Joe Surkiewicz

No Goddam Androids

Stenciled in black letters on the frosted glass of my office door was “Adam Murky/Investigations.” 

Scrawled on a sheet of eight-and-a-half-by-eleven taped below was a footnote, “No Goddam Androids.”

Not that it made a difference.

The door opened and wowie zowie. It’s a dame, all curves and shoulder-length blond hair, who sauntered into my seedy office. I swept the nearly completed jigsaw puzzle to the floor and settled back.

She nestled her haunches in the chair across from my desk and dabbed her eyes with a tissue. “It’s my husband. I think he’s—”

“Are you human?”

“What does this look like, glycol?” she shot back, offering the damp wad.

“So you think he’s seeing another woman?”

She looked puzzled. “Not at all. He went out for a pack of cigarettes week before last and never came back.”

“Was there anything unusual in his manner?” I asked. “His mood or disposition—anything different?”

Forefinger to chin, she closed her eyes. ‘Yes, there was,” she said. “It just occurred to me. He doesn’t smoke.”

Now I had her. 

“Duh, cigarettes were banned by the Global Warming Reform Act enacted by President Thunberg more than a decade ago,” I snarled.

I stepped around the desk. “Okay, lady, you’re going to stand for an inspection. There’s no second way.”

I yanked her to her feet, ripped her bodice and grabbed her left boob. A twist to the right and it swung open like a bank safe.

Her blubbering stopped. “Press star nine to reset,” she recited in a monotone. “Press star nine to reset….”

I entered a different code, swung her boob closed and pushed her back in the chair.

Her eyes took a moment to refocus. Then she looked at me, bewildered. “Who the fuck are you?”

“Fix your bra, honey, you’re hanging out.”

She scanned my squalid office as she made the adjustments. “Is this where I pay my gas and electric?”

“If only, baby,” I said, sliding the credit card reader across the desk. “Twelve hundred smackeroos and we’ll get those triple pane windows on order. Only a down payment, of course.”

She inserted her card and tapped in a code. “When can I expect delivery?”

“It’s on the way,” I said, and stood up. “Just like you. Don’t let the door hit that shapely ass on the way out.”

She stood in the doorway, started to say something, thought better of it, and sauntered down the hall.

Fucking androids. It’s a helluva way to make a living, but someone has to do it.

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