B.C’S BDOS – Phone head in hell
A TELECOMMUNICATIONS executive who has not lived a good life – pretty firetrucking obvious, since he has reached the top of a telecoms concern, but he’s also an evil man by Biblical and/or Koranic terms, has fornicated, eaten shellfish, treated homosexuals and women like humans, refused to stone a female adulterer to death – dies and, instead of St Peter, finds a mobile phone at the pearly gates. He picks up the handset. “Hello?” he says. Silence. “Hello?” he says, doubt creeping in. Silence. “Hello?” Total, complete, absolute silence. The vast emptiness of the universe fills him and his spirit sinks. Then, finally, a voice on the other end says, “Hello”. He unburdens his troubled heart. “I’ve just died,” he says, “and would like to enter the kingdom of Heaven and gaze upon the face of God. I’m probably a Platinum cardholder and should be entitled to sit at His right hand, a window seat with the champagne option and the full Executive Business Package . . . .”The spiel that always works at the car rental and airline check-in counter is interrupted by the voice. “Thank you for calling Heaven. If you know your party’s extension, please enter it now.” The CEO holds the phone at arm’s length in amazement before putting it back to his ear. “You don’t understand,” he says, voice rising, “I would like to enter Heaven!” “If you are an existing customer,” says the voice, “press ‘one’. If you would like to find out about our exciting new afterlife products, press ‘two’. If you think you are one of the Elect, press ‘three’. If you would like to be reincarnated, press ‘four’. If you are a suicide bomber and would like to find out how many virgins you actually get, press ‘zero’. If you would like to never have to listen to these options again, press a pistol to your temple and pull the trigger. If you are an atheist, turn around and go to hell.”The CEO starts to shout into the phone. “I don’t want any of that! I want to get into Heaven!” There is a moment’s silence and then the voice says: “I’m sorry. Did you press ‘2’?” “I want to speak to a human being!” shouts the CEO. The phone is suddenly cut off.The CEO presses redial. “Thank you for calling Heaven,” says the voice, brightly. “Your call may be recorded to ensure excellent service or for the same purpose as a commercial airliner’s black box. If you are an existing customer, press ‘1’ . . . .” The CEO redials. “Thank you for calling Heaven,” says the voice. “Your call is extremely important to us . . . .” He hangs up on Heaven and dials his own office. The moment the phone is answered, he starts shouting. “What the hell is going on? I need to speak to God, or at least a human being. What kind of devilish organisation does this to loyal customers?
Do you know how hard it is to get the simplest firetrucking thing done on this stupid firetrucking system? Do you know how mad it drives people?”On the other end, the voice says, “Thank you for calling. If you are an existing customer . . . .”• BC Pires is still dialling.