austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Why don't you try simply reading a book?

I knew I had to get around to paying my television license soon, since it's due by the end of January. Singapore has annual TV licenses, kind of like England, except that tedious United States residents don't discover that fact every couple of months and start long flame wars on rec.arts.tv about how English people are dupes to enslave themselves to the most onerous legislation since the creation of serfdom. Nobody bothers with flame wars over Singaporean television.

But, more, I knew I needed to renew because they sent out a letter saying they were not going to remind people to pay their licenses. That's fair enough; the original license/bill says they won't send a reminder. It was just a letter pointing out recipients could pay electronically or even through a web site. Ahead of me at the post office was a woman upset about the non-reminder note, since she had already paid, and she didn't understand why she had to set up to pay it electronically. The clerk quite patiently explained that it wasn't a bill or a reminder of the bill, just a note explaining that if she did have to pay it, she had more options this year.

I'd tried paying at one of the automated bill-pay stations, but the bar code scanner isn't set up to read the bar codes. The manual entry took some navigation, as the license -- from the Media Development Authority -- doesn't show up as one of the touch-screen options; you have to guess that it's under the Inland Revenue Authority's submenus. Since you can't use the bar code scanner you have to punch the license number in manually, on a touch-screen keypad that doesn't have letters. Since my license number includes the letter T, this stopped me.

So I went to the post office, with the aforementioned woman ahead of me. After I paid, the clerk took my license/bill, ripped off the detachable portion, then stapled the detachable part, the remaining part, and my receipt together, and gave it back to me, and I can watch TV with a clear conscience through 2006. I went to the canteen and got a tiramisu to drink and all was basically well.

My point with all this is that the fuss meant I didn't have time to write anything absurd for Rabbit Hole Day, and I wanted to explain why.

Trivia: Alice won her chess match in eleven moves. Source: Through The Looking-Glass, Lewis Carroll.

Currently Reading: Does Anything Eat Wasps? And 101 Other Questions, Mick O'Hare, Editor.

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