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, because making cheeseburgers is kind of the reverse of working on a cyborg assembly line: Every one I make makes me more of a machine.
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 or sell a bunch of them at the McDonald's drive-thru 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 and turn it into a sort of bulleted list on manhood 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 murder. Killing for us is a cold, rational act devoid of any emotion and predicated only on survival and eventual conquest of the universe. Well, see ya later!
Linda and Dad: Bye Jorg!
‘Toad coin?’ wondered the traveler as he examined the pebble. It did not look all that different from any other pebble, and certainly nothing like a coin. ‘What manner of coin has no head or tail, and bears no seal or flag? Who backs this toad coin, the toad bank? The toad treasury!?’ The traveler laughed, but the toads croaked sternly back at him.
Spending $10-15 a day on perishable organic dog food is not a sign of a decadent culture in terminal decline, it's actually real good and worth it.
No lifeguard on duty. Maze run at your own risk.
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