"Is this Mr. Erek Gerende?"


"This is Mr. Barkle of the Visa card company."

"Happy New Year."

"That is not what I'm calling about. We notice that you have $2,340 in charges, and we haven't heard from you."

"I didn't know I was supposed to call."

"You weren't supposed to call. You were supposed to send us a check."

"I would have, but it would only bounce, and then you people would have gotten mad at me."

"You mean you don't have $2,340?"

"Who does, except the Hunt Brothers?"

"I'm not in a joking mood, Mr. Gerende. We need the $2,340."

"Well, you better call somebody else, because I don't have it."

"Why did you use our Visa card if you didn't have the funds?"

"I didn't intend to. But every time I went into a store before Christmas, the person behind the counter said, 'We'll take Visa, Master Charge or American Express.' I figured you people needed the business so I gave everyone my Visa card."

"We sent you that Visa card on the understanding that you would pay us back for the things you charged on it."

"Well, if that's the way you feel about it, I'll send the card back to you. I don't want to do business with any company where I'm not welcome."

"You don't have to do that. We've canceled you Visa card already. If you pay us back the $2,340 we will be happy to reinstate you."

"For $2,340 I could join the Burning Tree Country Club. Look, if I had the money I'd send it to you. But I'm a little strapped now, what with Christmas and everything."

"What did you buy with the card?"

"A lot of stuff for the kids and two airline tickets for my parents to visit us over the holidays."

"Have they used the tickets both ways?"

"Yeah, they went home last night. They had a great time."

"Mr. Gerende, this is going to look very bad to the computer. The computer gets very angry when one of our members fails to pay his bills."

"What does it do?"

"It tells other computers all over America that you refused to pay your Visa obligations."

"That's a rotten thing to do."

"Do you know what you are now, Mr. Gerende, in the memory of every computer in this country?"

"No, what am I?"

"A deadbeat."

"Nobody's perfect."

"We want our money, Mr. Gerende, and we want it now."

"Okay, if you feel that way about it. Do you people take American Express?"