Last night I received a call from a woman who asked to speak to “Mr. Frlzxr” or some such. Normally, when I’m in this position I simply hang up because I know it’s probably a political call (I’m on the New York State “Do Not Call” registry which limits unsolicited phone calls to non-profits and, of course, political calls). For some reason I didn’t hang up but merely repeated my name slowly. The caller apparently suffers from some advanced form of both visual and audio dyslexia as she then said something like “Hello Mr. Falroni”. She proceeded to tell me that she had a one-question poll she would like me to answer, but before asking, she wanted me to listen to a short presentation by Wayne LaPierre, executive VP of the NRA. Now this, I could not resist. Wayne then went on one of his usual tirades, this time concerning a global UN plot to strip Americans of their guns. It was filled with distortions and outright lies, as I would expect from Wayne. Did you know, for example, that once the UN adopts a measure, it can never be rescinded? Did you also know that the only reason why we have freedom in America is because of the second amendment? I must admit, Wayne works hard for his annual million dollar compensation. It must be tiring spinning these tales. I find it wholly unfortunate that LaPierre is leading the NRA with an odious combination of fear and paranoia.
After a good minute of Wayne’s joy ride to fringes of sanity, Ms. Mispronounce gets back on to ask me the question for her “poll”: “Do you think that third world dictators and Hillary Clinton should make the laws for our country?”
My first thought was “Where did Clinton enter into this?” but I quickly realized that she is just another conservative bogeyman (bogeywoman?). I explained to the caller that she was not participating in a poll, but rather a push-poll and that no serious pollster would ever ask such a loaded question, that it was like asking “Do you still beat your wife?” She then repeated the question to which I responded “Do you still beat your husband?” She informed me that she didn’t have a husband and it took a bit of effort to not say “OK, do you still beat your lesbian lover?” Instead, I simply said, “For the benefit of your poll, my answer is ‘yes’. I would much prefer that over Wayne LaPierre making our laws”
She was obviously annoyed but said “Well, you have a good evening” in that patronizing, saccharine way that I’ve heard from so many evangelicals which we all know really means “I want to say ‘fuck you’ but can’t”. I returned with an equally toned “You too.”