It all started a few years ago. There I was, cruising down the street minding my own business, when a raspy, Bob Dylan-like voice whispered to me. “Buy some Dave Matthews Band tickets,” said the voice. Jumpin’ Gee Willikers! I was so surprised I nearly ran over a group of Texas blind salamanders. They’re on the endangered species list, you know. Probably because they don’t watch where people like me are driving.

Well, it wasn’t long before I was hearing the voices every day. There was the high-pitched voice that sounded like Phil Collins telling me to buy the latest CD by The Hives, followed by a voice that sounded exactly like Sting screaming at me to buy Sonic Youth tickets. Then there was that sultry voice that sounded just like Cher back in the day she was married to Gregg Allman. “Buy them all,” she said to me one day while I was out hunting some rare, San Joaquin kit foxes. “Buy tickets for Alicia Keys, David Byrne and Simon & Garfunkel. Do it for me, baby!”

Well, you can guess how hard it was to resist a command like that. But resist, I did. I turned a blind ear to the Madonna sound-alike, which wanted me to buy tickets for Bebel Gilberto, and I paid no attention to the Barry Manilow voice that wanted me to go see Clint Black and D12. In fact, whenever I heard the voices, I just knuckled down and concentrated on what I was doing, like hunting humpback whales on my buddy Ken’s deep sea fishing yacht, or practicing my skeet shooting on a family of spotted owls.

But the voices kept talking, and I kept ignoring them. Every day there was a new voice telling me to buy tickets for Norah Jones, or to hustle my butt down to Tower and buy some Scorpions CDs. Yeah, the voices were coming at me quicker than a pack of rabid chihuahuas runnin’ down a six year old kid.

Then came that day a couple of years ago when I couldn’t take it any more, and I decided that I would obey the very next voice. No matter if they wanted me to buy tickets for KISS, or T-shirts emblazoned with Patti Smith’s happy, smilin’ face on the front. I decided then and there that I would obey the very next voice I heard. That is, as long as the voice didn’t tell me to do something stupid, like give money to the ACLU, or start a wildlife preserve for some ratty old bighorn sheep.

Well, sure ’nuff, it didn’t take long for a voice to pop into my head. It was a low, stern voice whispering to me that day. A voice that sounded awfully familiar as I was out on the north forty dynamite hunting a couple of very rare desert tortoises. But it wasn’t asking me to buy tickets for Prince, or hop on the Internet and order the latest CD by Metallica. In fact, that voice didn’t even mention music, tickets or CDs.

Instead, the voice told me to invade Iraq.

Hmmm… Come to think of it, that voice sounded just like Dick Cheney. Without the cuss words, of course.