Rrrriinnng! Rrrriinnng! Rrrriin --
" -- whatever you can. We'll just have to figure -- yeah, hello."
"Good morning, is this Mandate Movers?"
"Mandate Movers, absolutely! 'The Man with the Van,' serving the Nation's Capital since -- '"
"We need some boxes. Actually, we need a lot of boxes."
"And shipping crates, too. Up on the Hill. How soon can you get 'em here?"
"You guys called already -- last week sometime. 'Lots of boxes, lots of shipping crates' -- I've got the order right here."
"Well, we need more."
"You must be having some wild kind of moving party up there, am I right?"
"Something like that."
"Everybody playing musical chairs with their offices? 'You take mine, I take yours'?"
"You'd think you guys'd want to stay put for a while -- not that I mind! Just means I gotta put in some extra hours."
"Actually, a lot of our folks would prefer to stay put. Definitely. But it's not their decision."
"They're congressmen, aren't they? They've got clout! So who else gets to decide if they -- oh, I get it."
"The voters get to -- "
"But it isn't even Election Day yet! Don't you usually wait till Election Day to see who's moving out?"
"Let's just say we're planning ahead."
"Understand, I'm not complaining or anything."
"Tell you the truth, it gives me a little heads up -- I'm gonna have to order up more boxes from my supplier. Plenty more boxes. But don't you -- "
"We can read the polls. We know what's coming."
"And it's gonna be bad?"
"You could say that."
"The people went south on you, huh? They don't think you got anything done?"
"They don't think we got anything done -- and they think we did way too much."
"They think -- but that don't make any sense!"
"Tell me about it."
"How can they be ticked off that you did too little and ticked off that you did too much?"
"Don't ask me -- ask the Republicans. They're the ones putting it out there. And also that the recession's our fault. And that we bailed out the banks, and Wall Street. And the car companies."
"They wanted the banks to go belly up?"
"And the car companies?"
"And that'll help us get out of the recession?"
"That's what they're saying."
"But that just means more jobs out the window, right? Bad enough out there without -- and what then? Max out their credit cards? Lose their health insurance?"
"Oh, that's the other thing we did -- health insurance."
"You took away health insurance?! With all the problems out there, how could you -- "
"We added health insurance. For kids. For people with pre-existing conditions. For lots of people."
"And they didn't like that."
"Apparently not. And we cracked down on the credit-card companies."
"They didn't like that either."
"They thought you were too hard on 'em? They thought you were too easy on 'em?"
"Who knows what they thought? They just didn't like it. They didn't like anything. So they're sending a lot of our guys packing."
"They're steamed at you."
"They're steamed, period. We just happen to be on the receiving end this time."
"It's a tough business."
"It's a tough business."
"So you want flip-top, or detachable?"
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Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at email@example.com.