Broke, bloated, and utterly annihilated on sweetened condensed tequila, I awoke from another night of torrential dreams in the back rear alley of Optimism Vaccine’s main office building headquarters. I’d previously been fired from the blogging article review website at the conclusion of my previously last unprecedentedly exceptional three-piece article expose about Gamer Gails, or Gurters, or something of some such leading letters.
Poor old me’s life sure was in the proverbial lousy wet dump. I swelled with self pity sorrows. “What is there to living without steady unpaid blogging labor?!” I screamed to the godless snow-storm clouds above. I couldn’t just pick up the article review writing bloggery business on my own. I would need to borrow one of the Optimism Vaccine staffer writers’ computer typing machines for that kind of thing. Neither of the staff’s Steves, or the Shawn, or the Adam, or the other ones, or their parents would let borrow any of their electronic typisting equipment.
I sighed, rose from my rubbish, folded my uno-man shanty town cardboard dwelling into a neat little square and shoved it down the anal portion of my ragged pants, and sauntered towards the sound of the nearby interstate in the hopes of finding purpose in this new wretched day.
As I toppled over the fence guarding the embankment to the highway road, I noticed something other than fast food franchise refuse lying in the brown grass. As I crawled over to investigate, I realized the shiny object which had caught my eye was none other than a handgun. Joy! I quickly swiped the abandoned firearm up from the ground, thrust it deep into my temple skin, and pulled the trigger furiously until I realized my newfound beloved second amendment right wasn't loaded. I shrugged and chucked the useless weapon back into the weeds.
Turning my attention back to where the handgun firearm once lay, I then perceived another object of interest; something sleek, rectangular and reeking of consumerism. I picked up the mysterious object and brushed it off, only to find that my cunning instincts were correct; it was a smartphone telephonic device. Upon Examining it further, however, I realized the back panel had been lost to the ages along with the battery powering component, rendering my chance at communicating to others through the air null and void.
Frustrated and ready to pitch my consumer electronic talky device into oncoming traffic, I cleverly remembered that these handheld telephonic devices contain replaceable battery components; all I needed to do was determine the origin. I stared intently at the exterior of my smartphone telephonic device until my eyeballs stopped on an engraved chomped apple icon. It was clear now the direction of this long-winded article review would rest on my going to the Apple corporation company headquarters to procure a new battery component piece for my pre-owned smartphone telephonic talky talky devicey. Nicey.
Before I proceedith with article review writing, I feel it best to provide some background information for the benefit of my more thick-witted readership base (most of you): The Apple company corporation headquarters is located in Plopopolis, the infamous negative utopian city. The noble Apple business headquarters takes up an entire city space all by itself, much like the churchy Catholic’s HQ in Rome, or the churchy Mormon’s HQ which floats upon on a mystical salty lake.
iPhone smartyphone smartphone telephonic devices are produced and branded with the chomped apple symbol in mighty Plopopolis. Some believe the only way to get to Plopopolis is through their hearts, but in truth, the best way is via the Shabby Bus Excursions Service independently run by the ever sweet and putrid Mrs. Agatha Shabby.
I packed a paper bag with my lunch and supper, purchased a handwritten bus boarding pass ticket from the beloved-ish Mrs. Shabby, slumped into a cracked vinyl seat, and stared intently at rust craters in the vehicle floor for the duration of the ride. I de-boarded my transportation bus directly in front of the Apple company corporation headquarters building. I turned, blew a kiss to my repellent darling Agatha, and then nimbly ran around back of the place and hid in a bushel of discarded syringes to observe security. To my chagrin, I observed only a single iGuard patrolling an open garage door in the back rear alley. Once the coast had been cleared, I scurried from my needle bushel, ran in through an ajar garage door, and shimmied up a metal ladder onto a catwalk.
I creeped around on the catwalk for a time until my knees began to scrape, then stood up and strutted around on the catwalk for a while, and, then soon after feeling lethargic, sat down on the catwalk for a while. Near my resting position was an open office window near the top of the factory floor, from which within I quickly heard the angry assertive yellings of a voice that I assumed must belong to an upper management type. Having been verbally abused for most of my working existence, I tend to have an intuitive auditory sense in interpreting power players.
I peered in the window hole and was afflicted with immediate eyeball shock at what I beheld inside. The yelling authority voice speech I had been hear-observing was coming from some sort of fleshy pile affixed to mechanical spider legs. Whatever-the-hell stood about two feet tall on top an executive desk barking orders at a room full of business casual caucasian twenty-somethings. They all looked upset, likely because they all probably fouled up their job duties and were now being reprimanded by some sort of corporate mutant.
One of them shifted nervously and started to speak, “Listen- please Mr. Jobs... please just let us explain…” his voice trailed off as he shifted his head up from shamefully staring at the floor, Squinting towards my window, something had stopped him mid-sentence. His expression shifted and he raised an arm with an accusatory finger extended directly at me. Like a deer in oncoming traffic, I idiotically sat there on the catwalk, in plain site of the open window, continuing to observe the scene unfolding. The icky desk creature noticed his underling’s gesture and turned towards me.
“Ohhhhh gawwwwwd,” I moaned, realizing just who/what was I dealing with. Through the window I had locked bespectacled eyesight with Steve Jobs’ re-animated bionic head mounted atop a black turtleneck computron with motorized robot insect limbs. His eyes angrily narrowed, and he screamed to his minions, “Seize the intruder!”
I looked around behind me to double check he wasn’t talking about anyone else. “Yes”, I concluded, “there is no one else on the aforementioned catwalk. He is speaking of me. I must escape.” Quickly jumping to action, I struggled to arise from my resting position, but my wretched scraped knees brutally sabotaged my leg efforts. Writhing back and forth attempting to stand, I mistakenly smashed my face into one of the catwalk’s cold steel railings and sent myself into the proverbial dark pit of unconsciousness.
Upon awakening, I found I had been sentenced to hard labor in the worker city Apple corporation company factory. I was issued some neat workin’ class overalls, a sharpie marker pen to write my name on said overalls, and a sweat rag to mop up all the sweat the hard labor would produce. I neglected to write my name on my work duds, and proceeded instead to empty the marker juices from my sharpie marker writing pen into my sweat rag, converting it into an effective huff towel.
Huff towel and I toiled on the factory floor, pulling dials back and forth for what seemed like hours of time. As it turned out, the hard labor resulted in my withered body expelling copious amounts of sweat, thereby forcing me to start using huff towel as a sweat rag as well as a huff towel. Frequent sweat wipes combined with frequent huff breaks started to add up quickly to the blue-collarer’s dreaded Markerstink Fatigue. My head swelled with crazy. I no longer knew if I was moving the dials the right way.
I started to feel dizzy, and naturally began talk conversing with the other dial operator laborers. I said nonsensical things like “as it is above, so it is below,” which happened to make a lot of sense for some goddamned reason to the other labor worker staff, who immediately started cheering for me, viewing me as some sort of savior who would unite the working and ruling classes. I didn't know what they meant, and I threw up a little.
A factory supervisor approached me with a comically over-sized wrench and proceeded to swing it into my still-not-fully-healed face. I felt myself drop once more into the proverbial dark pit of unconsciousness.
I awokened again to a robot finger limb jabbing at my forehead. My dreary eyes focused in on the previously-thought-to-be dead commander of the Apple corporation company standing on my chest. He waited for me to acclimate to consciousness and then said, “Hello friend. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Steve-Jobs-Bot, leader of the Apple Corporation. What, may ask, is your name?”
Weary from so many short timed closed head injuries, I cleared my corroded windpipes with a soggy cough and answered,
“Satanfingers.” The names Devlin Q. Satanfingers. Internet web blog investigative journalist author writer and review article feature columnist.”
He smiled warmly and replied,
“Excellent. I am pleased to make your acquaintance. Please, follow me to my office.” He quickly rose on cyborg spider legs and scampered into the next room. I rose sluggishly struggled limply to my feet behind him, specks of blood dribbling out of my scraped knee caps.
In the next room, Steve-Jobs-Bot sat perched atop his executive table again. His office lackeys were no longer present.
“Please, have a seat, Mr. Satanfingers,” he instructed. I sat anus-first into a nearby fancy chair.
“What, may I ask, brings you to my factory?” Steve-Jobs-Bot asked.
“I have procured this smartphone telephonic device from median strip of misfit gadgets and must obtain a replacement new battery component piece!” I yelled passionately back at him, tears welling in my eyes from raw emotion.
“I see,” he replied. “Well, unfortunately, we are too far behind on the production a new and exciting product, the likes of which the world has never seen: a new version of the iPhone! Therefore, I will not be able to oblige your wishes to re-power your iPhone at this time.”
“Then what do you intend to do, Jobs-Bot?!” I screamed back, fearing for my safety wellbeing.
“I intend to give you a job.”
“I don’t want to go back downstairs.”
“It’s not hard labor this time.”
“I accept,” I retorted immediately, almost before he could finish speak talking at me. “I’ve never been much for article review writing, despite my enviable diction, and also, I’m currently unemployed.”
“Excellent, just excellent,” mused Steve-Jobs-Bot. “Let me explain the details of the position. As you know, below us is the worker city that toils endlessly at making Apple products day in and day out, and it makes me a bit sad that their jobs down there are pretty hard and make them sad.”
I nodded, pretending to understand.
He continued, “I want to give the worker city something to believe in. Something to entertain them. I like you Mr. Satanfingers. You are a crazy one, a misfit, a rebel, a troublemaker, a round peg in a square hole. You see things differently and are apparently not fond of rules. I could quote you, disagree with you, glorify or vilify you, but the only thing I can’t do is ignore you because you change things. You push the human race forward, and while some may see you as a crazy one, I see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
I nodded, pretending to understand.
He kept continuing, “The laborers here respect you and look up to you. They have begun listening to you more than me over last couple of hours. That is a problem for me, but I have a solution that I believe will benefit us both.”
“Mmm, benefits, yes,” I thoughtfully contributed to the conversation.
“I have been developing an Android-er, sorry- an iAndroid, that can be customized to look and act like anyone. I want to design my iAndroid in the image of you, Mr. Satanfingers. It will bring order and stability to the worker city.”
I replied, “Steve-Jobs-Bot, design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
Steve-Jobs-Bot looked slightly annoyed at me and said, “Yes, Mr. Satanfingers, I know that. Anyway, if you can assist with production, I am prepared to give you eighty dollars in cash and a bus ticket home. Do we have a deal?”
I nodded, pretending to understand.
A couple of administrative assistants led me away from Steve-Jobs-Bot’s office, down a hall, then down an elevator, then over to a room where the programming computing building was being performed on the Devlin iAndroid. I/he was hooked to a series of wires and monitors and instructed told to open and close cabinets, slam dance, and other household menial activities.
After a few minutes, the computer scientists seemed satisfied with the programming computing building process and left the room to find some coffee drink. Unattended, I made my way across the science room and leaned over the Devlin iAndroid, sprawled out across a folding table.
“Fascinating,” I mumbled to myself, looking over the robot man who was taking on the likeness of me. I reached into my flannel chest pocket and retrieved an egg salad sandwich. I took a forceful bite and a wad of egg salad burst from the other end of the egg salad sandwich into the Devlin iAndroid’s chest cavity. Panicked, I threw the remaining egg salad sandwich down a nearby incinerator shaft and darted back across the science room to where I had been previously standing.
The scientists returned a moment later, coffee beverage drinks in hand. They looked at me, then at the Devlin iAndroid, then back at me, then went to their desks and sat down to continue computing. I nervously observed the Devlin iAndroid on the opposite side of the room. It had completely taken on a human person form identical to my own. It had also started producing puffs of smoke and an involuntary twitch; a probable side effect, I thought, of the egg salad sandwich incident.
One of the scientist workers looked up from his computing machine and said,
“Okay Devlin iAndroid. We’re going to send a prompt to turn on your operating system.” The scientist worker then looked back down and the sound effect of a “beep” rang out.
Devlin iAndroid’s eyes opened. He twitched and then fell off the science folding table. He rose up from behind the table already having somehow dressed himself in his finest pair of worker city overalls. He brushed himself off, twitched a bit, walked through a sliding glass door, and then fell down a stairwell that led to the worker city. Cheers of the downtrodden hard laborers could be heard from below.
I meandered over to a window to look out over the worker city factory floor, in the process pulling a computer off of a table that was connected to the wires connected to me and upsetting one of the scientists. I retrieved my theatre binocular spectacles from my underpants to observe Devlin iAndroids behavior.
It appeared that the Devlin iAndroid was badly malfunctioning and had decided to give up being the positive role model Steve-Jobs-Bot had hoped he would be. Instead, the slightly banged up Devlin iAndroid had left his post at the dials and was sitting on the floor by the laborer watering fountain distributing a plethora of mind obliterating party favors, including the likes of mouthwash cocktails, spraypaint vaporizers, asbestos cinnamon cigarettes, and other such back-alley nonsense to the impressionable laborers. It warmed my corroded heart to see a robot man based on me would also desperately yearn for the affection of his peers.
After a few minutes, the worker city was ablaze with fire-ridden trash cans and general excess. Hard laborers abandoned their hard labor posts and their families to party hard with the Devlin iAndroid. Alarms sirens started to make noises and red light bulbs turned on and off, signalling that the disturbance below was affecting the production line of the new and exciting versions of smartphone telephonic devices. Dread began to seep deep into my core as I realized the delay in production of new smartphone telephonic devices would only further delay my personal dreams of obtaining a replacement battery component piece for my cruddy old pre-owned unpowered phoney phone.
I burst from my perch in the science room and scrambled down the staircase to the worker city. I would have to put a stop to this all this nonsense liberation if I was ever going to see that replacement battery component piece.
As I rushed into the landing at the base of the staircase I careened directly into Devlin iAndroid, who had happened to be roller skating past as I had arrived. We both toppled to the floor. Confused hard laborers surrounded us, observing a duplicity of Satanfingers’. Thinking quickly, I grasped the face skin on Devlin iAndroid’s face and tore it from his robo-skull. The hard labor worker crowd let out a gasp.
I stood, supporting myself with still-scraped knee caps and began my dramatic speech:
“You, hard laborers of the worker city! You have been deceived by the mighty industrialist Steve-Jobs-Bot! He has sent down this iAndroid into your city in the likeness of me to distract you from your important duty contributions to the world! You have been gleefully distracted by the wickedish ways of Devlin iAndroid and have left your families in harm’s danger way of smoke inhalation from what is honestly just too many trash can infernos. Plus, you’ll probably be lucky to get paid for today.”
I jiggled the Devlin iAndroid skin face glob for dramatic effect. Labor workers were nodding, pretending to understand, so I went ahead and dramatically concluded my dramatic speech. “Um, anyways, remember to always work hard at your hard labor dial day jobs because without them there isn’t any Apple Company Corporation telephonic smartphone devices or their associated replacement battery component pieces. You hard laborers are the hands of this great corporation mutant giant, and...” I paused. Looking up, I noticed Steve-Jobs-Bot looking down upon us from his still ajar office window, smiling benevolently. I eyeball winked at him and continued, “And...and Steve-Jobs-Bot is the head, kind of literally, actually. And me... well kids, I’m the big ol’ heart.”
The hard labor workers cheered for my dramatic and moving speech, and proceeded to extinguish the numerous trash can blazes and resume their daily day jobs. I cheerfully tossed Devlin iAndroid’s face chunk onto his fried torso, turned, and headed back up to Steve-Jobs-Bot’s office.
“You did good today, Mr. Satanfingers. I think the future of the Apple Corporation has never been brighter,” Steve-Jobs-Bot remarked as I entered his swank executive office room.
“Thanks Mr. Jobs-Bot,” I replied. “I guess I’ll be taking you up on that cash and bus ticket now.”
“Why, yes, certainly,” he replied. He opened a humidor on his desk using his nose, picked up some money and ticket with his teeth and carried it over his executive desk, where I retrieved it from his executive mouth. “Also, take this,” he said, and brought over a fresh replacement battery component piece for my pre-owned smartphone telephonic device. His eyes twinkled a little.
“Gee whiz, thanks,” I gushed, taking the battery replacement component piece and quickly thumbing through the money cash to ensure a stiff-free transaction. I walked to the door and then stopped. I turned back to Steve-Jobs-Bot and thoughtfully said, “Take it easy on those hard labor workers, Mr. Job-Bot. They’re really effort trying it down there for you.”
He looked up and responded, “My job is to not be easy on people, Mr. Satanfingers. My job is to make them better.”
I nodded, pretending to understand.
On the Shabby bus ride home, I finished transcribing this story on a roll of toilet paper I had lifted from one of Steve-Jobs-Bot’s executive washrooms. I stuffed my T.P. article review story into a pre-addressed envelope made out to Optimism Vaccine Headquarters Office Building, tipped my sombrero down over my eyes and leaned into the vinyl seat in front of me for some much needed shut eye.