A shaggy dog SF story from 2002. Like most SF it has aged poorly.
"Good morrow, gentle sir. How may we help thee this fine day?"
I usually don’t pay attention to the way teens and twenties speak, but this faux Shakesperian crap they do now makes me feel as if I were living at a Ren Fair(e). My health monitor beeped and began action to get the physical symptoms of my annoyance under control, this further annoyed me so I hit the override and enjoyed my pique.
"Large mocha, plain bagel, please. Nothing else."
I added the "nothing else" out of habit. The art of the upsell has been lost since point of purchase pop-up ads. The kid behind the counter looked a bit surprised when no hologram popped up for me. The level of ad protection I subscribe to is almost unheard of. I blew up a projector at Target once.
As I moved to the pick up counter the assist cuffs currently snugged to all my major joints hummed. The therapy was nearly over and I was looking forward to no longer wearing them. The doctor called the noise "incidental", but it conducted through my bones and pained my newly restored hearing.
I cut the barrista off before she went critically Ophelian.
No point in being an old man if you can’t be grumpy.
The weather was pleasant so I took an outdoor table. After settling in, I placed my PC on the table. I had avoided the news over the last week or so, but now it was time to find out who the new president was. Taking full advantage of the Senior Voting Act (damned hippies had turned out to be good for something), my vote had been cast in October and went to the Libertarian splinter party that was the least absurd. I was happy to have something besides Democrats and Republicans to vote for but did they always have to be so weird? I girded my loins and booted the PC.
An animation of a penguin kicking a jaguar’s ass filled the screen. The animation was replaced by my workspace. I tapped the lizard with my stylus and navigated to the CNNBS site and called up the live stream. Serena Altschul was already breaking it down.
"…the Vice President conceded to the senator from Louisiana earlier this morning…"
Damn. At least four years of Christian Republicans fooling around with my nearly nonexistent SS. I’m glad I invested in Segway. I suppose it could be worse; President-Elect Spears had stopped performing when she took up politics.