It's A Bungle Out There! [NOOK Book]


All BETSY CHAMBERLAIN wanted to do was play sports. Had she got her way, the security of the nation and the integrity of its treasury would not have been upset. But...

Because the coach at Ethan Allen high denied her request on financial...
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It's A Bungle Out There!

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All BETSY CHAMBERLAIN wanted to do was play sports. Had she got her way, the security of the nation and the integrity of its treasury would not have been upset. But...

Because the coach at Ethan Allen high denied her request on financial grounds, Betsy asked her friend, RICK, for help. But...

Because Rick suggested they send letters to all of Burlington's merchants--soliciting a modest $3000 to outfit a girls' basketball team and calling it Operation Playball, and...

Because Betsy didn't like to write letters, and...

Because Rick was taking an introductory course in computers, he suggested they use the school's dinky machine to write and send them to the merchants. But...

Because the school's dinky computer was linked to its terminals by ordinary phone lines, Betsy and Rick had to access it by dialing an ordinary phone number. But...

Because the Pentagon was, at that precise moment, connecting its monster computer to every military base in the country--including the armory in Vermont--and because it contracted with the phone company to do the job, and...

Because Betsy and Rick were dialing their school's computer at that same precise moment while...
A lineman from Vermont Bell was connecting the armory's phone to the Pentagon and accidentally crossed the lines, and...

Because Rick and Betsy unknowingly ended up communicating with the Pentagon's monster machine rather than the school's dinky one, and...

Because the Pentagon's computer was programmed to reject anything involving less than $1 million (to say nothing of $3000), and...

Because General of the Army H.K. Triffick, who was in charge of the computer, suspected something was wrong when the computer asked permission to allocate $3000 to something called Operation Playball in Vermont, and...

Because the general raised the puny sum to $3 million to keep the books straight, and...

Because the Joint Chiefs of the Navy and Air Force suspected the Army was up to something when they saw the allocation for something they knew nothing about and suspected a congressional investigation was starting, and shuffled their own excess appropriations in the same operation, and...

Because the Pentagon's computer was operated by an efficient but nervous Lieutenant who followed orders to the letter,
Betsy Chamberlain received a check made out to her and Operation Playball in the tidy sum of $127 billion.

If that's all that happened, maybe no one would have noticed, until Betsy tried to cash the check at her local bank, and the banker, suspecting she was the biggest forger he had ever seen, called the Treasurer of the U.S., who, suspecting the Pentagon was up to its old wasteful tricks again, called the President who was just about to call the Pentagon when he received a call from the Soviet Ambassador who thanked him profusely for the check which he said he was going to use it to invite the Soviet basketball team to play the Baltimore Bullets, but which, in fact, was made up of KGB agents intent on infiltrating the U.S. after they pretended to lose the game and seek asylum as political refugees.

While based on a lifetime exposure to bureaucracies and those who inhabit or inhibit them, It's A Bungle Out There! is a tongue-in-cheek expose of the terrors most of us suspect but are afraid to question: from the phone company (lest it disconnects our lines), to the bank (lest it loses our checks), to the government (lest it declares us dead).

All bureaucracies have one thing in common: to survive at the expense of those whom they are dedicated to serve--unless they meet someone like Betsy, whose survival skills exceed their own.


It's A Bungle Out There!, a work of fiction, is a satiric account of bureaucracies. The story opens with a short Prologue depicting seemingly unrelated events occurring somewhere in the Arizona Desert, somewhere beneath the Pacific Ocean, and somewhere over the Mojave Desert.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013545854
  • Publisher: Strohlein Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/28/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 255 KB

Meet the Author

I began writing in earnest (and in grammar school) and won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature (fiction & fantasy) for the sentence you've just read!

Seriously, I did begin at an early age and have continued to write complete sentences (such as this one you've just read).

Beyond that, I was a contributing editor for Biomedical Communications (NY) which published "The Management of 35-mm Medical Slides". One hundred short stories followed along with four novels: "The Angel of Amsterdam," "The Programmer," "It's a Bungle Out There!" and "The Valley of Tears." All of these have been based on real-life experiences which have allowed me to vent on such topics as the Nazi Occupation of Holland, computer crime, bureaucracies and an inglorious attempt to subdue Nature which didn't want to be subdued.

I'd write more but I don't have much time while sitting in front of the mail box waiting for my Pulitzer notice.
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