By Tony Russell

"What's that odd clicking noise on our phone?" I asked as I hung up.

"I don't know," said Patty. "It started the day after you wrote that column about people who were saying the President should be impeached for violating free speech and privacy rights guaranteed by the Constitution."

"Was that about the same time my e-mail started acting funny?" I asked.

"Now that you mention it, I believe it was," she said.

"Well, never mind," I said, "I think I'll go out and rent a movie and then pick up a good biography at the library. That last one I read, on Osama bin Laden, was fascinating."

"Oh, that reminds me," she said. "Something funny happened at both those places when I went in last week. The clerk at Blockbusters fainted when I handed her our card, and the librarian turned pale and shook like a leaf when I started to check out my books."

"When was that?" I wondered.

"She thought a minute. "It was the same day you got the letter from the IRS saying you needed to come in for an audit," she said.

"Was that right after the night somebody broke into my therapist's office and rifled my files?" I queried.

"They probably found out you're paranoid," joked Patty. "But I believe you're right about the day. That stands out in my memory because I got into an argument with our mailman after I complained that somebody has been opening half the mail he delivers."

"Are you sure?" I asked. "Because I thought it was the day all our financial records temporarily disappeared at the credit union."

"No, that was the next day," she said. "I remember because that was the same day those nice men from the telephone company came to inspect our phone service, and the dogs kept barking at them and wouldn't shut up."

"You're right," I said, snapping my fingers, "because that was the day the FBI came into the office for some kind of hush-hush interview with my editor."

"Could you talk a little louder, Ace!" she yelled. "It's hard to hear you with that helicopter hovering overhead."

"Must be med-evacing somebody in the neighborhood," I offered.

"I don't think so," she said, looking out the window. "It must be one of the news channels, because a man is leaning out of the copter with a camera."

Read more at readtonyrussell.blogspot.com

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