By Tony Russell|
"Hello, Senator Gramm? This is Mavis Beanfield calling. I have good news for
"I'm surely in need of some good news, ma'am. How can I help you?"
"Oh, I'm not looking for help, Senator. In fact, I'm calling to thank you for help
you've already given, you and your lovely wife."
"What kind of help was that, Ms. …Brownfield, was it?"
"Beanfield, Senator. I'm with the Friends of Enron Foundation, and we're just so
pleased with all the help you and Mrs. Gramm have given us over the years. We're
having our Annual Awards Dinner next month, and I'm pleased to report that you
and your wife were co-winners of this year's "Friends of Enron Award," for your
long history of outstanding assistance to the corporation."
"Uhm, look Ms. Beanpole, …."
"Beanfield, Senator. We already have the plaques prepared. Let me read the
inscription to you; I know you'll be thrilled! 'To Senator Phil Gramm and Wendy
Gramm, For Their Dedicated Efforts On Behalf Of Enron. Senator Gramm
provided leadership in exempting Enron's energy derivatives business from regulation
under the act governing commodities trading, thus bringing the corporation a windfall
of over $250,000,000. Not to be outdone, Mrs. Gramm, during her term as chair
of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, allowed for an exemption in the
trading of energy derivatives. After resigning from the Commission, she assumed a
seat on Enron's Board of Directors."
"That's very flattering, Ms. Brownfield …."
"Just call me Mavis, Senator. Please."
"…but I'm afraid my schedule is full on that date."
"But I haven't mentioned a date yet, Senator!"
"Yes, well, whatever. Listen, I just can't accept the award when there are others so
much more deserving. Dick Cheney, for instance. Jim Baker. Karl Rove. Larry
Lindsey. Heck, even the President himself. Those guys have all carried the water
for you folks."
[Embarrassed pause] "I didn't want to have to get into this, Senator, but we've
already approached all of the people you mentioned. We thought they were all
deserving as well. But can you imagine this, their schedules were all full too. I just
don't understand it; we never had this problem in previous years. [Gives a little
laugh] Heck, last year people were almost fighting to get the award!"