By Seth Brown
As you’ve probably heard, the NSA has admitted that the government has been monitoring our phone calls. Well, almost all of our phone calls -- obviously, they still aren’t listening when I actually call them up directly and ask about my tax refund. But if I called up my Iranian friend to ask about a kebab recipe, I’m sure the NSA would be paying attention. In spite of the fact that the NSA has never once invited me over for dinner.
Actually, if I was going to have the NSA make me dinner, it would be nice to be able to remind them to do the shopping and cooking without contacting them directly. So I might just be writing an unrelated email -- such as submitting a newspaper column -- and then throw in a few keywords likely to trigger their email snoop filters by mentioning there might be an ASSASSINATION TARGET of a delicious lamb, which should be cut into cubes and then marinated in a BIOLOGICAL MATERIAL of sherry, ginger and soy sauce and then FLAME BURNED over a grill.
And now I’m hungry. To be fair, I’m hungry most of the time. And not terribly picky about what I will eat -- although I do generally prefer food. Last Saturday I had cookies for dinner. I was doing a benefit comedy show at the Bennington Fire Department, and had neglected to eat dinner. But free cookies were provided for the audience, many of whom had apparently heard I was performing and decided not to show up. So, my dinner consisted entirely of cookies, which I like to think qualifies me for a job on Sesame Street.
I know, they already have a cookie monster. But let’s face it, he’s gotten bad at his job. In recent years, he has stopped singing that "C is for cookie, and cookie is for me," and has begun flip-flopping by saying "Cookie is a sometimes food." To me, this shows that Reginald P. Cookie (his real name) is no longer qualified to hold the post of Cookie Monster. I love cookies more than he does, and I am almost as furry. Conversely, if Sesame Street was looking for a change of pace, I’d like to apply for the job of Kebab Monster.
The reason I mentioned Bennington earlier, however, is that my column may now start appearing in the Bennington Banner in addition to the North Adams Transcript. I just want to assure my regular readers: Both of you can relax, because obviously I will not be making large changes to this column just to pander to the Bennington community. Admittedly, I will now be drinking Vermont maple syrup out of handmade pottery every Thursday. But this is a small change, as my previous schedule had that on Wednesdays.
Maybe there’s a role open as Maple Monster. I do think I would like to get a job as a food-addicted muppet on Sesame Street. It fits my skill set, which consists of eating and saying yay. I’d definitely prefer that to a job in a Charles Schultz cartoon, otherwise I might get stuck working for peanuts. Although to all the HIGH SECURITY SPIES at the NSA reading this email, that might be a perfect job for you.
You could play Snoopy.
Seth Brown is a humor writer, the author of "From God To Verse," and could really go for some kebab. His work appears weekly in the North Adams Transcript, and weakly on RisingPun.com.