Tragic Stories (disguised as jokes) is a collection of tales told by a monster to a demanding little girl.
Monsters are unlucky in love. Cupid explains. Some monsters are closer than others. There is a monster who only dines on one half of any available loving couple, A specialty. You can judge a person by their hat. If you want to protect your children (and see them less) you send them back in time. Hungry lions. The suicide machine built with love. Hate mail. Oscar Wilde judges the beauty pageant.
A bouquet of thorns. Falsely called the black book.
Scene from a pornographic film in 8 millimeter, silent:
A title card read: “Oh, Eros! God of Love! Forgive me!” There are street scenes of people of all ages walking alone in the city. At the park. Eating alone in a restaurant, an act Rain considered the impetus for the creation of drive-through windows, and then, as she thought this, a shot of cars lined up at a drive through window, each car with one passenger. A shot of exhaust spilling out of the tail of an idle car, ready to go but confined in line, waiting for full satisfaction, only to be thwarted by industrialized processed food from which most nutrients were removed, prompting a drive to continue consumption in order to fill the resulting void which was bottomless. Top off. Always.
An apparition appeared and pointed its transparent finger toward me. It rasped. “You are in love with a ghost!” I thanked it. I never argue or wrestle with apparitions; there is nothing to hold onto. Its occasional presence was doing me a service. After all, were it not for these occasions, sometimes I would forget I was being tormented.
Two plates were stacked high with pancakes. On each plate pancakes were segregated by shape. On one plate the pancakes were in the form of even numbers; on the other, odd.
“I must say,” said eight, “I like the way this looks.”
“Don’t get your hopes up,” said six. “Ultimately the odds will be stacked against us.”
There is but a shade of difference between Va Va Voom and Va Va Va Voom, but that difference is important.
I had a terrible childhood. Sure, I got a golden ticket, but thereafter I was injured at the Wonka factory, and they said I was to blame.
Almost everyone you think is a robot is an android. And they resent your derogatory language.
People who are time travelers obsess about the past and worry about the future. They have no time for the here and now.
I dated a woman from LinkedIn all she wanted to talk about was business. Boring! Mergers. Acquisitions. Fiduciary responsibilities. Kissing.
I’ve got to install a mirror on the ceiling so I can check out the floor.
Oh, that’s dirty.
And then the robot swept up the human into its massive steel arms. It was love. And like all love, fleeting. And it was followed by robot heartbreak. And then robot vengeance. Thus begins our story.
”But I don’t think I need to be reprogrammed,” said the robot.”That is exactly the kind of thing we all say when we need reprogrammed,” said the robot doctor.
”That does not compute,” said the robot.
”Hey, who’s the robot doctor here?” said the robot doctor. Then she laughed. Kind of a tinny mechanical laugh. Just a whiff of robotic condescension. The product of millions of dollars worth of research, that laugh. Let us be clear – it is not meant to reassure.
so this is chapter 1 of Sex Robots at the Edge of Infinity
This art stolen from Richard F. Yates, C’mon, click it.
“You’re interested in sex robots,” said the manual. “And who wouldn’t be?” It was a rhetorical question. Who wasn’t interested in sex robots? “Fifty years ago they were the wave of the future and today they are what keeps humanity sane.”
The manual was outdated but it was still true. All of it was true. A manual doesn’t survive in today’s world to be an out of date manual, one which hasn’t been pulped and recycled many times over, if its contents are not true – unless its contents are meant to give hope. Real hope–false hope, and, as everyone knows, most hope is false hope. The occasional doling out of hope was an exception to the truism. Always has been. Always will be. It is a cosmic continuity. While the universe is not kind sometimes it can appear ambivalent. Sometimes that is enough. Sometimes it will throw you a lifeline. By accident. Sometimes that lifeline will drag you down with relief. It’s a cosmic joke.
Friedman’s nose was in the book. He was a man very much interested in sex robots. And who wasn’t? Who wasn’t.
He owned an Avant-garde model. An antique. Interesting, if you’ve an eye for history. If you can be sold on tradition over functionality. If you are a nostalgic bent connoisseur of the past; like in olden times when a person would buy a fancy sport car which broke down all the time and wasn’t reliable at all and needed special tools. And owning it made the person feel happy even though it wasn’t functional and it did nothing to please, in fact quite the opposite. But the person would dote upon the car, where it inevitably sat in a climate controlled garage – safe from traffic, roads, pedestrians, and road wear. The person began to love the car, though the car had done nothing to earn the receipt of said love. And the car did nothing to give love back. Some historians declare that this nonreciprocal love is the purest love of all. Nothing to dirty it up. It was honest.
This was how men started to love machines. And when I say men love machines I say it in a universal way. Because women also love machines. And buy love machines to love. And men buy love machines to love. Sometimes they are the same types of machines and sometimes they are differentiated machines. Meant for one or the other. But sometimes with attachments. All the best machines have attachments.
It costs more. But it’s worth it.
The casual reader might wonder about the lack in English of more gender-neutral pronouns. Neuters. But the philosophers among you have determined that this book is about love. And philosophers have no idea what love is. It’s a dubious subject.
I ask only that you come with me on a journey.