Suggested Audio Candy:
 AC/DC “Who Made Who”
 AC/DC “Hell’s Bells”
I always suspected the rise of the machines would one day herald the end for humanity as we know it. Back when I was a boy it was all so much easier; if you were particularly lucky then you would have a pocketful of jacks and a hula hoop to keep yourself amused with. Scratch and sniff trading cards represented the height of technology back then and Speak & Sell was the closest anyone would get to social networking. I spent hours upon hours writing my name via Etch-a-Sketch and cramming as much fuzzy felt as possible in my mouth because of its comforting texture. Never, in my wildest imaginings, did I expect to be watching Vines and saving the galaxy from impending destruction whilst riding shotgun in a Warthog. Somewhere along the line, technology got the better of us and it turns out there’s nothing artificial about intelligence. It were as though suddenly gadgets would learn through repetition; razors would take a short time sussing out the layout of your face before cutting with precision and toasters would wait until you had left earshot before ejecting bread. I don’t know about you but I like my butter melted in before my slice ends up resembling an NES cartridge.
So anyway, today technology had the last laugh. It’s unclear what triggered every possible piece of machinery this side of Vegas to develop a mind of its own but that is precisely what occurred. RC Cars became overcome with road rage and shot off randomly to claim themselves some ankles; lawnmowers decided they had had enough of mowing lawns and went AWOL for their own sick amusement, and vending machines began firing cans of soda pop out at far too fast a rate to be considered amusing. Even the nearby ATM machine had the audacity to call me an asshole.” It’s bad enough I have to see that shit on my printed balance but now I’ve got to hear it too? Come on! Within a matter of hours, the entire town had become overrun with all manner of ferocious gadgetry and there was worse still to come as some of it had horsepower! That’s correct, everything from murderous golf caddy carts to forty tonne death hurlers; the streets were far less than secure and the only thing left to do was undertake the old self-initiated curfew. We ran for our lives, in every direction feasible. Some burrowed under fences, others climbed pylons to escape the jaws of death whereas I headed straight for the nearest roadside truck stop.
It made perfect sense at the time; at least here I could get my eggs over easy and knock back a few shots of snakebite while chaos ensued. I would simply wait until the cataclysm had blown over then procreate with the waitress Muffy and scratch my bag balls until I had reached an age where they had sunken to my knees. I had it all figured out in advance and wasn’t about to be dictated to by a bunch of alloy; without mankind to invest they would soon join the dodo on extinction benefits anyhow. We would always be the superior species and this would end up little more than an ill-fated menstrual paddy. It saddened me to discard my classic Nintendo Gameboy. Seven weeks it took me to save up for the hottest piece of gear on the market and, no sooner had I dropped my first Tetris slab incorrectly, than I had been required to throw it in the garbage. If the tiny mind of a mower can shit in your porridge then imagine your worst enemy bearing the cerebral know-how of Alexey Pajitnov. Blocks falling from the skies is one thing, but that infernal soundbite I could do without playing on incessant loop inside my cranium.
They say that you can’t choose your family but I disagree; you simply do it a sperm. If the uterus you are plummeting toward looks a little disheveled then you simply swim on by and disintegrate as you hit the suitor’s pelvis. One thing you don’t always have control over is your present company. Muffy was fine, I knew she was on the tail end of her split-shift as I had stalked her healthily from a safe vantage for weeks now. God knows how much I spent on Belgian Waffles in that time; potentially enough to incarcerate my colon for a ten-year stretch. However, the rest of the clientele left much to be desired. There was Pendergast, a door-to-door salesman with eyebrows that meet in the middle; he was the kind of unscrupulous infidel who would push you in front of a passing garbage truck just to get to the nickel first. Tall Betty and Stumpy Clyde were an odd couple and I would never have put them together. She was nearly 6″3 and he barely scratched 4″6 making a couple who resembled a Scout Walker dating an Ewok. Betty called the shots, how could she not? Hapless Clyde took twelve steps to her one and had only ever kissed her kneecaps without the aid of a stepladder. Yet they were head over heels for one another, proving that true love will find a way no matter how many obstacles stand in its path. I despised both of them as they invariably took over an hour to place an order preventing Muffy from waiting my table.
Milton was my least favorite patron of all. The reason for this was simple; he was thirteen years old. Need I say more? When trapped in a confined space with a group of relative strangers the last thing you need is some pimply little pipsqueak running his thumbnail along his nose in an attempt to share his blackheads with the world. I don’t blame him so much for that, after all, if memory serves I found it rather a delightful pastime myself, thirty years ago!!! But I’ve grown up now so why shouldn’t he? No, the thing which truly irked my chain was his incessant whining. Fair enough he had just witnessed his mother being electrocuted by her own vibrator but what the hell was he doing present anyhoots? There’s a good reason why parents tell their ankle-biters to be seen but not heard so copping an eyeful from a crack in the bedroom door was simply unacceptable. He deserved to be orphaned for that alone. I apologize if I’m a tad grouchy; it’s not that I wish to be mean but I really objected to the company I was presently keeping. The only thing to do was keep my head down, cock a deaf ‘un to Milton’s monotone moans and attempt not to guffaw too excitedly as Betty’s fart cloud resided upon Clyde’s fedora. It would all be over soon.
The first few hours were relatively painless. There were plenty of vehicles buzzing about the parking lot, honking their horns and revving their intent but none of them burly enough to break through our fortifications. Muffy made us all French toast and OJ and it was similar to thanksgiving in The Munster household; mildly terrifying but otherwise rather pleasant. I was desperate to get some alone time with my waitress but she was busy playing hostess so I thought it better to wait until her spirits had dropped sufficiently for the sympathy vote to kick in. You see, a girl like Muffy and a guy like me, it ordinarily ain’t gonna happen. She had her whole life in front of her and, as for me, well there was always kidney stones. Nevertheless it is amazing what transpires when forced into a situation out of your control; suddenly my only competition came in the form of Pendergast and Stumpy Clyde, so I figured I was at least in with a shot. If we were trapped here for six years or so then maybe Milton would blossom into a young buck and become fair game but I planned to be out of here with sunrise, preferably with Muffy draped across me but if not then at least a locket of her hair to sniff.
Just when things were beginning to look up a new player entered the arena. Death Metal, named such because the words Death Metal were emblazoned across its trailer, came trundling onto the forecourt and cast a shadow over the entire rest stop. Forty tonnes of alloy mischief, designed to destroy anything and everything which lay in its wake, looking us dead in our faces as though it only had eyes for us. Pendergast became frantic and insisted the barricade be lowered so he could make a run for it. Turns out he has mechanical legs, after a kayaking accident in the Peruvian rapids left him clutching at stumps. This left him no taller than Clyde but miraculously science offered him a solution to his woes and his new implants afforded him more fleetness of foot than he ever before thought possible. He began jogging on the spot and performing squats like a man with renewed confidence and a zest for life so I encouraged him to make his dash. Actually, it may have had something to do with the fact that I got a little jealous watching Muffy oil his joints but that’s irrelevant. The fact was, Pendergast wanted to give this a shot and who was I to stand in the way of a man and his foolish dreams? If the situation were reversed I’m sure he’d be the first one massaging my shoulders and pointing me towards the door so why not offer a dash of encouragement?
It was all rather exciting to start out. Pendergast went under starter’s orders and prepared for the pistol which Clyde volunteered to operate. It turned out to be a good call as, had he been an inch taller, then it would have spelt catastrophe for Stumpy. The firearm backfired blowing a hole clean through his comb-over and Pendergast began his dynamite dash across the car park. Alas, his robotic running sticks didn’t share his enthusiasm for making it to checkpoint A unscathed and marched him straight into Death Metal’s Tom Tom settings. Within five fateful seconds, we all looked away in dismay and faint amusement on my part, as he hit the vehicle’s windscreen like an impregnated gnat to the audio of “You have reached your destination.” Poor fella, betrayed by his own wanderlustful pins. We considered dragging his body back inside and giving the poor guy a decent dignified burial but all that remained was his lower torso, still doing victory laps of the parking lot after getting rid of the old geezer up top. Instead we mourned his passing and lit a candle in his memory. Secretly I pondered my next move; one down, three to go. Once all other obstacles were removed I would have a clear sniff at Muffy and there was still sufficient cheap industrial strength lager in the kegs to coerce her into finding me the vaguest bit attractive.
It was around 4.00am when I awoke from the customary Muffy-themed wet dream I had had since she first stirred my mochaccino. That cursed big rig was honking its horn, seemingly offering us a heads up that it intended on making its way inside for further introductions. Tall Betty was first to her feet which shows how knackered the rest of us were as that was quite a journey for her. She made her way over to the window to check Death Metal’s current status and, as she poked her elongated face around the drape, the tanker began its joy ride. Tired bodies flew left and right as it crashed though the front end of the diner, obliterating Betty before she could make it clear. Clyde was more fortunate; not because he was fleet enough of foot to evade Death Metal’s lunge but because his lowly standing left him sailing straight under her bulky frame, although he did receive a nasty looking clip from her license plate during transit. That was it; the cat was officially amongst the pigeons and it was now each for themselves. All the other vehicles began to line up, lamps blazing and pedal to the metal as they took dibs on Muffy.
Most of them had likely had her in their back seats at some point, she was known for loving the feel of leather against her bare buttocks, and had had more rides than Miss Daisy. This made it even more disheartening that she wasn’t reciprocating my visible interest. Was I really that hideous a sight? Did Milton actually stand a better chance of sniffing her gusset than I? I decided to take no chances and grabbed the little shit before he could burst the pustule on his chin dimple, sacrificing this little tether of snot-string as an offering to appease the ravenous beast. Indeed there was no shortage of takers and all around me death on wheels began to creep forward. “Why Mister?” he pleaded, wetting his shorts at the prospect of becoming roadkill before his first pubic hair growth. I took one look at Stumpy Clyde who was inconsolable at the loss of his beloved Betty and the answer became very much clear immediately. “Growing up is a drag son” I proclaimed, pushing his head to the floor as an oncoming Chevy skidded across to meet his nose. There was still time and reflective hub cap sheen for Milton to squeeze one final pimple before the tire made contact with his sulky face. This left only Clyde and I to wrestle over Muffy’s affections and I figured he wasn’t posing any real threat as he was so heartbroken over his wife’s untimely death. Poor chap had been through enough for one day; I may be a bastard but I’m not that much of a bastard.
I grabbed Muffy in my arms and told her I would keep her safe from harm. She wasn’t buying it after watching me feed Milton to the wolves so I knocked her spark out and dragged her through to the stock room to relative safety. With a dash of good fortune, she would come to concussed and two of me will be a more enticing proposition. It seemed a little like clutching at straws but options were at a premium right now. The entire front window had been gutted by the gas-guzzling demons and had cleared a path for all manner of domestic appliances to crash the party. Death by Dyson didn’t seem like an appealing demise as those cylindrical chaff buckets suck up anything in the vicinity and, as for the Vileda Supermop loitering with intent by table five, well it was beside itself at being left such an almighty clean-up job after Milton’s head had ruptured so artistically. She’d thank me later; it wasn’t too late to schmooze my prey into actually finding me less repulsive a proposition. I whisked her away just as Death Metal reversed into place to finish what it had started. I looked it dead in its grill and smirked; it may have the muscle but did it have the noodle to outwit such a twinkle-toed opponent as I? It was time to find out.
It charged at us full pelt and I threw an instant left to outfox it. Sensing safety behind the door in front of me, I claimed my victory kiss from my unconscious girlfriend-to-be, while she dangled from my side like a beautiful flowing algae strand. It took me a few moments to separate her clenched teeth and, in that time, Death Metal launched its rear guard action. This time I was less prepared and the vehicle made contact with the poor girl’s shins, taking all ten of her glorious painted toes and her ankle bracelet in the process and causing her to clench those teeth, which was bad news for my inquisitive tongue I might add. The pain was unbearable but I battled through the barrier as I wasn’t about to let all my hard graft go to waste. However, I appeared bamboozled; here came that Dyson and I could have sworn I heard it laughing maniacally. Just then something occurred which reinforced my faith in stupidity. Clyde was lost without Betty and couldn’t contemplate life without his towering bride. “Get out of here now!” he cried and threw himself into the line of suction. As I dragged Muffy to the store-room I spared a moment to marvel at his chivalry; well, half a moment. Goodbye what’s his name, I shall never forget you. We battled on.
Procrastination was proving something of an Achilles heel as once again I had left it too long to free us from Death Metal’s ominous gaze. It revved up one final time and began burning rubber on the spot. I knew it was over; just a matter of acceleration now and not a solitary thing I could do to save our hides. The way I saw it, we had had a good run; I’d finally tasted Muffy’s Cherry Bubblicious and even bagged myself a quick grope while I was at it. Not bad for my final day’s work. As Death Metal hurtled toward us at breakneck speed something unforeseen occurred; an EMP blast laid on by the national guard, burly enough to fry the circuitry of every last one of our antagonists. I just knew we would be fine; forget about what I said a moment ago, I always knew it would be okay. No more being hunted and tormented by these juggernauts; they were now as harmless as a dose of genital warts. I breathed a sigh of relief for both of us and contemplated for a moment sticking around to thank the military for their intervention…well half a moment. Muffy hadn’t yet come to so it seemed wasteful not to check out that stock room as momentum was kind of carrying us that way anyway. As I laid her down gently she began to stir so I clubbed her with a tire iron and copped another quick feel of her hooters.
Am I a bad man? Let’s study the facts shall we. I’ve been happily married to Muffy for three months now and we are expecting our first child. Granted, I have to feed her via a crazy straw and her wedding garter kept slipping from her stump on our wedding day but, all things considered we’re shamefully happy. Pendergast’s legs have since gone on to attain top billing at a Burlesque show off-Broadway and I claimed the Dyson which now has pride of place on our front porch as a receptacle for Clyde’s ashes. I even stayed behind to hoover Betty up too, just so they could be together forever as his final wish stated. So, you tell me, am I really that bad? What do you mean Milton? Okay so that was a little mean-spirited but nobody’s perfect. When all is said and done, he probably would’ve ended up a rent boy in Soho anyway after what his young eyes bared witness to. I didn’t steal his childhood; it wasn’t me behind the wheel. Now if you will excuse me my wife’s bed pan needs changing and I hate to keep her waiting. That would just be plain rude.