Wednesday, July 05, 2006

This Is How I Make My Money

“That’s not the Great Wall of China.”

“Well, I say it is.”

So many pushy tourists! Don’t get me wrong, it’s great for the Hacknorian economy. Monsoon season really hit them hard last year. The entire pickrat industry... gone. I feel deeply for the Hacknorians, as my own family business was destroyed by a single snowflake. But that’s the price you pay when you work on the sub-atomic level.

“The Great Wall of China is on Earth. This isn’t Earth.”

“Well, if you would sit down and listen for a change, you’d know that the Great Wall of China was moved to Hacknor a couple of years ago as a tax dodge. It cost a fortune to maintain, and the Mongolians were just using the tunnel anyway.”

“That... I- I guess that makes sense.”

“You should feel very ashamed of your lack of scruples.”

The obese tourist sat down, his lard-osity causing the cushioned underside of the seat to make a whooshing sound. If he ever found out that the “Great Wall” was actually the fourth municipal dump of district two, it could discredit the Happy Smile LOL Tour Company.

“Next up, we’re going to the Hacknor Centre for Standards and Bureaucracy.”

A resounding cheer rocked the hoverbus, nearly throwing me off my game.


“What are we going to do at the Centre?” asked someone in the crowd.

“You’re going to learn about the many... standards... on Hacknor.”

“What kind of standards?” asked a second tourist. This was starting to get out of hand.

“For one thing, you’ll learn about the most prolific criminal in Hacknor history, Anonymous Writ. Nobody knows who Anonymous Writ is, other than that he’s an android and has never been caught or even seen.”

“Then how do you know he’s an android?”

“You should ask that at the Centre.”


“Wake up and give me my money back, you con artist!”


A sharp kick to my ribs woke me up. “OW! That hurt! What?! What do you want?!”

The windows to my office were shut, but sunlight was filtering in through the blinds. Looking down at my desk, I could see the angry fists of a dissatisfied customer.

“Gimme my money back, ya deadbeat,” the burly tourist demanded in an obvious prelude to a crushing frontal assault. I was prepared for this eventuality.

“What do you mean? I gave you the grand tour! The grand tour plus plus!”

“You mean the tour where you claim a garbage dump is the great wall of China and leave me in the sun for six hours to pick through garbage with a bunch of cow-legged urbanites while you sneak off and run your little con game on another group of suckers?”

“They’re called ‘customers,’ but yes, that’s about it.”

“Your disregard for human dignity and intelligence disgusts me, but I’m impressed by your candor.”

“That counts as a positive review, and you can’t retract it now,” I told him as I pulled a clipboard out of thin air in a cartoony manner. A legal waiver was stationed on the front of the board. “Sign away the rights to your positive review now or risk legal action. And thank you for using Happy Smile LOL Tour Inc.”

“Look buddy, just give me my money back and I won’t sue you for my medical condition.”

“What ‘medical condition?’” I scoffed at him. Clearly this guy was trying to shake me down for some dessert money. Those tourists are all sugar fiends.

“I got heatstroke after your little ‘tour.’ I can’t go to work anymore, or even leave my home.”

“But you just... you’re here.

“This isn’t me. This is an android I can control with my mind as if it were my body.”

“Then... send this thing to work for you.”

The android body in front of me seized up for a few seconds.

“I didn’t need an android puppet until after I got heatstroke. I think it’s only fair that your company pay my medical bills.”

“I... I don’t think the tour company is legally, you know, responsible for any disabling... things that happen to you as a result of the tour. I mean, you agreed to accept all adverse-”

“I didn’t agree to anything. I want my money back, and I want you to take all these bills,” he shoved a stack of bills in my face.

“Sir, I already explained to you that we won’t cover your bills. This isn’t our prerogative, and it would bring us some bad publicity.”

“I don’t care! My life was ruined by your company. I can’t go to work. I can’t leave my house. I live in a bubble, and I can’t eat solid food.”

I stood up and began walking to the door. “I’m going to have to ask you to leave. I would prefer it if I didn’t have to get security in here.”

“This isn’t over! Don’t you try to ignore me! My lawyer says I’ve got a good case against Happy Smiley LOL, and if you don’t start helping me out here, I’m gonna take this to the Supreme Court of Hacknor if I have to.”

As the door slammed behind him, I raised the blinds to get a good look out over the barren landscape of the acre-wide parking lot. Far below, I saw the tourist get into his little yellow hover car and drive away. Such rudeness! This cannot be tolerated... let’s see...

Grabbing the phone off my desk, I squinted to make out the license plate numbers on his car. “Hello, officer? I’d like to register an anonymous tip... yes, I know the kind of car Anonymous Writ is driving. Yes. Would you like me to read off the plate number?”


Blogger Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

He has to live in a bubble? Cool! Just like Hamster Boy!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006 7:11:00 PM  
Blogger Gyrobo said...

Except he doesn't get a wheel and food pellets.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006 8:10:00 PM  
Blogger Professor Xavier said...

Clearly the man is pulling a scam on you. Oldest trick in the book. I've seen it on TV a million times. Just hire a private eyes to follow him around all day, videotaping him. Even if you don't catch him outside of the house, you'll probably still have something you can charge for on the internet.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006 8:24:00 PM  
Blogger A Army Of (Cl)One said...

Wow, I only got to run a tour. You got to run a whole tour company and a great scam. I bow to the master.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger Gyrobo said...

Technically, the tour company never existed. It was a puppet business I set up to collect the money and dispense the tourists.


Thursday, July 06, 2006 7:48:00 AM  
Blogger Randy said...

Yo dog, that was suh-weeeet! The way you made that tourist into a sucka was off the hook!

Congratulations, you're going to Hollywoooooooooooooood!
(As in Fredricks of Hollywood, they have a great selection of trusses for robot clowns!)

Thursday, July 06, 2006 9:07:00 AM  
Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said...

You sound like a great tour operator.

Thursday, July 06, 2006 2:13:00 PM  
Blogger Professor Xavier said...

Typical robot for you. Always looking to fleece the humans. You all saw the Matrix, right?

Thursday, July 06, 2006 6:37:00 PM  
Blogger Gyrobo said...

I am the Matrix. At least, that's the name I used when I whispered instructions into Nero's ear.

He was going to be great... but I liked his fiddlin'.

Friday, July 07, 2006 4:22:00 PM  

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