This Wouldn’t Be a Problem If Only I’d Married an FBI Agent

I hate calling people on the phone. I do it when I need to. This will be important later, so store it somewhere in your brain to save yourself the trouble of scrolling up later.

I had this US History and Government teacher in high school that I loved. Seriously. He was awesome. Everyone else hated him, because he did things like kick kids out of class for misbehaving or slam his fist on a desk to get a daydreaming student to pay attention. He taught the first amendment by walking into the center of the classroom (all desks pointed to the center) and shouting the F-bomb at the top of his lungs.

I loved it.

Anyway, there was this one time when we had to do this worksheet in class that had something to do with the gross domestic product and barrels of imported oil or something like that. Due to some sort of typo on the sheet, some key piece of information was missing. I heard him messing with some of the other kids who asked about it, telling them to figure it out.

See why I liked him?

Never one to back down from a challenge I’m sure I can win, I asked if I could use the phone. It was 1999 and pagers, not iPhones, were all the rage. Heck, most Internet was still line-by-line dial-up at that point. So the phone was by far the best and fastest way to get information.

I told you the phone thing would come into play. I hate it and avoid it at all costs, until it becomes absolutely necessary to get what I want.

So I called information and got the number for the Department of Energy. And then I called that number and told them I was doing a school project, and could they please tell me the bit of information I needed to know?

So I turned in my completed worksheet, and my favorite teacher, who seemed to greatly enjoy messing with his students, told me I couldn’t be done, and asked what I had gotten for an answer on that missing-info question. I told him and he looked right at me and asked whom I’d called.

“The Department of Energy.”

He stared at me.

“It’s, uh, in DC. I probably should’ve asked if I could call long distance.”

And then he laughed and gave me a metaphorical slap on the back and basically declared me his favorite student of the year.

That phone call was so worth it.

This post actually has nothing to do with high school or history teachers; it was only a story to illustrate how much I will only pick up the phone and dial someone I don’t know to get something that I really, really want. From the approval of a favorite teacher to getting Thing 2 enrolled in preschool to getting press passes to events I really want to go to.

Like the GOP presidential debate next week at the Reagan Library. Um, yes please, I’ll drive three hours to see the thing in person. Because GOP debate! Reagan Library! Rick Perry (we are like totally buds, you know)! I wanted to go so much that I picked up the phone and called the library to find out who to contact about press passes.

I was given an email address. Yes! I’m good at email! I love email! I did a little happy dance and put together a request and sent it off. A few hours later, I got this response:


Thanks for reaching out.  Due to the security level of the debate, only credentialed media with law enforcement credentials are able to cover the event.  I’m assuming you don’t have these?  I’m sorry if you don’t.

What the heck are law enforcement credentials?? Off to Google! Apparently they are a certain kind of ‘pass’ awarded by law enforcement agents so that reporters can go behind the yellow tape and to presidential debates at the Reagan Library.

Well heck! How do I get me one of those? My fingerprints are clean, I tell you, clean! I’ve never even done drugs! I go to church! Then I read: “Not usually granted to bloggers or opinion writers.”

I knew I should have married this dude.

Well what’s wrong with being opinionated? Freedom of the press! I may have ranted to Leif about it. He may have told me that I needed to make a connection with someone in the FBI. I may have glared accusingly at him and said, “This wouldn’t be a problem if only I’d married an FBI agent.”

He may have responded with, “This wouldn’t be a problem if those pesky presidential candidates weren’t worried about security and assassins.”

I may have won the argument with, “This wouldn’t be a problem if everyone were packing heat.”

As far as the phone is concerned … you win some, you lose some. I will face it another day.


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