“Bull-Shitsky, my friend!”
“Oh, so what, in your masterful opinion, in your vast wealth of knowledge, do you consider the pinnacle of vascular technology?” I inquire. Mostly lightheartedly, only slightly annoyed at this point.
“Obviously, it is the Husqvarna/Electrolux “Journeyman” model, version 2.3 up until... let's see,” Sanderson pauses, pondering on how to finish his answer, “2.7c, at the latest. After that they started throwing more safeties and governors on them. I'm lucky I got my 2.6 when I did! I hear they cost a pretty penny these days.” Jim Sanderson briefly, albeit smugly surveys the table before finishing his Dewer's. I can already see Arnold readying his rebuttal to this claim.
Three of us are here at the bar already, a new place called Zeitgeist 66 which serves designer tapas until 11, and top shelf booze, er, I mean “spirits” all night. Jim Sanderson, whose million dollar smile got him a cushy job in Corporate Networking (A.K.A. having dinner with, and sucking up to rich goons) bought the first round two hours ago, since then Arnold Roache and myself, both in R&D, have had to fend for ourselves while we wait for Evan McCue who holds the unfortunate title of Executive Assistant.
“A 2.6?” Begins Arnie, “James, my friend, you are playing a dangerous game with that ancient technology! It's akin to driving a 1997 Ford Taurus, it's liable to break down at a moment's notice.”
“He's got a point,” I add.
Sanderson already has his smartphone out, “Comparing the Journeyman model to a skanky old Taurus isn't even remotely...” he trails off, momentarily hypnotized by something on the phone's 5.2 inch LCD screen. “Age isn't even an issue with this stuff. If the quality is there, it never goes out of style. That's why people still gather around to ogle a... a '66 Mustang. Some things do get better with age,” He punctuates this with another sip of his scotch, and although it's a theatrical gesture, we get his point.
“Alright, alright, I read up on it, and it is a damn good model. Though not worth the price for office grunts like us though.” I say, motioning to Arnold and myself. “I've been quite pleased with my LG Heart and Soul for well over a year now. No murmurs, it auto compensates when I'm doing a cardio workout, and it regulates my BP when I'm about to have a panic attack,” I pause, but not long enough to give the guys a chance to rag me about my performance anxiety, “plus the pseudo-pulse is a nice touch.”
Sanderson scoffs, “Pseudo pulse, what a useless feature! I don't get that about you Adams. It's like you're ashamed that you've got a hunk of plastic and carbon in your chest, or something.”
“It's not that at all,” I chuckle “who fuckin' doesn't these days?” I can see Jim Sanderson about to launch into a tirade on the lower middle class in response to my purely rhetorical question. I raise my voice in case he is going to interrupt, “The point is, that when I lie down to go to sleep, I want to hear that little buh-bump in my ears, even if it's just a simulation. I know that the bloodflow is at a constant psi, I just I think it would freak me out to not hear my pulse anymore. I'd feel like a corpse.”
Arnie interjects, “I thought that at first. Now I don't know how I ever grew up with an organic. I think I'd lose my fucking mind if I had to go back to that constant droning drumbeat all... day... long...”
“Different strokes...” I concede, hoping to move to another topic. “Hey Arn, what did you just get; upgrade? Refit? I know you told me but...” I clink the ice in my glass as if the tinkling sound suffices in lieu of a complete sentence.
“Yeah, yeah, It was an upgrade. I've got the Tyco Opteo-electonics Sharpshooter now!” Sanderson looks uncharacteristically impressed. “I saved up and got both eyes done at once, it only took 45 minutes for the procedure.”
“Well, don't keep us in suspense, Roache, what kind of specs you go, how are you liking it?” Says Jim.
“Well,” Arnold Roache finishes his ginseng infused Grey Goose, neat, and inhales deeply before continuing. “let's see. I've got full time 20/20, obviously, plus up to 6x independent digital zoom at 1080p, auto dilation with optional voice override, snapshot, video, Visene auto-lubrication, Sandstorm scratch resistance, night vision, twilight vision, sepia, flash correction, UV shield, instant or full time--”
“Jesus!” I interrupt, “How in god's name can you remember all that?”
He grins more widely than I would have thought possible, “I can't,” Sanderson looks over knowingly. I haven't caught on yet. “totally automated, full time, 6G wireless link to my phone. I don't need to remember the specs on this rig, I've just been reading them off my retinal display.... Matter of fact, I guess I don't need to remember much of anything anymore, I can just call up whatever I need at will!” He giggles with more zeal than he probably intended to.
“Jesus.” I mutter.
“Holy shit Arnie,” Sanderson cracks a proud smile, “No wonder you've been so quiet all night,” He elbows my shoulder and I manage to only spill 7 dollars worth of Chivas Regal that had been aging since I was about 5 years old. Damn “Here I am thinking the guy's in some kind of deep thought,” He's about to lose it, “Christ, Adams! Roache has probably been watching porn for the past hour!” Jim has made himself crack up again.
After Mr. Sanderson has sufficiently calmed down, he flags the waitress down to bring us more drinks. We're apparently switching to beer now. Some microbrewed IPA which is, I'm told, “dry, yet hoppy” and I'm assured that despite coming from a brewery in Trenton New Jersey, it contains neither raccoon urine, nor crushed Percocet. It costs eleven dollars a bottle.
“So,” I begin, “While we're on the topic, What are you up to now Jim? 20, 23 percent?” Jim Sanderson looks incredulous for a moment.
“Maybe last year! As of last week I'm up to at least 30. Never felt better either!” He doesn't appear to be lying.
Arnie seems engrossed in his own world of retinal display. God knows what he's reading, or watching. I press the issue. “Whoa, so what was last week?”
“Finished up my last appointment with Dr. Rescoe from Kraft/GE. Got a state of the art digestion package.”
I whistle in genuine amazement, “Kraft/GE, that must have set you back a few bucks.”
“You're damn right it did!” He states this proudly. “I mean, I got a great insider deal, but still...” He trails off, taking a swig from the deep ochre beer bottle. “Gastronomix Svelte series CC-5, executive edition,” I wonder internally what exactly makes it 'Executive' but keep my mouth shut. “Nitrile stomach pouch expandable to 600 millilitres to keep me from putting on any extra weight, augmented pH filters to help digestion without acid reflux, you know I had problems with that, programmable metabolic rate, low-friction-high-expansion lower intestine, spleen, gallbladder, pancreas, colon, the whole bit.” He sips his drink, “Something called a duodenum too.”
“You've past the point of no return, my friend.”
“Fuckin' A,” He downs the rest of his beer. This raises a curiosity for me.
“So how does that,” I motion to his empty beer bottle, and rocks glass, ”affect it? Do you need to be careful about the booze or, um 'pharmaceuticals' you take in?”
“No way man, I opted out of the filtration system. Still got my old liver for now.”
“Yeah well, right now Kraft/GE is toeing the line pretty cautiously. Federal regulations still require a very conservative filtration to metabolism rate. I'd have to chug a fifth of J&B just to get a buzz.”
“Oh, come on.”
“I'm holding out until the regulations go to the state level. With that flower-power governor in office within a few month I'll be able to buy a model that'll let me get lit up for cheap. Probably without a hangover even.”
“God Bless America,” I chuckle.
I spot Evan McCue across the bar, he's apparently finally earned a few hours off from babysitting the assistant CFO at F.T. Waterhead. He pulls up a chair and sits with the three of us, Armani two piece wrinkled, still yammering on his phone with an office secretary. Eventually he slams his phone face down onto the hickory cocktail table, and heaves a sigh. Then without a word, reaches over, grabs my half full bottle and drains it in two gulps.
“Thanks Adams, I needed that,” He says.
“Think... think nothing of it.”
“Where the hell have you been? I was about to call an Amber Alert!” Jim bellows at Evan McCue, teasing him about his age as usual. Evan ignores Jim's barbs as usual.
“What's with him?” asks McCue, motioning toward the distant and glassy eyed Roache across the table.
“He's just watching porn,” I reply. Jim laughs, sputters, and spits out some of the fresh beer he's sipping. I get the impression me may be postponing tomorrow morning's clientele brunch. McCue looks at me, puzzled for a moment, “New peepers,” I add. This seems to clear things up.
“Oh shit! That reminds me, you guys gotta check this out!” Evan is shuffling through photos on his phone. “Me and Lacey just got the procedure, take a look,” He sets his phone face up on the table, displaying a picture of... something.
It looks to be some sort of sepia toned low resolution picture of the Mona Lisa. I'm unable to tell where this is all going, and Sanderson looks as lost as I am.
“Okay, I'll bite. What the hell am I looking at?” I finally ask.
Evan replies after curiously looking at the phone screen himself, seemingly baffled that we can't discern what this is a photo of. “That's Lacey's cooter. Check it out, it's the Moaning Lisa!” The mention of the word “cooter” seems to have brought Arnie Roache back to the conversation.
“Wait, what?” Arnie asks.
“How-- wha-- why?” I can't figure out what question to ask first. They all come out in a multi-syllable inquisition-casserole. Jim is still staring at the phone, screwing up his eyes.
Evan finally grins and concedes, “Sub-dermal follicle dot-matrix bio mesh... from 3m.”
“You're gonna have to do better than that McCue,” Jim deadpans.
“Okay, so you know about the sub-dermal stuff right? Regrow hair, fix a bald spot, change the color, Instache?” We all nod slowly, attention undivided. “Well this is the same technology, except it's for the designer, body-mod market. You get the implant; scalp, chest, back, armpits, or,” dramatic pause “pubes.”
“So.... what?” Jim asks, “It's like, no more manscaping or some shit?”
“It's better than that!” Evan McCue's teeth are stark white against his rosy face “Okay, so you browse through the gallery, iTunes, amazon, Google play, wherever, you find a photo you like, download it for $1.99, sync it wirelessly to the mesh, and in a day of two, you've got that photo, on your body, your own hair, perfectly toned, and all within one one-thousandth of an inch in length.”
“So that picture...” I start, only half-believing the words coming out of my mouth,”that was a picture of the Mona Lisa, grown in pubes, on your girlfriend's crotch?”
“Fiancé,” he corrects me.
“Jesus Christ,” Arnie chuckles breathlessly, “They think of everything!” Jim has thin tears running down his cheeks, trying to stifle his laughter as much as possible.
“...Why?” I've finally settles on this line of questioning. Evan grabs a random drink off the tray a waitress is carrying, replacing it with a 20. He sips it, grimaces, finishes it and pops the garnish into his mouth. I can't tell if it was a grape or a black olive.
“Fuckin' why not?” He says spitting out either a seed, or a pimento. “It's like, a little surprise in the bedroom, I don't know.”
“I'm just gonna ignore the fact that you showed us a picture of Lacey's pubes.” Arnie starts, “And wholeheartedly agree, that is awesome. Where did you get it done?”
“Addiction on St. Mark's in the village”
“I'm checking out their work right now, very cool. Good reviews”
Jim finally regains his composure. “So like, you can grow any picture?”
“Well, of course there are copyright issues, but they've got thousands of designs for sale. Custom lettering also. Soon they'll probably let you submit your own images, too”
“I would so get Manson's mugshot.” Jim avers.
“Bob Ross original for me,” I chime in.
“Ha!” Jim snorts, “A new meaning to 'happy little bush!'”
“So,” I begin, already regretting the question to Evan that will follow, “what have you currently, er, got going down there?”
“Well, I tested it with just some text, Lacey's name, I-- shut up Roache, but I was thinking maybe something classy. This morning I went through the iTunes gallery and downloaded Guernica.” I gape in disbelief. “What...” McCue glances at his phone, then frowns, “too busy?”
Jim orders another beer through fits of giggles.
I'm back at my apartment near Washington Square Park, feeling pleasantly warm, and numb to the cares of yesterday or tomorrow. Before I brush my teeth I pop a few aspirin and drink two full glasses of water, just in case a hangover is planning on visiting in the morning. My Serta Ergo-Sleeper has already gathered the temperature and relative humidity in the room, and calculated the optimum sleeping conditions, heat/coolness, pillow firmness, etc.
I recline into a 63 degree angle, and my in-line vita-supplementary from Toshiba/Centrum begins to synthesize 2 milligrams of melatonin into my bloodstream. Enough for a restful night, and active morning. In 5 and a half hours my retinal DayTripper by Apple will begin filtering pleasant, pastel hued light in 7 lumen increments to ensure a gradual arousal to alertness in conjunction with my GE Morning Glory sinus vaporizer which will be slowly releasing gaseous ammonium-carbonate through my nasal passages.
As I drift off to a dreamless sleep, I concentrate on the rhythmic thumping of my LG Heart and Soul's Pseudo-Pulse. I don't care what Jim says, I like it. It relaxes me, and keeps me grounded. It reminds me that I'm a Human. It reminds me that I'm not some kind of machine.
Written by: Urkelbot
Any feedback on this is appreciated. I set out to write this a little while ago, but was reluctant to post it as I like the concept, but I'm not sure how I feel about the execution. It was kind of strange writing characters with whom I didn't quite relate. That said, if you've gotten this far, Thank you!