Tuesday, August 21, 2007

No Peek

Starr Ann and I played poker at Jodie Diamond's last night.

And we got to meet three of Jodie's friends. One woman was an engineer from Mexico, one a clerk at a Home Depot in Tennessee, and I didn't quite catch what it is that Pokey does.

Now, when the conversation turns to current events, Starr Ann's natural tendency to radical statements can make for some tense moments. But no need to worry about that with this bunch.

First hand, Pokey folded, saying, "I'm out, like a tourist fleeing a Category 5 hurricane."

Sabrina from Home Depot threw her cards in. "Yeah, I fold, like an advisor deserting a Category 5 presidency."

The engineer, who gave off definite Jodie-seeking vibes, laughed and raised the bet, saying, "Let's pump in some liquidity and see what happens, ladies."

You get the picture. And the banter rolled along innocently enough until somebody mentioned sky snoops. Of course, that put a burr under Starr Ann's saddle, and she just had to have every detail. I won't go into it all, but here's the story, in case you're interested in the fact that Homeland Security is about to create a new body — the National Applications Office — to vet requests from local law enforcement and federal civilian agencies to get unprecedented access to spy assets typically reserved for the intelligence community.

Yes, the most intrusive and destructive administration in history is about to give itself a new toy - domestic spying from space. Smile, Chemical George is watching! No matter where you are - in your garden, in your bed, at your dentist - Big Brother can watch, legally.

I thought Starr Ann would spit the bit and head for the horizon over that piece of news, but she just got real calm, like you never want to see Starr Ann get, and said, "Doubt they can penetrate the sensor-scrambling technology I've applied to all my underground shelters. I'll see your dollar, Pokey, and raise you fifty cents."

Well, that ended the poker game. Sabrina and Pokey started in grilling Starr Ann about her "hobby," while the engineer followed Jodie out to the kitchen. I passed the kitchen door just in time to hear Jodie telling the engineer, in effect, thanks but no thanks because her heart's currently in the able hands of a certain Fed-dodging, conspiracy-theorist cowgirl from just down the road. I could have hugged Jodie Diamond for that.

The night ended with a field trip to Starr Ann's nearest bunker. The ladies were impressed, to put it mildly. Starr Ann broke out a fresh deck of cards, along with some chips and salsa, and we played our poker like a bunch of free citizens transparent to government surveillance.

I won $2.25 and Starr Ann lost $1.50.