Carrie

Jeff couldn’t believe it… he was sitting next to Carrie Fisher.
The Carrie Fisher. From Star Wars. And… well, Star Wars. And other stuff.
He introduced himself, shook her hand… did all the things you’re supposed to do with celebrities.
Show respect, give them space.
She looked tired, maybe a little wasted on something, so Jeff didn’t bother her. He let her sleep.
Maybe they’d chat a bit later?
Jeff wanted to take a nap, but Carrie snored a bit, so he put on his headphones and listened to an audiobook.
He barely noticed when she stopped snoring… and breathing.

Squealing in Oz

I realized something this morning.
The Three Little Pigs and The Big Bad Wolf lived in The Land of Oz.
After all, the Pigs and Wolf could talk.
And they were Pigs with a Capital P, and a Wolf with a capital W.
Animals with a Capital A, who lived in The Land of Oz.
Do you remember what The First Little Pig made his house out of?
That’s right. Straw.
Straw that he pulled from the guts of The Scarecrow.
The screaming, whimpering Scarecrow.
If only The Tin Man and Cowardly Lion had responded sooner, he’d still be alive.

Disney Store Scratchoff

A coworker was expecting his second child.
This time, a boy.
There’d been complications with the pregnancy. He’d been taking time off to help his wife.
They’ve been going in for regular checkups. Things were looking good.
They set a date to induce labor… tomorrow.
But then, the doctor couldn’t find a heartbeat.
They’re still going to induce labor tomorrow.
Because, well, you have to.
I pull out my to-do list and scratch out DISNEY STORE.
Fold the notepad back into my pocket, stare at the screens for a while.
These are the times I wish I prayed, but don’t.

Mark Twain and the Devil

Mark Twain said many times that he’d want to go to Heaven for the climate and Hell for the company.
The Devil offered him a house with air conditioning, so Twain chose Hell.
“Aha!” shouted The Devil. “The air conditioning is broken!”
“I’ll wait for the repairs,” said Twain. And he smoked his cigars on the veranda, with The Devil.
The Devil taunted Twain with endless stories about shipping delays and incompetent repairmen.
Year after year, century after century.
Eventually, The Devil gave in, and fixed the air conditioning.
“Thank you,” said Twain. “Most of all, you’ve been excellent company.”

St. Patrick

St. Patrick didn’t just drive all of the snakes out of Ireland.
He also drove out all of the moose.
And he had a hand in expelling all of the rhinoceroses.
Rumor has it that he drove out every ostrich, but he may have had help.
Then there’s the alligators. St. Patrick sent them packing.
As for the kangaroos, they didn’t have a chance.
Neither did the gorillas. Every single one of them. Gone and forgotten.
For this, the Irish celebrate.
Well, except for the head zookeeper at the Dublin Zoo.
It’s best not to mention St. Patrick around him.

Controlled

At first, we controlled computers through punchcards.
Then, we used keyboards. And mice.
Trackpads with finger gestures were helpful.
Voice control took a while to perfect.
After that, cameras could sense our facial expressions and hand gestures.
Direct brainwave scanning was the holy grail.
When that came, you controlled the computer with your thoughts.
Which, if you’re impulsive, is a bad thing.
As long as the software contains a confirmation dialogue, you’ll be fine.
But thinking or saying “Yes” sarcastically can lead to a lot of problems.
Now, can I talk to a manager about getting my bank account fixed?

Danbury’s trades

Danbury woke up, turned on the TV, and raised his eyebrow.
Smoke was pouring out of one of the World Trade Center buildings.
And then, as the blithering hosts blithered on, a plane struck the other building.
He picked up the phone and called his broker.
“Short all airline stocks,” he said.
The broker was barely audible over the chaos. “The exchange is down, Danbury! People are dead! You cold-blooded bastard!”
“London and Chicago are still open,” said Danbury. “Do it.”
The FBI hassled Danbury about it.
He greeted them warmly to his new luxury yacht, and offered them drinks.

Productivity

Productivity was falling, the metrics said.
We held a meeting to discuss productivity.
And then had a follow-up meeting to check on our progress.
Then, we had a strategy discussion to resolve outstanding productivity meetings.
Right before we went into a workshop to boost our productivity.
Meeting after meeting, session after session.
Throw in a few offsite team-building exercises now and then.
Pretty soon, the whole day was taken up with meetings, sessions, team-building exercises.
That’s when the CEO announced a company-wide meeting.
“We’ve gone bankrupt,” he said. “Seems all we do is hold meetings instead of getting anything done.”

Bridesmaidbot

“Always a bridesmaid, and never a bride,” mumbled Bridesmaidbot 2000, waiting by the 3D Printer.
Sowly, a padded skin emerged from the slot, and the robot carefully put it on.
She walked through the scanners, and helpers massaged her body to conform to the client’s shape.
“Here,” one said, handing her an ugly pink dress and an absurdly large feathered hat. “Don’t forget the shoes.”
“I wouldn’t be caught dead in that dress,” said the client to her doppelganger, and through her headset, saw through the robot’s eyes. “Perfect.”
Bridesmaidbot 2000 sighed, and stepped into her packing crate for shipping.

Signing bonus

He was a star athlete.
Lettered in every sport, and every school offered him a scholarship.
Every team wanted to draft him right out of high school.
So, he got himself an agent, and he said he was going pro.
Signing bonus, endorsements, everything.
The big day came, the press coverage was total madness.
Everyone smiling for the cameras, thousands of people cheering.
He picked up the pen, signed the contract, and promptly fell over dead.
In the chaos, his agent quietly picked up the pen with a handkerchief, put down another pen, and walked away into a comfortable retirement.