copyright © 2003 Ed Malin

Ed Malin


"Smooth Operator"


There is only one thing I’m afraid of, Mrs. President. But back to that in a moment. I didn’t get to be a CIA agent by what I didn’t do, but rather by what I did do.

When I was young, I used to take beetles and centipedes and put them on my body. It scared the hell out of my brother, that little wuss. Every time I’m standing in a women’s room line I think, why god, when you were handing out the cocks, did you not think of me? Yes, insects didn’t bother me at all. I also used to light fires, first in trash cans in parks, and then sometimes under the toys of kids I didn’t like. I particularly remember the enjoyment I got from my incendiary attack on Lucy Jane O’Malley’s cabbage patch kid doll in 1985. Now you may think it’s un-American to murder a kid’s plaything, one their mother had to fight off the other suburban heifers in the toy store just to get. Then again, burning toys means you have to replace them with better ones, and isn’t that all the American economy, to say nothing of the war effort, is all about? Another thing that doesn’t faze me is drowning. Senior year of high school for our graduation party we had a yacht cruise, and wouldn’t you know it, I was standing by the prow when the ship banked to avoid a manatee, and I was thrown overboard. Passed out in the water, I could easily have bought the farm but for the fact that being unconscious bores me, and I snapped out of it, snapped out of my party dress, and swam back up dripping and nude. Add that to the list: I’m not embarrassed to be embarrassed and that includes au naturel.

So what is it that’s eating me up inside. After all, it is 2008 and I’ve had plenty of experience at this. No, no, President Winfrey, there certainly is something. And thank you for saying I can call you Oprah, but I never refer to people by first names; they smack of onomatopoeia. I’m comfortable with your plan to make Miami the 51st state. I’ve accepted the need for force, and the invasion plan is most sound indeed. But ya see, even though it’s classified and I’ll never mention it by name to anyone, Operation Wooly Mammoth really frightens me.

Now I’m not saying I hate the name. Hate and fear are different things. I’d hate to die and be reincarnated as a Seinfeld character–because that would mean a wasted life–but I’m not afraid to die.

One shrink deduced that "Wooly Mammoth" brings me back to a bad post-modern theater experience I had as a child, but that can’t be right.

Hair is the problem. I’m sure as a woman you’ll understand me. I shave my legs every day, twice daily in the summer because; enough said. I also raze my moustache and, well, I mow the lawn frequently if you know what I mean. The thought of a Mammoth, a creature huger than a hippopotamus, with all that hair, looking me in the eye, that is what I fear.

Please, Mrs. President, can’t we change the name to Operation Mole Rat? Operation Harbor Seal? Operation Bald Eagle? Anything without a fro? Because a thicket is a place to get lost in, and I am a Smooth Operator.


"Smooth Operator" debuted March 28, 2003, performed by Amy Dellagiarino.

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