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  1. Howard

From the album I'm Not Jim

Lyrics

HOWARD
Copyright 2007 Jonathan Lethem, Walter Salas-Humara, Chris Maxwell, Phil Hernandez, and Mike DuClos
Published 2007 Furry Girl Songs (BMI), Lagartija Music (BMI), ElegantToo Music (ASCAP), and 67 Van Rensselaer Blvd Music (ASCAP)

Walter Salas-Humara - voice
Chris Maxwell - guitar, bass, synthesizer
Phillip Hernandez - drums, percussion and synthesizer
Mike DuClos - bass

I work for the phone company. This is something that happened about twenty years ago. I was working late -- I thought I was the only one left in the building. This guy Howard busts into my office, his eyes all feverish, his nose all sweaty. Howard is kind of a loner, kind of a weird guy. Keeps to himself. The sort of guy you hate to ride down in the elevator with. "What's the matter Howard?" "Listen, Jim, listen. There are people out there dialing. millions of people." "Yes, Howard?" "We've got them right where we want them. They're ours. They go to their phones, they make the decision to call, and they dial. Seven numbers. They're in the palm of our hand, but they don't pay." "They don't pay because they get a busy signal, Howard." "Right. So What if there were no busy signal? What if everyone always got through?" "Everyone getting through is like no one getting through, Howard. You'd just have to choose anyway. You'd have to tell people to call back later. You'd have to give the busy signal in person." And Howard said, "Exactly."