Opinion

Fun with a hidden tape recorder | Andy Hobbs

Reader: I hear Bob Roegner plans to run for mayor. If so, we don’t want to read his columns in The Mirror. Hey, did you hear a beep?

Andy Hobbs: That was just my cell phone. Anyway, Roegner hasn’t declared anything. It’s all speculation at this point, so the column stays.

Reader: If Roegner is a candidate, then we don’t want to read his columns. They seem like a conflict of interest.

A.H.: Is there a conflict of interest in city councilman Jim Ferrell’s involvement with the whole elected mayor effort? He’s been a candidate from the start and voted on related measures as a council member.

Reader: That’s not the point. We’re talking about Roegner here.

A.H.: Who do you like for mayor?

Reader: I’m supporting Ferrell. Everyone is wondering what King County Council member Pete von Reichbauer will do. We also have State Representatives Skip Priest and Mark Miloscia. As long as it’s a Republican, I’ll be happy. But let’s keep that part between us.

A.H.: Of course.

Reader: You might be part of the mainstream liberal media elite, but I trust you.

•••••

A.H.: You come here often?

Elected official: I stop in for a beer now and then. Hey, what was that beep?

A.H.: It came from that TV. You were talking about a colleague’s possible cocaine problem?

E.O.: This is all off the record, right?

A.H.: Sure.

E.O.: If this information got out, my career would be sunk. Thank God this conversation isn’t being recorded.

A.H.: I know what you mean. Let’s keep this between us.

•••••

Reader: Do you work here?

A.H.: Yes, can I help you?

Reader: I’m tired of seeing your filth-laden newspaper in my driveway twice a week. I drove up here to give the damn things back.

A.H.: Why don’t you want the paper?

Ex-reader: For starters, there was the article about a pole dancing school. Then came photos from the Gay Softball World Series in Federal Way, then — (sound of tape recorder shutting off) (recording resumes) — and even misspelled the dog’s name, you idiot. What was that beep?

A.H.: They’re testing a burglar alarm. Anyway, I apologize for the oversight. What was your name again?

Ex-reader: I’ll just give you my address.

A.H.: Please speak in the direction of this flower on my lapel so I can hear you better...

•••••

Reader: Did you know that only 23 percent of African American students passed the math WASL last year?

A.H.: I didn’t know that.

Reader: Did you know that only 26 percent of Hispanics and 17 percent of Pacific Islanders passed the math WASL —

A.H.: I’m a little busy right now. Can we discuss the shortcomings of Federal Way schools another time?

Reader: Did you know that more than 60 percent of Asian students passed the math WASL —

A.H.: (sound of toilet flushing) Catch you later!

Reader: (voice fading) — and that 79 percent of white students passed...

•••••

Reader: Sorry about missing our meeting the first time around, but I forgot. Hey, what was that beep?

A.H.: UPS delivery truck backing up. So you want to open a storefront clinic in Federal Way?

Reader: Yes. With a legal storefront, I can get police protection. I’ve seen people who are so sick, they can hardly walk. They need a place to get their medicine legally without fear of arrest or prosecution.

A.H.: I’m not sure something like that would fly in Federal Way, at least out in the open.

Reader: I shouldn’t have to worry about the law when delivering medicine to sick people.

A.H.: By medicine, what do you mean?

Reader: What? Have you even been listening?

A.H.: I need to make sure I heard the medicine’s correct name.

Reader: Hello? It’s marijuana. Gosh, even my customers have better short-term memory.

A.H.: Sorry about that. Do you make a lot of money selling medicine?

Reader: I make enough tax-free money to pay the bills. Look, I’m not a criminal. I’m just your average senior citizen who wants to volunteer and help people.

A.H.: How much medicine do you smoke?

Reader: I don’t smoke.

A.H.: Aw, come on.

Reader: Once in a great while, I’ll eat a medicated brownie. I don’t want my fellow volunteers to find out, so let’s keep all this between us, OK?

A.H.: Of course.

•••••

A.H.: Hi Grandma! Good to see you.

Grandma: Hello sweetie! I just finished frosting two dozen sugar cookies. Here, have a seat. You want some milk?

A.H.: Thank you, Grandma. Hey, what was that beep?

Grandma: UPS delivery truck backing up. Have you started your Christmas shopping?

A.H.: I’m going this afternoon. Sure hope my boss doesn’t find out I called in sick just to shop for Christmas presents. Let’s keep that between us, OK?

Grandma: Of course, dear. You can always trust your grandmother.

--

(Thank you, Steve Martin, for the idea! — A.H.)

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