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PINE NUTS – The Ombudsman

June 30, 2023 | McAvoy Lane

Having been born in Providence Hospital, and having been one lucky person all my Providential life, I thought I should take a little time travel and visit that lucky place of concurrence. So I booked a flight for Washington D.C…Hey, Buzz Aldrin’s mother’s name was Marion Moon…and as there are no coincidences, I determined to visit the birthplace of my good fortune, Providence Hospital.

Arriving in the capital I felt a desire to visit the House of Representatives before heading over to Providence. Not knowing anybody in the body politic, I fashioned myself to be an ombudsman, created an ID to reflect that lofty position, OMBUDSMAN, laminated it, and pinned it to my vest. As good fortune would have it, the Sergent-at-Arms, recognized and enthusiastically welcomed me as an ombudsman, smiled, and waved me inside. 

I strode confidently into that noble chamber, took an empty seat, and started making my notes for a short filibuster.

The Speaker was about to bring a bill to a vote and asked for final arguments. I didn’t know what that particular bill was about, but seeing my opportunity, I stood to make my case, and pretty well had to shout, as members began asking, “What the heck is an ombudsman, anyway? Then, out of curiosity if nothing else, the chamber quieted down, and I was allowed to speak… 

“I am visiting this august body at the request of the American people, who have asked me to tell you, ‘Enough back-biting and mudslinging! We have had a belly-full of this squalor, and demand that this noble body get around to conducting the business of the people.’” 

I sat down to a hush that weighed forty pounds per square inch. One representative started to clap, then another. One stood, then another. One shouted his approval, then another, until the house was awash with boisterous approval.

Suddenly I felt a hand slip into my armpit, then another hand slipped into my other armpit, and I was lifted gently from my seat and carried summarily out of the hall to shouts of, “Yo, Ombudsman! Long Live the Ombudsman!”

So I left the House without the use of my legs, and was deposited without ceremony on the sidewalk, where I asked, “Does anybody happen to know the way to Providence Hospital?”

“Oh, dry up, you’re not hurt!” hollered one of my escorts.

So I went on my merry way, and was pleasantly surprised when some folks stopped to ask me what an ombudsman was, for I had neglected to take off my ID. One lady opined, “You’re exactly what this country needs right now, an ombudsman to bring us together. Do you have a card?”

I finally found my way to Providence Hospital and made my way up to room 225, where my mother told me I was born, and was proud to see, as I arrived, a plaque had been mounted propitiously above the door, “The OMBUDSMAN was born here.” 

Audio: https://anchor.fm/mcavoy-layne

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