Voices in the Uncanny Valley

Marcello Sachs '10, English 65, The Cyborg Self, Brown University (Fall 2006)

"Uh the reason we're here NOW and, uh, HERE see, is because we intended our plans."

Stepping up a little closer to the group, you notice that they all have white or gray hair. It's hard to tell their age, but they're not young. And Sunglasses' sunglasses we're surprisingly rectangular.

Sunglasses: "What the hell do you mean by that?"

You : "I meaaan place fucking fivers on the red. . .is what I MEAN."

Guy next to Sunglasses: "I think he's right."

Sunglasses: "Shut-up. Alright, ‘fivers' on red. But the odds are four to one."

You : "So you say . . . Let it be done."

Sunglasses : "You're a strange one. Alright, cash?"

You : "One moment. I need to discuss something with my business associate."

You and TJ turn around, and whispering, you ask him if he has any cash.

TJ : (whispering pretty loudly) "NO I don't. I have like twenty bucks!! Besides, why should I be giving MY money to these guys?!"

You : (whispering) "Alright, alright TJ. Don't worry."

You both turn around to face Sunglasses again.

You : "We'll pay you at the site of the race. That is how we work."

Sunglasses : "Oh, ok. We can do that. Follow me, its in 15 minutes."

The silver –haired gang all crowded into one Cadillac. About two minutes later, their car started, and they drove onto through the parking lot and onto the road. You and T.J. follow suit in your own car.

TJ : "Ok, now we get the hell out of here."

You : "Do you really think its that easy?? Do you really think we can just do that now?!"

TJ : "Yeah, I mean, just get lost or something!"

You : "It's too late for that now. We're in too deep."

TJ : "But you just MET the guy, come on! This is probably illegal. I mean, it IS illegal. Gambling is illegal."

You : "Gambling? Ah, so that's what the whole ‘fivers on red' means. Ok . . . then."

TJ : "Ughhh"

At this point you have followed the Cadillac to the parking lot for the mall. Wow, things kind of worked out for your schedule, kind of. You pull up next to the car. Sunglasses has his window rolled down.

Sunglasses: "Blue. Blue is here."(he points diagonally to a point 50 feet away in the parking lot). The only problem is, Red is late."

You : "Oh Red, Red with the lateness."

Sunglasses just looks at you.

A few minutes pass, and then "Red" comes into view and spins into position.

You : "TJ, that driver has the same car as your grandma!"

TJ : In a look of both awe and incredulity, he replies "No. That is my grandma."

You have fivers on grandma.

And in the next moment, rubber is burning pavement as "Red" and "Blue" race to the end of the parking lot and out onto the main road. TJ is still dumbfounded and motionless. You're hoping that grandma wins; God knows you need her to.

Sunglasses : "My man at the finish line will give me a call in a second. You can see photographs if you don't believe."

You : "Yeah, uh, definitely need to see some photographic proof. I don't want no--"

You are cut off by police sirens. How did they get here so fast? You look for Sunglasses but he's already gone; him and his gang left his car empty where it was. You would try to drive away, but by the time you get the car in drive there are already police cars on both sides of you.

Police Officer : "It seems the two racers got away. But not you, boys.

TJ : "What did we do wrong?"

Police Officer : "Illegal Gambling. You're gonna tell us who ya work for, who pays your meals, buys ya clothes. Who sets this whole shenanigan up. Besides, we got witnesses on you guys."

Looking around, the only people you can see in the immediate area are a group of old waddling men who somewhat resemble the silver hair gang. Except that the gang of silver hair was much cooler looking and had better posture.

As the policemen handcuffed and pushes you and TJ into the back of one of the policecars, all you can think of is how much a cool story this will make to all your college friends. Hopefully TJ feels the same. Oh, and his grandma, too. You kind of hope she's doing well.

END

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Course Website cyborg Body & Self Literature

Last modified 31 December 2006