Thursday, October 16, 2008

Blinking light

Our answering machine was blinking. The call had registered at approximately 8:03 p.m., EST, precisely when Liz and I were singing songs and saying prayers for our daughters to lull them to sleep.

An eight o'clock call is never promising: it's too late for good news ('Congratulations, you've won a weekend cruise), and I'm too and masculine to enjoy a casual, mid-week chat. I've long since passed that two-month window in fifth grade where talking on the phone was fun.

No, a call at eight o'clock means someone in the church is bleeding or your Alma mater needs money or your brother-in-law wants to borrow your second season of The Office. Anyone who calls at eight o'clock wants something.

I wasn't eager to listen to the message. I didn't feel like resourcing myself. But my desire was trumped by an overwhelming sense of duty, or an unfortunate case of answering-machine OCD. (I also suffer from check-the-mail and read-the-police-beat OCD.)

Beckoned by the blinking light, I pressed the Play button. It was a dispassionate, female voice. She was calling for John McCain. She was calling to rally me. She was calling to impugn Barack Obama and the Illinois state legislature for their liberal views on abortion.

She was calling to inform me that late-term fetuses that survive the monstrous abortion process are not the doctor's responsibility.

She was calling to tell me that these babies may be set out to cry, dry, and die.

She was letting me know, as I sang lullabies to my three-year old and prayed peace over my one-year old, that the doctors were not required to pray peace over these children, and the nurses were not mandated to sing 'Good Night Sweetheart.'

She was letting me know, before I sat down for Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream and conversation with my wife, that the hospital was not responsible to provide feeding tubes and respirators to these survivors.

The woman did not ask for my vote; the facts spoke for themselves. In the end, the only thing this message asked of me was to have a ' Good night,' a salutation not legally required by doctors in Illinois; they must merely state this the time of death.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'll have to help buck the trend of unwelcome after-eight phone calls. I promise, if I call after 8:00, it won't be to press you for money or for a vote. Instead, it will be a simple gesture of friendship...and a chance to talk some football with a twice-upon-a-time roommate. :-)
Miss you bud,