The Day the Dollar Died (Part XXII)
XXII. Your Application Needs Revision
Filed under: The Day The Dollar Died Series
by John Galt
February 20, 2010
Just a reminder….the following is FICTION…..
February 26, 2010 2:09 P.M. Eastern Time, Sarasota, FL
The commotion my wife screamed about was one thing, the noise coming from my neighbor’s house another. As I grabbed my shotgun and ran towards the front window, I noticed the now familiar black Humvees of the Home Guard along with a SWAT armored car from the Manatee County Sheriff’s office and twelve officers covering my house and James’ home, my neighbor for many years now. With a guard approaching our front door, I handed the shotgun over to my wife and told her to put it in the hall closet as we were about to have heavily armed company. The banging on the door was not the polite, “We’re hear to help you” knock of the bureaucrat witch from earlier but instead the hard, firm pounding one expects from an angry neighbor or law enforcement official. “Open the door immediately and slowly, we know you are in there,” the voice bellowed from the other side. “Sir, I am opening the door slowly and we are not armed,” I yelled back, unlocking all of the locks. As I slowly popped the door open, showing my one free hand then putting the other one up as I used my foot to slide it open slowly, I noticed our neighbor’s wife screaming as those plastic cable tie handcuffs were being put on her motionless husband and screaming kids in the front yard. Then without warning the officer in front of me pushed me aside as she screeched from being tasered and collapsed as the feet of her sons who were hysterically bawling away.
“I apologize for you having to see that sir. But that is what happens to neighbors who disobey the law and fail to register firearms or report suspicious activity. Unfortunately sir, that is why we are here, but we are not accusing you of anything at this time,” the Home Guard officer stated as if reading off of a cue card. “Then if you’re not here to taser me and beat me senseless like James, then why are you here?”, I replied snidely, witnessing the guards kicking him while he was laying on the lawn, throwing ammunition from his stores at his feet. The guard officer shut my front door and sat down, uninvited on my sofa, putting one foot up on my wife’s favorite glass cocktail table resting it like it was his own then starting to chatter, “Sir, we have reports that you and your neighbor were planning an unauthorized neighborhood watch. That both of you were friends with an amateur radio operator who has opened up a pirate station and gone rogue. And that you are hiding unregistered firearms in your home.” The look on my face terrified my wife, but apparently impressed the guardsman. “Sir,” I began leaning back in my chair, almost snickering, “your information must be coming from the southbound end of a northbound mule. Honey, take this gentleman or his lackey here down the hallway, show them our only firearm, the unloaded twelve gauge and the five boxes of ammunition we own. These clowns think we are some sort of Waco type gun nuts and we need to demonstrate every courtesy and prove to them that apparently their intelligence operations are full of it.” The Home Guard officer got a little nasty then and directed the other soldier to walk down the hallway with my wife. “Sir, if you have other weapons, admit it now or we will rip this house apart. And if you’re lying to me, I can shoot you on sight. You are lucky that I didn’t waste your neighbor because the Major is outside watching us.”
The private returned from the hall closet with the shotgun and the ammunition with the UPC bar codes all intact. The private then scanned all of them and reported to the officer, “All accounted for sir and this weapon has not been fired since registered.” The officer looked at me and my wife and sneered, well, since I’m not sure if they lied about their neighbor, give them a receipt and we’ll just hold this weapon for ninety-six hours.” My wife spoke up and let her anger fly, “What happened to due process goon? We did not do one damned thing illegal and you are taking our possessions, our protection away from us?” The officer grinned and stared her down, his hand on his taser as if it were a play toy, “Lady, your neighbor down the street got double rations and a one thousand dollar domestic bonus five minutes ago for telling us about the laws that your so-called friend James and his family were hiding from the state putting everyone in this area at risk. You should be darned glad we don’t have the time to haul you two downtown for questioning and such.” I grabbed my wife’s wrist and she sat down on the arm of the chair beside me, attempting to keep her from doing something rash. “You mean to tell me you guys have a program where neighbors spy on neighbors and we could get money for it?”, I asked acting as if I were shocked. The guardsman snickered and the officer smiled, “You did not know? Here’s the paperwork and since you know that dirtbag Lewis so well, any information could lead to some big credits on your D-Card. The government would rather pay for good information to lock up criminals than spend millions investigating every crazy lead we get, so if you can help, you can get paid.” I acted surprised and smiled, “Well heck, James would have been my reward had I known that, the Home Guard guys here earlier this week were not clear enough about the program. Thank you sir!”
Then, as if on cue, they caused my wife and I to just about lose it. “Then you will not mind sir,” the officer began as he stood up, “if we secure this weapon and ammunition for ninety-six hours.” I bit my lip and replied, “Of course not sir. Just give me a receipt please and we will pick them up after work one night next week.” The private scribbled some illegible nonsense on a form with our UPC number and handed it to me almost mockingly. “Have a nice day sir and remember,” the officer said, “we are always here to watch and help.” I nodded and locked the door behind him, ready to take action if I had a weapon at my fingertips as I watched through the crack of the door my neighbor, his wife, and kids being dragged to the curb by their feet and James’ arsenal being piled into the back of a Suburban SUV. “Honey, I wish I knew who the rat was,” I said. She looked at me and with tears streaming down her cheek said, “I know who it is, and it is all my fault. Please forgive me honey, I had no idea this was going on.” I looked her in the eye, asked her who she talked to and nodded, “Pay back is coming sweetheart. That household has no idea what is about to hit them.”
February 26, 2010 9:37 P.M. Mountain Time
Wendy was tired of being cooped up in her apartment but knew after her experiences with law enforcement that she did not dare venture out. This prompted her to open the very expensive bottles of alcohol that had almost cost her a job and a bank account and to start drinking heavily as the repeat of American Idol on VOA-TV was finishing up and the hourly news update was to begin at the top of the hour. Her conversation with Ms. Steinburg was still fresh in her mind and that issue would not escape her thoughts, no matter how many glasses of wine she consumed nor the amount of other distillates she mixed into her system. The problem was that her position in government made her both a victim, in her mind, and a manager of many people’s future, but how could she profit from it? Wendy began to consider the greater issues around her such as what she could do for family and friends should the government beg her for help. “Am I expendable?”, she wondered to herself.
Instead of fretting she decided to go online while watching the news and attempting to discover a solution via the very government websites she was authorized to view from her office and beyond. The surfing was very, very slow almost as if every she typed went through a major security scanning program to which she realized it did as the government servers were under severe attack domestically and overseas at this time. “I wonder if the internet will ever be free again,” she wondered out loud. The usual waiting time of seconds turned to minutes as she dared to go to the Drudge report just to get the take of the extreme right wing on the events of the week and as she walked away from the screen to pour some more wine in the kitchen her home phone suddenly rang.
“Ms. Listels I presume?”, the voice on the phone said. “Yes, this is me,” Wendy replied in a very nervous voice, unsure who this was since the caller ID said “unidentified” in the display. “Why are you attempting to access an unauthorized website like Drudge via a government server?”, the man said on the other end of the line. Wendy was astonished so much she dropped her glass of wine, pouring a deep red burgundy into her deep pile carpeting as she screamed into the phone, “Who the hell is this? There’s nothing illegal about what I am doing? What kind of people are you watching me?” The voice on the other end of the phone replied calmly, “Ma’am, do you require a community counselor? We can have one there int he morning. There is no reason to access sites like this, they serve no function to benefit the employees of our great nation or the greater public good. Matt Drudge is a wanted man among many on the run, and when apprehended will be given full adjudication in one of our tribunals. Sites like that are simply propaganda for the people wishing to bring America to its knees and spread lies about the help the world is giving us.” Wendy gasped in horror and then she decided to go ahead and chat with the mysterious voice, “You mean by visiting or reading sites like this, I am contributing to the rumored problems our government and banks are having?” The voice chuckled a bit and kept the pressure on by saying, “Ms. Listels, anyone who visits those sites or message boards that contributes to the instability in some communities is a traitor. We will have to deal with them harshly or our nation will fall. Please, if you know anyone else trying to find these individuals, their websites, or information detrimental to the Republic, dial 911 and give the information to your local operator immediately who will forward it to us.” Wendy was almost in tears by now and gave a sheepish reply, “Yes sir, I swear upon my job and my oath to the nation I will do what I must to save us. I will be at work in the morning sending an email about what else I find tonight. God Bless America sir and the fine work you are doing!”
February 27, 2010 12:46 A.M. Eastern Time, Sarasota, FL
I knew what I had to do. The wife had no clue I was sneaking about after curfew tonight but this was a unique point in our marriage where a little dishonesty could save our lives, or, at a minimum, our freedom. I hopped the fence to James’ home, ashamed as I walked behind his tool shed thinking about how his friends and myself failed to come to his aid, but knowing deep down there was little we could do without destroying every household in the area. “Damn. But what if that doesn’t matter now?”, I thought to myself. I grabbed the shovel I had thrown over the fence and began digging two paces behind the shed between the two pines as James had told me. I kept tossing dirt to the left, to the right, hitting roots but nothing. It was only fifty-six degrees outside but I was sweating like it was over one hundred, worried about attracting attention of the neighborhood snitch or worse an over zealous deputy or patrolman looking for that financial incentive to shoot a curfew violator. Just as I was ready to give up due to anxiety, panic and worry, the clunking sound was hard to miss as the shovel struck pay dirt, literally.
I yanked the piece of plywood off out of the ground and sure enough, there it was a small pine box with two rifles, a shotgun, two pistols and boatloads of ammunition for all of the weapons. I started grabbing all of it and tossing it over the fence quietly to get back to my house as soon as I possibly could. James was always a bit eccentric and thank God for that. As I finished cleaning up the evidence I looked skyward and asked in a whisper, “God, if I can save my neighbor, please give me strength, he may have just saved the neighborhood.” I took the shovel and tossed it into the hold then grabbed a hoe from his tool shed and drug it over my footprints, trying to make it look like I had come from another direction, but after tonight I really did not care. The sirens in the distance, the cracking sound which could or could not have been gunfire in the distance made me realize that if this job interview did not work in several hours, a new course of action would have to be planned.
But was I ready to join the suicidal in an insurrection?
February 27, 2010 09:47 A.M. Sam’s Club, Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL
The line at the parking lot was horrific. I ended up parking in the grass four blocks north of the store and walking, wearing a suit, sweating in panic and anticipating seeing a “Porky” type or two along the way. The people who were here on a Saturday morning in this overcast, brisk, and generally nasty un-Florida like atmosphere were a weird mix. Some of the people I met in line were happy and very pro-administration expressing happiness that they had a new start or opportunity to keep their lives moving forward. Rumors were sweeping the line about relocation programs, paid for by the Federal government where if you accepted assignment elsewhere they would buy your home from you at cost if you signed a five year labor contract. Other crazy rumors started about insurrections in the West, hit squads and house to house weapons searches to which I just replied with a dumbfounded “no way” look so as to keep the heat off of my stressed out wife and neighbors.
After three hours in line, I finally made it to the first line of bureaucrats and handed them the packet, my resume, application form and D-Card explaining that I had been in line for three hours and apologizing for not making my original appointment time. The young black lady was very professional and snapped back at me, “Well it is no wonder you are unemployed, you arrived late because you were lazy, expecting us to hold your place in line, your application is incomplete and your checking of box 137a that you would refuse relocation makes you the most unqualified applicant today. Your application needs revision and I am afraid there is now way that I would let you pass beyond this initial screening sir. Here is a new card and you can return tomorrow at six fifty-five in the morning to appear for a mandatory appointment at nine o’clock. This pass will let you travel before curfew hours but if you fail to display it, well, you’ll get a job pounding rocks and digging drainage ditches as a reminder for not obeying. Please run along sir so serious applicants can find work in the new America and we will try again tomorrow.”
I held this blue card in my hand wondering what the penalty was for putting it in a place where the sun doesn’t shine in this broad’s physique, but elected to put my head down and act dejected and walked back towards my car. There were a few of the extremist liberal types laughing at me as I walked away yelling “there goes one” and other such nonsense, but I smirked knowing that a new plan had to evolve. And that plan was going to be executed now.
Thank you Mr. Bureaucracy, you have finally set me free.
February 27, 2010 10:36 A.M. McRae, GA
“Tom, Momma, come quick! We got trouble and we need everyone in the family to help out quick,” Sandy was quite excited as she ran into the house yelling at everyone trying to get them up and moving. “Baby, calm down, take a deep breath, what is it?”, Tom said calmly trying to get her to relax. Lillian grabbed her hand, held it, and handed her a cold glass of water, “Sandy, calm down, you’re home now. What happened or is happening?” Sandy took a deep gulp of water and stopped panting finally, long enough to tell the room full of people what she had heard, “There’s soldiers in Macon and Tifton now from what the locals said and that nice sheriff we met, he’s been arrested. But that’s not the big news. Everyone in town needs to grab a pick up truck and head up to the Mike Lee Jones dairy farm right up the road, I just left there. He committed suicide this morning with his wife.”
Lillian looked more puzzled than anyone else in the room including the farm hands who came tearing in. “So why, sweetie, do we need to get excited about this?”, Lillian began, “it is sad but, where’s the need to run out there? I am sure his family will bury him and his wife.” Sandy finished her water, put her right arm around Tom’s neck in tears and after gasping again, started to talk, “He shot all those poor cows Momma. They are all dying. If we’re going to save and get milk and meat for the town we have to get going now. This here farmer went insane just like those stories on the news. Why would anyone shoot a poor cow? I don’t understand Momma. Tom? Why? Why?” She burst into tears again.
Tom hugged his wife and looked at Lillian and her sister. They understood what was happening. “Grab the big truck boy, and I’ll meet you up front,” Andy, the owner of the farm told the hands. Tom told Sandy to stay put and Lillian to stay with her. “I’m off to help the crew. We’ll load them one or two into the back of the SUV and I’ll put plastic sheeting down to keep the smell down,” he told Lillian. Sandy was puzzled. “You mean we can’t save any of them Momma? They looked so sad, those big eyes, I could not believe what I saw,” Tom patted her on the head and kissed her forehead and then started to speak, “I have to run, you fill Mom in on the stories about the soldiers. We could be busy beyond butchering cattle tonight if you have more information honey. Everyone needs to know what is going on now.”