When I was away in Florida, several people called me and left messages on my answering machine. The first one was a guy who was beside himself over health care reform.
He was so boiled he sounded like one of those people who might spontaneously combust and become a story in the National Enquirer. He was a minute into his rant and was spluttering about journalistic malpractice and malfeasance - apparently committed by scribes like myself who have had a kind word to say about Obamacare - when I cut him short under the one-crank-a-day-rule.
The next guy was far more interesting and he too had a question about health care reform. He said: "I'm wondering how I can get onto one of the Palin death panels ... do you think they will be elected or appointed? ... how will they do that?"
He left a number so this morning I called. His name was Bill, he was 72 years old and lived in Butler. He told me that he had once been arrested for holding a sign protesting a visit of President George W. Bush to the region. (You will remember that Bush was all about freedom but nobody was free to get within half a mile of the great man with a sign contradicting his policies).
I asked Bill if he had a sense of humor. He said he thought he did.
So I said: "You aren't going to be allowed anywhere near a death panel with a sense of humor. Nobody is allowed to die laughing in the new era."
This will be a good news for JohnF, whose days as a Reg-ulator are over, having taken rigid and vengeful offense at my remark that conservatives are like the Taliban in their rigidity and vengefulness. This came as a total surprise to me. I always assume an intelligent readership and I would have thought even Little Nelly and Her Dog would have taken my remark as facetious and absent any malice.
Fortunately, voices of reason do abound on this blog and I am grateful to jazzbone for stating the obvious: ".. I read ("heard" in my head) Reg's Taliban sentence as a playful jab to invoke conversion, much like teasing a buddy in a bar. I guess that's the problem with written posts - you can't hear vocal inflections."
Thank you, matie. Exactly. The greater problem is that some people take everything literally, even in a blog named Reg on Wry, even in a sentence that signaled its own teasing.
While I remain unrepentant, I will stipulate for the slow-on-the-uptake that I do not think conservatives are the actual Taliban and that I have many conservative friends whom I know are not the Taliban because they don't have beards.
It is totally pathetic that I have to point this out. What a world! To paraphrase the Beatles and Eleanor Rigby .... All the humorless people, where do they all come from.