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Bewildering Stories

Bewildering Stories Editorial

by Jerry Wright

Fighting With Bureaucracy

Sometimes I just want to throw things. Cuss. Spit. Yell. Then, of course, get arrested because I've had the nerve to question what our masters require.


I set up everything, "Bewildering Stories" is now set up in the state of Washington as a partnership. Which makes sense one would think. After all, Don and I are partners. All the "i"s are crossed and the "t"s dotted, and "all's right with the world".

Next step, set up a bank account. Yes, we have a little money. Yes, we'll have some more. Yes, Don and I have some interesting plans for the future. So I walk into the bank with my bright shiny new paperwork.

"I've come to set up a business account!" I say, all bright and cheerful.

"Very good, Jerry. (She knows me well...) "Let's see the paperwork."

"Oh!" she exclaims. "A partnership. You know, the two of you have to be here before I can set this up..."

"Nicole, I don't see how that's going to be possible. Don lives in Canada, over in Ontario. He's not going to want to come here."

"I'm sorry, Jerry. I don't have any choice. The Patriot Act won't let me set up an account without actually seeing the people who are the principals."

"What! That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard!"

"Ever since 9/11, things have gotten a lot more complicated!"

"Yeah, and the tyrannical masters squeeze a little more freedom to death in the name of Patriotism!"

Now she begins to look a bit scared.

"Maybe you can find a little Bank that would be willing to bend the rules. They audit us two or three times a week looking for things like this."

"Sorry, Nicole. Not your fault. But it looks like a naked power-grab to me." And I stumbled off into the evening.

Of course, there are a number of Internet banks willing to set up an online account. But I am a bit apprehensive. Like the guy who went to Switzerland wanting to set up one of those secret Swiss bank accounts. He asks a cabdriver, "Hey, do you know where I can find someone to set up a numbered account?"

"Well, of course Mein Herr, let me introduce you to my cousin Stoli. He knows all about these things."

So they go and meet Stoli, who certainly can introduce him to a man who can set up an secret numbered Swiss Bank Account. Everything is set up, the paperwork done, the Banker takes his hard earned money, and our hero says, "Wait a minute... What is my number?"

The Banker looks thoughtful for a minute and then says, "One."

Oh well. And don't get me started on the Transportation Security Agency!

Copyright © 2006 by Jerry Wright for Bewildering Stories

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