Friday, December 01, 2006

The End of the Line

From the New York Times last week:

For all the sound and fury in the last year, the National Security Agency’s wiretapping program continues uninterrupted, with no definitive action by either Congress or the courts on what, if anything, to do about it, and little chance of a breakthrough in the lame-duck Congress.

Okay, so my phone is tapped. Even as I don't speak, some guy with a black suit and a degree in political science is sitting in a secret room somewhere, wearing a pair of headphones and listening to all the conversations I've had with my friends over the last month. Right about now he's probably wondering what "hold on minute, I need to get my clothes out of the dryer" is code for. Any day now, I expect to be picked up by a black, unmarked van and harangued with shouts of "You never write! You never call!" by a guy in a crew-cut.

The thing is, if there are people listening in on our phone conversations[1], I feel sorry for them. Talk about a boring job. So here's what I think we should do - I think we should try and make their lives more exciting. Here, therefore, are the Top 10 Things to Do if You Think The NSA is Tapping Your Phone

1. Rename your dog Osama and get into the habit of calling him while you're on the phone ("Just a minute, Larry....Osama! Osama! Where are you? Ah, there you are. Come here, Osama, sit here next to me....Yes, Larry, you were saying?")

2. Shout "Sleep no more! Macbeth hath murdered sleep!" into your receiver at 3 in the morning. Follow it up with the murmured sound of a man sobbing in Spanish.

3. Learn how to say "Can you believe that some moron is actually translating this thinking he's onto something" in Arabic.

4. Learn how to say "That new film about the World Trade Centre was a total bomb at the box office, wasn't it?" in Arabic. Don't bother translating the 'bomb' though.

5. Make a list of 1-800 numbers with the longest wait times / most annoying recorded music. Call them in sequence at regular intervals and just leave yourself on hold.

6. Call your advisor and say (in a suitably disguised voice) "Dude! That stuff you gave me last week was BAAAD shit. My friend smoked one joint and we almost had to take him to hospital." (congratulations! you just earned yourself another 3 years and 6 months to do your dissertation. With good behaviour.)

7. Find out the number of your local NSA chief as well as his wife's name. Call his home and say "*Name of Wife*? It's me. I know we said I shouldn't call you at home, but I just wanted to say I've been thinking of you all day and I can't wait to see you again. You will come tonight, won't you? Usual time, usual place?" [2]

8. Find out the number of your local NSA chief as well as the name of his teenage son. Call his home and say "*Name of Teenage Son*? It's me. I know we said I shouldn't call you at home, but I just wanted to say I've been thinking of you all day and I can't wait to see you again. You will come tonight, won't you? Usual time, usual place?"

9. Every time a new big-budget Hollywood thriller comes out, make sure you go see it first day first show and then discuss it in detail with your friends on the phone, making sure to give away all the important plot twists.

10. In the middle of a conversation suddenly shout "Oh my God! the Leopard! the Leopard!", then drop the receiver noisily to the ground and disconnect the phone. Practise doing your best Katharine Hepburn impression for when the medics come bursting through your door.


[1] When I say 'our' I mean, of course, my conversations and, seperately, your conversations. I know that blogging is not the same thing as talking to someone on the phone. I'm not totally delusional, you know. Even though I think it's strange that you never call, despite the fact that your reading this blog makes us family.

[2] If you're a woman, just reverse the sequence of 7 and 8. If your local NSA supervisor is a woman, make that husband and teenage daughter, in the appropriate order.


Ashish Gupta said...

LOL! Man! You are on roller coaster! I am your regular reader from last few weeks. Keep going.

Cheshire Cat said...

I have a better suggestion for (10). Scream "Oh my God! My Baby! My Baby!". When the medics arrive, release the leopard...

There's nothing more important to life (to staying alive) than knowing your screwball comedy.

Falstaff said...

Ashish: Thanks

cat: Well, now that you bring it up....Don't you think the medics might have a bone to pick with you afterwards, though?

Anonymous said...

@Falstaff: Maybe..but that would happen only if they 'spot' it right?

Anonymous said...

That sound you hear outside is a black helicopter hovering above your apt. You are now under 24/7 surveillance for making this blog post. It was only a matter of time before your cover was broken anyway (hey, we all know "Falstaff" is really Faroque Sheik Altaff, the dreaded Al-Qaeda # 5). If you never post again, I will assume you are in Gitmo, and start a petition on Desipundit to get you off.

Kronoskraor said...

and i thought 'sobbing in spanish' sounded lovely,dunno why:P
this wit's as ticklish as your blog entry abt passport sized pics!!that one was sooo funny:D

Jabberwock said...

"Katharine", not "Katherine" (Hepburn). Sorry about this J.A.P.-style pedantry, but it's very important to me that her name is spelt right.

Falstaff said...

anon: trust me, nobody can miss baby.

venkat: I have no idea what you're talking about. And meanwhile, I wouldn't get too attached to my head if I were you (you damned infidel!)

kronoskraor: Thanks. The reference, of course, is to Sixth Sense.

jai: Sorry, my bad. All corrected now.