The White Shoe Irregular:
It was fun while it lasted.

Block, Copy, or Destroy?

Weston Cann

"Welcome to Universal Imaging Services. My name is Tanya. How may I be of service today?"

"Hi. I'd like to place an order on some footage."

"Will this be for you or for someone else?"

"Just me."

"May I have your RoofTop(TM) ID Number?"



"Jason December."

"Mother's Maiden Name?"


"And I'll need to have you transfer your key…now please…Thank you, Mr. December. Will this be a block, copy, or destruction order?"

"Block, please."

"Dates and times?"

"Could we look at January 14 at 5 P.M. through today at 9 A.M.?"

"One moment please.…Hmm. Sir, I'm showing there's already been a copy order for January 15, 11 P.M. through the 17th at noon. Do you still want to place the block?"

"The 17th? It's still the 16th. I thought copy orders couldn't be placed by anyone else but the subject until twenty-four hours after they happened."

"One moment please.…I'm definitely showing the 17th."

"That can't be right. Who placed the order?"

"Sir, it's our policy not to give out such information without a revelatory order or other special circumstances."

"Isn't it also not your policy not to place copy orders until twenty-four hours after the end of the period? Without my permission — if it's of me, anyway? But you've got one on me. Without my permission. How do you explain that?"

"Can you hold while I speak with my manager?"

"Yes. Please."

[Hold music. Insanely: "March of the Valkyries"]

"Kipling, Vier & Associates"


"Kipling, Vier & Associates ordered that footage, Sir, this morning."

"If the order runs through tomorrow, they haven't filled it yet, correct?"

"That's true, Sir. It won't be filled until at least noon on the 18th."

"And processing would start when?"

"I'm not sure, but certainly not before noon January 17."

"How fast would a destroy order take effect?"

"Twenty-four hours after it is ordered or after the time period specified ends."

"So if I place a block order now, they'll still get that footage."

"Yes, Sir. Their order was placed first; they'll get priority."

"Despite the fact it was placed against policy."

"You could speak to my manager about it, and we could institute a review. The revelatory order committee meets on Saturday and — "

"Forget it. If I place a destroy order on the time period I asked for the block, will they get the footage?"

"One moment.…The destruction of the footage should be processed by tomorrow at 9 A.M."

"And after the destruction, there's no way anyone can recover it?"

"That's right, Sir."

"OK. I want to place two destroy orders. One for the same time period that I gave for before, and one on — what time did we start talking? — 11:30 to 12 noon."

"All right, Sir. One moment.…I have two destruction orders, one for January 14, 5 P.M. through January 16, 9 A.M., and the other for January 16, 11:30 to 12:00. Your cost would be $1000 per order, plus $50 per hour for footage destruction, for a total of $4025. Will you confirm this is your order?"

"Yes. I'll also expect you to notify me as soon as the destruction is complete."

"Standard policy, Sir."