Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Two Penny Saga: So You Want to be the Village Idiot?

I pulled a random book off my shelf: Choke by Chuck Palahniuk
I used a random number generator to choose the sentence starting on the 24th line of the 29th page. 
I wrote for ten minutes and this is the story I got.

Then I say, “Then how about the village idiot?”

The placement program, which takes the form of a young woman’s face on my computer, asks, “Are you sure that would be the logical choice, Mark?”

I examine the list of possible career opportunities available in Colony Six.  More accurately, it’s a list of career opportunities available to me after the program scanned my blood sample.  I have no interest in being a sewage engineer or dishing out nutrition pills at the colony penitentiary.  There is only one choice that seems the least bit interesting.

“Village idiot!  That’s what I want to be.”

Colony Six’s placement program responds, “Village idiot, is a position that was mistakenly placed on this list.  It is a title left over from more savage times.”

“I thought that the mainframe didn’t make mistakes.”

We do not.  Error is impossible.”

“Then this can’t be a mistake.  Make me the village idiot!”

The computer sighed.  “Your professional materials are being prepared now.”

The slot to the left of me opened.  Inside, I found a baseball cap, a bottle on a paper bag and a T-Shirt with the message , “I am with stupid.”  There was an arrow pointing up at the wearer’s head.

The computer stated, “Baseball cap must be worn backwards at all times.”

I immediately began a five-week seminar entitled, “So You Want to be The Village Idiot?”  For twelve hours a day I took lessons in passing out in the gutter, getting beaten up by local ruffians and screaming at the top of my lungs at random pedestrians.  The system gave me top marks. 

The night before my first day on the job, I stayed up drinking something called “Al-co-hol”  and the next morning I was found lying flat on my backside outside a daycare screaming, “The world’s gone to ruins since the war!  In what kind of fucking society do we…. This fascist shit state run by robots telling us what to do with our lives and making us eat food pill.” 

One of the robot soldiers almost liquefied me but I flashed it my “Village Idiot” badge and it let me go on my way. 

Before long a crowd had gathered to watch me stumble along the sidewalks screaming, “And there’s advertising everywhere!  Art and literature is dead!  We just want to plug into monitors and forgot about reality!  And cops can shoot whoever they want and get away with it…. What kind of world is that?”

Mothers escorted their children away.  Men sneered and muttered.  Teenagers threw trash at me. 

I was a raving success. 

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