Sep 252017
 

Between consultations this afternoon, Gretchen left her desk in the reception area and popped into my office for a moment. “Tom,” she quietly informed me as she closed a heavy oak door behind her, “there’s this… Ebonic gentleman who’s been calling since about nine this morning asking for a consultation. He says he’s a professional basketball player.” “Did he give you his name?” I inquired. “Tyrone…” she replied with an uncertain grimace, “Tyrone Shoelace.” “Hold on a minute,” I requested as I consulted an online database. “Nope,” I told her, “there’s nobody named that playing in the NBA. Must be an alias.” “Should I tell him you’re not available?” she asked. “Did he say what he wants to talk about?” […]

Feb 012017
 

Tuesday evening, I was relaxing at home, alone with my cat Twinkle, reading Harpers, The Atlantic, Scientific American and The Economist when the phone rang. Caller ID showed that it was the cell number of my brother-in-law Hank, from whom, at that point, I had not heard anything in quite some time. Tom: Hank? Hank: Tom? Tom: Who else would it be? Where are you? Hank: In West Virginia. Tom: Right. Look, Hank, Obama’s not the president anymore. He’s gone. He’s history, okay? So why don’t you and Shannon quit preparing for Armageddon and come down from the hills? Because if Obama was the Antichrist, he sure did a rotten job, didn’t he? Rose misses you. Arthur misses Shannon. And […]

Sep 082016
 

Anthony D. Weiner started calling my office Tuesday, asking for a consultation. Having taken off the entire month of July, I’ve been very busy lately, despite it being summer here in Washington DC, and Gretchen just couldn’t find an open spot anywhere in the schedule. So around six-thirty in the evening the next day, she popped her head into my office and told me Mr. Weiner was on the phone again, wondering what I could do for him, at which point I agreed to have him call my office number after eight-thirty. When I left at seven PM, I made sure to set up my office phone to forward all calls to the land line at my home in Great […]

Dec 212015
 

Starting Wednesday afternoon and continuing into Thursday, Austin Houston Crockett Bowie Bonham III called my office a total of eleven times, requesting that Gretchen schedule an emergency telephone consultation with me as soon as possible. Actually, “requested” and “as soon as possible” put it rather mildly – as regular readers of this Web log know, Austin is from Texas, wealthy, and accustomed to having his way. “That [expletive] cowboy is driving me nuts,” she complained. “Can’t we bump somebody or work late or something, please?” The compromise arrived at was to start business early on Friday; 6:00 AM, to be precise. Since Austin was calling from Texas, which is in the Central Time Zone, of course, that meant he had […]

Nov 282015
 

At noon on Wednesday, Gretchen let me know that my sister-in-law Katje was on Line Two and wanted to speak with me. Since the extended family Thanksgiving dinner was slated to occur at my home this year, and Katje is a very committed and emphatic vegan, I assumed that was the reason for her call – to make sure there would be sufficient strictly healthy vegetarian fare, especially beans, spinach, kale, broccoli, pulses and brown rice; to verify that, for example, the pumpkin pie crust was not going to be made with any animal products, such as lard; to discourage the use of butter, milk and cream, organic or otherwise, whether from grass-fed or ordinary cows, in the mashed potatoes […]