Suffering in hindsight from an invasion of marauding pheromones, I found myself forgetting the fundamental rule of politics, us v. them, and my support position in the grand schematics of people and things that allowed us to pave the murky way, by squandering irreplaceable time and valuable mineral resources immersed in a sandbox. It was the best job I had ever secured in exchange for the perks of pork banh mi and filthy lucre. But, still. The cliffs at the edge of western civilization above Rio Del Mar Beach were busy crumbling undisturbed. More crumbling, more sand, more work, more shirking. It would be great if not for more of the putrescent them as well. If I received an offer to stink like one of them, I’d still stick with us instead. It was one of those lovely days for solipsism in the sand that are highly conducive to digging it while it’s happening, sunny, stunning, as clear as I wanted it to be.
Then, with no need for reintroduction, because shadows don’t fold and quit like face cards squelching smaller numbers, I was waking up to the spectacle of gawkers gawking in the sand. It’s what they do, singing a tinny version of Hallelujah. I checked for hands in my pants but none were mine. I checked out A-okay. No rockets ready for launch. What are they looking at?
“It’s a shark.”
“A great white monster.”
“There are more of them all the time.”
“Who’s to blame for that?”
The teen twins, who could never in stunning light be mistaken by a shark for a delicious seal, were surfing at Pleasure Point, which is in the distantly revamped neighborhood of techno-yuppie dweebs employed as Silicon Valley lackeys by robots nearly a mile away as the fin swims, so no problemo. But, it just didn’t feel the same to become spontaneously complacent again. Once shook, I found myself erect on my two bipedal feet like a nincompoop chimpanzee. What choice did I have that was any good? None as far as any of my eyes could see. How many times have I stood for that? Don’t ask, don’t tell. Time to get back to work and win-win for us.
Fortunately, my job in politics is easy. I called up the Unpaid Internet Content Provider and offered him freshly brewed brown beer with a hint of smoked paprika, and grilled pork banh mi, extra briny in the daikon department. He came right away while the teen twins were bravely riding waves. We sat down and made up a bunch of fluff to fit into the mouth of Lt Guv Gav Newsom of California in favor of AUMA, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Making stuff up is the way to go. We covered bases, ran with it, and scored. Soon, victory for Prop 64 was in the bag, which left little more to be done. But, still. We found ourselves stuck with leftover time that could be used for additional wasting. I dreamed of what I could do if I knew how. Doesn’t it preach in the Bible, the first self-help book for illiterates who did not yet know it all revolved around them, to become fruitful? I could do that while drinking brown beer, no problemo. In between I stirred malt extract with hops and grooved to the gospel of James Brown. What could go wrong? All I needed next was a hapless foil. It was always a safe idea to blame. Because I had become used to blaming robots, I blamed them again. They were the cause. They opposed freedom. What the fuck. No question what they had coming. I could never make up in my darkest dreams anything worse than them.
“That about says it.”
Even though robots when they take over due to superior intelligence will probably make an enemy of me, because fair is supposed to be fair, and who doesn’t appreciate revenge, I’m not smart enough on their superior level to care. I won’t become the house pet of any smarter robot without putting up a stink. This next poop’s for you whoever you may be. So there.
The Unpaid Internet Content Provider said, “If we really only exist in a simulation played by an advanced civilization, how do we know who’s winning long term when the short term is all we’ve got?”
“Don’t ask, don’t tell.”
By the time the teen twins returned, The Unpaid Internet Content Provider was gone. He does not understand why they make such light of his shadowy presence. And right to his face, even when his back is turned. No video game ever treated him like that. I have nothing to say on the subject because number two after first finding out how to blame like an expert in politics I learned not to ask, and by any means necessary, not to tell.
That sage advice, which has served long and dishonorably hard to near unanimous acclaim in the tittering political trenches of nattering nabobs, was derived from an early beta version of the infamously dubbed factory robot, the Nominal Billary Clinton concision, once caught drifting off aim, but deftly corrected with extra lube since, a success story according to most cost and benefit standards worldwide, and reprogrammed a time or two, you betcha.
I asked the teen twins upon their return, “How was it?”
“That’s what you always say.’
“Since when do you listen to me?”
“On a need to know basis, what can you tell me?
“It’s up to you, of course.”
“It’s not as if it’s some big deal.”
“Is that supposed to be you being tricky?”
“You know me.”
“Good luck with that.”
Safe in my certainty that silly adult expectations, the cause of not only great strife but murderous tendencies, were not going to rear their devious ends, which the teen twins seemed to understand by obvious osmosis, I became more free to feel smug with the great job I was doing in developing pieces for the next beta game to become the next robotic big thing as we shrug in hapless resignation. If that did not call for more stirring of extract, what the fuck. To me it was not even a question. That’s how win-win becomes won-won.
Later, upon my return via simulated free will to Rio Del Mar Beach, the great whiteness was still out there. All of the Asians on the other side were not pleased with all the chum recklessly tossed and left behind to float. The shrieking I heard, though, was unattached to the attack of an authentic sea creature. The cliffs above the beach had not only been continuing to crumble, but in the eternal ebb and flow between constant give and take a transgender family of four or five, depending on surgical training, religious affiliation, and skewed point of view, was pushed off. Many were blaming an arrogant driverless car from Silicon Valley. I admit it appeared to be smirking. But how can I be so sure? Who am I to judge? If I don’t tell, who knows?
I was trying to think of an unknown answer that equaled more than any qualified lesser of any axiomatic knowns when fractured and compounded, revealing little or close to nothing too evil. It was hard to figure, not the way I like it best, easy. But then I’m not the one trying to tell what’s what anymore, and as sure as I’m shooting blanks not going to start asking too much of myself now, because we all know if it’s not a simulation for real, then what is?