Capital Connection Cold War In Texas

Written in response to: Start your story with someone saying “Houston, we have a problem.”... view prompt


Coming of Age American Fiction

“Houston, we have a problem. Houston, Houston, this is Waterloo calling. Is someone there? Over.”

That rant, is a kind of jingle in its own right especially to kids born before the ‘70s in Houston and Waterloo Texas and today, all over US. It became so popular that every kid of ‘60s the in Texas knows how to recite it with accuracy and rhythm that beats the hick out of Christmas carols and jingles there.

“Houston, Houston this is Waterloo calling, over”

It was the era of fieldwork with the enormous benefits that comes from it then. Fieldworkers with fieldworker's benefits.

It was also the era of land phones and it’s imagined and real problems and the era of madness and hearsay in the civil service. The insinuations of backbiting were inherent in the civil services of that era in Texas. 

The story going around then which gained prominence to warrant giving attention then was that the civil servants from Austin and those from Houston were into technology civil service cold war and jealousy was high from civilian politics and cowboys attitudes among every Texan into civil service then.

The people from Houston were into the Indirect campaign to shift the capital back to where they believed befits their so-called wonderful state and the people of Austin were into sly complaints alas indirectly of the sabotage of their works and efforts of every kind by their colleagues, from Houston.

The government-owned establishments in the capital and those in Houston never stopped trading allegations of what and where the problems really were in their technological war going on there in that era.

The people of Austin kept complaining to themselveses mainly about the problems they encounter whenever they call their headoffices in Houston during afternoon working hours their connections were so poor that you can't hear them and those from Houston insinuating indrectly that the connection problem is from the other side.

 “they can't stop calling us each afternoon and their line is so bad that you can’t hear a word of what they are yakking about. What is wrong with them, can't they even organize their lines?” 

Almost every establishment in Austin has its head office in Houston and they are so drift off in making accurate decisions on their own that they must contact the head office to know when or whether it is time for coffee break.

“ Shit, I have never seen people so empty in the head like those civil servants Pandas from The so-called capital. Do they select all the dunces in the state civil service and shifted them to that side?- those guys are all crazy in the head. I just ignore their calls most of the time. Failing to do so, you might go bonkers one afternoon listening to them scream like the demented. Can't hear a thing of what they are jabbing about. Can't they do something over there about those lines?”

Then, it was the same allegations from the Austin side among themselves that the plot of those bulls from Houston is becoming visible all the time. They have moved their plot to a higher level. 

“Christ!, where do those overblown maggots came from? Don’t they even read the Bible? High time they know that what Is written is written. Firmly fixed and can't be moved"

The civil servants from Austin are complaining that the staff in their offices in Houston are intentionally testing their patience. The story among them is that the Houston guys hear them all alright and clear but intentionally claiming not to and make them each afternoon to be shouting like a mad fellow from Austin as they have nicknamed them.

“ They can never allow you to retain your peace on the phone. You call another state and the line is nice and clear. Try to call Houston here and you have to repeat yourself over and over again nonstop shouting at top of your voice like a lunatic. Nah, I refused to buy their excuses. Do they think that we are morons or what?- how come you call anyone from Austin inside there in Houston, the line will be extra clear and when you call anyone from Houston's office, even the old and young among them, once they know the call is from Austin, it will be ‘pardon, pardon, can you repeat that line again please?’ nonsense all the time. Please, can you repeat yourself once more?”

The annoyance of those from Austin is that they couldn’t just bring themselves to accuse their colleagues and the young and old from the city of conspiracy and playing pranks without sounding even so to themselves funnier than labeled let alone to any sound minds around. But they knew what they knew for decades about those servants from Houston and no theory, no sermon is going to shake them away from such beliefs. 

The man that popularizes the “Houston, we have a problem and Houston, Houston, this is Austin calling over” line is a staff of the second-class bank in the city of Austin most families from Austin are suspecting is a mole on the payroll of those Houston bastards. They have the list of the customers of the bank to prove their suspicion. According to them, about 75 percent of the customers are all from Houston. How is that feasible if some games are not in play there?

Why are most from Austin lining up in front of first-class banks and all those from Houston in front of that nonsense bank? Something is wrong somewhere.

They couldn’t just understand why they are systematically pushed into calling Houston from their offices and home mainly in the morning and evening for that is when the line from Austin is purported to be manageably clear and not in the afternoon. It has became a fixed timetable of those bastards from Houston for their lives and more still, they could not just understand why the mole at that nonsense bank will start his:

   ‘Houston, we have a problem and, Houston, Houston, this is Austin calling, over' screams whenever he felt that the majority of the customers in the bank are all Houstonians. “What warrants those screaming he is usually into each afternoon in the bank? Just to disgrace the city and give more credit to the afternoon nonsense of those bastards for pay and nothing more”

That has always been their line on the man from their city bank. The first idiot that was doing that contacting work before in that bank was petitioned out of there by people and this one that replaced him seems to be worse. “How much are they paying those bastards to join in this open conspiracy against their own city? God forbid”

The same old line for years now from the people of Austin and when those from Houston made the banker's line more popular by using those lines in an advert and TV soap operas it became a jingle among elementary and middle school students all over the country that even some liberal-minded Austinites can't help but occasionally hum the

 “We have a problem” line that those from Houston usually concur with:

“Of course, we know. Your problems are too numerous and needed booking mass in the Vatican to see if heaven will help in its cure. Comprehensive operation is needed. We know.” line that annoys the hick out of people of Austin more each time It Is said to their hearing that they had moved in to remove thee banker again without success.

Since the ‘60s to date, the capital remained in Austin and about one hundred jingles have come and competed with the familiar line of:

 “We have a problem and Houston, Houston, this is Austin calling, over”

line but the jingle seems to have staying power even in this time of handset, computer, and AI. Most are still at it to date. ‘Houston, Austin still have problem' line.

February 04, 2023 05:17

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Graham Kinross
10:27 May 18, 2023

I like the phone handlers pretending not to hear when they know they’re talking to someone from Austin, that’s pretty funny. Where did this idea come from?


Philip Ebuluofor
15:08 May 19, 2023

Yeah, partially true in one interior village I was posted in early 2000 in the Northern part here and I tweaked to come out with that piece.


Graham Kinross
22:26 May 19, 2023

Are all of your stories inspired by events from your life?


Philip Ebuluofor
04:50 May 20, 2023

No, but a good number of them.


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