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Dan Murphy

The Total Man Package
by Dan Murphy

November 2001

That's right, the CNN Network called me the other day. I had another column in the works on an interview with humor columnist John Kelso from the Austin American-Statesman, but that is going to have to wait until next month. It's not every day that CNN calls.

Here's what happened. I got off work late from one of my part-time jobs. Then I went to eat with a friend of mine. When I got home, I had to respond to some emails from people. To make a long story short, I didn't go to bed until 5 a.m. This is why I didn't pick up the phone when it rang at 9:30 in the morning and the Caller ID said "CNN Networks." The CNN caller also didn't leave a message.

Then came the questions. I immediately began to wonder why CNN Networks was calling me. I knew there could be a lot of reasons like the following:

Was CNN doing a follow-up story on the TMP/Jesse "The Mind" Ventura takeover of the government in Austin, Texas during the November 2000 election crisis that I wrote about? Did they want a comment from me about my recent Taliban email? Were they looking for a new Crossfire host? Were they calling just to get a last-minute comment from me about how life was in my apartment complex before the Delta Force reduced the whole building to ash for being a known terrorist cell operation?

Sure, there was a more obvious reason - that they probably just called to do a survey - but that didn't make sense either. I worked for two years for The Gallup Poll and we did all the polls for CNN. I called my friend Gilbert at Gallup to confirm that they still did CNN's polls. He confirmed they still did. The plot thickens!!!

Then, I called the CNN Networks phone number listed on my Caller ID. It kept saying in a British lady's voice, "Please enter your personal identification number followed by the pound sign." It gets weirder. I also noticed the phone number was local. CNN with offices in Austin?

I was running out of wacky reasons and methods to find out why CNN was calling me, so I decided to call my good friend and former Southwest Texas State College roommate Jeff to see what he thought about it. Jeff loves conspiracy stuff like the Kennedy thing. Jeff's not on the level of conspiracy theories of an Alex Jones, a syndicated radio host with local public access shows, but he's close. For example, in college we were both convinced I had recorded a demon on my mini recorder. It turned out I switched the tape speed on the recorder which cut the speed of my speech in half and thus made me sound like a demon.

Jeff and I both have a real knack for taking a puzzle, like my CNN call, to the screwiest tangent possible. When we get together talking about possible reasons, it's kind of like that Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon game. You know - where you name actors and then link them to other actors and it eventually leads to Kevin Bacon. Well, I'm confident that, given the chance, Jeff and I would have had this CNN call linked to something unrealistic.

Well, I never got the chance to see how far off we would have gotten because Jeff's wife Wendy answered the phone. I told her about my little mystery. Then Wendy says, "That's funny, because I got a call the other day on my Caller ID from CNM Networks." She was unable to answer the phone because she was in the shower and they also didn't leave a message. Notice she said CNM as in Mary. So I checked my Caller ID and guess what it said CN M, as in Mary.

That's right, I went on a total wild goose chase because I thought my Caller ID said CNN Networks when in reality it said CNM Networks. Yeah, it's probably some company telemarketing industrial cleaning products and I thought it was the world famous CNN News Network. Cease your laughing, damn it!!! It's not like you Jabronies wouldn't have done the same thing. Besides, I had you guys duped into thinking that CNN really did call me until I got to this part of the column. So EAT IT!!!

Anyhow, I'm not taking responsibility for this one. Oh no, it's not my fault. (We all know it's just so much easier to blame somebody else.) I bet CNM did this deliberately to get free publicity and increase sales. Then people like myself will actually pick up the phone or call back. I bet they even named their company president Ted Burner just to confuse people into thinking it's Ted Turner, the real owner of CNN. My dreams of hosting Crossfire and going totally Nutso while calling Pat Buchanan a festering putz have just been completely thwarted. All because this company decides to give itself a name almost identical to a major cable TV news channel. How dare they throw me off track!

I'm just going to have to start calling Wendy "The Universal Debunker." She's pointed out answers for stupid things Jeff or I have done before without even knowing it. In college, before Jeff and I would walk into the HEB in San Marcos, we would wave up to the black box at the top of the front doors and say hi. We thought we were being real cute by waving to the security guys we believed were watching it. Then we went to the store with Wendy and she said something like, "What are you idiots waving at? That's not a camera. It's the automatic scanner to open the front doors." We had been doing this for months.

Wendy should call Alex Jones and clean up some of his theories. I'm confident she can come up with a conspicuous reason for the whole Magic Bullet Theory if the government would only ask for her help. I just wish she would stop debunking my mysteries or moronic behavior.

I've got news for ya, HONEY!!!(Wendy): Quit ruining my delusions of grandeur. I don't appreciate it. Like Nicholson said in a FEW GOOD MEN, "I can't handle the truth."

Hey, I got to go. Ted Burner just called me back and wants me to take over the Southwest Products Division of the company. Talk to you guys later.

Take Care!!!

Dan Murphy
The Total Man Package!!!!!!!! Woooooooo!!!!!

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