Eryk walks through the door, holding a McDonald's bag.
Eryk: How's everyone doing this evening?
Dad: Do you have to talk like that?
Eryk: Talk like what?
Dad: That voice you used. It sounded so fake and condescending, like you're a robot.
Eryk: Sorry. It's because I work a fast food job and I'm used to talking to customers that way. I'm not a robot, though sometimes it feels like I'm becoming one.
Linda: Is that a fast food bag in your hand? Why do animals have to die just so you can eat a sandwich and say "Yum, this tastes good."
Eryk: Do you think I don't think about that every night? Do you think that every time I eat a hamburger or a hot dog or a Mooncalf McGrill that it doesn't haunt me? Do you think I don't have dreams every night of animals eating people and killing them and their families in slaughterhouses? Because I do and they scare me. Everybody hurts sometimes, just like that R.E.M. song, "Man on the Moon," which is about the loneliness of being a man who lives on the moon and works a fast food job he hates.
Dad: *groans in pain*
Linda: We need to get him to a hospital.
Eryk: What would that accomplish? Sure, working together to save his life might bring us together as a family in the short term, but in the long term it's just a quick fix, like putting a band-aid on an amputation wound.
Linda: That's a false analogy and I question several of your premises.
Eryk: Whatever, I'm going to my room.
Eryk leaves room.
Linda: When are you going to tell him that he really is a robot?
Dad: I don't know. I've been meaning to for years, but I never got around to it. There's so many things a man never gets around to in life.
Linda: Am I one of those things?
Linda: You never tell me that you love me.
Dad: I tell you every day.
Linda: Not in the way that counts.
Dad: What, cunnilingus?
Linda: No, I mean a diamond. The Bible disapproves of cunnilingus and besides it doesn't even have a verb so I'm pretty sure Merriam-Webster disapproves of it too.
The house rumbles. Sound of hydraulic footsteps in the background. There's a knock on the door.
Dad: Oh God, it must be the mooncalf coming to finish me off ... Well, whatever. Tell him I'm prepared to die like a man, and then start listing off all the other manly things about me for as long as possible while I sneak out the back door.
Jorg: (offstage) Anybody home?
Linda: It's just Jorg.
Linda walks over to the door and opens it.
Linda: Hi, Jorg. Here's the cup of sugar I said you could borrow.
Linda takes a cup of sugar out of her pocket. A giant robot arm reaches in and takes it.
Jorg: Thanks, Linda. Hey, what happened to your husband?
Linda: He's not my husband, he's my boyfriend. We're cohabitating in an affront against God and all that he represents.
Dad: Hey Jorg, did you see a mooncalf in the backyard chewing on a mangled lunar rover?
Jorg: Yeah, why?
Dad: Could you totally kick its ass for me? Like break its thorax over your mechanical knee, then rip all its organs out and tie it into a knot and throw it into the sun?
Linda: That's horrible! Mooncalves are living creatures too, you know.
Jorg: He's right, Linda's boyfriend. And besides, I come from an advanced cyborg race that never practices revenge killing. Killing for us is a cold, rational act devoid of any emotion and predicated only on conquest of the universe. Well, see ya later!
Linda and Dad: Bye Jorg!
After years of being misunderstood, I had hoped we finally had "our" story. I was wrong.
He had a yellow inflatable tube around his waist, the kind with a comical duck head. There was a tiny fish in one of his hands, and a trident in the other. In the background a squirrel wearing shades was water skiing.
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