Life in a Libertarian Utopia
dispatcher: North Haverbrook Fire & Rescue, what’s your emergency?
citizen: My house is on fire! You’ve gotta help me, please.
dispatcher: That’s what we’re here for, ma'am. May I have your name and address?
citizen: Valerie Odgen, I live at 478 Brockaway Lane. Please, you have to send someone immediately.
dispatcher: Of course, Ms. Ogden. Now, our records aren’t showing an account associated with that name or address. Might it be under another name? Your husband or someone?
dispatcher: Would you perhaps like to set up an account at this time?
dispatcher: It’s just, there’s a fifteen percent surcharge for non-account holders.
citizen: Surch…what the fuck is wrong with you? Send. Firefighters.
dispatcher: There’s no need to be rude, ma'am.
citizen: My fucking kids are inside, you piece of shit!
dispatcher: Yes ma'am. How many engines would you estimate will be required?
citizen: How the fuck do I know? I’m not a goddamn fireman!
dispatcher: We’ll just say two to be on the safe side. That’ll be two thousand for the first engine, one for each additional, for a total of three thousand.
dispatcher: We’re a business, ma'am, not a charity. I hope you aren’t one of those flakes who think the government should fund these kinds of services with taxes. It’s hardly fair to saddle all the people whose homes aren’t on fire with the burden of extinguishing of yours. I mean, what is this, the Soviet Union?
citizen: Whatever, just send them before my fucking house burns down.
dispatcher: Of course. It will be two-fifty per hour per engine once they arrive. Not counting the surcharge. Would you like them to take the fastest route?
citizen: Fastest…why wouldn’t I?
dispatcher: My computer is showing that the most expedient route will incur one hundred seventeen dollars in tolls. I can save you up to fifty-two dollars by sending them via a more economical route, but that will add approximately twenty-one minutes of travel time.
dispatcher: Now, now, ma'am, you can’t just expect the owners of those roads to let us use them for free.