Amoeba’s Lorica: By Any Other (Eww) Name

It is midnight at the Capulet compound in Verona, Italy. Juliet, age 14, is in the throes of her first crush – and has just found out that the object of her affections is a rising star in a rival gang, the Montagues. She takes her angst to the balcony and shares it at full volume to the garden, which she believes to be more secure than her bedroom, perhaps thinking that her parents and their IT staff had programmed Alexa to spy on her. Unknown to her, her sixteen-year-old crush, Romeo, has somehow crept over the compound walls and through the barbed wire without being detected by the security cameras, and is now sitting in the garden, listening in. He is, of course, no wiser about believing her words than she is about uttering them, and when she starts comparing his ugly name to a sweet-smelling rose, he can contain himself no longer …

Romeo: Bacteria!

Juliet (freaked out): WTF?!? Who the hell is out there?”

Romeo: “It’s me, Romeo!”

Juliet (pissed):Seriously? You pick me up at a party not six hours ago and now you’re stalking me?!? You creep!”

Romeo (pissed in return): “Say what? Get real. Four hundred years they’ve been playing this balcony scene, and now it’s creepy?”

Juliet: “We’re not in the meat market any more, Mr. Romeo Montague. And we’re not in a hurry to get pregnant so we can have our children – if any – before smallpox or the plague or cholera does us in. Speaking of which, Buster, where’s your mask?”

Romeo: “A little bit late to be worrying about that now, isn’t it, kissyface?”

Juliet: “Right. Come over here and let me show you scratchyclaws! And you were the one who brought up germs just now! Ewwww!!

Romeo: “And why wouldn’t I, when you were announcing to the world how roses by other names smell sweet, and we can make bacteria smell like roses?”

Juliet: “Huh?”

Romeo: “The guys and gals in Montague Labs have worked out how to make bacteria produce 2-phenylethanol, which is the compound that gives roses their smell. We can make these ‘germs’ smell like roses, or jasmine, or anything you like. At industrial scale!”

Juliet: “So not only are you a creep, you’re a nerd!”

Romeo: “Check out the Bitcoin account, sweetheart. Sheathe those talons and I can sweep you off your feet in style!

Juliet: “And just how am I supposed to tell my friends that I’m hanging with a pusher of GMOs?”

Romeo: “Were those the friends at the party who were chowing down on those Impossible Burgers?”

Juliet: “Yes, and me too. You got something against saving the planet?”

Romeo: “Only this, Juliet the Vegan Capulet. Impossible Burgers are impossible without the yeast that make heme. Yeast that have been genetically modified to make heme. Your flagship vegan products are GMO. You might have some unpleasant choices to be making here.”

Juliet: “What are you doing to me? I thought love was supposed to make you feel good!

Romeo: “Sometimes love don’t feel like it should.”

Juliet: “You calling me a cougar?”

Romeo: “Honey, you don’t come close to qualifying.”

Juliet: “Speaking of close. You get out of here before Security finds you. I’ll text you in the morning or something. Maybe.”

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1 Response to Amoeba’s Lorica: By Any Other (Eww) Name

  1. nathhoke says:

    Seriously hilarious.

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