Thursday, January 17, 2008

On Authority

M. tells us the following story:

Late one night, his friend Samir is driving through Beirut in the torrential rain. He passes under a bridge; suddenly his car is submerged in a massive puddle, a veritable pond. Water begins to flood into the car's interior. Samir calls for help; he calls his friends, his family, his acquaintances-- to no avail at this late hour. Finally he dials 112-- the emergency operator-- and explains his situation, only to be informed that this did not fall under the jurisdiction of the police department. Well who do I call, Samir asks. I don't know. Try another number.

Samir waits. He again attempts to rescue his car. A passing motorist stops to help. Knee-deep in water, Samir gives up. He's cold, he's wet. He calls the emergency responder again. The same officer picks up. "Listen you son of a bitch. I'll screw your sister, you useless piece of shit..." Samir unleashes a stream of vulgarities and personal insults. "You idiot, I'm fucking insulting you. I'm cursing your mother and your sister. Come and fucking arrest me. I'm under this bridge. And please rescue my car while you're at it." He hardly got a rise out of the guy. Again he was politely informed, that such emergencies were not the business of the police department.

No comments: