Call me Ishmael. Don't call me, Ishmael, because I can't afford it. But if you want to refer to me as Ishmael, well, I will assume that you are bananas, and nod and smile as you do. The reason I bring up "Call me Ishmael," the first line to Herman Melville's "Moby Dick," is because, Mr. Melville was paid by the word to write it. That's a sweet gig. If he were alive today, he might want to get a job with "Bell" who sent me a THIRTEEN PAGE BILL TODAY.
THIRTEEN PAGES. ONE BILL. AND NO MENTION OF CAPTAIN AHAB ANYWHERE.
I can't even bring myself to sift through it all. I try, but the plot leaves so much wanting. In Moby Dick, there was Captain Ahab, and Queequeg, Starbuck, Stubb...and the great white whale. There were harpoons and ambergris, waves and roiling seas, and MADNESS. VENGEFUL MADNESS. It's a great story.
The phone bill is, well, not a very interesting story at all. I think it's meant to bore and confound you so that you don't question any of the charges. Consider these:
1 Residence line:
1 digital bundle-long distance plan:
1 DSL service:
1 DSL service with fries:
1 DSL service with fries and the option of riding in a gondola:
1 Network charge:
1 911 emergency service access, when you swallow your own head after trying to figure out your phone bill:
1 Call Return service...in case you've tried to make a call while you had swallowed your head...the sound would be all muffled and thumpy. So get the call back and try again:
1 Touch-Tone service:
1 Touch-Tone service and eavestrough stencil:
1 Touch-tone service, eavestrough stencil and remote control pencil sharpener offer:
Long Distance Savings and Discounts with Telephones made out of jam this month:
Cans of soup: 12
Talk and Share the soup: 5
Shoelace retrieval: Nil
Member to Member Local Calling: 0
Calls in Desperation to the Real World: 1000000,0000000
Includes: Call Display:
Map of Mandalay:
Messages from the Rogers Centre:
Christmas Messages from the Rogers Centre:
Christmas Messages from Ahab:
Unlimited Incoming Messages:
Unlimited Incoming Messages with fries:
Unlimited Incoming Messages with fries, in a gondola:
Any message from a whale:
Total Monthly Charges (Before fries, and gondola fees):
6 Trillion dollars.
Total Other charges...that we're just not going to explain to you:
Calls made while up a tree:
Calls made while NEAR a tree:
Calls made while under a Spruce while wearing sensible shoes:
Cost for the maintenance of the internet tubes:
Monthly charges for all of the people who can't sing, on Youtube:
Extra charge for slow bandwidth for no reason when you need it the most:
Extra, Extra charge for making up an explanation for slow bandwidth that we think will satisfy you and stop you from chopping up your phone and connecting lines with an axe:
Axe license fee:
Wireless option for your axe:
Wireless axe fee:
Unlimited Messages to your wireless axe:
PERMANENT PRESS CHARGES BECAUSE NOW YOUR DRYER IS IN ON THIS RUSE:
It's just too long. Thirteen pages is TOO LONG. Anything longer than three pages should have a plot.
...or at least danger.
...or a whale.
I don't think that's too much to ask.
...FEE, FOR ASKING:
....AND THINKING. WE KNOW YOU'RE THERE AND YOU'RE TRYING TO THINK OF A WAY TO END THIS:
FEE FOR ENDING THIS:
! IMPORTANT INFORMATION
PAYMENT DUE UPON RECEIPT. TO ENSURE YOUR PAYMENT IS REFLECTED ON THE NEXT INVOICE, PLEASE COMPOSE A POEM OR BAKE US A CAKE SO WE DON'T HATE YOU AND MOVE A DECIMAL SEVERAL SPACES TO THE RIGHT ON YOUR NEXT BILL. OH, THAT BILL, IT'S GOING TO BE A DOOZEY.
Yeah. I can hardly wait.