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   He didn't have many options. One of the cops was sealing up his mobile

   phone in a clear plastic bag and labelling it. It was physically

   impossible for him to call a lawyer, since the police wouldn't let him

   use the mobile or go to a pay phone. They harangued him about coming

   to Melbourne for a police interview.

  

   `It is your best interest to cooperate,' one of the cops told him. `It

   would be in your best interest to come with us now.'

  

   Anthrax pondered that line for a moment, considered how ludicrous it

   sounded coming from a cop. Such a bald-faced lie told so

   matter-of-factly. It would have been humorous if the situation with

   his mother hadn't been so awful. He agreed to an interview with the

   police, but it would have to be done on another day.

  

   The cops wanted to search his car. Anthrax didn't like it, but there

   was nothing incriminating in the car anyway. As he walked outside in

   the winter morning, one of the cops looked down at Anthrax's feet,

   which were bare in accordance with the Muslim custom of removing shoes

   in the house. The cop asked if he was cold.

  

   The other cop answered for Anthrax. `No. The fungus keeps them warm.'

  

   Anthrax swallowed his anger. He was used to racism, and plenty of it,

   especially from cops. But this was over the top.

  

   In the town where he attended uni, everyone thought he was Aboriginal.

   There were only two races in that country town--white and Aboriginal.

   Indian, Pakistani, Malay, Burmese, Sri Lankan--it didn't matter. They

   were all Aboriginal, and were treated accordingly.

  

   Once when he was talking on the pay phone across from his house, the

   police pulled up and asked him what he was doing there. Talking on the

   phone, he told them. It was pretty obvious. They asked for

   identification, made him empty his pockets, which contained his small

   mobile phone. They told him his mobile must be stolen, took it from

   him and ran a check on the serial number. Fifteen minutes and many

   more accusations later, they finally let him go with the flimsiest of

   apologies. `Well, you understand,' one cop said. `We don't see many of

   your type around here.'

  

   Yeah. Anthrax understood. It looked pretty suspicious, a dark-skinned

   boy using a public telephone. Very suss indeed.

  

   In fact, Anthrax had the last laugh. He had been on a phreaked call to

   Canada at the time and he hadn't bothered to hang up when the cops

   arrived. Just told the other phreakers to hang on. After the police

   left, he picked up the conversation where he left off.

  

   Incidents like that taught him that sometimes the better path was to

   toy with the cops. Let them play their little games. Pretend to be

   manipulated by them. Laugh at them silently and give them nothing. So

   he appeared to ignore the fungus comment and led the cops to his car.

   They found nothing.

  

   When the police finally packed up to leave, one of them handed Anthrax

   a business card with the AFP's phone number.

   

   `Call us to arrange an interview time,' he said.