George the Highwayman

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
He spent a lot of time cleaning the mile of freeway that his crew had sponsored as part of the Adopt A Highway Program.
And he was pretty good at keeping it clean.
He posted pictures of the highway on Instagram and Snapchat, gathering lots of followers and fans.
People drove from miles away to litter on that stretch of freeway, only to have it cleaned up by the time they circled back.
Never mind that George was just sweeping everything to the other side of the mile marker.

George’s Unexplained Murders

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
And that’s when the murders began.
First, it was the cook. He was stabbed with his own knives.
Then went Old Beardsley. He was found stuffed into a cannon.
Snake-Eye Pete, Devil Dog, Hooky Joe… they all turned up dead in various humiliating ways.
Pretty soon, all that was left was The Captain and George.
“So, what do you think about my raising the employee deductible for the health program?” asked The Captain.
“Costs are going up,” said George. “Seems fair to me.”
And that’s when the murders stopped.

George’s Merit Badges

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
When he was little, he tried to become a Boy Scout, but they wouldn’t let him in.
So, he joined the Pirate Scouts, but he wasn’t a very good Pirate Scout.
He’d get captured during raids on the Boy Scouts, and they’d earn merit badges by tying George to a tree with various knots.
“That’s an a hitch knot,” said the Scoutmaster. “Well done.”
George also got captured by the Girl Scouts.
They fed him cookies and painted his toenails pink.
If you ask me, that sounds kinda fun.

George the Figurehead

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
So, when the figurehead carving fell off of the ship, his shipmates stuffed him into a dress and tied him to the prow.
George was actually kinda good at that job.
Well, except for the constant screaming and near-drowning, but his shipmates built a breathing helmet that muffled the screaming considerably.
Pretty soon, every ship used their worst crewmember as a figurehead.
Every eight hours, George was untied for a meal break.
As for bathroom breaks, what was the point?
It all ended up in the ocean anyway, right?

George the Pirate Dancer

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
Every opportunity the crew had to get rid of George, they did.
When a television network announced Dancing With The Pirate Stars, they sent George.
George was an excellent dancer.
He knew all of the latest dance moves, and he was in perfect time with his professional dance partner.
“Why don’t you become a professional dancer?” the professional dancers asked him.
“Thanks, but not,” said George. “I like being a pirate.”
He brought home the trophy and three dancers for ransom.
“While we’re waiting,” said George, “care to dance?”

Weekly Challenge #646 – Driver Error

Welcome to the 100 Word Stories podcast at oneadayuntilthedayidie.com.

This is the Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.

We’ve got stories by:

Flump

TURA

Driver error
———
In a traffic accident between a robot and a human, it’s always “driver error”, That is, human driver error. Or if all the vehicles were automatics, it will be “passenger error”. If there’s a human anywhere on the scene, it’s “human error”. “Programmer error” used to be a thing, but there are no human programmers any more. The AIs design each other and learn from the entire lottayottabytes of everything that has happened everywhere since their inception, so of course they must be infallible.

At least, that’s what the robolawyers and robojudges say, and what human can argue with them?

RICHARD

Driver Error

I recently came across an article about how a dodgy graphics driver caused Second Life to wreck printers.

Personally, I doubted a simple driver error could destroy hardware, but it intrigued me enough to want to try.

Obviously, I wasn’t going to write malicious code on my own system, but tech support at work had been giving me hassle lately, so…

It worked.

Too well!

Not only did it fry the printers, it destroyed hard drives, backup servers and – to my horror – the missile launch safety devices.

Now, before Russia retaliates, I’ll just print out a quick apology!

CHARLIE

I was the key driver in the campaign to reveal key, driver errors in many of the millions of Tweets posted. I comment on blatant bullshitery and skanks posting close ups of their belly buttons, or twee twinks posting selfies while holding their shirts up with the other hand.
I began with the obvious. Neon signs reading “OPEN” are usually left on because the person charged with shutting them off at closing forgets, or they turn them on and they burn brightly in the night until they cease to function.

My lesson is: ignore all of them, all the time.

#2

The driver error began with the tray, attached to the steering wheel. It was compounded by the purchase of a double Reuben sandwich, with a large dill pickle on the side.

Moving onto the on ramp and getting up to highway speed was a cinch, since Bob had a new Challenger.

Bob dropped half his sandwich into his lap. The dill slipped out of his grip and shot across the center console into the bucket seat next to him.

He unbuckled and stretched across the seats, just as the semi in front of him braked hard to avoid another truck.

#3

The new order of sex dolls came in, and we started to check them out. The boss wanted to open his new Sex Doll Brothel on Labor Day.

Adjustments were necessary and some touch ups of wigs, makeup, and software. The new models had a glitch and the manufacturer was scheduled to push out some updated code and a new firmware patch.

The firmware patch was installed, and the prepped doll was the first put on line. Unfortunately, a driver error caused the doll to squeeze with a 2 ton force, removing the client’s neither region with an ugly consequence.

JEFFREY

Fore!
by Jeffrey Fischer

Reuben stepped up to the first tee and waggled his new driver. A Callaway Epic Star, this piece of titanium set him back $700 but he was going to blow away his playing partners. He hit the ball with a mighty wallop and shanked it, spinning the ball off the fairway and into a sand trap. The process repeated itself on subsequent holes with minor variations: a slice here, a hook there. In other words, golf as usual. At the Nineteenth Hole bar, Reuben, who had bragged about the new club, now blamed his purchase. “Driver error,” he muttered by way of explanation.

Life in the Fast Lane
by Jeffrey Fischer

The foursome, now thoroughly lubricated after 90 minutes in the bar, climbed into Reuben’s Jaguar. He punched on the satellite radio, tuned to a classic rock station, and sped out of the country club, leaving a small dust cloud behind him from the gravel road. Turning on to the highway, he accelerated until the big car was cruising at 80 miles per hour. Given his state of inebriation, Reuben required all three lanes to keep the car on the pavement as his terrified passengers tried to get him to slow down. When the car crashed through a barrier and sailed off an overpass, Reuben’s last thought on Earth was, “Another driver error.”

SERENDIPITY

They say driver error is one of the main causes of accidents.

Taking unnecessary risks; pulling out, without looking; driving with excess alcohol and drugs…

Those are the assumptions that they’ll make, when they find your mangled body in the equally mangled wreckage of your car, scattered across the interchange.

When they smell the alcohol and find the trace amphetamines in your system, they won’t have to look any further: It’ll be pretty obvious what led to your demise.

Which is probably just as well.

Because I wouldn’t like them investigating any further and finding I severed the brake pipes!

TOM

The monitor of the car kept flashing “DRIVER ERROR.” This didn’t stop the vehicle from climbing to 135 mph. “Look who’s talking, we just past a hospital, a grade school and a graveyard entrance. And I might clearly point out the 25 mph speed limits signs. The screen when blank for a second, then flashed “Fuck You.” Jack press the manual over ride button. The car slowed to a stop, but then started rolling in reverse upto the lychgate. “Driver error” flash once, then the car exploded, but not before the on board speakers wailed, “That mean’s you monkey boy.”

JON

Travelogue

By

Jon DeCles

Eight horses galloped together down the steep and rocky dirt road that descended from the Sierra on the last real mountain leg of the trip from Virginia City to San Francisco. The lady passengers inside the stage coach were grateful for the ample padding of their fashionable clothes, while the men who could afford decent hotel accommodations looked forward to the luxury of hot water in a tub to ease the bumps and bruises that are part and parcel of stage coach travel in the West.

Nobody expected any fallen tree, any driver error, nor steep cliff, nor sudden death.

NORVAL JOE

Billbert and Linoliumanda reached the police officers at the same time as Mr. Withybotham.
The man gasped, “My wife was in the backyard with my daughter and this boy when they suddenly dissappeared.”
Billbert said, “We were playing ‘Broom Races’. Maybe we got carried away. We ran down the street.”
Linoliumanda nodded enthusiastically.
Her dad shook his head. “Mallodora said you two were on a single broom, running around the backyard. She turned her back for a moment, and you were gone. How did you get into the front yard so fast?”
Billbert grinned and shrugged.”Would you believe Driver Error?”

EVA HARLEY

Upgrade

Falling to my knees I gaze upon the trunk before me. Aged, forgotten, as the layers of dust attest. Uncertain fingers find the keyhole in the waning light and I insert the brass key.

Never again, not me, not me…tumbles in a rush from my lips in fear, yet the compulsion is unabated. An onslaught of memories and emotions torment me, yet still I must..

Within…is me, what I once was. Now? A simple data transfer, new external shell, bits, bytes, and processors. Voila. Me. 2.0.

Lies, I think, another advertisement obstructing my view. Then…

Driver error. Upgrade required.

ASPEN

Aspen Gwen Womack-Odanda submission

A tiny being climbs upon the mouse and scrolls the wheel across the long slender keyboard. The adventure awaits in a world of her design.

Approaching a pixelated swirling screen she clicks the button and LIFTOFF!!! into a swirling tunnel of color, magic, and wonderment. Still filled with the vibrations of the fear-filled life shes left behind, yet buzzing with the excitement of the world approaching.

Safety gained lightyears away from reality where love exists and harm an unknown. Guided only by heart, a deep voice within screams ABANDON!!! Suddenly her mouse vanishes into thin air….spinning, driver error, failure CRASH!!!!

PLANET Z

Hospitals can cure anything, really.
Just upload the consciousness to a storage facility, take a DNA sample, make the necessary changes, speedgrow a clone, and inject the consciousness into the new body.
While the clone grows, there are mechanical bodies available for use.
Some people don’t like to wait in the white noise of the mainframe, so a mech lets them keep busy.
Usually, installation is smooth and painless, but sometimes things go wrong.
Families don’t deal well with those.
So, the doctors return the body to demo mode, and it sits and smiles and blinks and remains peacefully silent.

George the Dead Pirate

Fred liked to take his family to the islands every summer.
The swimming and snorkeling was great.
And every night, music and dancing and delicacies.
Sometimes, they’d go into town to shop.
Or they’d go to the old pirate towns.
His kids would use charcoal and paper sheets to take rubbings from the headstones.
The more interesting the headstone, the better.
They came across a rather unusual small headstone, buried in the undergrowth.
Fred cleared away the branches, and the kids took an impression.
They could read it clearly:
“George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.”

George the Foreign Exchange

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
Every time a foreign exchange program came up, the crew shipped George off to Singapore or The Barbary Coast or Africa.
“Is that how you pirates do that in the Caribbean?” the host crew would ask George as he screwed up some task or another.
“Yes,” lied George, not wanting to reveal the fact that he was a terrible pirate. “We do it all the time.”
Pretty soon, pirates across the world were as bad as George.
Except for his own crew, who kept him locked in a footlocker.

George the Harasser

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
He frequently violated company policies, and spent a lot of time in Sexual Harassment training seminars.
Because, compared to all the other pirates on the ship, George was actually polite and respectful to women.
He didn’t leer, catcall, or whore around.
And God forbid he actually molest someone. I mean, how rude, right?
George did his best to fake the leers and catcalls that the instructor demanded he give the wenches in the roleplay sessions.
Eventually, he passed.
But afterwards, he apologized to the wenches for the rude behavior.

George wasn’t the worst pirate…

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
Was he the worst pirate in history?
No, because that would be Phil.
The Captain hired him as a ringer for the crew’s softball team.
Phil struck out every batter he faced, and he hit every ball out of the park.
He was MVP of the league for three years straight, and the team won the championship all three of those years.
But P stands for Player, not Pirate, and Phil was a dreadful pirate.
What happened to Phil is too gruesome to say.
The crew retired his number.