We had a bunch of them in here yesterday. So here’s what I do. No matter what question they ask, like even if they start by asking my name and address, I pause like three minutes, with my hands pressed together, and then I ask them to repeat the question. And on questions that are more complicated than name, rank and serial number, I look for tiny discrepancies in the way they ask the first time and the way they ask the second time. This requires enormous concentration because you have to memorize the first question exactly and then remember it word for word and compare it to the second version of the question. Luckily for me, in addition to having a photographic memory, I also have the auditory equivalent of a photographic memory. I hear a song once and can repeat every word. That kind of thing. So. I ask them to repeat the question. When they do, I tell them that they didn’t ask it the same as the first time, and which version do they want me to answer?
For example, first time out, the Fed asks me, “Do you recall a meeting with Mr. Anderson in July of 2001 where options grants were discussed?” I wait, silent, hands folded, thinking. Several minutes pass. Finally I ask him to repeat the question. He says, “Do you remember talking to Fred Anderson about options in July 2001?” I go, “I’m sorry, I thought you wanted to know about a meeting. Isn’t that what you asked me? If we had a meeting?” He goes, “Did you have a conversation?” I go, “Well, which question do you want me to answer?”
And on and on and on. Drives them nuts. I love it.