Sunday, September 29, 2013

Weekly Prompt Story: Focus

By Christopher Munroe

I was never focused. Never sat at the front of the class, hanging on every word, furiously scribbling notes, lost in concentration.

In fact, concentration in general was tough for me. I suppose today I’d be diagnosed and medicated, but at the time there was no diagnosis to make.

It wasn’t considered a disease yet.

I was just an especially energetic kid, brimming with ideas that flowed too fast to keep track of, too fascinated by the world to slow down for even a moment.

Deep down I’m still that person, though I’m older now.

And it’s served me well…

Thursday, September 26, 2013

...a Thought Experiment.

...if the isotope decays, the cat dies, if not it lives, and there’s no way to be certain which until the box is opened and the cat observed.

If it’s dead, good.

If not, the box is rigged with explosives, there are snipers on the nearby rooftop and, worst case, I am myself heavily armed.

There’s a 50/50 chance the isotope decays, but I promise you, once observed, the cat’s not making it out alive.

Because there are two lessons to be learned today.

One: something about quantum mechanics.

The other: There’s more than one way to kill Schrodinger’s Cat.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Weekly Prompt Story: Nanobots

My Robots
By Christopher Munroe

I’ve built a robot, with a smaller robot inside.

And a smaller robot in there.

And another in there.

It’s smaller robots all the way down, basically. Like Russian nesting dolls. It took a lot of design work, but I think it was worthwhile.

Take them apart if you’d like, somebody eventually will, the temptation to see how far down they go is just too great!

And, when the last robot’s opened, nanobots will swarm forth, eradicating all biological life from this world, grey-goo style.

Wait, what? What do you mean, why?

Some things you do just because you can…

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The World is as Strange as You Make it (Medals)

Bizarre though it is to admit, my life did change with the realization that I could just buy medals at Value Village.

I mean, it wasn’t a “things will never be the same” moment, but still, I lived very differently once I realized that resource was available to me.

It shouldn’t have been a surprise to learn; I’d already known that kids win medals after all. Soccer medals, hockey medals, participation medals for school events and the like. And then they grow up, and find they have no interest in such nick-knacks as they age into adulthood and adjust their priorities and corresponding definitions of success.

Silver and bronze medals, mostly, first prizes people do tend to keep, but still, medals. Actual, you-won-a-prize medals, on ribbons to wear around your neck, Olympic style. For less than a buck apiece.

Don’t bother looking for them there now, though, they’re long gone. I bought them all, looted every Value Village in Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg over the course of one long tour. By the end I had more than a hundred total, in a box back at home.

And yes, it changed my life.

In the two years that followed the initial revelation, I used medals for everything. Where you might sarcastically say “what do you want, a friggin’ medal?” I’d actually have one on hand, and when somebody legitimately impressed me I’d respond… the same way, actually, but with a better attitude. I admit, this caused no small amount of confusion as to the spirit behind a particular medal, but I couldn’t resist giving them out, I loved the process too much to stop myself. It was too sturdy a bit not to use, and one that consistently took people by surprised. A little pomp, a little circumstance, they were the perfect props for any occasion. For two solid years it was my favorite running gag.

Good times…

But all good times must end, and eventually my supply did run out. And, with sadness that it was ending but gladness that it had happened, I had to retire the joke once and for all. I’d looted every Value Village, run the bit into the ground, and there was no need to try to drag it out. I presented the last medal to myself; for successful execution of the concept, put it in a drawer, and went on with my life, medal free.

And, while sometimes I miss having two or three medals in my pocket should the need for them arise, I know that even without them there are plenty of ways to make the world weirder, wilder and more wonderful, if only you know where to look for them.

For example, have you ever stopped to really consider in depth the implications of the simple fact that bakeries are willing to write literally anything you ask them to on top of your cake?

Because I have. And I admit, my cake budget has gone through the roof…

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Weekly Prompt Story: Silliness

By Christopher Munroe

“Enough of this silliness!!!” She shouted, tears of rage streaming down her face, and on some level I knew that she was right.

The time for silliness, truly, was at an end.

I put down the beanbags I’d been juggling, stepped down from my unicycle, removed my wig and bright red nose, and stepped to the podium…

“My father,” I told the assembled crowd, “died too soon, and his loss affected everyone in this room. But, and I think all who truly knew him would agree, I believe if he were with us now, he would have enjoyed this bit…”

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Career as a Travel Agent Was Not a Long One

The Robocop Movies weren’t actually filmed in Detroit, which makes Robocop tourism there difficult.

“Difficult,” however, isn’t “impossible.”

After all, not one moment of Brokeback Mountain was filmed in Wyoming, but they used it for tourism. Tourism’s a good way to help a flagging economy. And, from what I gather, Detroit’s economy could use some help.

So I organized the tour, film props, appropriately dystopic set-pieces, I even managed to get Peter Weller and Kurtwood Smith to record video greetings. It seemed I’d thought of everything.

Well, almost everything.

People who live in Detroit, it turns out, fucking hate Robocop…

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Weekly Prompt Story: Underwear

By Christopher Munroe

Buy the fanciest underwear you like, if it makes you feel beautiful I entirely endorse it.

I will, however, say for the record: Nothing looks better than naked.

Assuming that you look good naked.

Which you probably do! In my experience, most people look 30% better naked then they think, so even if you’re worried about your appearance in the boudoir, you likely needn’t be.

So cast off your clothes, free yourself! Throw them on the fire, you’ll never need them again, and live a life natural and free!


No, I shan’t be joining you. My body’s funny looking…

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My Apprentice

I’ve taken an apprentice.

He’ll be helping out around the place. Tidying, picking up dry cleaning, cooking meals, washing dishes, and so forth.

If I need to go out, he’ll chauffeur me and wait while I run whatever errand I need or, more likely, he’ll run the errand for me.

I’ll be getting him some kind of day job, and cashing his paychecks.

I haven’t decided yet if I want one of his kidneys or not.

This is valuable experience for him.

And, in addition, I’ll be teaching him everything I know about abusing the apprenticeship system for personal gain…

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Weekly Prompt Story: Accident

The Accident
By Christopher Munroe

They were going to change mankind forever.

To reanimate dead cells, such that even after the moment of death a cure might yet be found for a given affliction? Nothing would be the same!

Yet, that fateful night, an accident occurred.

A barrier broke, safety precautions, though taken, proved insufficient, and real life got in the way.

Doesn’t it always?

And when it did, a world ended, and a new one began. One nobody could ever have foreseen…

…sorry, the experiment went fine. I should have said that earlier.

However, at the party afterward, the lead scientist’s girlfriend became pregnant…