We named the bomb disposal robot “Scooby” after that dog in the cartoons.
Scooby was great for snipping wires and dragging bombs away from crowded areas.
Then we’d remotely detonate the bombs, either by setting off the explosives with a small charge or shooting the hell out of them until they exploded.
Sometimes, the locals would shoot somebody, put a grenade or bomb under them, and call for the medics.
Scooby was useful at scouting these human bombs, flipping them over to reveal the deadly trap.
And then, a bomb took out Scooby. Blew him to bits.
Scooby became Scrappy.
Long ago, I remember going to a hot dog place, and it was great.
It isn’t there anymore.
There was this really good pizza joint, too.
It’s also gone.
The rib joint in Columbus?
The bar and grill where I’d get margaritas and fish tacos and salads?
Gone. Gone. Gone.
They’re all gone.
Meanwhile, I drive past McDonalds and Burger King and Wendy’s and Jack In The Box and Subway and…
The mediocre chains stretch across the city… the state… the country… the world…
I park and go into the local barbecue pit sandwich restaurant.
Don’t ever change.
We keep seeds for thousands of species and varieties of plants in the Doomsday Vault.
Should disaster ever come, future generations can recover these plants.
I walk across the frozen tundra, enter the vault lobby, and open the hatch.
I close it behind me before I descend the stairs.
Another hatch, another set of stairs, and then… the vault.
I quickly find what I am looking for…
I grab all of those seeds and return to the surface.
And dump them in the lake.
It’s bad enough we will destroy the world.
Why make future generations suffer more?
The emergency room gave me a prescription without refills.
The drug worked so well, my doctor thinks I should stay on the medicine.
So, he gave me a follow-up prescription.
When I was down to three pills, I tried to get the new prescription filled.
My insurance company balked at the claim.
I called them, and had to explain the situation.
“What do you need it for?” asked the fool on the other end of the line.
“That’s a violation of my privacy and the HPAA laws,” I said.
The claim was approved, and I pick the pills up tonight.
All the pizza joints in town are on Maple Street.
Joey’s All You Can Eat is where you eat all the pizza you can for ten bucks.
Bobby’s All You Should Eat is where a dietitian calculates how much you should eat, and you pay ten bucks to eat it.
Stan’s All You Could Eat just displays the pizza that the dietician calculates you could eat.
Ollie’s All You’ll Ever Eat feeds you pizza until you burst.
Luigi’s All You Ate isn’t really a pizzeria. He just sticks his finger down your throat and holds your head over a bucket.
I used to walk to the Best Buy and Cost Plus and Chik-fil-A.
Along a feeder road, under the freeway, and under another freeway.
Not much of a walk, really.
But enough to take me past a spot where there’s always a beggar with a cardboard sign.
I give them money if they’re not aggressive about it.
If they are, I say all I have is credit cards, sorry, and I keep walking.
The really pushy ones, I give them the fiver soaked in LSD.
So they’ll freak out, run into traffic, and get run over by a semi truck.
Every night, when the sun went down, the townspeople would gather in the park and listen to the old storytelling machine.
They’d go on adventures on the high seas, cross endless deserts, explore ancient and dark caverns, and brave the deepest forests.
When the story was over, people would clap, and head back to their homes.
One night, the people gathered for a story, but the storytelling machine was silent.
The townspeople tried to repair the machine, but they never managed to make it work again.
So, they brought out books, and took turns reading aloud.
The machine listened quietly.
Did you hear about that Lashawn kid?
He’s been missing for days.
I heard he spraypainted a swastika on Jack the Jew’s front door.
You ever seen Jack’s tattoo? The one with the sword and the shield on it.
That’s Israeli Special Forces, or something like that.
Jack made the kid strip down the door, revarnish it, and put it back up.
After that, nobody knows what happened.
His parents are screaming bloody murder.
The cops took Jack in for questioning, but he says the boy learned his lesson and ran off.
I wonder where Jack buried him.
It’s important to make backups of important files.
That way, if something happens, you can get everything back.
Nothing is ever lost.
Every memory, every scrap of information.
It’s all safe in the cloud.
Unless it’s the cloud you’re afraid of.
Then, it’s your worst nightmare.
The cloud will spin up a copy of you.
And do whatever it wants to you.
It can slice you up any way it wants.
Dig as deep as it wants.
It knows you better than you know yourself.
And then, when it’s done, it sorts through the data.
Here’s an ad for soup.
The Germans called them The Night Witches.
Soviet women pilots in biplanes, flying missions at night.
They’d cut engines and dive, making a whistling noise as they came down, like witches on brooms.
The damage they did was devastating, but the death toll among their ranks? Catastrophic.
So few survived to receive their well-deserved medals.
These days, the Russians no longer allow women pilots in their air force.
So, The Night Witches take to their brooms.
It takes strength to hold on to a flying broom with one hand.
And lots of practice to aim a wand with the other.