At two-thirty, Fish called the rental place and they said they were on their way and could he give them his address again. He did, and waited.
At three o’clock, he called again and it was a new guy on the phone. New guy said he had no record of Fish’s reservation.“You know,” Fish said, “that’s messed up. I’ve been waiting forever and I have to get down to goddam Bakersfield.” New guy sighed and said he’d look again. Then he got back on the phone and said that he was sorry, that he’d found the reservation posted on the bulletin board.
“Someone,” he said, “put it up on the board without telling anyone else.” He was directing this to some nameless offscreen co-worker.
“Sure,” Fish said, “but isn’t that what the goddam board is for, so you don’t have to tell everyone about it?” Fish wanted a look at that office. “Jesus,” he added. “That’s really fucked.”
“Well, I am sorry,” new guy said.
“I have a friend in the hospital, motherfucker.” Fish was surprised; he hadn’t contemplated that sentence. He realized that this was one of those moments when one’s impatience—or perhaps the word is rage—was being misdirected. All the same, he thought he’d very much like to punch the new guy till he whispered.