Week in the Life of an Operation TIPS Volunteer
July 19, 2002
By Mike McArdle
we get a rare glimpse at a week in the life of one of these
patriotic Americans who've volunteered to join their work
with our Homeland Security needs. Joe Bigelow (an alias, of
course) is not just your average cable guy. He's an unsung
hero who gives of himself to keep the rest of us safe. And
he's agreed to share a week of his personal journal with us.
Monday, March 10, 2003
Well, the week started out with a bang. Some no-good SOB
was sitting in my parking space at the cable company this
morning. I was e-mailing the Ash Man's tip line before nine
with his license number and the fact that he had the Koran
in his back seat. Well, it was a big book anyway and how do
I know it's not the friggin' Koran; ya see what I'm drivin'
at? I mean, like shoot, am I doin' my job for America if it
is the Koran I don't say something? Hell no. Tough
one, Habib. You picked the wrong guy's spot to steal but Mr.
Ashcroft knows who you are now.
Things slowed down after that but then about three o'clock
I'm doin' a cable install and the two people in the damn house
are talkin' in friggin' Spanish, ya know. I mean they're home
in the middle of the day, speakin' that language, ya know.
Legals, illegals? I don't know but the Ash Man will. Sent
the name and address off to him as soon as I got back to the
Tuesday, March 11, 2003
Got one today. Two guys. Livin' together, if ya see what
I'm getting' at. One of them referred to the other as his
partner. Get it? My first week in TIPS I didn't know whether
this was the kind of stuff they wanted. So I called up and
asked if I should send this in and they said they like didn't
want to say yes and they didn't want to say no but they would
kind of like to have an idea of where these people are. So
this is my fifth one now and one of those was a lesbian thing.
I mean I don't mean 'em no harm but shoot we can't be too
careful ya know. We had the Twin Towers go two years ago and
it ain't gonna be Joe Bigelow's fault if it happens again.
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
Couple of 'em today.
Young woman, about 25, she was pretty, ya know, but damned
if I don't see a half-smoked homemade cigarette in her ashtray.
A joint, ya know. The told us about this in training. You
know, tell 'em ya gotta take a leak and go see what's in the
medicine cabinet. Make an excuse to go to the basement (told
her I had to check where the cable was comin' in). I didn't
find anything else but I e-mailed her name and address to
Mr. Ash's TIP line anyway. I mean she said she was a teacher,
for cryin' out loud. What are the kids learnin' here if ya
know what I mean.
And then, a damn 7-11, one that's run by, well, you know
the kind of people who run 7-11s. And, these people actually
have a cable hookup in the little office behind the store.
I haven't gone into a damn 7-11 since 9-11 if you know what
I mean. I mean it wasn't all of them, ya know. It was just
a few who snuck into the country and all but I can't forget
about it. I can't even have a Slurpee and I used to love those
things. I hooked up their cable but I couldn't help but wonder
if they were all gonna be sittin around laughing the next
time a building goes down. And on the TV that I cabled
up if ya know what I mean. Told the Ash Man's crew to
visit this place ASAP.
Thursday, March 13, 2003
Just went through the motions on my stops today. I mean godamn
Mullah Omar could have needed a cable box installed and I
probably would have just hooked him up, ya know.
Bill McGuire, the supervisor, I mean he's never really like
me, know what I mean. He tells me first thing that the company
has to cut one installer and I'm it. Laid-off. Gone. I mean
how am I gonna do my TIPS work?
I can't lose my job the Ash man needs me. TIPS needs me.
Hell, America needs me. That creep McGuire's not going to
get away with this. I had no choice but to visit his desk
after he left and drop off the TIPS survival kit.
Friday, March 14, 2003
Well, you should have seen the look on McGuires face when
the cops raided his office and found all those pictures of
naked little boys and little girls. Slapped the cuffs on him
right there and he was no longer a problem. Went back to my
cable work and even found another pair of lesbians.
Now I know what you're thinkin' and look, I mean I wasn't
crazy about what I did to McGuire, I mean the guy had a wife
and two kids, ya know, but it had to be done. America's survival's
at stake here and I've gotta be able to do the Ash Man's work.
To me it's just about freedom. Ya know what I mean?