Photography & Books

Shaniac Love

Shane, why do you wear those yellow-tinted lens?
I need a little warmth in this cold, gray Pacific Northwest…
Mart, what do you say I take those brass chimes after we replace your doorbell.
Yeah. I’ll miss those rich brash tones, the digital are too tinny.
But you’ll lose it on your junk farm.
I know where everything is…all the time.
We’re talking 4 acres filled with 2 discarded wood burning hot tubs, 3 old phone booths, dozens of
dysfunctional microwaves in the front yard surrounded by electric ovens, two old silos, piles of scrap
metal and tubing—
We haven’t got time to list all my treasures.
You’re a damn Shaniac
Half Shane and half Maniac.
It’s time to roll towards Home Depot.
We get the 29.99 wireless and wired special. Shane heads for the self-check out.
Shane not here… Lets go to the line that actually keeps people employed.
I love her voice! We’ve been going at it for months…
I knew you were hard up for a little companionship, but the robot?
Shane winks at me and then begins scanning our items
A resonant, deep, sonorous, female voice flows like honey across the counter:
That will be 48.56. Please.
You got it doll face.
Slide your card now.

Shane turns the card upside and grins broadly.
Please try your card again, on top.
You bet baby.
Shane moves the last item in circles before the scanner.
The computer spews out a warning: Stop that!
I can’t stop now. Come on what are you doing after work.
That’s not what I’m about.
I could try running through my refunds.
Do I need to ping the manager?
You just need to agree—
The voice in the machine actually grows angry.
I’ve told you before, no one is supposed to know about me.
You know I hacked into database…I’ve got your model and serial number.
Please, not here.
Look my grandpa taught me how to make a home computer out of scrap components…long before you
were shelf-ready.
Indignantly she replies with a bit of pride: My originator was the great Eniac.
And my friend here calls me a Shaniac.
I totally get machines and tools and scrap—
A red light and siren begin up.
Shocked and a bit hurt Shane stammers: Why would you do that?
It will never work.
I’ll have my machine contact your machine…er…I mean my Shaniac will hook up with your Eniac.

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