are crazy..."

EZEKIEL - "I am a newspaper editor from Burton, Ohio."

OPERATOR - "Someone from the Rick Santorum campaign, then? I know they are desperate for media attention..."

EZEKIEL - "I am a journalist. And a patriot!"

OPERATOR - "And I am a switchboard operator. So, how may I direct your call?"

EZEKIEL - (Clearing his throat) "President Obama, please."

OPERATOR - Sir, we've already had this conversation."

EZEKIEL - "Yes we have."

OPERATOR - "Very well then. Have a good day, Mr. Gregg..."

EZEKIEL - "WAIT! DON'T HANG UP ON ME!"

OPERATOR - "Sir, there is no point in continuing this conversation."

EZEKIEL - "Miss, our president ain't like Vladimir Putin of Russia. He can't be a monarch or a dictator. He is a public servant."

OPERATOR - "You are skilled at stating the obvious, sir."

EZEKIEL - "He's an official placed in power by a democratic vote. So I want to ask him why he has been willing to hand free money to banking institutions, while regular people like myself are forced to jump through hoops to survive?"

OPERATOR - "The president inherited a gigantic mess, sir. He is trying to repair the damage done by his predecessor."

EZEKIEL - "And feed us all cowpies in the process! Not one banker or insurance mogul received discipline for ruining the country's financial system. Instead, they have all been coddled while average people like me struggle to get our houses in order."

OPERATOR - "I will make a note of your comment, sir. Have a good day..."

EZEKIEL - "No, no, no! Wait!!"

OPERATOR - "Did you have another question, Mr. Gregg?"

EZEKIEL - "I want to know why President Obama claims to represent Main Street over Wall Street, when his actions clearly favor those of wealth and privilege, like most other folks in Washington?"

OPERATOR - "Please! Would you rather have Mitt Romney as president? He's obviously a big-business millionaire."

EZEKIEL - "Miss, I voted for Ron Paul in the Ohio Republican primary."

OPERATOR - (Snickering) "Even Fox News doesn't like Ron Paul. He's a perennial loser."

EZEKIEL - "Loser? I think not. He is a genuine conservative."

OPERATOR - "I will add that to your comment. Thank you..."

EZEKIEL - "Wait! I still want to chew the fat with our president."

OPERATOR - "Sir, for the last time, you can't speak to President Obama."

EZEKIEL - "I want to ask why he talks like a working class hero, while tipping his hat to the same ol' crowd of Washington fatcats! Who'd want to vote for a rascal like that?"

OPERATOR - "Wake up and smell the coffee, Mr. Gregg! Our president is going to be re-elected, if for no other reason, because his eventual opponent will be someone Americans trust even less than himself."

EZEKIEL - (Sighing loudly) "I give up. Just tell Big O that I called."

OPERATOR - "Very well. Have a good day, sir!"

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