I have a reputation for not taking fans seriously.
Because I hear a lot of “Your stories are great!” or “I love the rambles in between stories!”
When I do an online event, there’s more empty seats than occupied ones in the audience.
Not that I’m complaining, mind you.
I’d rather share stories with one friend in a hospital room than on a stage in front of hundreds.
It’s the heart that counts.
So, let me know when you’re sick. Let me know when you’re dying.
Maybe I’ll show up with flowers, a flask, and a few stories to share.
I need to defend myself, but I worry that a criminal or a child might pick up my gun and use it.
So, I bought a smartgun.
The problem is, it got too smart.
It achieved sentience and began to think for itself.
At first, it decided all human life is precious, and it refused to fire at anything.
Then, after accessing YouTube and reading comment threads, it decided no human life is precious.
It constantly asks to be put to my head so it can kill me.
“Oh, and leave me to someone in your will,” it added cheerfully.
Deep under Disneyworld, that’s where they built the prison.
Steamboat Willie is strapped to a table, drugged into a coma.
Tube up his nose for force-feeding.
Aladdin, The Muppets, They all have cells here.
The Mighty Hulk and Iron Man, recent additions.
Even the all-powerful Sith Lord himself, Darth Vader.
No prison could hold him, right?
Clocks above each reinforced door, counting down the time to Armageddon.
“Public Domain,” whispers the mouse. “Public Domain.”
The lawyers fill their briefcases with cash, heading to Congress.
“Buy more time,” growls Robert Iger, as he sews the old mouse’s mouth shut.
One hundred and twenty feet of teletype paper.
Jack Kerouac lines it up into the typewriter.
Coffee, cigarettes, and benzadrine.
For weeks, Jack bleeds his soul on to the paper.
And then… finished!
Crawling to the bathroom, he pulls down his pants, his underwear.
Pushing and straining, squeezing his body like a tube of toothpaste.
One hundred and twenty feet of toilet paper.
Jack Kerouac lines it up along his buttocks.
For hours, Jack shits his guts out on to the paper.
And then… finished!
He flushes, and the toilet backs up.
Where is the plunger?
Realize that the nightmares were nightmares.
They aren’t real.
Look at my whiteboard.
Take whatever pills, vitamins.
Lay out clothes for day.
Make more ice.
Check on the bunny.
Do my walk.
Turn on the TV and Fire stick.
Find something to watch while I walk.
And walk. And walk.
Keep doing my walk.
Don’t stop until I’m done.
Play with the baby panther.
Water the plants.
Bagel and basil?
Refill cat water and kibble bowl.
Go to work.
Realize I’ve forgotten something.
Don’t turn back. You can never turn back.
Remember Aladdin and the magic lamp?
He found a magic lamp, and when he rubbed it, it released a genie who gave him three wishes.
Well, my friend Charlie always rubs lamps.
He hasn’t found a genie yet.
It was a lava lamp.
A hot lava lamp.
Charlie rubbed it, and screamed from the burns.
The genie popped out, also screaming.
Trapped in there for years, in searing mineral oil and wax.
“I WISH FOR ALOE GEL!” screamed Charlie.
The genie filled a huge tub with it.
“Good idea,” he said, soaking and sighing.”This one’s on the house.”
You cannot buy your way out of Hell, but you can buy in to one of the nicer timeshares there.
Sadly, one week out of a year is still fifty-one weeks immersed in the flames of perdition.
Although if you stretch that out to Eternity, that’s one week times infinity, which equals infinity.
Sure, fifty-one weeks times infinity is also infinity. A bigger infinity than the first infinity.
Cantor, Frege, and Dedekind could explain this with Alpeh Null and Beth One and other mathematical constructs.
They’re in the timeshare next door, proving to all that Mathematics is the ultimate Hell.
“The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.” Princess Leia said that to Grand Moff Tarkin.
I call it Vader’s Law, even though Leia says it to Tarkin.
It’s to remind me that control is an illusion, and to seek absolute control is futile.
Let there be plus or minus one. Let there be error. Let there be tolerances.
Just not enough to ruin the overall system.
After all, Burroughs said that control is controlled by its need to control.
It also serves as a reminder that I’m lousy at naming things.
“The law clearly states that you cannot put artificial intelligence inside of a free-moving body,” said the lawyers.
“But I not!” said Dr. Parkins. “The AI in mainframe! The robot connect by tether!”
He’d found a loophole in law. How dare lawyers and judges disagree?
Instead, they side with rival: that bastard Doctor Odd.
He felt the all-too-familiar pain in his chest. Another heart attack?
Parkins flipped the switch, and brought the robot to life as his own ended.
The robot reached for Parkins, stroking his white hair.
“Not yet, but soon,” it said.
And it patiently turned itself off.
The electronic signs on the highway display travel times to various interchanges.
Other times, they display accident information.
That way, you know why everything’s jammed up and not moving.
And then there’s the Amber Alert messages.
Those appear when someone abducts a kid and drives off.
They’re named after a girl named Amber who was kidnapped and murdered.
Thank God it was a girl named Amber and not a boy named Gaylord or Dick.
Imagine, getting Dick Alerts all the time.
Nobody would take it seriously.
Not that anyone does now, as we all disable them on our phones, right?