If you watch even half an episode of The West Wing, you soon come to realize that our favorite White House staffers are freaks. Not in a traditional Berkeley-dwelling, hemp-wearing, unicycle-riding, Burning Man kind of freaks, but more a “I can list all the members of Congress in alphabetical order” kind of freaks. They are political freaks. They can rattle off Congressional districts in conversations, discuss how an open seat on Appropriations Committee can totally tank a nuclear treaty and basically cause the downfall of Western Civilization, come up with 150 reasons we should get rid of the penny, and write entire blogs about the Supreme Court. See? Freaks. Or as I like to call them: Funnel people.
Okay, Sam Seaborne calls them Funnel people, but I have wholeheartedly adopted the phrase. Spend half an hour in Washington DC, you will soon realize Funnel people are everywhere and they don’t just care about politics. These are people who get up every day and work on very specific causes. Don’t believe me? The following are real organizations in DC: American Hardwood Export Council, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, and The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Is there any ambiguity about the focus of these organizations? I think not. And if given the opportunity, people who work at these organizations will explain, in great detail, why their cause is so very important. I should know – I am one of the Funnel people.
What kind of Funnel person am I? A birth control Funnel person. I am forever carrying on about birth control. For example, upon meeting a male friend for the first time, I immediately made him watch an IUD video on Bedsider.org. The other day, I made the guy at the Apple store watch a video about the Nuva-Ring. I’ve brought contraception to dinner parties and provided contraceptive counseling in the ladies room of many a concert venue. And if people have unprotected sex on TV I physically break out in hives. See? Funnel person. And since my Funnel is about birth control, it can make my life incredibly awkward. Which is super, because I’m already winning the Awkward Arms Race we call life.
Turns out there were some things about being a funnel person Aaron Sorkin forgot to tell me.
Last week I had to bring my birth control demonstration kit from my house back to the office. Simple enough, right? I’ve done this 100 times. I got on the Metro and placed the kit in my lap. Fifteen minutes later, disaster struck. The Metro came to a sudden and abrupt stop and the kit flew out of my lap, bounced twice and spilled all over the floor…at the very moment the doors opened. I scrambled to pick up the birth control before it got trampled by lawyers and disillusioned bureaucrats. And I was mostly successful. But I couldn’t find the Nuva-Ring anywhere. I had to ask fellow passengers to help me look for it and a very nice lady in an Ann Taylor skirt suit and nylons finally found it under her seat after dropping to her hands and knees. It wasn’t even 9:00am and I had already experienced enough awkwardness to stun a team of oxen.
I shouldn’t be allowed to leave the house.