I’ve just returned from a fairly remote part of the U.S. where my internet connection was nonexistent. I have a lot of catching up to do with the blogs I follow, and I still have to get a post of my own ready to publish in the next hour or so.
Of course, I’ve run in to a little technical glitch with my antivirus software. This has been an ongoing thing. About every two weeks I get a notice announcing my software license has expired, and my PC is no longer protected. Well, that’s funny because I pay up front for six months of antivirus protection. The money goes right out of my account almost instantaneously. Initially, you would think this is a matter for the billing department, but from experience, I know it is actually a technical problem that causes my software license to appear out of date. So, I have to get on the phone and then get shuffled around just to wait on hold before I get to argue with a representative in the billing department about why this not a billing issue, but rather, a technical issue.
After I complete my well rehearsed and impassioned spiel, I typically will have convinced the representative in billing to transfer me to a representative in tech support. Of course, I’ll have to wait on hold before I have the privilege of debating with the representative in technical support about why this is, in fact, a technical issue and not a billing issue.
I figure I’m going to spend a good fifteen to twenty minutes on hold during one these software snafus, as I like to call them. To keep myself occupied while the muzak slowly erodes the foundation of my sanity, I try to get a little bit of writing done. This time I chose to start writing a short story I’ve been contemplating for awhile now. I’m about a page into it, and its tentative title is, The Paper Shredder. I’ll post what I have so far, and with any luck, I’ll conclude the story in next Monday’s blog. We’ll see where this thing goes.
The Paper Shredder
It was February in Aurora, Illinois, but Jim was wearing Bermuda shorts and deck shoes. He had just returned from an all-inclusive Mexican Riviera cruise. A little motion sickness, or hangover, or some mixture of the two still lingered.
He negotiated the icy steps of his front porch and unlocked the door. There was some resistance when he tried to push it open, and it took him a moment to realize a small mountain of mail had accumulated under the slot during his absence.
He was still wired from the plane ride from LAX, to Denver, to O’hare. There had been weather delays, and now it hardly seemed worth going to sleep at all. He had to be at the office in four hours.
A Scotch was in order – just a little something to take the edge off while he went through the stack of mail. There were credit card offers, money market opportunities, term life insurance quotes, refinance deals, reverse mortgage mumbo jumbo – whatever snake oil the banks and the marketers were pushing at the time.
Jim took a good draw of the single malt and fed a fistful of pages into the paper shredder. “Got to protect your identity. Everybody wants a piece of old Jimbo,” he said out loud.
It was a commercial grade shredder capable of devouring twenty pages at a time, and it hummed and whirred as the paper was systematically reduced to ribbons. The sound and the Scotch pulled Jim into a sleepy, introspective state of mind.
(Stay tuned for next week’s installment).