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   over just a few months. Of course, not all those attempts were

   successful, but he managed to get through at least half the time. It

   required quite an effort to keep a presence on the party line, since

   it automatically cut people off after only ten minutes. Anthrax made

   friends with the operators, who sometimes let him stay on-line a while

   longer.

  

   Bill, a Swedish Party Line junkie, had recently been released from

   prison, where he had served time for beating up a Vietnamese boy at a

   railway station. He had a bad attitude and he often greeted the party

   line by saying, `Are there any coons on the line today?' His attitude

   to women wasn't much better. He relentlessly hit on the women who

   frequented the line. One day, he made a mistake. He gave out his phone

   number to a girl he was trying to pick up. The operator copied it down

   and when her friend Anthrax came on later that day, she passed it on

   to him.

  

   Anthrax spent a few weeks social engineering various people, including

   utilities and relatives whose telephone numbers appeared on Bill's

   phone accounts, to piece together the details of his life. Bill was a

   rough old ex-con who owned a budgie and was dying of cancer. Anthrax

   phoned Bill in the hospital and proceeded to tell him all sorts of

   personal details about himself, the kind of details which upset a

   person.

  

   Not long after, Anthrax heard that Bill had died. The hacker felt as

   though he had perhaps gone a bit too far.

  

                            [ ]

 

   The tension at home had eased a little by the time Anthrax left to

   attend university. But when he returned home during holidays he found

   his father even more unbearable. More and more, Anthrax rebelled

   against his father's sniping comments and violence. Eventually, he

   vowed that the next time his father tried to break his arm he would

   fight back. And he did.

  

   One day Anthrax's father began making bitter fun of his younger son's

   stutter. Brimming with biting sarcasm, the father mimicked Anthrax's

   brother.

  

   `Why are you doing that?' Anthrax yelled. The bait had worked once

   again.

  

   It was as though he became possessed with a spirit not his own. He

   yelled at his father, and put a fist into the wall. His father grabbed

   a chair and thrust it forward to keep Anthrax at bay, then reached

   back for the phone. Said he was calling the police. Anthrax ripped the

   phone from the wall. He pursued his father through the house, smashing

   furniture. Amid the crashing violence of the fight, Anthrax suddenly

   felt a flash of fear for his mother's clock--a much loved, delicate

   family heirloom. He gently picked it up and placed it out of harm's

   way. Then he heaved the stereo into the air and threw it at his

   father. The stereo cabinet followed in its wake. Wardrobes toppled

   with a crash across the floor.

  

   When his father fled the house, Anthrax got a hold of himself and

   began to look around. The place was a disaster area. All those things

   so tenderly gathered and carefully treasured by his mother, the things

   she had used to build her life in a foreign land of white people