Last night, while my wife was monopolizing the TV watching "So You Think You Can Dance" (that’s OK; I can watch that "Sopranos" DVD tonight), I sent a heads-up to my former pupil who has since gone over to the Dark Side, Joel Wood. Basically, as I told him, I didn’t want to be talking about him behind his back:
Hey, Joel, how are you?
I thought I’d better tell you, as an old friend, that I mentioned you on my blog, in the context of sort kinda disagreeing with your perspective on things:
You see, I’ve become one of those single-payer radicals. It’s funny because I’m not radical about anything else. This is the one thing I agree with Dennis Kucinich about; I promise. Here are a couple of columns in which I set out my thoughts on the issue several months ago:
Anyway, I thought I should give you the chance to demolish my arguments, which you probably can do, on account of being a professional in this particular policy area and all…
I didn’t want to be talking about you and your industry behind your back.
And besides, I wanted an excuse to say "Hey."
About an hour later, Joel wrote back, which was nice, because it was good to hear from him. But that’s not the good part; that’s not the schlag, the whipped cream atop the dessert — the lagniappe, if you will (as Johnny Malone used to say — you remember, Joel). The good part is that this now-senior lobbyist for the insurance industry wrote back, at 10:45 p.m. on a Thursday night, on his Blackberry from a cocktail party. If you put this stuff in a movie, they wouldn’t believe it.
Anyway, he promises to send a more substantial rebuttal to my ramblings later. In the meantime, this is all he said:
Total kick, and a delight.
But as I’m still in cocktails at a soiree with my benefits guys at the Homestead (every horrible image you imagine!), I can only glean so much from my peckings on the BlackBerry. First blush is that you have some insightful readers who make my case. But certainly when I get back to town, or to a regular computer screen, I shall respond as a good Republican insurance lobbyist should, probably with some invective about Michael Moore and commie journalists getting their due through diminished circulation. But, in the meantime, I am stupified that this stuff gets read by people I care about, and thoroughly thrilled that you would give it the time of day. And very happy to hear from you …. You would be proud to know my editors and colleagues, to whom I forward this, are no less redistributionist than you. …. Miss you!
Consider that a preview.