Downtown Diary 

"Names, please"

"Names, please"
The phone rang. It was Rachel, calling long distance. "How are things in Naptown? How are things with that paper you write for - what"s it called, The Nanoo?" she asked with a laugh in her voice. "Things are fine here as usual. And it"s not The Nanoo, it"s NUVO, as I"m quite sure you are aware," I replied. "It must be getting lonely in Indianapolis, what with the brain drain and all. But then again, I notice you are still there and seem as happy as an Ashcroft Youth in his bedroom secretly looking at a book of "degenerate art." What, if anything, is in your mind these days?" "Just marveling at the performance of our hillbilly junta in Washington," I replied. "What"s up with you?" "Well, J., I do keep up with your so-called Downtown Diary online, and I couldn"t help noticing that you suddenly are socializing with women with names like "L.," "P.," and "Ms. O." What is this, a low-rent 007 movie or something? Names, please, I need names!" "Jealous?" "Ha! As your ex-lover I can only say: Been there, done that. So no, I"m not jealous, just inquisitive. Out with the names, please." "OK: Lexi, Paola, Olga."* "Such names!" "Well, two are foreign, and one"s a nickname - what"s wrong with that?" "Whatever happened to good old-fashioned womanly names like mine - Rachel? What"s next for you - Bibi? Fifi? No, I"m not one bit happy with these names. As you know, we women retain certain proprietary rights over our ex-lovers and I am about to exercise one of mine: I am going to compile and send to you a list of women"s names that I approve of. And I would advise you to refer to that list whenever you meet a new woman." "And if I don"t?" "Then I"ll exercise another of my ex-lover rights - I"ll publicly ridicule you!" * Notice how quickly J. Williams crumbles when under interrogation. Disgraceful! -The eds.

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