“Coming right up. Say… Don’t I know you? The voice is familiar, but I just can’t place the face.”

“I wouldn’t expect you to. I’m that little voice that sounds off from inside your head every once in a while.”

“Yeah, that’s where I’ve heard your voice before. In my head. You must be -“

“That’s right. I’m Guilt. Pleased to make your acquaintance.”

“Guilt, eh? So, what brings you around here?”

“Just taking a break from the job. I’ve been pretty busy, lately. I’m currently freelancing for the concert industry.”


“Uh, uh. Suppose you’ve got a car payment coming up, but you also want to buy tickets for Oasis and Kid Rock.”

“I’ve been there before.”

“I’m the one whispering inside your head, telling you how bad you’ll feel if you don’t go for the tickets.”

“So, you’re the one.”

“Yup. Remember that disagreement you had with your wife last week? The one where she said she’d walk if you spent the mortgage money on The Rolling Stones, Alice Cooper and Britney Spears?”

“Do I? I remember thinking that I’d feel really bad if I missed those acts. They’re my favorites. That was you, too?”

“The one and only. That’s what I’m doing this summer, nagging people about how down they’ll feel if they miss all the big shows coming to town, like Jimmy Buffett or the B.B. King Blues Festival 2002.”

“That must keep you pretty busy.”

“Yeah, but I enjoy my work. Besides, it’s a lot easier than my last job.”

“Really? Don’t tell me, let me guess. You were assigned to Enron.”

“Nah, I never got close to them. That was all my cousin Greed’s work. No, I was on a special assignment before I went to work for the concert industry. Sigh… It was my only failure.”

“Oh? You wanna talk about it?”

“Eight long years trying to lay a guilt trip on this dude. Eight long years pestering him about his weight whenever he was pigging out at Mickey D’s, or harassing him whenever he told a lie to cover up for doing something stupid, like messing around on his wife, or shading the truth to advance his own agenda. But I just couldn’t break him. He proved to be the toughest nut to crack.”

“Sounds like you’re better off working for the concert industry.”

“Oh, I am. It’s a lot easier threatening people with gloom and depression in order to convince them to do the right thing, like treating their loved ones to a night out seeing Dream Theater or Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. But you know, in one small way, I kind of miss that old job.”

“Is that so? What do you miss? The challenge?”

“No, I may not have been able to lay any guilt upon his shoulders, but I sure do miss his pets. I’m an animal lover at heart.”

“You mean…”

“That’s right. I really miss ol’ Socks the Cat.”