Thursday July 13th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: suckers.

Delivered apricots with the boys this morning to the bakery and to our hairstylist, then spent some time at a park. Tried to stay in the shade as much as possible but those boys love their swings, so had to do that for a bit in the heat before coming home for lunch.

Planning a morning trip to Kettle River tomorrow to escape the heat by getting into the mountains and enjoying some nature exploration with the family. Max is so excited I almost needed a tranquilizer to get him to sleep tonight.

Almost.

Mine:

They say there's one born every minute.

That's crazy though, right? I mean, how is that possible? Where are they all coming from?

Well, I mean, of course I know where they're coming from. What I mean is, who are these people that keep pumping out the suckers who are threatening to overpopulate our planet?

More suckers, I reckon. Put two of them together and they're bound to produce another sucker or five. Just makes sense to me. Wouldn't you agree?

I mean, if I put some time in I'm sure I could find out for certain. You know, do some research, have some focus groups or whatever, poll some scientists and junk like that. Come up with a definite answer in, what, two years or so?

Yeah, I could do that.

Don't believe me?

Well then... care to place a wager on it?

2 Comments:

Greg said...

If the kids have sunscreen and enough water they'll be mostly fine :) And if they're using up all their energy playing, they'll be easier to manage later on ;-)
Heh, I like how the theme of the piece reprises itself in the final line, and the feeling that the whole thing is just some huckster's shtick to get you to place the bet and part with some money. There's a glibness and an easy flow that can't have been easy to get right, so colour me impressed :)

Suckers
"Mr. Coquan." The voice was synthetic, the product of hundreds of hours of consumer research in a Hesperides(TM) laboratory. Mar ignored it, and tried to regain his concentration on what the elderly, heavyset society matron opposite him was saying. The room was too warm and she was sweating heavily; the dark patches under her armpits were slowly lengthening and from the way she twitched the fabric of her dress from time to time it was probably sticking down the length of her spine.
"-her kind of exodus, a modern day expulsion of th-"
"Mr. Coquan." The voice was harder, more demanding. Mar tensed a forearm, disguising it by setting his glass of Shampagne (an entirely synthetic fizzy beverage that tasted faintly of hair-oil) down on a stainless steel buffet table. His shirt and underclothes were all fibre-active and the tensing was enough to send a signal through them that was translated to "Not now".
"Mr. Coquan, I wouldn't be interrupting you if it weren't important."
Mar nodded to the society matron, wondering if he should ask Meredith what her name was, and then decided that the AI sounded annoyed enough. He laid a hand very delicately on the woman's wrist.
"I'm terribly sorry," he said. "Everything you've said -- it's dreadful and I completely, completely, understand. But when I was last on Helminth Station I picked up an unusual gastrointestinal bug and if I don't go to the toilet right now I'm going to make this party so much more interesting. Nauseatingly interesting."
Her mouth dropped open and Mar pushed his glass of Shampagne into her unresisting hand. "It's probably a laxative," he said, and faded into the crowd in the direction of the bathrooms.

The bathrooms were also stainless steel: the whole habitat seemed to have been themed around early 22nd-century hospitals. Mar stepped into an ablutionary cubicle and the privacy fields engaged. Before he could speak Meredith was addressing him.
"Mr. Coquan, there are two things that you need to know. First, Lieutenant Rache has arrived; two normal security staff called out sick and he is their replacement. Predictive algorithms indicate that he will spot you within an hour. Secondly, this habitat appears to be under attack: three ships have attached themselves to non-docking parts of the habitat using magnetic suckers. It would be prudent, under these circumstances, to leave. Now."
"Thank-you Meredith," said Mar. "But there are suckers here too, and it would be a shame to leave them with their wallets intact."
"Mr. Coquan, are you deliberately choosing to not understand the seriousnes-"
"Yes, Meredith, I am. First come, first served is as true today as when whatever antiquity of the past said it. We were here first, and we're not leaving without our serving."
"Mr. Coquan!"
"Meredith!"
There was a moment of frosty silence, and then a noise like a poorly mounted fan spinning down. Mar smiled, and dropped the privacy shield. There was an elderly man dressed like a 19th-century colonial settler waiting to use it.
"Don't mind the parasites," said Mar, leaving without washing his hands.

Marc said...

Greg - 'mostly fine'. Hah.

And thank you!

Hah, this looks like you had fun writing it. I would suggest I equally enjoyed reading it! Mar cracked me up at least twice, and the supporting cast were all up to their tasks. Nice work!