bunt sign

Monday, October 8, 2001

I've spent a lot of time talking to David this week. His parents are out of town, so I get the benefit of his keen interest in what's going on in the world. It's not surprising that he's keeping himself well-informed and asking perceptive questions about policy and strategy. He's keeping me informed, too, because he can sit through those documentary segments that give details about the weaponry, and he'll actually understand them well enough to explain it all to a mechanically challenged mind like mine.

A side benefit of this is that when the phone rings this week, I'm not shrieking in dismay and running the other direction. It's not often that I can assume there's a good chance it'll be someone I want to talk to on the other end of the line. Most of the time, under ordinary circumstances, it's either a wrong number or someone who's found the Company's phone number in a yellow pages ad.

Wrong numbers are fun, because our toll-free number is a digit or two away from some interesting ones. I haven't had many calls for the ADD hotline lately, and National General Insurance isn't all that interesting, except that people start chattering away about their homeowner's policy before I can stop them. (Maybe I should put them in touch with the ADD people.) And the people calling the Icee company are always disappointed that I can't service their machine.

Lately we've been advertising in the yellow pages all over California, and I get calls at all hours, even on the weekend. Most of them are questions I can't answer, and I'm supposed to get a call-back number to pass on the Boss. I don't do sales, and I don't do the actual construction work. I just try to sound as knowledgeable as possible about things I have no knowledge of whatsoever. It's a specialized kind of talent, and I pull it off most of the time.

But I'm still thinking of getting a cell phone, just so the machine can get these calls when I'm supposed to be off duty. Working at home does have a few disadvantages, but they're almost always outweighed by the advantages. The margin is getting thinner, though.

Still, I'm answering the phone with more gusto these days, knowing there's a good chance it'll be David, asking me what I know about anthrax or telling me what he knows about how missiles strike their targets from so far away. Or maybe he just wants to talk football. It's all good.

looking homeward

My house (and garage) from under the eucalyptus trees at the end of the drive.

There are people out there, people who claim to be "good Americans" (whatever that means now), who are playing into the hands of the terrorists. They're perpetuating old prejudices and inventing new ones as we go along. Either that, or they're living in a dream world where what they do doesn't matter. This is a problem as old as civilization, but it seems to matter so much more with the whole world watching.

Any time an American turn on a fellow human because of skin color, facial features, or religious differences, the terrorists trying to destroy our way of life win a victory. Racial profiling demeans the profiler, not the object of the disrespect. This is as true now of Arabs and southwest Asians as it always has been of African Americans. Every person degraded by this ignorance, every life lost to it, is the victim of a terrorist act.

previousbunt signemailnext

Latest recommendation:

The Bleat, by James Lileks, October 8

Other recent recommendations can be found on the links page.

One year ago: Sunday Ticket

Subscribe to the list to be notified of updates.