Friday, November 21, 2014

The Debt Collector

BANG! BANG! BANG! "Come on, Mr. Bean. Open up!"

Mr. Bean was born cranky. Banging on his door first thing in the morning only made him crankier. "Goddam, what is it?" he grouched opening his finely inlaid entrance.

A man in a multi-colored suit gave the bad news. "Your house. We're taking it for money owed."

"I own this place free and clear, you rat bastard moron!"

"Right. You've got full equity. That's why it's the best one to take."

"You must be downright nuts! I don't owe you a goddam thing."

"No, but Smithers down the street gambled away your house so now it belongs to my bank."

"That's outrageous! How can he do that! That's not even legal!"

"Yeah, so? You can go vote or protest or whatever it is you people do. All I know is everyone decided we could take your house for the debt."

"Go fuck yourself! What do you mean 'everyone decided'?"

"Your neighbors knew we had to take somebody's house so they voted it to be yours. They don't like you much. Democracy in action!"

"Wasn't anyone pissed a house not belonging to Smithers was being taken for his goddam debt?? That's outrageous!!"

"They were pissed until they found out just yours was being taken."

"But it could happen to them too!"

"An esoteric and extraneous point based on a paranoid conspiracy theory - though we do have plans to take theirs too. Nice neighborhood!"

"Who are you people? What makes you think you can do this??"

"The Big Shots say we can."

"What fucking Big Shots? I'll have their goddam heads!"

"Actually, according to our records you voted for the Big Shot over you."

"But he's supposed to be one of the good guys!"

"He is! Everyone else wanted to take your house six months ago but he held out. So think, you got six extra months!"

"Who gives a shit about that now!!"

"Not me. Now fork over the keys or the six cops I got behind me will shoot you down and call it self defense. I told them I'd take their houses if they didn't help us so I wouldn't mess with them."

"This is a nightmare! Un-fucking-believable! I wake up and my whole life is ruined. How can this happen? Has the world gone mad? Doesn't anyone give one flying fuck about anything?"

"Quit your whining and consider the greater good."

"Why can't someone say that to Smithers??"

Guns drawn in vicious hatred, the lawless officers removed a livid and screaming Mr. Bean and put a "For Sale" sign up on the lawn. He didn't go quietly - but go he did. Stunned and dazed, Bean wandered the streets in helpless muttering dismay.

"Look, mommy! A creepy homeless guy talking to himself!" decried one little girl.

"I wonder what he did to deserve that?" whispered her mother whisking her child to safety.

Down the street was a crowd of petty rock throwers, rabid police and angry artillery - all aimed at one single house. Bean felt a sense of relief to focus on another's troubles.

"What's going on here?" he asked a fellow bystander.

"Force field," was the reply as if to explain everything.

"Force field? You're kidding me?"

"I cannot imagine why I would do that. They took the force field option and now everyone is pissed the house can't be taken. Simple, logical facts."

"I could have taken a force field - but I didn't! I'm a good loyal citizen who trusts his government and all authority to do the right thing." As he said this another artillery shell whistled overhead. "I hope those mortars break through. If I can't keep mine neither can they. Damn them and their good decisions!"

Bean looked curiously at the rock throwers who were dressed in rags and covered in filth, clearly not belonging to the upscale neighborhood and stood no chance of sharing in any profit from stealing the abode.

"Why are those ragamuffins throwing rocks? They have no stake in this."

"Idiots need to feel useful. Besides, poor people can be greedy too. They just don't have the outlet."

"Looks like they found one!"


Bean later found out the rock throwers were given golf tees in reward by the wealthy land grabbers whose bidding they did in hopeful aspiration. Though none of them could afford a round of golf nor even had clubs, they felt quite proud, calling themselves the "Tee Party."

Bean could find no friendly ear. "I've been victimized!" he shouted at the top of his lungs. No one paid him a cent of attention. His plea of "This isn't supposed to happen to me!" actually caused some amusement. When he started screaming society was "insane, corrupt, and out of control" the Thought Police were notified for a terrorist alert. Bean was able to hide before the drones arrived or this would be the end of the story. It shocked him to remember he used to cheer drone strikes when watching on TV.

Determined to seek justice, Bean researched Smithers' evil ways, of his secretly taking money that did not belong to him, leveraging it so every loss was multiplied by 30, then threw his victims out into the street before starting all over again. Bean posted these facts with complete verification on the internet in what he hoped to be a startling exposé that would change the course of society. The comments showed him otherwise.

"Whoa! That Smithers dude is smart! I want to be like him!"

"It's your own fault for letting it happen! Take responsibility for your life. Don't be looking to me to pay your damn bills!"

"This is obviously sour grapes on the achievers in society. Get over it. No one wants to hear this shit. You should be applauding Smithers instead of attacking him with baseless accusations."

At his lowest hour, Bean heard words to lift him out of his plight.

"Those who've been disenfranchised, disavowed; those who are deep in despair, take heart. I feel your pain. What's happening to you should not be happening. A society lives on justice but starves with injustice. Our future - our very lives - are at stake. This cannot go on! This must not go on!"

Bean looked up to see Dear Leader beaming with resounding applause from his believers. Rushing to Dear Leader's side, Bean plead his case.

"Sir! Sir! I'm being made to pay for debts not my own!"

"Well, somebody's got to pay. Not gonna be me!"

"Yes, but - what about what you just said about justice and everything??"

"Don't ya love it! That kind of shit gets me elected - and re-elected! Everyone so badly wants to believe. The stupidity of the voter suits me quite well."

"Didn't you mean any of it, about society needing justice to survive?"

"Abstract philosophy has no place in a modern society. That's the problem with justice: it's just not pragmatic."

At this point Bean's belief was shattered forever. "What the fuck is that supposed to mean, you twisted twit! You seriously trying to tell me a society can't survive serving justice? Are you out of your bankrupt mind?"

"I'll tell what it means, my good man. It means society needs bankers - not homeless fucks like you."

"Oh yeah? You can suck my big white dick, you sonofabitch! Who the fuck needs you? I hope you're fed back twice what you're serving out!"

"I'm needed to protect society from angry people like you, you shithead. Now, if you'll excuse me I'm about to be fêted by the Gambling Lobby. You know what -" Dear Leader couldn't stop from laughing. "You know what they tell me? The only way the gambling laws were kept in place was because the anti-gambling forces trust me so implicitly! God, that's funny! Don't you know I'd be Jesus if only they would let me!"

Dear Leader laughed his way down the street, cracking himself up with a perpetual string of inside jokes. Mr. Bean was not amused, slumping down into a nearby gutter as the rain began to pour.

"What's left to fight for? The world has gone mad in daylight madness. All I've got left is my soul." Bean held his head between his hands in free and total defeat. "I just can't believe I have to pay for debts not mine own. There's no escape is there? Living here is complete shit - even when you do nothing wrong."

"Tell me about it!" affirmed a voice from the cross above.

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