Being Schizoid, Again

It might strike dear blog readers as exceedingly strange that, this Saturday, self moves from blogging about the horrific Ampatuan massacre to the “Shouts and Murmurs” section of esteemed New Yorker.

But that is the kind of thing self does, a lot.

Which is probably why, in the past seven days, she’s had two different people — one residing in Pebble Beach, CA; the other in Manila — tell her she is crazy.

Sorry, but no sooner had self read Billy Kimball’s piece in The New Yorker of January 10, 2011, than she immediately collapsed in laughter. Here’s the opening section:

If terrorists learn that elderly white women from Iowa are exempt from screening, that’s exactly whom they will recruit. — Editorial in the Times

Nov. 7, 2010. Phone call intercept. 0944 local time.

Suspect No. 1: Hello?
Suspect No. 2: Hello, is Robert Eschbacher at home?
Suspect No. 1 (laughing): Oh, you must mean me. I’m Bobbi. Short for Roberta. Or did you want my husband, Mark?
Suspect No. 2: No, no. Looking for female.
Suspect No. 1: Well, that would be me. I’m the lady of the house.
Suspect No. 2: You are housewife?
Suspect No. 1: I do some volunteer work at the library and at the church gift shop but, yes, I am a homemaker. Yes.
Suspect No. 2: And you are living in Iowa City?
Suspect No. 1: Mm–hmm, just outside. Near Hickory Hill Park? (Pause) On the north side of town? (Pause) You take Rochester Avenue to Woodbridge Avenue?
Suspect No. 2 (Pause): In Iowa?
Suspect No. 1: Yes.
Suspect No. 2: That’s good. What is your age?
Suspect No. 1: I . . . I beg your pardon?
Suspect No. 2: You might win a prize. But you must be elderly.
Suspect No. 1: I’m sixty-eight. But I don’t know if you’d call that elderly —
Suspect No. 2: Congratulations! You are winner!
Suspect No. 1: Oh, my goodness! I’ve never won anything in my life! I’m sorry, we have a bad connection. I didn’t catch your name.
Suspect No. 2: I am . . . Jim.

The piece goes on. Read all of it if you can, dear blog readers. It’s better than a ray of sunshine in a tea-cup. Wait, that doesn’t make any sense. Self meant to say: it’s better than a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day (which this day is fast becoming)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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