Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pickle lite

Getting back to work is slow after a long holiday weekend. Nobody is in the mood for meaty stuff so let's crank up another story about Congressman Jake Pickle's unique perspective on life.

The man had fun. Clean fun. (Remind me to tell you about Cotton Bowl tickets and John Connally.)

Mr. Pickle always had a listed phone number so his constituents could call. Most of the time voters would abide by the Geneva Conventions and called only during normal hours.

There was a notable exception. Around 2 a.m., Pickle's bedside phone rang in Washington. It was an angry, drunk guy calling from Austin. His electricity had been cut off (non-payment) and he wanted to know what his congressman was going to do about it. Although Pickle explained that the man had a city problem and not a federal problem, the drunk would hear nothing of it and kept making his case. Over and over.

Pickle got the last laugh. He's an early riser. Five a.m. every morning. And Austin is in a different time zone. It's always an hour earlier.

When his alarm went off, Pickle rolled over, picked up the phone and called the drunk back in Austin. It was 4 in the morning back in Austin and the drunk was near catatonic with a hang over. Pickle described the man's condition as "laying in the gutter with his belly to the sun."

The phone rang and rang. Finally, the sleeping drunk picked up. "Hi. This is your congressman Jake Pickle calling. I just wanted to know if your lights are back on yet."

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