Leo X. Robertson

Overheard in the Coffeehouses of Sucky Parallel Universes

Do you think there’s any chance I don’t have to be your maid of honor? Turns out they found someone in need of a kidney near me, and I’m a match. I either have to go to the hospital by Friday and let them take a kidney, or make some equivalent monetary contribution. So if I didn’t have to pay for my dress for your wedding—o-of course we’re best friends! Don’t cry! Forget I said anything. Who needs two kidneys, really?

***

I just got the message! As of five minutes ago, I’m a crypto-billionaire. After lunch I’m gonna march right in there and tell my boss to—oh wait, new message. I’m broke! They’re gonna foreclose on my house by the end of the week if I can’t—oh! Wait! I’m rich again. Nope, broke. Hang on! Oh. This time? No. Yes!

***

So you’ll come to my housewarming?

Don’t talk so loudly about your new place! I assume it’s bigger than the last?

A little, but—you don’t think they’ll detect the spare square feet and assign someone to live with me?

They might, so let me quickly tell you how I got away with it for a while. I put vases all over the floor to trick the pressure sensors, then declared myself a hoarder. Better to lie to a therapist every month than have to take in a homeless person. But then my virtual assistant snitched on me, and now I live with Joe.

***

Since when was skin a human right anyway?

I know! I for one am proud that we’re constantly exposed to extreme levels of radiation.

Now we finally live in a nation in which we can see beyond our superficial differences.

For sure! I can’t tell who’s what.

Everyone just looks sticky.

***

Citizen! I see you’re not wearing your Church of the Latter-Day Action Heroes badge. You must be a tourist, otherwise you’d know that we control this district. May I see your papers? You’re from here but haven’t accepted our lord Schwarzenegger as your personal savior? Then we require an immediate donation!

***

Hi, I got the message this morning that I’m on trial. I was just wondering if you could tell me what for? Yes, I’ll hold… You’ll tell me if I pay you five hundred dollars?! I was hoping I’d have money left over to buy a celebrity avatar for court! How will I get the jury to like me now? You might as well just lock me up already!

***

After they installed the new defense systems at my complex, they changed the kaiju attack alert from burgundy all the way down to chartreuse.

You must be thrilled!

Not really. They’re jacking up the rent as a result, so now I can’t afford to live there anymore.

***

Did you read that new novel by—

Of course I didn’t.

I was just joking. No one did.

I take it The AI That Consumes All Literature told you it now offers its brain injection subscription plan to ninety nine percent of the population? That’s what I learned when they last injected me.

It’s awesome. Now we can get back to what book clubs were always about: getting tipsy and bitching about the people who didn’t show up.

***

You like my tunic? It’s genuine goatsilk.

That’s what my alimony is going towards? Supporting genetically engineered goats that produce spider silk?

There’s more than one way to produce goatsilk, you know.

Please tell me Mikey got his braces and Holly’s still attending violin lessons.

Of course! This was a gift from Bill.

There’s a “Bill”?

You’d like him. He’s an urban farmer. He has his very own herd of goatspiders.

***

So the last man on earth sits in his chair, right?

I think I know this one!

Then I broke down his door to tell him about my updated privacy policy.

I didn’t see that coming.

Well, neither did he.

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