The idea seems so simple that I don't know why anyone didn't think of it before.
You're a liberal (this is just a hypothetical).
You think talk radio is ruining America (this may be less hypothetical than it sounds).
You keep listening for your point of view, and you don't hear it unless you're tuned in to certain secular-humanist, rock and roll stations.
Then, one night, while you're surfing the 'Net, looking for the latest from the conspiracy front -- and you thought the Internet was just a place to download Playboy centerfolds -- you find an answer.
Call Rush Limbaugh.
He's in the book.
Call him. And keep calling him. Call him like he was your best friend. Call him like he was your bookie. Call him like he was a Domino's delivery person, which he just might be in his dreams.
Call him until it drives him nuts.
That's what it says to do right there on the Internet. My source on this is Rush himself. (Actually it's a friend who listens to Rush, who says that's what Rush said. His excuse for tuning in Limbaugh, by the way, is that Howard Stern isn't on in the afternoons.)
According to Limbaugh, liberals are conspiring to invade his show, in much the way that the government is conspiring to steal your tax dollars. Everything's a conspiracy these days.
From the far-out wacky right, we hear that the government is planning to plant computer chips in the heads of unsuspecting loyal Americans. These chips, the theory goes, would guide invading U.N. troops, who, historically, have had trouble reading maps.
This liberal, get-on-the-air-with-Rush conspiracy could be even more dangerous, however. Who knows what thoughts liberals might plant in the heads of unsuspecting loyal Americans?
That's the idea -- to dilute the message, to elbow in on some time from the ditto-heads, to challenge Mount Rush himself on his own turf.
But you have to be smooth. If Rush gets even a hint that you're planning to come on with some femi-nazi, eco-nazi, liberal-nazi propaganda, he'll cut you off faster than you can say Barney, uh, Frank.
That's where the Net comes in. This is the Net as a how-to book. (Remember books?) The conspirators -- reportedly holed up in Michael Kinsley's house with the other liberal survivalists -- are offering advice on how to get on the show, and how to stay on.
The first thing you do is to compliment your host. Miss Manners could tell you that much.
For example, this would be the wrong way to begin: "Rush, has anyone every told you you're a fat, sweaty pig?"
And this would be the right way: "Oooh, I wish I could be just like you, have millions of dollars, always be right, and get to marry an aerobics instructor."
Interestingly, Rush found his latest wife -- his third -- on the Internet. Apparently, they met in one of those conversation rooms -- you know, the one for thin women who like to crunch in company with overweight men. Third marriage? Is this guy Mr. Family Values or an oversized Mickey Rooney?
Once you get on the air, you actually have to talk about something.
From the few times I've listened, most of the conversation is about how cool Rush is, how uncool Clinton is, and how, if the polar icecaps melt, at least then we'll finally have some unfluoridated water.
You've got to find your own way here. It's not easy, especially if you've never been an actual ditto-head. You could talk about term limits. You could talk about which Republican presidential candidate you'd take in a hog-calling contest -- Bob Dornan or Pat Buchanan.
You probably couldn't get very far discussing Republican political adviser Ed Rollins, who recently had to quit Bob Dole's campaign because of a slight slip of the tongue. What he did, jokingly of course, was call two Jewish politicians "Hymie boys." That could happen to anyone, but usually only to Rollins or Jesse Jackson. I think if you want to get very far with Rush, maybe Jesse Jackson's the way to go.
If it's me, though, I'm not sure hassling Rush is such a great idea.
Call me paranoid. (Hey, who isn't?) This is a man who claims he has his own truth detector. I'm more worried that he might have caller ID. And he might want to call me back.