The phone rang. Leonard saw that it was an outside call. He’d not had one of these in years. His voice cracked with a tiny bit of excitement as he answered: “Federal Commissionary Review Board, Division of Hedge Fund Trades Re-Reviews, Leonard speaking.”
Caller: A bomb has been placed in your building.
Leonard: I’m sorry, we don’t handle homelessness issues, but if you–
Caller: I said a bomb.
Leonard: Oh. Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you said–
Caller: It’s going to go off this afternoon.
Something like this had happened almost a year ago and the executive committee had issued an emergency card for employees on how to deal with such calls.
Leonard: Could you hold for just a second? I… I need to ask you some… Oh, here it is! Did you plant this bomb?
Leonard: Great. Would you be able to tell me where in the building the bomb is right now?
Leonard: You’ve forgotten or you’re not allowed to tell me?
Caller: Are you fucking with me?
Leonard: Absolutely not sir. I… I mean, we. We take these things very seriously. Bombs are dangerous. How big is the bomb? I mean, like how explosive? Wait, I forgot to ask you your name–what is your name, sir?
Caller: This is an anonymous bomb threat, you moron!
Leonard: Wait, my pen just ran out. Here’s another! So this is just a threat and not an actual report of a bomb? And you don’t want to get credit by giving your name?
Caller: No, you idiot! There’s an actual bomb in your building that I’m threatening you with.
Leonard: Me personally? Do we know each other? You’re not that guy from the dry cleaner’s are you. I only asked for your supervisor because I had to. There was no way those shirts were double starched–
Caller: Listen, asshole, you tell your boss someone called in about a bomb that’s going to go off this afternoon. Do you understand me?!!
Leonard: Yes. Yes, sir. Absolutely. But my boss is out on leave until next week.
Caller: Well, who is filling in for your boss?
Leonard: Terry. He’s actually from the accounting division, but we’ve had a hiring freeze so we’re a bit understaffed. Do you know Terry? Very good with numbers. With people he’s–
Caller: You tell this Terry everything I’ve told you.
Leonard: But you haven’t really told me much. It’s already after two–perhaps you could be more specific about what time it might go off.
Caller: Look, I can’t do that.
Leonard: Is it like a timer or a remote or something?
Caller: It’s triggered by motion.
Leonard: Can I ask–I mean this isn’t on the list of questions I’m supposed to ask–but did you make it yourself?
Caller: Of course.
Leonard: Really? And have you made such things before? Do you take requests is what I’m getting at–
At this point a large jolt erupts somewhere several floors below Leonard’s office. A smokey smell is somewhat discernible.
Leonard: Sir, are you still there?
Leonard: I think your bomb might have just gone off, sir.
Caller: What?!! That’s impossible.
Leonard: Would you like me to check?
Caller: Yes. Yes I would.
Leonard: OK. Where should I look?
Caller: Very funny. You’re a real wise guy trying to trick me like that. All that blood is going to be on your hands. Let me tell you another thing–
Leonard: Hold on just a second. I’ve got another incoming call. I’ll try not to drop you, but if I do, please call back. [Leonard answers the incoming call and puts them on hold.] Hello. Hello? Mr. Bomber Man, are you still there? Crap. Hello?