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368 words by Stanley Lieber

Mother fitted Violet's mask into place, but that didn't cap off the jet of words that sprayed from her face.

I hate my sister.

Violet: "All of this leaf stuff is still undecided. It will be difficult to unseat the pressure screen in this household, specifically with Dad. I wouldn't wager my summer vacation on that contraption. I doubt if he will buy it from you."

Thomas: "The thing about this device neither of you seem to understand is that it is much more than a simple substitute for the pressure screen. Just look at it's features! The interface is remarkable, even to functional illiterates such as yourselves. See how it responds more readily to the touch of my finger? I'm certain he will be as excited about its potential as I am."

Mother: "Isn't this a bit like that old LCD screen you dug out of the back yard, Thomas? I don't understand what's so interesting about it. It doesn't even speak. Violet is probably right: your father is not going to compensate you for this find, I'm afraid..."

Thomas: "..."

Violet: "He's not going to allow it into the house anyway. Are you going to tell him where you found it, or should I? Ouch, Mom, the pin goes into my blouse, not into my neck!"

Thomas: "Sure, I'll tell him. Though, I'm not convinced his consent is even relevant at this point. How is he going to say no when the device could prove indispensable to his work? Classical pressure screens are not going to be interoperable with the new networks. Is Dad going to let us go broke so he can pretend the market still values his anachronistic skillset?"

Mother: "Thomas."

Thomas: "Blame Adam Smith. Just because I found it amongst the trash doesn't make it trash."

Violet: "I have to wonder if there is any significant purpose to all of these upgrades. In a few months time there will be another new device to replace this one, and then in the fall, a new device to replace that one. Haven't you discerned the pattern yet, Thomas?"

Thomas: "I haven't the slightest idea what you're on about."


To be continued...


image by amyearles and stanleylieber



1OCT1993 | INDEX