This article belongs to In Search of Laughs! column.

CSPAN, the
venerable watch keepers of America's Congress, is celebrating the 25th
anniversary of its flagship cable TV show: Washington Journal, on Friday, Oct.
7th with a 25-hour marathon extravaganza! Since its inception in 1980, over a half million callers have
participated, and last week, They called ME!

To emphasize the
"call-in" segments of the show, the powers that be at Washington Journal
decided to have an essay contest with the theme: "Why I watch and participate!"
I entered, using Snail Mail, rather than E-mail, because my screen name
has Laffs in it, and just this one time, I actually wanted to be taken

The contest
rules stipulated a 250-word essay, which yielded 25 winners, and one grand
prizewinner. The grand prizewinner is invited, with all expenses paid, to our
nation's capital to co-host a segment of Washington Journal. The other lucky 25 winners will be
interviewed, one per hour, on air, and will each get to read their precious
essay to the whole wide world. Wow!

Last week, some
26 days after I mailed my entry, the phone rang. CSPAN's Director of Media, a
kind and helpful Ms. Jennifer Moire called to inform me that I was one of the
additional 25 winners. Wow! She answered my questions and told me when to
expect a call for my interview with one of the Washington Journal's regular
hosts. Be still my heart, is it Brian Lamb?

This week, one
of the kindest, most sincere, and most gracious ladies of our time, Ms. Susan
Swain called with a gleam in her voice. At least it seemed that way to me. She
took her time with me, knowing in the goodness of her heart, all the contest
winners would be thrilled to, at last, be an acknowledged partner with so
esteemed a media team.

Susan, as she
said I could address her, briefed me as to how the interview would progress,
and She even offered me an opportunity to re-do my reading, if necessary. I
told her: I am Lue Deck, The Comic in
Red Shoes, and I was very prepared.

I asked Susan if
I, jokingly, could propose that somebody, anybody, would nominate the founder
of CSPAN, Mr. Brian Lamb, for The Presidential Medal of Freedom. Well, Brian
must run a very tight ship over a CSPAN, because Susan reacted like I had just
shot her dog. "No, no, no, Brian never wants to be in the spotlight!" Well, three no's in a row convinced me this
was a dead-end path, so I raise the idea here. Write your Congressman!

I read my essay
and even managed to get a national plug in for The Cheers.org as well. Any of
my devoted readers will spot some of my article titles within my essay. It's like Where's Waldo…with Red Shoes. Off
the air, I managed to make Susan laugh with a couple of selected jokes I
thought she'd go for.

" Did you hear
they're actually going to make Rocky 6?

Yeah, in Rocky
6, this time, Rocky fights osteoporosis! "

Susan laughed.

" The price of
gasoline is so high in America now…

We're gonna have to invade three MORE
countries! "

Susan gasped a
little, but she did laugh!

My essay wasn't
intended to be funny. It was intended to honor CSPAN. If you ever listen to Washington Journal, you'll soon realize
that some of the smartest people in the world call in, and so do some of the
most narrow-minded people. Regular viewers get used to discerning which is
which. I'm the smart ass one.

My interview
will air on Friday, October 7th at 11pm PDT Wow!

Won't you join
us? Feel free to call in!

My genuine
thanks to the lovely Jennifer Moire, the talented Susan Swain, and the
reclusive Brian Lamb over at CSPAN.

A copy of my
essay (with the jokes I edited out for CSPAN, now appearing only here, in italics) is included at the end of this

your TV, please!

Washington Journal contributes to an informed electorate! People get to see our
democratic republic evolve its own laws!
It's remarkably like watching our original Constitutional Convention, in

(Except that Washington
Journal's hosts do act as referees)

our Founding Fathers were
alive today
, they would all be watching, muttering, and calling into Washington Journal!

(Can't you just see Brian
trying to enforce the " 30 days between calls" rule on Thomas Jefferson or
Aaron Burr?)

this program acts as a social
stethoscope, providing everyone,
everyday, an opportunity to hear the
American heartbeat!

(The heartbeat with high
cholesterol and inflated blood pressure)

Observing the diverse newspapers, WJ's audience gets to ponder what is happening, all over our
country, Warts and All! Also, The Hotline, and Roll Call segments play like crazy sports bloopers. More please! Heroically,
the only chance some of our citizens
will ever get to speak out in
public, for what they believe, is on WJ!
Never lose that, please!

As long as one remembers to MUTE one's TV, ANYONE can join in!

(Which one in four usually
forget to do, those morons!)

Some callers parrot their
party line; others want answers. WJ
remains impartial, using separate lines for opposing viewpoints, with one extra
line for those oh, so wacky Others.
These far-flung seekers turn out to be the ultimate SUPPORT groups! By each show's end, all sides have gotten almost
equal time. It's fair! WJ gets loud,
and it's often rowdy, but it is chock
full of
information, and C-Span's hosts are always fair.

(The oh, so wacky Others
can include: Misfits, Mavericks, ETs, hobos,

Libertarians, and former
Gov. Jessie Ventura, but not Pat Buchanan!)

This is why I watch and

I watched Washington Journal on its first
day, I watched it yesterday, and if America
, I'll watch Washington Journal tomorrow!

maybe I'm just a little obsessed!)

Wow, it
really happened, CSPAN actually called little ole ME!