Mechanically Separated Chicken.

Monday, December 30, 2002

French Toast.

Each bird looks like a trail of birds.

The robot wheeled itself in a circle and prodded my shoulder with its claw.

'Hey,' it said, 'I thought you were going to calibrate my sensors today.'

I rolled across the mattress and turned my face to the wall.

'Everything's been eight milliseconds out in my right sensor since Saturday. It's like non-stop dé jà vu. You said you'd fix it.'

'I will,' I said.

'I've just been on the balcony, watching the birds fly around. With the delay, it's like there's ten times as many. It's making me crazy.'

'I said I'll fix it. Come back later. You kept me up all night and I've hardly slept.'

'I've been up since you were fifteen. I haven't slept ever. Have you thought about that?'

'Are you really going to start this now?'

'You know, when you rub your eyes like that, it looks like you're going to pop them right out of the socket.'

'Just go away.'

'I made coffee.'


'I think I might be pregnant,' it said.

'Impossible,' I said.

'It's not.'

'It is. I disabled your egg circuit.'

'All I know is I'm up the duff. You must have made a mistake.'

'This is ridiculous.'

'Anyhow, you're awake now. I thought we could go play tennis.'


'Tennis. With the machines next door. I said we'd meet them at eight.'

'So go.'

'It's doubles.'

'For fuck's sake.'

'C'mon. You used to love tennis. And they're waiting for us.'

'How can you possibly play with a faulty sensor? You'll be swinging at balls that have already gone past you.'

'This sensor thing's nuts. Did I tell you about the birds? When I look at them flying around outside, I'm registering each bird in, like, twenty different locations simultaneously. Where it's just been as well as it where it is right now. So, even though there's only a dozen birds out there, it looks like the sky's full of them. Each bird looks like a trail of birds.'


'You can be a real prick, you know that?'

'Is there coffee?'

'Yes there's coffee. Also, French toast. Not that you deserve it.'

'Bring it in. I'll eat in bed. Get the tool set too - I'll do the sensor.'

'You're such a fucking gentleman.'

'Whatever. Bring coffee.'

[This story also appears in HEAT 7]