Behold, their valiant ones shall cry without: the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly ~ Quote from the Christian Bible, Isaiah 33:7.
I was sitting at my desk at the Progressive Ideology Foundation, the Liberal think tank where I am employed as a senior fellow. My work done, I was currently writing a post for my blog. Just then the intercom on my desk beeped and the voice of my assistant Janeane Garner asked, "I have a Joe Truth on the line. Do you want to take his call?"
Joe Truth? I hadn't heard from him for a while. Not since our falling out. "OK", I responded. "Put him through". I picked up my phone when the light lit up indicating there was someone on the line. "Hello" I said. "Hey, is that you Dervish?" Joe Truth asked. "Yes", I answered. "How can I help you Joe?".
"Dervish, you might be surprised to be hearing from me, since we stopped speaking after I insulted you by calling you a frigging nut". "Yeah, that was more than a year ago now", I acknowledged.
"Well, the reason I'm contacting you is because I want to apologize. I'm dreadfully sorry about saying you're nuts. Please let me take you out to dinner to make it up to you. I'll be eternally grateful if you'll grant me this opportunity to rekindle our friendship".
How odd, I thought. Joe Truth and I had never actually been friends. Not close ones, in any case. Perhaps we could be referred to as associates, since he was also a Lefty blogger. His blog had actually been quite successful, but all that went south when he closed it down - and then reopened it. Several times. He said the people he worked with didn't approve of the Liberal beliefs he expressed online. Apparently he was now some kind of high-powered businessman who worked at a very Conservative firm.
"OK", I agreed. "I'll meet you". I had some sympathy for the guy, although not a lot, since he had never explained why he had slandered me. Even worse, he had spoken about me behind my back with an a-hole from the Higher-Ordered Person's Society - a organization comprised of phony moderates that think they're better than everyone else. But, even if the apology wasn't adequate, I was up for a free meal.
"Where and when do you want to meet?" I queried. "How about tomorrow night at 8? I've made reservations at the Quarry". "No way" I replied. "The Quarry is where the Higher-Ordered Person's Society meets". "Don't worry buddy. I was briefly associated with that group, but no longer. I know you don't like them. Besides they aren't meeting there tomorrow", Joe protested. "And the Quarry is one of the finest restaurants in town. Surf and Turf. My treat", Joe added.
"I guess", I relented. "But I'll take my apology first, and you can grovel some more when we meet". "I'm really sorry", Joe pleaded. "Please meet me". So, against my better judgment I agreed to meet Joe. A free meal and some groveling from an individual who wronged me does not happen very often.
The next evening I drove my Ford Focus to the meeting with Joe Truth, arriving a few minutes early. Leaving my vehicle in the parking lot, I entered the Quarry and approached the hostess. "Can you tell me if Joe Truth is here?" I asked the woman behind the counter.
"Let me check" the woman responded, scanning her records. "Yes, I have a table for the Truth party. You must be Mr. Dervish?" I nodded and she led me to a table. "Mr. Truth is at the bar", the hostess said, explaining why Joe was absent. "I'll let him know you're here" she said, and left.
A few minutes later Truth joined me. "I pre-ordered our Surf and Turf", Joe said, pulling out a chair and sitting down. "The hostess told me our waiter should be bringing it over momentarily". "Great", I said. "I've been looking forward to this. The meal AND the groveling". "Sure", replied Joe. "But let's eat first. I also ordered an expensive bottle of wine".
"Wow! That was a great meal", an obviously sated Joe Truth sighed after polishing off his dinner. "Now for the bad news", Joe continued. "I'm not going to grovel. In fact, I'm going to retract my earlier apology. Now, before you storm off, let me explain. It's the least you could do, considering the money I just spent feeding you".
I glared at Joe as he continued speaking. "No apology because I still think you're totally nuts, although I mean that in a good way. The real reason I wanted to meet was to broker a peace between you and William Hartenbaum". "F*ck that", I growled angrily. "I don't want to have anything to do with that d-bag". (Hartenbaum is the previously mentioned a-hole from the Higher-Ordered Person's Society).
"Now, wait a minute", Joe protested. "As you probably know, I recently appointed myself Ambassador of Blogistan. I need to broker this peace to bolster my bona fides. Also, William isn't a d-bag, nor is he a phony moderate. I believe he is actually a closet Liberal".
"You're the one who is nuts", I exclaimed. "This doofus you're oddly enamored of is in no way a Liberal. He's a conservative Democrat at best. Does a closet liberal rail against the minimum wage, complain about progressives saying the rich should pay their fair share, and write literally DOZENS of blog posts about how bad green energy is and how climate change isn't happening?"
"Right, a closet liberal", Joe Truth said with a straight face. "Bet you didn't know he's also in favor of marriage equality and allowing the bush tax cuts to expire?". "No, I knew about those two things", I replied, giving up trying to reason with Truth. "Thanks for the grub", I concluded, "but I've got to be going. By the way, Hartenbaum isn't here, is he?".
"As a matter of fact..." Truth began to admit, but I quickly jumped from my seat and ran toward the exit. "See you on the internet but don't call me again", I added in parting. If Hartenbaum was here I wanted to not be here as soon as possible. Hopefully I could make it out the door without encountering him.