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Columns

September 27, 2008

A phone call that probably could happen

"Hello? Senator?"

"Yes, who is this?"

"Well, for right now, just call me Mr. Smith. Look, Senator, I need to talk to you about a bailout."

"Cheesh, you and everybody else, Mr. Smith. Who are you with, Goldman Sachs? Morgan Stanley? Some other banking house?"

"Well actually, Senator, right now I'm with the big house."

"The what?"

"The big house. You know, prison, jail, hoosegow, calaboose, slammer, pokey, the clink?"

"You're calling me from a jail cell? Who the hell are you?"

"Look, Senator, they gave me one phone call, and you're it. I'm a citizen who needs help of a financial nature. You and your pals in Congress have been talking all week about spending 700 billion smackeroos to bail out Wall Street. Well, I also happen to need a bailout. They won't let me out of here unless I post bond for 50 thousand bucks."

"Mr. Smith, I'm curious. Are you even one of my constituents?"

"Uh ... no. I live in New York."

"Yet you want me to bail you out of prison?"

"Yup."

"Just one more thing before I hang up on you, Mr. Smith or whatever your name is, just how did you get my cell phone number?"

"Well, as it turns out, Senator, you and I happen to use the same _ uh .... shall we say _ escort service. By the way, Mabel says hello."

"That's ... that's preposterous. I don't know any Mabel."

"Oh yeah, I'm sorry, Senator. I remember now. Mabel says you like to call her Angelique.' So, are you ready to help me now?"

"Uh ... well .... I ... ahem ... I certainly don't know what you're talking about, but of course I'm always ... uh ... eager to help a citizen in need. What exactly did you do to find yourself in your present ... uh ... situation, Mr. Smith?"

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