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The War on Terror: Chapter 4 The War on Terror: Chapter 4
by Thanos K & Asa B
2007-04-11 09:46:59
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It may have been the thirteenth or fourteenth department that finally agreed to deal with my request, which naturally jumped right out of brain the moment the police operator said he would happy to help. Okay, maybe it wasn't only the shock of finally reaching the right department, since the blame could also be apportioned to the startlingly empty whisky bottle beside the phone – I swear it was full at the start of the night.

Well, as my brain grasped for the reason I had begun this journey, my hand fumbled for a pen and paper to jot down whatever information was provided, although I admit the first thing written was to buy a new bottle of malt in the morning. I wish my head had been clearer for this defining telephonic moment of history because the operator was surprisingly helpful, eerily helpful…did he want something? He answered my questions, furnished me with a date for an appointment and asked if there was anything more with which he could assist. Stupidly I mumbled a no thanks and then he calmly informed that a bill for these services would be in the morning's mail and hung-up.

Huh? A bill? A bill! My lips went numb, really, I couldn't feel them at all and then my left hand began to tremble, so I dropped the pen and ink splashed down my trousers. This was outrageous and the whisky was certainly in no mood to calm this anger, actually it was probably fueling the moment from my stomach. I went to pick up the bottle, swore under my breath and headed to the kitchen for anything with a percentage or warning label. I won't reveal just what I swallowed in that instant, since you would scoff and shake your head at a crazy fool's exaggeration.

Nevertheless, it did the trick. I sobered, gathered my thoughts, hardened my resolve, vomited, and then hit the redial button. Straight through to the same department, yet the voice was different – typical, end your shift the moment I need you again and at 3am! “Good afternoon, how can we help you?” Damn them and their psychological games, "Good afternoon to you too!" I'd show them, "I want to make a complaint!” There was not a moment's silence, "Certainly, sir!" replied the upbeat voice, "Please provide your complaint registration number."

More games, but I would call their bluff, "F/5609036KL." There was silence this time, in fact it went on for a little too long. "Hello, are you still there?" More silence. I picked the pen up from the floor and stared at the ink stain now on the carpet, "Hello, what is going on? Are you there?" The phone clicked and another new voice broke the silence, "Good afternoon, sir!" fawned the man's voice, although the pronunciation of 'sir' gave me a chill, "I believe you wish to make a complaint and have a complaint registration number."

I confirmed his statement. "Very well, sir," there it was again, "If you have a complaint registration number then that means you have already made a written complaint and have received a unique ID code." I suddenly felt as though an invisible hand was trying to force a coconut down my throat, yet I pushed the bluff still further, "Yes. Yes, I do." I rustled some papers to convince them I had it to hand, "Excellent, sir, you do seem well-prepared this fine afternoon. By the way, how is the weather with you?"

I found myself leaning across the desk to peak through the curtains when common sense slapped me hard across the face, "Don't change the subject. I want to make a complaint about your operator tonight and you will oblige me." The voice dropped a tone and the coconut in my throat was replaced by a basketball, "Tonight, sir! Well in that case you have been lying to a police officer, which, as I am sure you are aware, is considerably illegal," he left a short gap, "Your fine and the bill for these services will be in the morning's mail. Good afternoon, sir," and he hung-up.


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