- I have a friend who works as an investigative journalist, reporting on organized crime.
- For very different reasons, the two of you are members of the same relatively small group: people who have probably had cause to formulate proof of life questions at some point.
- She has had to do this because her work often takes her to objectively dangerous parts of the world, places where being a journalist makes you an obvious kidnapping target.
- You have probably had to do this because you are Jeb Bush, a somewhat powerful man of thoroughly unwarranted influence and wealth aka the kind of man who might present an attractive option for kidnappers.
- I am not a member of this group. I don’t have any money or power, I have never lifted the lid off any international crime rings, I don’t do anything dangerous, and I cannot think of a single reason why anyone would want to kidnap me. I would offer very low returns, ransom-wise.
- In spite of or indeed because of the fact that I have no money or power or influence or insight into the underworld, I have spent quite a lot of time thinking about what my proof of life questions would be.
- In the incredibly unlikely event that I was taken hostage and the negotiators were on the phone, how would my family know that it was me answering the questions, and not an impostor?
- What are questions that only I would be able to answer? What are signals that I could give that would indicate to my family that I was indeed alive and basically sound of mind?
- Here’s a few: “Does she burst into helpless wails of laughter at the mention of the phrase ‘Low Energy Jeb?’”
- “Does the phrase ‘Low Energy Jeb’ have her crying with mirth in her cell, despite being in a physically uncomfortable and psychologically taxing position?”
- “Despite being hungry and tired and afraid, does the idea of Donald Trump saying the words ‘Low Energy Jeb’ make her punch her little fists in the air with delight?”
- If the answer is yes, then it’s me.
- If the answer is no, then that’s an impostor, because I have been laughing at the thought of Donald Trump calling you Low Energy Jeb for like three and a bit years now, and I do not foresee a future in which I will be able to stop.
- Why is it so transcendently funny? I don’t mean funny compared to Donald Trump’s other names he has for people, all of which are so fucking stupid and strange.
- I mean funny compared to genuine masterpieces of comedy.
- Low Energy Jeb.
- Do you think your family has ever laughed at it quietly when you weren’t around?
- I would.
- Have you ever acknowledged its genius, even to yourself?
- I bet you have.
- Happy birthday.
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For how long had I been doing this? A hundred days, or 10,000 years?