Saturday, October 30, 2004

My Pen, I Am

Yesterday's 6 a.m. appearance in Santa Maria on KSMA's Doug and Hoot show went well. Doug and Hoot were kind to me, Hoot especially.

For this on-the-air election forum, their show was broadcast from a meeting room in the historic Santa Maria Inn, in downtown Santa Maria. Apparently the Santa Maria Rotary has met at this hotel since 1922.

They invited a local elected official to join in the questioning of their guests discussing various issues on the ballot. I couldn't tell if she was playing Devil's Advocate or not, but she gave me a tough time. She wanted to know, since they have an Indian casino in Santa Barbara County, what's wrong with spreading casinos throughout the rest of the state. After my first answer, she said I hadn't answered her question and asked it again.

After our exchange as I was leaving, you can imagine my surprise when the local elected official asked if she could have my pen. (She had been trying to make do with a thick-tipped Marks-A-Lot pen.) I told her she should have thought of that before she hassled me on the air.

OK, not really. So I spent the rest of the day reaching for the pen that no longer existed in my pocket. I'm a creature of habit. I always carry a pen. I always carry a hanky. For twenty years I carried a pocket comb. I guess I finally accepted being folliclly-challenged when I didn't buy a new one after I lost my last pocket comb a few years ago.

Where does that little charge I get come from when a sales clerk offers me a pen to sign for something and I'm standing there -- Bob Dole-like -- with my own pen ready to sign?

Fortunately, I now have a new pen and am ready to face the day.

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