Monday, December 1, 2014

Mark Twain - Ode to Stephen Dowling Bots, Dec'd.

And did young Stephen sicken,
And did young Stephen die?
And did the sad hearts thicken,
And did the mourners cry?

No; such was not the fate of
Young Stephen Dowling Bots;
Though sad hearts round him thickened,
'Twas not from sickness' shots.

No whooping-cough did rack his frame,
Nor measles drear, with spots;
Not these impaired the sacred name
Of Stephen Dowling Bots.

Despised love struck not with woe
That head of curly knots,
Nor stomach troubles laid him low,
Young Stephen Dowling Bots.

O no. Then list with tearful eye,
Whilst I his fate do tell.
His soul did from this cold world fly,
By falling down a well.

They got him out and emptied him;
Alas it was too late;
His spirit was gone for to sport aloft
In the realms of the good and great.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Robert Sheckley - Journey Of Joenes

At first light, the frenzied movements of the crowds began again, and people pushed and shoved each other in their haste to get somewhere and do something. Joenes wanted to learn the reason for all of this, so he picked a man out of the crowd and stopped him.

"Sir," Joenes said, "could you spare a moment of your valuable time and tell a stranger something about the great and purposeful vitality I see all around me?"

The man said, "Whattsamatter, you some kind of nut?" And he hurried off.

But the next man Joenes stopped gave the question careful thought, and said, "You call it vitality, huh?"

"So it appears," Joenes said, glancing at the restless crowds surging around them. "By the way, my name is Joenes."

"Mine's Watts," the man said, "as in Watts the matter?" In answer to your question, I'll tell you that what you see is not vitality. It's panic."

"But what are they in a panic about?" Joenes asked.

"To put it in a nutshell," Watts said, "they're afraid if they stop hurrying and pushing, somebody will find out they're dead. It's a very serious matter being found dead, because then they can fire you from your job, foreclose all your bills, raise your apartment rental, and carry you squirming to your grave."

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Fredric Brown - Pi In The Sky

Then having denied himself the supreme pleasure long enough, he turned his eyes up to the silent sky, and there it was. The four hundred and sixty-eight brightest stars, spelling out: USE SNIVELY’S SOAP.
For just a second did his satisfaction last. Then his face began to turn an apoplectic purple. "My heavens!" said Mr. Sniveley. "It’s spelled wrong!" His face grew more purple still, and then, as a tree falls, he fell backward through the window.
An ambulance rushed the fallen magnate to the nearest hospital, but he was pronounced dead — of apoplexy — upon entrance.
But misspelled or not, the eternal stars held their positions as of that midnight. The aberrant motion had stopped, and again the stars were fixed. Fixed to spell — SNIVELY’S SOAP.

There is one fact remaining which is painful to consider, since it casts a deep reflection upon the basic intelligence of the human race. It is proof, though, that the president’s executive order was justified, despite scientific protest.
That fact is as humiliating as it is enlightening. During the two months and eight days during which the Sniveler machine was in operation, sales of Sniveley Soap increased nine-hundred-twenty per cent.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Maurice Moss - IT crowd

Women, eh?
What are they? Who knows?
Can't live with them, can't find them... sometimes.
What's going on in their little heads?
Don't ask me, I'm not a flippin' women psychiatrist.
But I have learned one or two things from conversations with my mother.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Robert Sheckley - Journey Of Joenes

Joenes found this reply scarcely credible. He said "Mr. Watts, these people do not look dead. And in actual fact, all exaggeration aside, they are NOT dead, are they?"

"I never put exaggeration aside," Watts told him. "But since you're a stranger I'll try to explain a little more. To begin with, death is merely a matter of definition. Once the definition was very simple: you were dead when you stopped moving for a long time. But now the scientists have examined this antiquated notion more carefully and have done considerable research on the entire subject. They have found that you can be dead in all important respects and still go on walking and talking."

Monday, January 21, 2013

Robert Sheckley - Specialist

Human - specialist - Pusher - he entered fully into the Crew, merged with them, threw mental arms around the shoulders of Thinker and Talker.
Suddenly, the Ship shot forward at eight times the speed of light. It continued to accelerate.

Robert Sheckley - Morning After

He was Walter Hill Piersen, thirty-two, unmarried, unemployed, unwanted. He had taken a job when he was eighteen, to please his parents. But he had given it up after a week, because it bored him and interfered with his sleep. He had considered marriage once, but the responsibilities of a wife and family appalled him. He was almost thirty-three, thin, flabby-muscled, and pallid. He had never done anything of the slightest importance to himself or to anyone else, and he never would.