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Heckler4Truth - Mon Aug 29 2011

02:20 PM #
SUCCESS! SUCCESS! ...OK, qualified success. But a fantastic start.

02:22 PM #
Got there early, a strategically placed seat. THE SUIT made me feel like a giant of respectability.

02:24 PM #
Transportation Commission (henceforth TranCom) held the floor alone except for a toady setting up his Powerpoint bore-fest.

02:25 PM #
And one of those telescoping pointer-things. He held onto it like a battle axe. BUT:

02:26 PM #
TranCom, I must concede, was affable. Even charming. After his formal presentation -- mildly skillful propaganda -- came the Q & A.

02:28 PM #
TranCom handled the first few Qs with great aplomb, giving As that essentially dodged Qs but which to the unalert seemed to address matters.

02:30 PM #
He always ended with a cornball joke or allegedly charming anecdote, involving children, dogs, folksy old people, some combination thereof.

02:33 PM #
He was so effective for a mere bureaucrat that I suddenly feared I'd bitten off more than I could chew.

02:35 PM #
Dear God, I thought... if i'm already out of my league, if I can't even handle the stooges at this level, how can I aspire beyond this?

02:37 PM #
I need MUCH more training, I thought.

02:38 PM #
Time flashed ahead of me: another seven years of studying rhetoric, law, philosophy, argument, grammar, joke books.

02:39 PM #
Another seven years bussing tables for Mrs. Yin, then dragging myself home at night for voice exercises and experiments in muscle control.

02:43 PM #
My confidence wavered, and I could feel myself sweating like a sumo wrestler. The danger of pit stains in THE SUIT was not lost on me.

02:46 PM #
BUT THEN from Nowhere a great force took hold of me, made my arm shoot up involuntarily. TranCom called on me and I had the Q ready to go.

02:49 PM #
"Mr. Commissioner, this new stretch of highway isn't being built through YOUR home, is it sir?"

02:51 PM #
...Everyone knew it wasn't. Heads turned, interest spiked. GOOD. Everyone knew I just baiting the trap, including Le TranCom himself.

02:51 PM #
But he managed a toasty warm smile as he A-ed: "Why no, it isn't."

02:53 PM #
Grew more confident in spite of myself, decided to push my luck: "And it won't go through the homes of any of your family or friends, sir?"

02:55 PM #
He got a tad chillier. "Why no, not to my knowledge." OOOOOHHH. I knew I'd drawn blood. "Not to my knowledge!" Heh heh heh!!!

02:56 PM #
...A Nixon White House answer, characterizing the speaker, fairly or not, as someone who is about to spend the weekend shredding documents.

03:02 PM #
I went on: "And you are aware, sir, are you not, sir, that many people will be losing their homes for this noble enterprise, sir?"

03:02 PM #
(Yep. I said "sir" way too much.)

03:04 PM #
Sir TranCom replied: "Why yes, I'm quite aware." [SIDEBAR: why do weasel-types use word "why" as handle for answers? Why "Why?" MUST TRACK.]

03:06 PM #
"Why yes, I'm quite aware." He chucked pathetically. "Gosh, can we have a question from someone else now?" "NOT 'TIL I'M DONE WITH YOU!!"

03:07 PM #
...I *thought.* But what I said was: "And sir -- SIR? [yeah, I know] -- are you aware that some of these people to be displaced and I would

03:08 PM #
ever say discarded are quite old and have worked many long years their entire lives to pay off these houses and are getting dubious value

03:09 PM #
back and that their HOMES yes HOMES SIR are being bulldozed for a highway benefitting automotive commuters SIR who are oh what a

03:11 PM #
coincidence this this who are much more affluent that they are SIR?" TranCom: "Please, that's enough now..." Me: "So SIR are we to take your

03:12 PM #
non-A to my Q as an admission that you believe deep in your heart that this Darwinian philosophy of throwing the weak into the meat grinder

03:14 PM #
to make sausage for the rich and fat and shiny [I said shiny, gawd] -- that is the CORRECT philosophy SIR?

03:14 PM #

03:15 PM #
...Men started hustling towards me with purpose in their eyes. Absolutely predictable. I threw my arms up in mock frustration:

03:16 PM #
"Just so we know where you stand, sir."

03:21 PM #
And I strolled up the aisle, taking my time, growing enormous in the silence of the crowd. The energy of the event had been CHANGED.

03:22 PM #
...No amount of cute anecdotes about ol' Grandpa Pete and his ol' lucky fishing rod (or whatever) would undo that.

03:28 PM #
When I got home, I could tell Tina wanted to know how it went. :)

03:30 PM #
I told her all about it and we celebrated by splitting the pint of spicy prawns Mrs. Yin gave me last night for my "volunteer" shift.

03:32 PM #
Had to rinse each prawn individually to get the spicy off for Tina, though -- her tummy can't handle that. :)

03:33 PM #
I know the vet said I should only feed her kibble, but she's such a good puppy. She deserves a little party every now and then. :)

03:34 PM #

03:42 PM #
Tina. :)

07:46 PM #
I will sleep like a very talkative baby tonight.