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One Week in the Life of an Operation TIPS Volunteer
July 19, 2002
By Mike McArdle

Today 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 office.

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?

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