tampabay.com

You never call me anymore

By AUTAR KAW
Published November 17, 2006


It is the week after elections, and I feel lonely. Unknown callers on my Caller ID have suddenly stopped calling me to tell me how great their brother, sister, daughter or son is.

I felt needed, and now I have been dumped categorically. Where are you, Shannen Doherty?

Everyone begged me to send them to Tallahassee or downtown Tampa; a few wanted to go to Washington, D.C., too. Do they not know it is already freezing up there in D.C., and it is not just Nancy Pelosi inching her way to the Speaker's chair?

I think I was too naive to believe that they were my friends. Whenever I picked up the phone, these unknown callers would not start talking to me until I said hello. One of them did talk without my saying anything, but it must have been my unmistaken heavy panting from running to the phone that activated his recorded message.

Talk about stalking. When they did not have my attention on the phone, they sent subliminal messages to me via TV. Negative campaign commercials reminded me that gossiping is a sin, but how else would I know who has off-shore accounts (Who doesn't?); who is in the pockets of insurance companies (Who isn't?); who is a socialite (Wearing a red sweater disqualified her.); whether the father is running or is it his son (Does it matter?); how much we need three generations of county judges (Haven't we learned from the Kennedys yet?).

But, it is the voters who have outsmarted our politicians and I tell them - You did a "heckuva" job. With a Democratic house, an almost split Senate and a Republican president, they assured gridlock. And that's when things go well for this country.

Autar Kaw lives in Pebble Creek, teaches engineering at the University of South Florida and is a naturalized citizen of the United States since 1991.