A reader called and said, "You are the sixth person I have spoken with, and they all denied knowing you."
I replied, "So, you've spoken with my relatives."
"No! The newspaper office."
I sympathized. "You've been getting the runaround. It is inexcusable."
"I have a major complaint."
"Sir, you have come to the right place, but I am sorry to say this is Monday. We accept only minor complaints on Monday. We accept major complaints on Tuesday. You will have to call back."
There followed some silence.
I continued. "Also, as this is the holiday week of Thanksgiving, the staff in the complaint department is off. It is all we can do to answer complaints from the staff who must work.
"For faster service, call back after the holiday season, say, in February, on the 29th, a leap year."
There followed some choking, gurgling and a crash.
Alarmed, I hung up and called the cops, who promised to call back by the end of the day.
I had no doubt they would.
A few months ago an angry reader came to the office to complain about a news item. Because of events beyond his control, he had inadvertently run afoul of the law, and the newspaper had ruined his life in an error regarding his subsequent arrest.
I said if we had made an error, we would certainly correct it, but that we had been absolutely accurate on his previous 15 arrests.
He said he was going to get his gun and left.
We called the cops, who arrived 20 minutes later and said there was nothing they could do, but if the perp came back, we should call them immediately.
I said if anybody was still alive, we certainly would.
In other gun news, we learned last week that the Supreme Court would hear its first Second Amendment case in 68 years. The court might finally decide whether the right to defend yourself with a gun is an individual right — the kind that concerned the framers of the Constitution — or a collective right.
Collectives are such groups as militias, criminals, progressives, religious fanatics and the state's hired guns, the second responders who arrive 20 minutes after you've been shot, since the first responders — the citizen sheep — have been disarmed and sheared.
In still other gun news, the FBI, a collective bearer of arms, goose-stepped into the offices of the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act and the Internal Revenue Code.
One could hardly imagine a snappier title.
This outfit makes the Liberty Dollar, a voluntary medium of barter backed by gold and silver. The feds view this as a threat to their counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes, which are backed by hot air and federal assault squads.
They confiscated the gold and silver. This is nothing new. In 1933, Franklin Roosevelt confiscated everybody's gold. That's how it's done in a free country. The state's jackboots kick down your door and take your stuff.
It must be slim pickins on the domestic terrorist front. No compound of toddlers to burn down in Waco, no pregnant women to assassinate in Ruby Ridge, no Cuban children to kidnap in Miami.
Let us end on a positive holiday note.
This just came in the mail — a flier from the Israeli Project.
It lists dates from 1948-2007 under a headline: "Israel's history of peace."
This went in my personal "complaint" file with "Federal Reserve's history of economic stability," "Islam's history of 'Peace Be With You' or Else" and "Mother Teresa's History of the Mustang Ranch" with "bonus DVD."
Makes you squirm just to picture it, huh?
Phil Lucas is executive editor of The News Herald in Panama City, Fla. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Lucas and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.