"Rrrrinnng! Rrrin -- ''
'Good morning -- The Center of New Hampshire Holiday Inn. May I help you?''
''Could you connect me to one of the TV reporters, please?''
''Certainly. Which one would that be?''
''Just one of the network fellas -- I'll start with any of them.''
''I think some of them have already -- oh wait, I've got one still listed here. Please hold. . . .''
''Rrrrinnng! Rr -- ''
''Oh, hi -- this is John from Laconia. You interviewed me last week about the primary.''
''I interviewed everybody last week about the primary.''
''I thought you might want my analysis of the results. When you come right down to it, I figure we were sending a real wake-up call to both -- ''
''Look, I'm kind of busy right now.''
''Oh. Getting ready to hit the streets and talk to more voters, I'll bet.''
''Packing my bags, actually. Do you have some information for me?''
''Infor -- ? Yeah, absolutely. Sure. How's this? 'The mood in this picturesque little New Hampshire community can best be described as troubled. In fact -- ' ''
''Why are you talking like that?''
''Just trying to save you some time -- it always comes out that way anyhow. Look, why don't you hold on a second, I'll put the wife on. She's the one for the colorful quotes.''
''But I don't have -- ''
''Hello? This is Claire -- you interviewed me last week about the primary.''
''I interviewed ev -- never mind. What have you got for me?''
''Well, I think the voters in New Hampshire were really saying, 'Listen up, Washington!' Not only that, I think we proved the president -- ''
''Is this going to take long? I really have to go.''
''OK, I'll put John back on.''
''No need! I've already talked --''
''Hello? John here. Look, here's what I've set up for you: Me and some of the fellas, we're heading over to the coffee shop here for one of those lunchtime chats you folks love to cover. What say you meet us over there at noon?''
''I'd love to, but I really -- ''
''And after that, we'll have one of those focus groups so we can give all sorts of advice to the candidates. I've got a position paper on taxes that'll knock your -- ''
''I've got a plane to catch.''
''A plane. It leaves in an hour.''
''If I don't give it to you, I'll give it to the other networks. They interviewed me, too, you know.''
''They've already left.''
''Already? How could -- I thought you guys really cared about what we think up here!''
''We do -- every four years, and until the very moment the last primary vote is counted.''
''And after that?''
''How can I put this? You're -- ''
'' -- making history?''
''Something like that.''
''Well, that's some consolation -- but it sure would be nice to keep in touch with you fellas afterward. We just love to be in the middle of things! Isn't there anything we can do?''
''Well, now that you mention it, there is one thing.''
''You could move to Maryland.''
Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist.