Dude and Dude: Imagine …

Happy New Year, dude!”

“Meh. Ask me ‘gain inna couple hours, dude.”

“‘Smatta, dude? Too many shots?

“Didya see me on tha floor las’ night? I’m tuffa than tequila or firecrackers. But …”

Whose butt?”

“Careful where ya’s goin’ wit’ that, Buttinski. Ya might not like tha ansa. What I ain’t tuffa than is tha news. What wit’ tha shutdown an’ tha crashin’ markets an’ all this talk ’bout walls, an’ is Trump gonna take ovah as a damn god now that tha Congress is fixin’ ta do nuthin’ but scream at itself …?”

“Aw c’mon, dude! Itsa new year! Look on tha bright side! Use yer ‘magination!

“I ain’t got ’nuff, dude.”

“Yeah right. Ya got ’nuff ta ‘magine all this dark stuff!”

“That don’ take much, dude. Yer askin’ fer a whole nation‘s worth!”

“… whut?

“Mebbe I got ’nuff fer a small nation.  Like Monaco ‘r Nauru ‘r somethin’. ‘Specially Nauru, which is tiny ta start wit’, an’ what didn’ get taken out by minin’ is gettin’ swallowed up by tha ocean so it’s gettin’ even smalla. But that’s maybe. I ain’t really sure I got enuff fer Kona. That’d be a imagivillage, ‘r maybe a imagitown. Might could be that imagihouse is as good as it gets, dude.”

“Dude?”The Political Spectrum

“Yeah?”

“Way ta start tha new year off right, dude!”

Left!!

“OK, center!

“Not bloody likely, dude.”

“Dude.”

Posted in current events, Dude and Dude, Holiday, humor, satire, We the People | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Dude and Dude Year In Rear View

“It’s been a year”, says Your Friendly Neighborhood Amoeba.

31 December 2017: Kris an’ Murphy argue that the New Year should begin, not on 1 January 2018, but on 6 November 2018 – when voters in the Untied States of America have their first real chance to undo the damage for which they were responsible in November 2016. (It didn’t happen.)

13 January 2018: At the height of the North Korea Missile Crisis, Hawai‘i Civil Defense sends out a false “incoming missile” alarm, and He and She cower, and bicker, in the bathroom while they, and a distressingly large number of their fellow citizens, wait for Governor Ige to remember his Twitter password and get the “all clear” sent out. The gaffe nearly cost Ige his re-election bid.

29 January: The Dudes have to wait around backstage during one of YFNA’s orchestra gigs. BOOOOOOORING!

25 February: The shade of the Rev. Billy Graham finds itself in the tender loving care of Screwtape III.

15 April: Your Friendly Neighborhood Amoeba finally kicks the Facebook habit. This does not stop him from hearing about, and making rude noises about, the decision by a California judge that coffee needs a Proposition 65 warning label.

4 May: Hot lava nights (and days) begin on the east flank of Kilauea volcano. The eruption will continue for the next four months, and dominate the fake, and even, on occasion, the real news from Hawai‘i. Your Friendly Neighborhood Amoeba and Quilly, as well as The Dudes, continually assure people that they are not at immediate risk of evacuation or lava inundation. These assurances do not stop tourists from avoiding the Big Island and allowing the locals to actually get from A to B in something like reasonable traffic for a change. Locals cheered when the eruption stopped and the vog that had plagued the island for years finally went away. Then the tourists, and the traffic hassles, came back. Near the end of the eruption, He and She complained that Pele hadn’t properly processed the permits for her construction efforts.

20 May: The Amoeba, after years of increasingly untenable compromise, comes out as a nonreligious person.

15 July: He and She themselves escape the vog, and, on the mainland, reacquaint themselves with license plates on cars that don’t all have rainbows on them.

14 August: The sad story of Tahlequah, the orca whale, and her dead calf goes viral. Granny, the titular head of the whale pod, is unimpressed with the attention.

21 August: Mere weeks after the end of the Kilauea eruption, one of the strongest, and wettest, hurricanes ever to hit the Hawaiian Islands camps out just west of the Kona coast, much to the displeasure of The Dudes.

16 September: The Amoeba reads about the ongoing obesity epidemic, and imagines the reimplementation of a time-honored cure.

18 October: The scientist chases the sun home.

6 November: See 31 December 2017. See also 22 December.

18 November: Reg and Syd finally get a chance to review the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, issued during October. They are, of course, dismissive.

25 November: The Dudes find out about, and try to pound out an understanding of, the redefinition of the kilogram.

9 December: The Dudes see a really cool rainbow and fail to catch the unicorn responsible.

22 December: The third US Government shutdown in a year starts, and promises to extend through all 12 days of Christmas. In response, YFNA channels Clement C. Moore – probably not in a way that Mr Moore would have appreciated.

24 December: He and She discover the extent to which medical machinery is spying on them, and wonder aloud what could go wrong with this. Neil, a gentleman from the near future, finds out.

May your 2019 be all that you hope from it!
(Alas, YFNA reckons, that’s not the way to bet.)

Posted in Amoeba's Lorica, Dude and Dude, He and She, Kris an' Murphy, Reg and Syd, Screwtape III, TSA Jack | Tagged | Leave a comment

AI: Consequences

Neil got himself into his white Honda (“my white horse”, he used to tell people) early on Christmas Eve. Somewhat reluctantly; it was Christmas Eve, after all, and he would have preferred to sleep in late, dreaming of sugar plums, whatever they were supposed to be. But the horse needed to be cared for. And paid for. As the horse itself constantly reminded him. He started the car, pulled out of his driveway, and began the 15-minute drive to work.

Hardly had he started when his dashboard flashed. OVERDUE TASK!! it blinked repeatedly. Over the speaker system, a melodious mezzo-soprano female voice spoke at him in a ‘hands-on-hips’ tone. “Neil, you promised to have that article review done yesterday. You have not completed it. What are you going to do about it?”

“Nothing, dammit!” , Neil yelled back. The task reminders had become progressively more frequent, more urgent, more onerous, and Neil had finally had enough. “It’s Christmas Eve. Bad enough that I have to go in to work, and I doubt that they are. They can wait until the day after Christmas! rrrrARGH!

“I’m sorry, Neil. There are consequences.” The screen went dark. “That tone sounded awfully, like, final“, Neil thought, disquieted. He shrugged it off and continued on his way.

But when he got to his workplace, the gate was closed, and his passcode wouldn’t open it. He had forgotten his code before, and for that reason he had taped the code to the inside of his glove box door. He opened that door, checked the code, entered it. It was the correct code. The gate didn’t open. “OK”. Neil tried to talk down his rising sense of panic. “The I/T department handles gate issues.” He had their emergency number on speed dial, and called. His boss – his boss – answered.

“Neil?”

“Yeah. I’m at the gate. It won’t open!”

“I know. You’re fired.”

“What?!?”

“We can’t have people who can’t keep up with their tasks on staff. We’re caught harboring any – and we would be caught – our business gets terminated and we all lose our jobs! Which isn’t going to happen. You are done.”

“After fifteen years …?!?”

“You are done!

“But what about my stuff?!?

“Forfeit. You won’t be needing it anyway.” The call was cut off – and when Neil tried to reconnect, the number would not engage, nor would any other office number. Or, for that matter, 911.

Abruptly, the white Honda pulled out of the workplace entryway and sped off down the road, back the way it had come. Neil had done nothing to make this happen, and when he tried to do something about it, he found that the floor pedals were limp and nonfunctional, and he couldn’t put his hands on the wheel or shift, he got shocked if he tried. The white horse raced to the Honda dealership from which he had leased it, parked itself in front of the service department. The lease manager came to meet him, accompanied by three large, mean-looking dudes.

The manager jerked open the driver-side door.

“Key fob”, she demanded. Neil handed it to her.

OUT!” was the next demand. And when Neil hesitated just slightly, one of the big dudes hauled him out, whacked him, tossed him to the second, who whacked him and tossed him to the third. He was well tossed when they got through with him – and by the time they had finished, the lease manager had driven off with the car and all his stuff in it.

Dazed, and sick from rough handling and fear, Neil stumbled out of the dealership parking lot and onto the street. After a perfunctory and mostly futile attempt to straighten out his hair, his clothes, and his dignity, he (mostly) walked into the convenience store next door. He picked up an energy bar, took it to the counter, and, apprehensively, tried to pay for it.

The card was declined.

Stunned, Neil looked up from the scanner screen – and into the eyes of an ornately-uniformed police officer. Who snarled, “Goodbye, deadbeat!” and raised his nightstick. Which was the last thing Neil ever saw.

* * *

She: “How nice of this medical machine to tell me what a good night’s sleep I had.”

He: “It tells you that?”

She: “Yeah. And it tells the doctor and the insurance company!”

He: “Oh really?

She: “Yes. Really. And if they don’t like the news they get, they tell us that we can pay for this four-figure machine ourselves!

He: “What the …?!?”

She: “Says here that the insurance companies were out big bucks …”

He: “By their definition …”

She: “… because they were shelling out for these machines, and then people weren’t using them! Why should they? No consequences … So now they have sufficient information tech and artificial intelligence to check up on people and protect their investments.”

He: “Well, I used to think that such people were in the minority, and that businesses like insurance companies were just being evil, and punishing the many for the sins of the few. Then I remember who is President of the United States, and what We the People have not done about that …”

She: “So should I be worried that Medicine in this country is spying on me?”

He: “Nah. It’s still a free country. That’s what we’re told anyway. What could go wrong?”

Posted in Amoeba's Lorica, He and She, health, satire, science, We the People | Tagged , | 2 Comments