I've been on hold with the I.R.S. for a while now. I needed to call for a client, and the I.R.S. recorded message said that my wait will be "in excess of fifteen minutes". That seems to be the case, for sure -- at least! In the meantime, they keep playing the same water-torture music over and over again, interrupted now and then by a recorded voice saying "Our representatives are still helping other customers. Please continue to hold." (We're customers of the I.R.S.?)
So, in an attempt to avoid insanity, I'll use this time languishing on hold to browse internet news headlines and saying Hello to you folks. The news hasn't gotten any better, I see. The embarrassing debt-limit crisis continues. Julia Roberts needs to be air-brushed to look good in a TV commercial. Donovan McNabb is on his way to the Vikings.
... and, just as I was about to go back to the I.R.S. water-torture, an agent came on the line and was able to help me. Now on I go to real work.