I’m Not Your Chloe!

My wife and I started watching DVDs of “24” last fall. Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s crack cocaine in handy disk format. In fact I’m right now in withdrawal waiting for the last season to get released at Blockbuster. Couldn’t watch it on TV with commercials and all that “waiting a week between episodes” crap–messes up my fix.

Halfway through Season Three I realized something. My wife thinks I’m her Chloe.

If you haven’t seen the show (perhaps you just recently thawed out of cryogenic hibernation) I’ll try to clue you in. Chloe is a Counter-Terrorism-Unit data analyst. Her usually renegade boss, Jack Bauer, frequent CTU field agent, is constantly getting data downloads from her on his PDA of building schematics, NSA data, satellite photos, ring tones, latest posts from BCC, that kind of thing. Say he’s with a SWAT team storming a warehouse stacked to the ceiling with terrorists and biological weapons, Chloe’s busy at the office emailing him everything about these jerks from their genealogical charts to their I-Pod play lists, anything Jack can use to break them under interrogation. She’s really good, except she’s got this personality disorder not yet listed in the DSM IV. For instance, she’s huffy with Jack and he says, “Nobody talks to me that way Chloe.” She sneers and says, “Well Jack, that’s odd, cause I just did. And Jack, don’t know if you’ve looked at your watch recently, but it’s about 5 minutes before the hour, so don’t be surprised if something unexpected happens in about 5 minutes.”

So one day I realize my wife’s like Jack running her crazy errands every day, and I’m at the office, supposed to be practicing law, while she keeps calling me up begging for data[1].

Her: I’m lost. I need you to tell me where I am.

Me: Don’t know. In a car maybe? Did you recently pass a street that had a name?

Her: Yeah, but I was going too fast to see it. I’m looking for a Wal-Mart. I’m near Buford. I think I’m going to have to pee.

Me: Okay, let me see. Here’s the address for a Wal-Mart in Buford. There’s Yahoo Maps. Okay …Buford. It’s near Hwy 31–have you passed that? I still think the car seat catheter would be a great invention.

Her: No. Yes. No. !#$%^&*@! I don’t know. Wait, there’s a Target. Where are the *&^%$$#@ street signs?

Me: Let me see–Target home page. Locations. You know, I really like their commercials. Did you ever notice that red circle trademark actually looks like a target? Here’s the address for a Target in Buford. It’s on the corner by Friendship Road. I’m clicking back to the map–that’s west of the Wal-Mart. Are you going west or east?

Her: &^%&^%%$#%@! I don’t know. You were too cheap to get the navigational system for the car!

[minutes later]

Her: Okay I’m in Wal-Mart by the deodorant–I need a building layout. Hurry! Need to find the kid’s department for some socks, then the toy department for a motorized scooter, then go pee. Real bad.

Me: Roger that. Uh, got it. Go left past four aisles, turn right past the bras and you’ll run into the socks. Then go right down the same aisle a ways and the bikes and scooters are on the left after candies and cards.

Her: Where’s the toilet?

Me: Hold on …there are some adult diapers on aisle 9. Let’s see, there’s a toilet at the front, but I’ve got a surveillance camera feed now. Looks like it’s out-of-order. But wait, now I’m inside. No, it’s not out-of-order, but only one stall is working and someone’s in there–reading a newspaper! I thought you said women didn’t do that.

Her: *&^%$##&^%$#@!

Me: Look, you’re not going to make it. I’m calling in the SWAT team right now with a Port-A-Potty.

Are you someone’s Chloe?


[1] My wife has reviewed this dialogue and had only 3 objections: (i) “I rarely swear … that much,” (ii) “Why do you keep on saying ‘toilet’–it’s ‘bathroom,’ or ‘restroom’–the toilet is the thing in the restroom” and (iii) “If you drank 8 glasses of water a day like you’re supposed to, you’d have to pee (at least you didn’t say ‘urinate’) a lot too, especially if you’ve birthed 3 children, make that your children.”


  1. In England we actually call the restroom the toilet. Therefore, when I say “I’m going to wash my hands in the toilet” I mean the sink in the toilet (restroom) not the actual bowl itself. It took me a couple of horrified looks on American friend’s faces before a picked up on this.

  2. Gomez, interesting insight there from the UK. I for one am just glad that you wash your hands afterwards.

  3. Steve Evans says:

    Brilliant, Ed. In my house we switch off. In the context of driving around she’s my Chloe, but then I’ll be at work and I’ll get a random phone call: “I need to know who starred in Boogie Nights. Can you get me that information?”

    Random stuff like that, or like “where is the Chinese ambassador right now?”

  4. I work for a family owned company that hates having wives call their husbands during the day. The owner of the company said once at a company lunch, ‘if your wife calls and says she needs bread, tell her to bake it!’

    There was thunderous applause.

  5. Eric, that seems just plain odd.

  6. Steve . . . of course, you would only know who starred in that film from looking it up right? ;-)

  7. Guy, as Boogie Nights is rated R, I am sure that I am completely unable to tell you anything about it, whether it’s about the porn industry in the 70s or whether it’s directed by the wonderful P.T. Anderson. No idea.

  8. anothernonymous says:

    Don’t miss “Basic Truths About 24’s Jack Bauer”:

    Now ask yourself this: are you someone else’ Jack Bauer?

  9. Speaking of Chloe, Andi Zeisler, co-founder of Bitch Magazine, said in an interview in the NY Times Magazine:

    That’s true. I think Chloe, the hunched and crabby counterterrorism agent on the Fox drama “24,” is probably the most appealing female character on television right now.

    I think Chloe would probably be it. I love that actress, Mary Lynn Rajskub, but I never got into “24” because it makes me too tense.

    On the other hand, you can’t say Chloe is a feminist. She is a more of a postfeminist who instinctively takes control in a world mismanaged by men.

    I don’t believe in postfeminism. The media love to trot out the idea that feminism is dead, and every so often it will be the cover story in Time or somewhere else. But feminism is as alive as ever.

  10. Damn, and I just let my Bitch Magazine subscription run out!

  11. My wife does call me while she’s out so that I can look up a number or address in the phone book. And I have looked people up in the local jail registries and on MelissaData for another friend. I don’t think my own personality disorder is as bad as Chloe’s, though.

    She’s easily one of my favorite characters on 24. She’s just so dysfunctional, and yet, completely indispensable! (Probably why I like House, too.)

    I doubt you’ll be able to find this, but there was a short-lived sketch comedy hosted by Kelsey Grammer that starred Mary Lynn. She was a hoot on that show as well. (We have all 4 episodes on Tivo from Feb 2005.)

  12. My boyfriend does a wonderful job of being my Chloe. I didn’t realize until now that this is a widespread act of love.

  13. I got on a 24 binge a couple of months ago and watched all the old season dvd’s and now I’m sick of it.

    Bill and I are each others Chloe. When I ask him to get me something at the store, he will call me constantly to make sure he gets the right thing.

    What you wrote about reminded me of when the guinea pig was having babies and we called him and the kids were crying and he was with a customer. Not much he could do.

  14. Jothegrill says:

    Instant messaging has done wonders for me and my spouse in letting us be each other’s Chloe. What a blessing to be able to talk about little details throughout the day. =) I love it!

  15. Chad too says:

    Around here in my office, I am effectively known as “ChadQuest.”

  16. Mark Pickering says:

    You’re not supposed to drink eight glasses of water a day.


  17. #14: “What a blessing to be able to talk about little details throughout the day. =) I love it!” That is the difference between men and women.

  18. Yesterday Sarah called me to get my recipe for Lasagna. Then she said, “well, I’m in Albertson’s, do you know where that stuff is?”

    I said, “I’m not your Chloe.”

  19. Annegb, you go girl!

  20. Richard Mouw says:

    Do you ever wonder what kind of battery Jack has in his cell phone? He never seems to re-charge it and it always works.

  21. Richard, Jack’s battery generally lasts for 24 hours.

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