Posts Tagged ‘Newt Gingrich’

Grass Roots

December 19, 2011

Small town, America:

“There. That’s where I get all my MRE’s,” said the guy in jeans and a sport coat with an American flag pin on the lapel.
The guy with an American flag tie, hanging a few inches above his belt, took the scrap of paper. “Great, I’ve been meaning to stock up. Noting but canned food down there, now.”
“You all set on water?”
“Yeah, I got a purification system, with a hundred gallon reservoir.”
“A couple thousand hollow points for my dual Uzis, and a few hundred for my Glock,” said flag tie.
“Nice,” said sport coat in a tone of genuine respect with just a hint of envy.
“Alright,” said the guy in a moderately priced, newish black suit, “do you all have your scripts?”
An older gentleman in the back raised his hand meekly.
“Could you, pass this back to,” black suit searched his memory for the name, “Allen, there?”
Sport coat passed the single sheet of pink paper.
Black suit continued, “Great. In case this is your first time, here’s how it works. A machine at headquarters will place a call, and play a recorded message. When it’s done, the person on the other end will hit a button if they want more information. At that point, the call transfers to a live operator, which will be you when I turn on this switchboard.” Black suit looked down at a yellow piece of paper. “And in case you’re wondering, the calls will be going to… Vermont(?)…”
Flag tie took a swig from a liter bottle of coke.
“Or… possibly… somewhere, in the Midwest. At any rate, when your phone rings, answer it. It’s first come first serve, but it should be busy enough that you’ll all get some action.” He grinned. “Most of the questions a caller might ask are listed and answered right there on your script.”
The first timers looked at each other with doubt.
Black suit: “It’s the pink sheet there, in front of you. If you could take a minute to familiarize yourself with it now, it will come out more naturally when you are asked.”
Less than half the volunteers looked down at the sheet.
Black suit cleared his throat. “If they ask something and you’re not sure how to answer, just do your best. If you’re really stumped, just raise your hand, and me, or Karl, will come over, and try to help you out.”
Black suit looked at each volunteer for signs of discomfort. He seemed satisfied with the crowd. “Okay, let’s begin,” he said, flipping the switch.
Riiiiiiiiiiii-iiiiiiiing, Riiiiiiii-iiiiiiing, Riiiiiiiing: three phones sprang to life, as if they’d been waiting patiently for the chance to be heard.
I grabbed the white, corded receiver in front of me. “Hello, you have reached Campaign Headquarters. Are you interested in making a donation today?”