By; Speaker Gerald A. Polley

As I mentioned in a previous story, from time to time I have people following me around.  For several years this occurred for every six months or so.  After a while it got to be really comical!  Sometimes I would spot the people, lose them, then sneak up behind them and follow them until they realized I was behind them, then pass, tooting my horn and waving.  We used to make long trips every few Sundays to speak at remote churches and they would follow us all the way and come in to attend the services.  On one occasion they were parked in the lot of the grocery store across from my house and I approached the car with my wife, inviting them up for coffee.  They declined, saying it was against regulations.  I might put something in the coffee.
"Now, you know I wouldn't do that!"  I commented.
"Of course!"  they answered.
ON at least two occasions they actually put people in places where I worked.  One day one young man blew his cover.  He started talking to me about something I had never spoken to anyone about except a young friend the night before.  I looked at him rather curiously and remarked "You know, I've never told you that.  The only one I ever mentioned that to was Gregory last night.  The only way you could have known about it would be if you'd been listening to that conversation.  You just gave yourself away!"
The young man stopped what he was doing and looked at me.  "Damn!"  he cursed, "I did, didn't I?"
I nodded.  "Tell me something," I asked, "Just who do you work for, anyway?"
"I'm sorry," the young man answered, "we can't divulge that information."
"Will you tell me something else, then?"  I asked. "When you're doing something like this you get paid here.  Do you have to pay taxes on that?"
The young man laughed. "We most certainly do!"  he answered.  "We have to turn in W2s on it all!  Nobody has ever asked me that before!"
"Just one of those little things I've always been curious about," I answered.  "You'd think they'd give you a break!"
The next day the young man called in, saying his grandmother had died and he had to return home.  We never saw him again.  No one at work would believe it when I told them hew as a government agent of some kind.
Another time an older gentleman was working with us.  One day I walked up to him and asked, "Before you went to work for whoever it is you work for, what did you study, sociology or psychiatry?"
"Why, psychiatry," the man answered.  "I thought it would be..."  he then got a startled look on his face and stared at me, then looked around.  "How in the hell did you know?"  he muttered.
"Easy," I answered, "you're supposed to have less than a high school education yet you understood complex better than I do, and correct me when I mispronounce certain words.  You've had far more education than you pretended to have.  It's easy for an uneducated person to pretend to be educated, but it's very hard for an educated person not to use what he spent so much time learning."
The  man shook his head.  "They said you were sharp!"  he remarked.
We spent the rest of the day discussing Freud, someone I think, who was highly overrated.
This gentleman, too, had family problems, and left the next day.
I had one employer however, that had no doubt the government was asking about me.  He grabbed me one day as I was coming in and hauled me into the office.
"Gerald," he asked, "what in hell are you doing?  There were two government agents in here today asking all kinds of questions about you."
"Nothing serious!"  I answered.  "I'm just with the committee trying to shut down Maine Yankee (the atomic power plant.)  they're following all of us."
"You're kidding!"  my employer remarked.
"Nope!"  I answered, "I'm not!  The government supports atomic power.  Anybody that doesn't is a subversive and dangerous."
I walked off laughing.  "But this is America," the boss argued.
"Most certainly is," I answered, "Land of MacArthur and J. Edgar Hoover.  This is America."
The boss did not find my statements humorous.  Perhaps they weren't!


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