What would you do?
It's quite early in the morning and you're just about to step into the shower and are hanging around half naked, when you hear the telephone ring.
"Hello," you answer.
No one says anything, but there's clearly someone on the line. This is not atypical so you answer again, just a little bit louder.
The line crackles and a man's voice says: "How are you ma'am?"
The greeting exchange that happens before introductions has long ago ceased to amaze you, so you just go along with it.
"Good. How are you?" you say.
It might just be you, but you think you detect a slight sound that could signify confusion and you remember that you should have of course replied with fine instead of good. You groan a little to yourself. This could take a while now.
"Fine, how are you?" the voice replies.
"Good, and you?" you decide to cut the loop short the next time around.
"Fine... How are you? The man answers once again.
You decide to stop beating around the bush. "Who is this?" you enquire, in what you hope is a pleasant tone, because you don't want the person to think that you weren't being polite back.
"Hullo, ma'am," the voice replies.
You wait for the rest of the sentence. It doesn't seem to be coming. There is audible breathing at the other end.
"Yes?" you prod.
"This is the security.... At the gate, ma'am," the man finally explains.
"Yes?" you prod again.
"The security ma'am," the man repeats, and you begin to think that either the man on the other end is being held at gunpoint and your number was the first on speed dial, or that you have really thrown off this poor man's mojo by daring to reply with good instead of fine.
"Yes? What is it?" you try with a more direct approach.
"Ma'am the municipality," you are explained. Yet you continue to be befuddled. In fact, you are standing naked in your bedroom and the municipality wants to stop by? You start looking around for something to throw on. Where in the hell is that second-skin-of-yours bathrobe anyways?
"Who?" You reply. Perhaps a tad too loudly.
"Ma'am the municipality. The water. You have no water," the voice lays it out.
You look into the bathroom where steam is starting to form because the water heater has kicked in and the water streaming freely from the shower head is hot. You are reminded of the time in Mexico when the doorman called you up one afternoon and asked whether you had a fuga and you misunderstood and thought he meant a fire when he was actually talking about the leak you'd had for several days and were waiting for a plumber to come and fix and the doorman sent the plumber packing because you denied having a fuga.
You decide to play your cards right this time.
"I don't have water?" you throw out.
"Ma'am. The municipality is here to fix." the voice says, and perhaps there is a little note of exasperation.
"Why are they here? What stand are you trying to call?" you decide to get to the bottom of this. It is the municipality after all, and those boys are hard, hard to get to come out when you need them.
"I let them through, ma'am?" the guard ignores your questions and enquires instead.
"No, wait! We have water. Who is there again?" you ask, since you remember the horror stories about someone letting in the wrong people. You are, after all, almost certain that you do have water.
"The mu-ni-ci-pa-li-ty," answers the man. Great. Now he thinks you're challenged. And the guards already feel that based on the times you've near-missed the fingerprinting station, or had to get out of the car to get in, because you were far too far from it. You know they laugh at you behind your back. Just a little.
"Please. I don't know anything about this. Who asked for them to come?" you stall, although you know the guard is clearly just waiting for a yes or no, and won't be asking any more questions from whoever's trying to get in.
"So I don't let them in?" the man replies.
"No," you finally say.
And then you get in the shower and begin to live in fear that you've greatly pissed off the water department of the municipality.
Maybe you really don't have water?
Pay here for inclusion I
1 year ago