Colin awoke from his long sleep with a terrible pain in his back. There was a man in a white lab coat standing over his pod.
"Welcome to the year 2212!" the man announced.
Colin was confused. It had been 2012 when he'd gone to sleep. Why had nobody thought to wake him sooner? Then he remembered the incurable sickness that had forced him to enter suspended animation.
"My wife! My children! All dead..." he sighed.
"Actually," the doctor said "We cured all diseases and even death itself over 190 years ago."
"Then why have you only just unfrozen me?" Colin cried.
"Well, your wife remarried a year after you were frozen. She didn't want you getting in the way. She said that you could be very clingy."
"But why unfreeze me now?"
"The money's run out. Keeping you out of the picture has driven your family to the brink of bankruptcy. They want you back in the world earning a wage. You have to a great debt to repay."

Colin left the cryogenic facility and went straight to the Job Centre. He asked for a teaching position, for he was a teacher before the freeze, but it seemed that teachers no longer existed. The Job Centre robot explained that children were now taught in pill form. Nearly all jobs had been replaced by the pill form.
"The only tasks still carried out by humans are in Search Engine Optimisation." beeped the robot. It booked Colin into an interview the next day.

With no place to call home, Colin wandered the streets of 2212, terrified and confused at the things he saw. He saw hookers flashing steel vaginas offering him intercourse in exchange for clean blood. He saw a police officer use a laser to slice a two headed dog in half. He saw an episode from the 195th season of How I Met Your Mother - the mother had still yet to be revealed and Alyson Hannigan's character had been replaced by a sentient Coca Cola vending machine.

Colin arrived at the interview the next day with despair in his heart. He didn't know the first thing about Search Engine Optimisation. An attractive secretary with the face and voice of a man, but the breasts and grace of a woman, led Colin into the meeting room.

Three androgynous clones sat behind a fur covered desk, each of them stroking a chrome egg the size of a grapefruit.
"So what do you feel you could bring to the world of search engines?" the middle clone asked.
"Um... I'm a very hard worker." Colin murmered. "Very punctual too."
"Yes, yes, but what are your ideas? What are your thoughts? How can we improve what we have already mastered?" shouted the clone on the right.
Colin was silent for a moment. He thought about his wife and children. How was it possible for his wife to remarry when he'd never agreed to a divorce? Would his children remember who he was? How should he contact them? Maybe it was for the best if he did stay away.
"I don't know." Colin said. "Maybe you could put words like 'upskirt' and 'nipslip' somewhere on the pages."
"MY GOD! HE'S GOT IT!" the three clones shrieked in unison. "WE WILL PAY YOU $10,000,000,000,000,000 FOR THAT IDEA."
A moment later the secretary with the hips of a woman, but the feet of a man, entered the room with a cheque for $10,000,000,000,000,000.

Unmoved by his newfound fortune, Colin hailed a sewer cab and asked the lizard driver to take him to his old address. It was worth a shot.

He pulled up to the house as the sun was beginning to set. It looked exactly the same as it did 200 years ago, although it had only been two days in Colin's mind. He asked the driver to wait and rang the doorbell. A moment later his wife opened the door wearing an aluminium pant suit.
"Oh, it's you. What do you want?" she grunted.
"I've come to repay my debt. How much do I owe you?"
"I only have this cheque for $10,000,000,000,000,000." he mumbled.
She snapped off a fraction of the cheque, for that is how cheques work in the future. The total changed to $9999999950000000.
"Can I see the kids?" he asked shyly.
"I don't think that would be a good idea. Being confronted by a second father might confuse them. Well.... goodnight." she said, closing the door in his face.

Colin got back into the sewer cab. He didn't like the future. He missed the days when he could tell the difference between men and women, when his wife had been more loving and polite, when he never had to witness people stroking grapefruit sized chrome eggs.
"Take me to the Cryo Lab" he asked the lizard. The fare came to $76. Colin gave him a billion dollar tip.

"It's you again!" cried the man in the white lab coat.
"I want to go back in." Colin sighed.
"For how long?"
"Until this runs out." Colin said, handing the technician a cheque for $9999998949999924.

No comments:

Post a Comment