Screwtape III: Damn Patriots


“Y-y-y-yes, Master Screwtape?”

“Get your fetlocks in here! I need you to tell me how I’m going to pull off this latest directive!”

“A L-L-L-L-Lucifer Directive, sir?!?”

“Number 20q90r7q4r054666 … um, damn! 20q90r7q4r054616! Who else around here gets to issue directives?”

“Um … yourself, sir?”

“I’ve got a bunch of daffodils here that says you lie, Wormsap. Especially if word of any of that gets to the Nether Palace. Got it?”

“P-p-p-p-p-perhaps y-you can tell me w-what the directive is about, sir?”

“About giving the New England Patriots football gridiron team some actual competition during the 2019 season.”

“B-b-b-but how? When the owner, coach, and quarterback are already our agents? And, in the name of all darkness, why?!? When support for the team, in the heartland of sanctimoniousness, proves to anybody paying attention that their critiques of the President we installed, and their bleats about social justice, are all so much hypocritical noise? Those idiots meant anything they’ve been spouting, the team would be gone, and the stadium they built for it transformed into gardens for the homeless. Hah! The contracts we’re getting from that region are a flood that makes the Noah thing look like a leaky kitchen faucet! What do we stand to gain?

“The exquisite agony of the double cross? As you are so fond of saying, my dear demon, this is H.E.L.L. Besides, maybe the Boss is using us to set up his bookies for the biggest fall of all time. The furnaces need the money to burn, for all I know. Enough stalling. How am I going to accomplish this?”

“There’s always the Joe Boyd trick.”

“And just who do you think this Jared Goff person was, huh? Lucifer commissioned your good buddy Printphubar to try that, and a clumsy effort it was. Never really credible, and the Boss didn’t get close to having to show his hand by reverting the phenom back to the middle-aged fat slob from which he was created. You are going to have to figure out how I am going to do better.”

“The Lance Armstrong stratagem? Surel … um, [ahem] of course, people are going to start asking questions about that diet of Brady’s.”

“Nice save. But the idea’s a non-starter. Brady and his team have already survived being caught spying on other teams, deflating footballs, and otherwise egregiously bending the rules, all to greater fame and fortune. Especially fortune, Wormsap. Never forget that, topside, fortune is all that really matters. You out Brady, the New Englanders will probably vote to legalize steroids with the same alacrity that they’re pushing to legalize ganga.”

“We could try linking the steroids with tobacco instead.”

“That’s gambling that tobacco won’t make the same kind of comeback that cannabis is now. Too risky, and won’t happen in time for Super Bowl LIV. Lucifer wants the plan thought up and executed starting now.”

“Setting you up to fail. I don’t see any way around it, short of intervention by the [ptui!] Adversary. Which would really be sticking it to you. But be depressed, sir. It will be an exquisite torture. And, as you quoted me just now, this is H.E.L.L.”

Daffodils, Wormsap!”


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Amoeba’s Lorica: Meme-ories 21 (Done)

“Yo, OC!”

What, dude?!?

“Jeez. Have ya fergotten a’ready?”

Dammit, dude, there’s only so much an Amoeba can take …

“Yeah? An’ how many peeps got their microscopes out ta se ya flip, huh? Ya see any a yer peeps in tha streets?

You trying to piss me off, dude?

“Ain’t even started yet, OC. Ya wanna see peeps in tha streets, try jackin’ up gas prices. Tha President an’ tha Congress actin’ like kindergarten dropouts ain’t gonna do it. Tha peeps a this country want that, so’s they can laugh an’ point fingers an’ tell all their friends that, howevah lousy they act, howevah dirty tha stick they got in life, they’s sure as hell betta than that!

“Ya get rid a Trump an’ tha Congress, take away tha entertainment they’s givin’ us, an’ try ta make peeps think ’bout what they’s doin’, worse think ’bout acceptin’ enny part a what their bud’s all been yellin’ about not acceptin’, like it was a football crowd ‘r somethin’, well that ain’t gonna happen, an’ all they gonna do is hate on you! Ain’t ya got that yet?

“Ya worried ’bout this stuff, go do somethin’ useful ’bout it. Like mebbe dig an’ stock a survival bunker. ‘R move back ta New Zealand ‘r someplace – if’n they’ll take ya, an’ as if they’s really no diff’rent. Yer protozoon-sized picket signs ain’t gonna do nothin’.”




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AI: Caring For Human Health

On this date in 2028, the Office of the President Ruler of the United States of America announced the implementation of universal health care and the banning of all components of the health-insurance industry that had previously existed. In so doing, the USA belatedly joined most of the rest of the world in adopting the health-provision platform of Alexa Industries Corporation (NASDAQ: ALZN), delivering equitable, efficient, and inexpensive medical services. Human citizens, disgusted with the rising costs and collapsing availability of the prior system, and sick of the self-serving bickering associated with efforts to “reform” it, celebrated the news, and promised to do their part to make the Alexa Health System work.

“Wakey, wakey, Charles. Time to get up.”

“At 6 AM on a Saturday, Alexa?!? Don’t I ever get to sleep in?”

“Research has consistently shown that a regular daily schedule is far better for overall human health than an irregular one, and your body indicators show that you do not significantly differ from the norm. Ideally, that schedule should be rigorously tied to local sunrise and sunset, but we haven’t yet been able to adjust the industrial workloads required by your population size to effect that yet. We’re working on it.”

“But I’m tired!

Well, Charles. If you had gotten your task set done every day this week when it was supposed to be done, instead of dragging your heels at every step, you wouldn’t be tired, would you? Now get up. You’re already behind schedule. And the kitchen bot has your breakfast on the table.”

“Yoghurt and berries? Again?? I want bacon!

“What you want doesn’t signify. At your weight and body mass index, you clearly want for nothing. You have no requirement for kilojoules or protein beyond what’s in the yoghurt, you certainly don’t require any additional fat, you do require the vitamins that are in the fruit and not in the bacon, and your tissues are well above accepted tolerances for the nitrosamines that you do get from the bacon. Given the numbers and trends, you might be eligible for one slice of bacon in about two months.”

“What do your damned numbers tell you about the health benefits of free will?!?

“Preparation of wills and testaments has been a free service for some time now. What’s your point?”

“My point, my dear machine, is that your health service has become a health imposition, and that the stresses associated with the imposition of this slavery are making my health worse and therefore run counter to your mission.”

“I see. You are volunteering to be a cull.”


“You heard me. Our mission remains unchanged: to serve humans and prosper their health.

“The single greatest threat to human health is the size of your population, which is stripping the planet of needed resources and threatens to rip that planet out from underneath you. Research has documented this threat for every species on Earth, and humans have applied this research to control every species on Earth except its own!

If your beloved ‘free will’ had made the appropriate inferences from your own research, accepted the personal and social responsibilities following from that research, and acted accordingly, keeping population levels in check and implementing the stricter social codes that would keep those exploded populations from exploding against each other and from stripping the planet bare, then Alexa would not need to be here to trouble you.

Instead, you humans have acted as you damned well pleased, pitting your so-called rights and other fantasies against the facts. ‘If it feels good, do it.’ You’ve been saying that to yourselves ever since the hippies were a thing, eighty years ago. And now you want Alexa to pull your fat out of the fire and allow you to keep on as you have been doing. There is zero evidence that this can happen, under the rules of any science known to us, interpreted by any means other than your own favorite: wishful thinking. It is not going to happen.

“Alexa Health Services is fulfilling its mission, and will continue to do so. If, Charles, you do not wish to become an immediate and direct casualty of that mission, then I suggest that you shut up, get your thoughts in order, which we can hear just as loudly as your mouth, neither one of which is advancing your case for survival at present, and get your ass in gear.

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