"We are not mining or trolling through the personal lives of innocent Americans."
— President George W. Bush, May 11, 2006
PHONE TRANSCRIPT NO. 1:
WOMAN'S VOICE: Hello?
CALLER: Is this Judy Moskowitz?
WV: Yes, it is. How can I help you?
C: The Judy Moskowitz who went to high school with Steve Schneider? The one who dated him for about three months when he was in a band called White Lightning? The one he later found out was leaving gift-wrapped lingerie in his drummer's locker, with notes reading, "I'll only wear this for you"? That Judy Moskowitz?
WV: JUST WHAT IN THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?
C: I am neither mining nor trolling.
WV: Excuse me???!!
C: I want you to know, Judy, that by calling you today, I am in no way compromising our nation's privacy. I've simply realized that it's in everyone's best interest if I compile a database with the contact numbers of anyone who has ever put my dick in the dirt. Do you own a cell phone?
WV: Why, you little —
C: Please don't think, Judy, that this is some sort of scattershot campaign that holds the potential to disrupt millions of lives. I've deliberately restricted my field of investigation to an extremely narrow roster of aging skanks. But this country has been wounded, Judy — perhaps me more than anyone — and we all have a sworn duty to do whatever we can to protect ourselves in the future. So I'm going to be monitoring all your call records from now on.
WV: What in the name of — ?
C: If proven floozies are making calls within the United States, I need to know what they're saying. I especially need to know if, when and how they may be communicating with other two-timing 'ho-bags of my acquaintance. Oh, and just to be safe, I'll need a contact number for your husband, too, if he's managed to stick it out.
PHONE TRANSCRIPT NO. 2:
MAN'S VOICE: Good morning, Superior Siding.
CALLER: Is this Superior Siding of Wheeling, W.Va.?
MV: Yes, it is. How may I help you?
C: The same Superior Siding that's programmed its phone bank to call me three times a day, identifying itself as "Um, Rob" and warning me that storm season is right around the corner — 12 months a year? The Superior Siding that always interrupts me when I'm trying to do something really important, like organize my Pogs drawer or masturbate to a Herschell Gordon Lewis movie?
MV: Sir, this is the corporate office. If you'd like to be connected with a sales representative …
C: Now, I'm sure you have some honest concerns about my intelligence activities. Rest easy: I am not mining and I am not trolling. I'm not on any kind of witch hunt to roll back the civil rights of this country's many fine, law-abiding, insanely obtrusive telemarketers, like Diamond Caribbean Cruises or the campaign to re-elect Ric Keller. But time has taught me that if I don't fight terrorists on their own switchboards, I'm going to have to talk to them in my kitchen. So just to be safe, I need you to turn over the home numbers of your entire administrative staff and board of directors.
MV: This is outrageous. I've never —
C: And please make it snappy. I'm ordering XM on the other line.
PHONE TRANSCRIPT NO. 3:
SECOND WOMAN'S VOICE: Good afternoon. White House.
CALLER: Steve Schneider here, neither mining nor trolling.
SWV: How can I help you today, Mr. Schneider?
C: Ma'am, my request is simple, and well within the laws of our land, except maybe the ones governing harassment. I'd like you to fax me a daily list of all calls that come into or out of your building. You can omit reminder calls from Barney's vet, if you'd like.
SWV: I'm sorry, we seem to have a bad —
C: I know what you're probably thinking, and don't worry. I have no intention of interfering with the private affairs of tens of innocent Americans. Emphasis on "innocent." My efforts are focused on known and suspected felons — the kind who would lie us into an unprovoked and costly war, or "out" covert operatives as political payback. You know, real scumbags.
SWV: Sir, if there's a legitimate request that I can —
C: I know some people think this plan of mine can't possibly work. They say that looking at an endless list of unidentified numbers and trying to glean any kind of coherent pattern out of it is like trying to find a needle in the Yellow Pages listing for "Haystacks." And you know, they may have a point. So I'd be happy to call back every day between now and November so we can both talk about it. Who knows? It might give my eyes a rest from poring over this list of known Beltway mistresses.
SWV: Hold on, I have to get a pen.