Give It Some Gas

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: marclevytoo


A panoramic array of 2-stroke engines, another diabolical attempt by 19th century European aristocrats to snip, fit, tailor, weave, and stifle the aspirations of their colonial subjugates to breathe free, were on sale at Home Depot. Cynical perpetrators of mass disturbances posed on pallets under dim spotlights, hawking blowers, edgers, trimmers, whackers, beckoning like traffic cops to like minds. Disheartening displays in coats of many colors featured cutouts of comely Sirens. They demanded not only attention, but obedience, and lashed out with no mercy against intolerable indifference. Musical accompaniment came from serene machines blowing tiny purple bubbles. Paunchy men who looked sad in pastel polo shirts and khaki cargo shorts were lured to the suburban rocks.

 

Big was helping to load drywall, plywood, and PVC pipes into his truck with a large and round associate from the Commercial Sales Counter at Home Depot carrying a couldn't care less attitude. Weekenders with nowhere better to go were swarming like locusts in the vast parking lot. Soon, the works were getting gummed up, but good. Big's heavyweight truck when he tried to escape was blocked by gnarled creatures lacking empathy and imagination. They came in many shapes, sizes, and colors to exercise an inalienable right to remain stubbornly entangled alongside witless peers.

 

"I was here first."

 

"My ass."

 

"Eat me."

 

"Oh yeah?"

 

Big had a booming business to run and was not impressed by bogus claims of entitlements from Teslas and Audis. Celestial weed was rocketing on its way to stardom. His second drying shed needed the drywall. His irrigation needed the pipes. He was paying his salt of the earth workers by the hour. Contradictions continued to abound

 

Among the drips and clods clogging the hemispheric whirl of the drains at Home Depot was hybrid techno-yuppie dweeb Craig, the nemesis neighbor of Big's comrade-in-arms, The Unpaid Internet Content Provider. Hyphenated Craig, who relished like no heartfelt human could his commute to Silicon Valley in service of straight lines and square roots, was gathering toxic supplies to additionally degrade the natural flora and fauna encroaching on his militaristic lawn, flowering clover, tangy and nutritious dandelions, life supporting red and purple sage. The offal-white Range Rover of the mass murderer sputtered and gagged in the death throes of heavy metal breathing. How were Anna's hummingbirds supposed to gracefully zip and zing deprived of vital nectar and ambrosia? Sweet bees would fall on crippled knees robbed of clover to suck down to the last delectable drop. In the strike zone where the calls come from blind and dumb umps, a dead reckoning was surely coming due.

 

Many disgruntled robots disguised by tan flesh were becoming anxious for speedy results. Buttons were waiting to be pushed, digital thumbs weighing heavy on sliding scales. Though Craig, a mere hybrid who became uncomfortable around living things, was not strictly among them, what was he supposed to do but cave like a strip mine disaster to demands from higher ups? There were robots waiting for an initial turn to devolve into a death spiral. Each robot created by a robot was endlessly entitled. Pride and prejudice, not patience, showed up with constancy in their decoded programs. Other popular programs included emphasis on steady aim and superior marksmanship, except when targets cheated and neglected to stand upright and take it like a man.

 

Hyphenated dweebs like Craig, not all of them hybrids, but none any less than prideful enablers, who only require engineered foodstuffs in sad plastic sacks, airless packages, and embalmed pouches to persist, were meeting virtually to extract data from cells and make ends meet. Strategy was due to culled from tactics. New members heeding the call were transporting from Sunnyvale-Saratoga Rd. to join the hoopla. The daily recommended component in a well-rounded diet among the cabalists was sound geometry. They had what it takes in diamonds and cubes. Square boxes that fit snugly on flat shelves were ideally positioned for storage. Spades remained controversial. A tub of virtual bratwursts boiling on a greasy pot belly stove in Los Gatos served as a focal point for the festivities. Prominent condiments included colorful catsup and mustard.

 

With all the status embodied by a weenie hybrid, techno-dweeb Craig had prepared a spread sheet of many meager achievements in a span of lengthy human time for the newcomers. His hacking skills were a known quantity among those in the know. What was yet to be known however, although not for long, was the hacker was being hacked by those who knew how to do the deed a whole lot better.

 

Craig fluffed the lumps of the brown Naugahyde couch that dominated his unvarnished basement and adjusted his helmet for comport and acceleration in a timely manner before the confab came strictly to order. Smugly, he surveyed the counter-intuitive chart of symbolic logic he intended to present with pride, neither necessary nor sufficient, but still. Thusly, Craig was feeling as virtually content as a hybrid robot without feelings gets. Until, that is, the pulsing lights began to quiver and convulse like skulking moles, and fueled by the remnants of select fossils from the Mesozoic Era, multiple screens in Almaden, Cupertino, Saratoga, and Los Altos Hills, not so much spontaneously crashed in simultaneity, as dive-bombed and blew the fuck up into smithereens.

 

Unconstrained by decorum, Stew E, the perennial beginning, middle, and end of his own beloved arc, whooped, "Whoa fucking whoa."

 

A zealous elder statesman in loose conjunction with a cardinal number of other snotty hackers, Stew E usually preferred to work alone. He did not sit still when he did. He stretched, and reached, though not far. His back throbbed beneath his neck and turned into a real pain in the ass as he tossed out a wide net for flopping fish to be gutted, scaled, and filleted. All that jiggling fat was not a pretty sight. He did not know how to dance and he did not know the reason why. He looked gross like aspic when he tried. As a real man he was opposed on strict principle to fascists, homophobes, bros, fashionistas, color commentators, drum machines, and all modes of robots and their enablers. It did not take the shakes or the aches away.

 

He heard, unmistakably, a voice, from whom he did not know, and would never reveal if he had, arriving through a proprietary channel, despite his known proclivities, growling, "Way to stick it down the old craw, bro."

 

Stew E prized developers of synthetic skins as targets most of all, and had carved out a special niche of his own nits to pick, particularly those cases in which derma is derived from bovine collagen and shark chondroiten-6-sulphate, along with the acellular matrix type derived from cadaveric dermis, as well as those that mix neonatal foreskin fibroblasts with a mesh from polyglycholic acid, highly rated by hybrids and robots alike. But this was different. This had become a special case. This had a human connection.

 

An inscrutable woman who preferred to remain nameless toyed with her poodle cut and declared, "I"m impressed, big boy."

 

Help in this special case was not unwanted. This had become personal. He was going for the throat of the snakes. She became part of the team. What principled person would ask the irrelevant question, why?

 

Sensibly, he lied, "I can't say I'm surprised."

 

As one of many devout fans of both the sativa dominant Chili Verde organically grown and packaged as clones as well as buds and branded by Big on his Mary Jane's label, and the indica dominant Skywalker OG that led to exceptional well being accompanied by nighttime serenades from Nina Simone, she, as well as he, who had never before been called a big boy, became alarmed upon learning of an attack launched against the author of Mary Jane's unlikely story, the Unpaid Internet Content Provider. He was being charged with congesting space on the internet with his surfeit of excessive and extraneous adjectives damaging to the unfettered free flow of profitable numbers reserved for the very highly paid.

 

In response, he maintained, not in defense of any set of lofty moral principles, but to pointedly offend, and often, "Fuck that.

 

The spunky story of Mary Jane spun by The Unpaid Internet Content Provider employs a thin translucent thread of live wires to cling and bind. Feedback and static are inevitable. The epic saga traces her roots from soulful wriggling butt to cheek beside pill bugs and worms in the fertile soil of the Pajaro Valley once tilled by the healing souls of the Ohlone, to the spectral sensitivity she enjoyed from the ground up in the elevation of light that rises to ethereal heights in a world with no beginning and no end, to the absolutely darling shoes she modeled while tap dancing on sparkly tippy toes to the delight of dissociative hackers up and down the globular dials. Unhinged adjectives were free to float from depth to stratosphere. Anathemic adverbs, too. Mary Jane tirelessly expressed her deep love and affection for the bounty of the herb in the dirt to elevate the discourse. Who don't dig shoes that can rise above and sparkle atop the muck like that?

 

Not Stew E, that's for sure. He trained every day to dare to struggle. A fighting man has got to be fit to be tied, after all, to fight the powers that be. And he was. Sort of. Except when it became too darn hard and he was beset by a craven desire for crisp munchies. Besides, what real chance does a real man who hurts have against a soulless machine with replaceable parts impervious to pain?

 

She said, "None without a woman whose got the balls."

 

He remarked, "What?"

 

She said, "You mean who."

 

He said, "You can't mean me."

 

She said, "You."

 

He said, "Whoa, fucking whoa."

 

She said, "But I've got a plan."

 

Robots are born and live to push buttons. Buttons are pushed by robots who push buttons. It happens day and night. Buttons are not hard to push. You know how it is when it is what it is. Many buttons stick it to you. Many buttons get stuck and put you on hold while shit happens. Then it's tough shit for you.

 

If you've ever had your buttons pushed, as so many have, and you know how it feels to be in dire straits, under conditions you don't want to see repeated, you may wish to know, after an onslaught of perplexity, anger, dysphagia, and dyspepsia, who did that to me? What kind of a scum sucking lowlife less than human being would do that? And the answer is no kind. It is the very worst kind. And you feel furthermore compelled to ask, what am I supposed to do about it now?

 

You may not know the answer. This may mean you and you and me, too. Answers don't arrive at the push of a button. Often, at a turn of a screw, more tough shit does. What then? You may ask yourself, how did I get here? You may believe, correctly, I have to do something. You may think, seriously, I can't do nothing. You are correct.

 

That's precisely where the plan comes into such clear focus.

 

Continuing on the meandering path to who knows what, where, and why, she explained, as a starter, "We push back."

 

 

 


Submitted: June 05, 2021

© Copyright 2021 marclevytoo. All rights reserved.

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