Ted, I’m Not Listening to Your Phone Sex Calls, by Nate Horton, NSA Officer

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Whoa, playing the four iron a little long today, huh, Ted? Might wanna the lay off the Wheaties a little bit, right?

Very funny, Ted; I don’t actually know which cereal you buy. That’s none of my concern–I was just making a joke.

So, you still planning on coming over the barbeque on Saturday? Helen’s planning on making her ambrosia salad–judging by how much you ate last time, she should probably make two tupperware containers’ worth of the stuff. Because you ate so much of it.

Anyway, Katie and Rodgrigo are going to be there, so it would be really nice to have someone there to talk to, ya know? Those two are always yapping on and on about the deals they get on international travel, and I really couldn’t give less of a hoot about all that stuff. I mean, really, who has time to travel these days?

That’s a real nice golf shirt you have on. A damn fine golf shirt–what is it, Izod? I have an Izod one that I swear is the exact same one, only in red.

It’s your shot, Ted.

Ted, what are you looking at me like that for? Do I have some grass on my face?

Is this about my job again?

Ted, I’m not listening to your phone sex calls. Trust me.

I know that it’s legally within my right as an officer of the National Security Agency to listen in on the phone and internet activity of all American citizens. As you can imagine, most of these conversations are pretty boring, whether it’s people waiting on hold with the cable company or two high school girls making plans to meet up at the mall. You’d think that I’d want to take a break and listen to something particularly juicy, like my neighbor and friend Ted Arnold’s calls to a 1-900 sex hotline. You’d think that, but I’m not doing that, Ted. I would never.

What’s that? You heard that conversations where we have at least 51% confidence that a foreigner is involved is automatically flagged for review? Well that’s not entirely true, technically, but yeah, if we had reason to believe that an American citizen was on the phone with, say, a Russian teenage girl, several times a week over the past 8 months, then yeah, we might look into that. Especially if that conversation involved some of our “trigger” words, such as, I don’t know, “gag” or “kidnap” or “my wife is uncomfortable with anal stimulation,” then it would be pretty negligent of us to just turn the other way, don’t you think?

Ted, that was just an example.

I don’t want to be a dick, but you’re not allowed to touch the sand before you engage in your swing.

I’ll go ahead and call in lunch so it’s ready at the turn. I hope nobody listens in and finds out that I want Ruffles with my turkey club!

Alright, I’ll stop.

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