“Mr. Jones, we were looking over our records and we were wondering if you’ve enjoyed that CD you bought last February.”

“Uh? You mean that Metallica CD? I love it?”

“And before that you bought CDs by The Living End, Muse and Ministry?”

“Er… Yeah.”

“And did those CDs work okay, Mr. Jones? They didn’t glitch, or cause any problems, did they?”

“No. Not at all. Why do you ask?”

“Well, after looking at your records, we couldn’t help but notice that you hadn’t bought any CDs since February. Is there a problem, Mr. Jones?”

“A problem? No. There’s no problem.”

“But you haven’t bought any CDs in months.”

“That’s not entirely true. I purchased some tracks from iTunes.”

“Ah, yes. Songs by Uriah Heep, Beenie Man and Barry Manilow. But that’s not the same as purchasing authentic compact discs from a brick & mortar record store, is it, Mr. Jones?”

“No. I guess not.”

“We must all do our share to support the economy, Mr. Jones. Think of the record store clerks. They need to eat, too, Mr. Jones.”

“I… I never thought of it that way.”

“Most people don’t, Mr. Jones.”

“Look, I’ll buy some CDs. Okay?”

“Which ones?”

“Well, I was thinking of that new Van Halen compilation.”

“Is that all? Just one CD?”

“Well… Maybe Avril Lavigne and Ani DiFranco.”

“And when were you going to buy those CDs, Mr. Jones?”

“I dunno. Maybe this weekend.”

“You have a dentist appointment tomorrow morning at 9:30. And your dentist is right across the street from a record store. You can buy your CDs after you see the dentist.”

“Wait a minute. How did you know about my dental appointment? And who are you to tell me what to do?”

“Just a moment, Mr. Jones. We have someone who would like to speak to you.”


“Thaddeus? Is that you?”

“Er… Sis?”

“Do what they say, Thaddeus. For the sake of God, do what they say before -“

“Sis? Sis???”

“Now listen closely, Mr. Jones. After your dental appointment you will march yourself across the street and buy those CDs. And while you’re there, pick up the latest CDs by Everlast, D12 and P.J. Harvey. Understand?”

“Who is this?”

“Do you understand?”

“Yes, I understand. I’ll do anything you want. I’ll buy all the CDs you want me to buy. Sting, Melvins or Sevendust, just name the act, and I’ll buy their CDs. Just don’t harm my sister.”

“No one will get hurt, Mr. Jones. That is, if you just follow our orders.”

“Who are you, anyway?”

“Who are we? Why, we’re the government, Mr. Jones. We’re just looking out for your best interests.”

“The government? Is that all? Whew! For a moment you really had me worried.”

“Why is that, Mr. Jones?”

“Well, for a moment I thought you were the RIAA.”