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Just a Temproary Failure

Just a Temproary Failure

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Published by tara02

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Published by: tara02 on Jun 22, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Just a Temporary Failure.
Just a Temporary Failure.
He came to me dressed like some insurance man, at leasthe looked like one: shorter, slightly obese, very much thenagging type."Mr. Leblanc," he said, "my name is Calhoun and Irepresent the company called
 Astral Projections.
We aredoing some kind of a market research, so I would like toask you few questions, but you are in no obligation toanswer any of them."Well, I said to myself, he starts with questionnaire, asusual, and then he will end with an offer to sell. So what -I'll let him talk and throw him out later. The salesman whogains your sympathies is usually the most cunning of themall."Ask away," I said friendly, yet his first question took my breath away."How much longer do you think you will live?""Long enough," I answered, with forced smile."Yes," he agreed, but obviously not with me, "most people we asked were thinking thesame. But believe me, the statistics for the people of your age are not so encouraging.People with health problems as yours live in average only three more years, most of themdo not survive two years. When have you had your last check-up?"About a month ago," I lied, "and my doctor found me in perfect health." That was also aie, of course."Yes," he carried on, like an answering machine, "nobody could believe it can develop sosuddenly." That made me to think: where could he learn that? My doctor would nevereveal such information: if I sue him, he might lose his license."If you know everything, why do you ask?" I snapped back without trying to hide myrustration."Jerry," he introduced himself, "please call me Jerry. Good question," he added, "verygood question."
I ignored his suggestion and carried on: "Would you please stick to the point? What areyou really selling? Some life insurance? Thanks, but no thanks! I am not married.""I know," he said patiently," we have checked all your personal data in advance. Nowhere you have it: we are offering you the contract, which will benefit directly you,actually only you. If you sign the contract, we will guarantee that you will live sevenmore years, in health and happiness."I had to laugh: "I do not want to destroy your illusions, but I want to live much longer andwithout your contract. You bothered yourself for nothing. So good bye to you!""I beg your pardon, "he interrupted, "but your mother also died because of heart problemand at the same age you are now."How could he possibly know this? I could not resist wondering: "Listen, I know littleabout modern medicine and I doubt that even your company can . . .He quickly cut in: "Maybe some practical demonstration will help here more. Youreyesight is pretty bad, isn't it? ""So what," I retorted," five dioptries is five dioptries, that can be fixed by proper glasses.""Take them off, please," he said. I did what he told me, without actually knowing why."How do you see me now?" he wanted to know."Like a big blurry spot," I laughed. Then something cracked, like if somebody's breakinghe pencil."What are you doing?" I screamed, hoping, that was not what I had suspected."I just broke your glasses," he replied, "you won't need them anymore."y laugh froze right in my stomach. "No, no, don't worry. It's O.K.," he added, snappedhis fingers and the picture started to clear itself. Few more seconds and really: I could seeagain, even that broken pair of glasses on the table!"Wait a minute!" I objected. "Another of your tricks, right? It will come back after youeave, right? You better fix those glasses right now or you will have to pay for them!""It won't come back, I assure you. Even so, if it does, we will gladly reimburse you." Heeally knew how to get my attention."But," I tried to guess, "if I don't do business with you, it will come back, right? I knewhere is a trick somewhere!""Definitely not, it will not come back again." He sounded serious. "Consider it thedemonstration of our services, something like a
sample. By the way," he added, "if you live only one more year or two, your eyesight will be the last thing on your mind.""Seven years you said," I voiced my thoughts. "Well, and how much it will cost me?"
"It is all in this written agreement," he smiled and handed me a paper, realizing that I washooked already."And what if I want to cancel the deal? Or maybe prolong it?""Unfortunately, seven years is the fixed term. You cannot cancel it and later changes of he contract are not permitted, either. I have to stress that here in advance.""But listen, haven't I heard that before? It may appear ridiculous, but it all sounds moreike some contract with devil. But surely you are not one of them . . . ""But of course I am," he interrupted. "Modern times require modern approach," he said,but it sounded more like an apology than explanation."Don't get me wrong, but as I recollect, you used to offer your clients much more: eternalyouth, love of women, riches, supreme wisdom . . .""And you think that gift of live is something less?" he responded with indisputable logic."And what about that signature in own blood?"" Just artistic cliché, " he uttered, "the ink will do. We do not want you to get infection oreven die before the end of contract, do we?" He obviously used that joke often, judgingby the way he laughed."But I still can't believe it," I continued. You want me to sign the contract for a grant of another seven years of life. And then what?""Then nothing," he assured me."Except that you will take me down to the everlasting hell," I could not help laughing."Oh, nothing like that," he assured me. " Hell and heaven are just names, nothing more.""So what is it you want?" I was losing my patience."Nothing too much, just your soul immortal.""But excuse me, " I wondered, "if there is no heaven nor hell, how comes that there is asoul immortal? And how about the God Almighty?""But off course, God exists, from eternity to eternity. There is also the devil - actuallymany of them, not just me," he assured me."But what are they doing then?" I asked again. "Are they also helping many good souls toswitch sides? Is that the everlasting fight between
""No, certainly not," he denied it and I could see from the expression on his face hownaive my question apparently was. "It is just a difference of opinion. You see, ourcompetition is trying to convince you - by the way not too successfully - that the
is not what is good for you, but what is good for the others. And after death,hat is if you behave, you can get to heaven. But you are not too religious, are you?""Maybe," I did not want to admit it, not to the devil, anyway. "But I believe in the goodand bad, in that old-fashioned sense, so the people will not eat each other alive, you

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