Situation Normal. Atmosphere Breathable. Brainstem Injected. Dialogue Engaged.
Monday, November 07, 2005

Electronic Kleenex

"Dad! Long time no speak. How are you?"

"Well, you know. I'm getting by. Things are loud and crazy here as usual. Bob had another heart attack. I don't think he's coming back. John got nailed for alimony, so he's broke. He might get evicted. You know, the usual stuff."

"Glorious life in a halfway house."

"You got it."

"So how is work?"

"Boring. Really fuckin boring."

"Auto parts aren't as fun as microchips, are they?"

"Not at all. I miss selling all that fancy shit to semiconductor people and pinball manufacturers, but at least I have a clean conscience."

"Clean consciense? What's wrong with microchips? I thought you lost Lockheed as a customer long before the electronics reseller industry collapsed. You told me the whole stealth bomber thing fell apart in like, 1997. I think."

"I'm not talking about the government. I'm talking about private industry. Remember when I told you about the gas station bathrooms?"

"How could I forget? You said your chips would go into air fresheners, and when a detector smelled trucker poo, the chip would tell the thing to wheeze out some noxious flowery mist to mask the olfactory pollution. I think you called it intelligent stinkproofing. As I recall, I disagreed with that name and insisted on 'The Magical Poo Blanket.'"

"Yeah, that sounds more like one of your phrases, but you got the right idea. Hold on, I need to pour myself another.

"Okay, I'm back. I was only joking about a clean conscience. I wouldn't really be bothered by helping technology spread more into household items, but I do think it's creepy to have a chip in a toothbrush."

"Oh yeah! I saw that commercial. The thing has a timer on it. It beeps and makes a little smiley face if you brush for the whole dentist recommended two minutes."

"It's worse than that. It's called the Oral B Triumph. Not only will it time your brushing, but it measures the force with which you brush, and indicates when a new brush tip is needed."

"It measures the force? How the fuck does that work?"

"I'm not sure, Steve. I think it has a pressure sensor of some sort. I'm just wondering if it has a satellite uplink to the dentist. I already thought it was weird getting birthday postcards from the dentist, but what if he called because your toothbrush was only getting used once a day? How would you like that? Maybe he could even do cartoon voices for plaque and cavities and have them whisper things like 'We're digging, we're coring, we're feasting on your enamel!'"

"Jesus, Dad. You're beginning to sound cracked out and crazy like... like... well... me!"

"I'm just waiting for carpet that cries because it hasn't been vacuumed. What'll they think up next?"

"Dad, you'll love this. Garbage cans. There's a McDonalds in Schaumburg that has this garbage can. It's in the kitchen, not the washroom, prolly so it won't freak out the seniors gingerly sipping from their discount coffees. Anyways, this thing has an electronic voice. It says things like 'I am open!' and 'I am almost full!'"

"Bullshit! Now you're just putting me on."

"No, I swear, this fuckin thing is real. It's a compactor, too. When it's compacting it won't open. It says 'I'm not ready.' This thing speaks whenever somebody gets close. It has a proximity sensor on it, Dad. It's sick and wrong. I'm just waiting for it to start screaming things like 'I'm hungry, please feed me.'"

"No shit."

"I know, I know. I think you should hit the job market again, Dad. Fuck selling carburators. You could be hawking microchips for Satanic garden hoses. Just imagine, you could be the founder of a company that makes chips with regional accents. I want my hose to holler and play banjo and sing "Water that dang lawn! Splish splash hoedown, a ding dang doo! Don't ferget that there spot, it's lookin a mite rusty!"

"How are you my son again?"

"I'll get a DNA test to prove it, Dad! I'm all your fault!"

"I'm just givin' you shit. You know that."

"Hey Dad."


"You're holding a microchip up to your ear right now."
4:42 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm


November 08, 2005 3:36 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

We're all doomed. I liked it so much better when the sun was a God, and here be dragons.

November 08, 2005 8:25 AM, Blogger Windjammer said...

Dang man! I coulda sold that for a million dollars! Dang! A ding dang doo!

November 08, 2005 10:05 AM, Blogger Murph said...

I'm developing a box of Kleenex that tells you how pathetic you are when you masturbate. I'm also working on a sandwich that screams when you bite it and a toilet that makes chewing noises when you shit into it.

November 08, 2005 11:54 AM, Blogger Kerouaced said...

Just what we need more gadgets so people do even less than they do now!

November 08, 2005 5:56 PM, Blogger ty bluesmith said...

quite nice, old boy

November 09, 2005 8:08 PM, Blogger Bobby said...

this post was so cool I had to steal your theme here

November 28, 2005 10:27 AM, Blogger karen gsteiger said...

Hey man, don't knock Sonicare et al. Dental scolding is cut in half during appointments when you tell them you use one of those things.


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