The Splashing Child and the Mean, Mean Men

The Splashing Child and the Mean, Mean Men

Nathan Kastle

Dear Mr. Pinkerbot,
This leter is a leter of firing. Hell, i dont know the politiclly correct way to say that, you defenitly
don;t learn things like that from buying yourself into presidancy, no you dont! whoo boy!
I am notifing you that youre position is no longar needid in this company. The cross-species
robotic hoo-ha that you idiots invented for yourself has taken over the biz! (of course not my job
sinse they still need a “humin” to bring in the moolah! Ha ha…)
The thing is, you demenstraite a perticuler way of oposing the technology. While all yer fello
coworkers are showing their transformation, wissling while they work 24 hours of thee day, you
are still humin. That’s a big problem.
Corporations, the guvernmint, of course the poleese and even familys! Yes, all of these guys are
seeing the point, the brilliant use of bein robots! They are not sleepy. They don’t get hungry!
They don’t whine for their mamma and they do not challenge the luvely luvleeness of their boss.
So what’s the use of people anymore? People like you? Hah!
So good luck out there living, dreemer boy, for a few more weeks there, you’ll stay humin. But
after those few weeks, the serum is bound to kick in. That’s right! You will join the crowd, we just
can’t afford to wait for ya.
You got some good fight in you. Too bad there’s no more need for that anymore!
Walter Jaycrock Bigsby
President, CorporaWorld


“Well! We got one of our grade-A lunatics right here, how do you like this guy.
Fantastic,” grumbled Chris Worthsley, a stout, round and very hairy policeman. He wasn’t kept
very busy at all in this world, but he made sure that people thought he was busy, grumbling
endlessly in an accent worn by steel skyscrapers and blaring cabs… and now by robots, he
thought–but he refocused his attention to the skinny little fool standing in the fountain before

him. He scratched his grey thinning beard, muttering some words of disdain about the wet crazy
man and enjoying his own humor quite a bit.
Then, Mr. Worthsley strolled; resting one hand on his fat stomach, with the other he
made sure his golden badge was sturdy. The little thing hung on by just a few threads, after 20
years of being pinned in that same spot–Chris Worthsley was too stubborn to move it.
“Put that badge in any other corner of my shirt and I’m working for a different force,” he
often muttered to himself. He now made sure his little golden shield was free of dust and he
continued toward the fool in the fountain.
He reached the stone structure, eyed it with a bent frown, and discounted it as foolish,
just as the stubborn dying patient turns away teddy bears and pills all the same. Worthsley kicked
the wall of the fountain. His expression turned up now from hissing hatred to a warm sarcastic
“Hey there buddy, been a rough day? Thought you’d go for a little swim?” Silence, and
away went the sunny expression. “Well I admire the balls you have to break the law in a public
park, but unfortunately it’s my job to rain on your parade. Although–” his last word was broken
up by a nearly inaudible snicker and a big grin: “it looks like you’ve been rained on plenty in this
here fountain, looks like you’re plenty drenched!” He pulled away his smile and crawled back
into his comfortable hospital bed. “Ok, funny man, out of the fountain–now. This is not
Seaworld, you must exit the fountain with your hands on your head.”
The man in the fountain craned his neck, and slowly came to a pause in his splashing and
movement. He was still and peaceful-looking. He hid part of his body behind the centerpiece of
the fountain playfully, as a child would.
“Have you ever swum in a fountain, officer?”
Worthsley looked at him fearfully. “No,” he barked out.
“Then how do you know what it’s like?
“I don’t care what it’s like, it’s against the law. Now get out before you make any more of
a fool of yourself.”
“What if I want to make a fool of myself?” Yelped the man, and lurched out into plain
view. Worthsley stood still. The center of the man’s right arm was horribly infected–black, blue,
painted, and tainted with awful textures and a couple smells. Worthsley bowed his head,
maintaining a stare, and inched himself back. The shouting happy man continued.
“What if, what if I told you a story? Ooh, stories are such wonderful things.” The man
started to twitch a German folk dance around the shallow pool, humming and waving about.
“So there’s this world, this far off world called Goo. Why is it called goo, you ask?”
Silence. “Well, do you ask that?”
“Uh,” Worthsley cleared his throat, “Sure.” he looked around, but didn’t consider leaving
or arresting. Not this man.
“Because why not call it Goo?! That’s why!” A large splash made some water touch the
ground; Worthsley smiled a little bit under his beard. “So on Goo, there’s a family of farmers–
yay! And then aliens come and drop a bomb and everyone’s dead–No! But they’re dead only to

little Johnny: the boy of the family. …Because his family decides to submit to the bomb-
wielding non-Goovian aliens, and now what is little Johnny to do? Build a weapon of mass
destruction all on his own, Mr. Police officer? Huh? His family’s joined the bomber–but not I!
Not Johnny, I mean sir! Hell, not either of us!”
He sang loud gibberish and danced like a native shaman in the healing water.
“Which do you prefer, to laugh or to cry?” Asked the man. “No, no, scratch that; there”s
not enough time.” 
Worthsley shuffled a bit, uncomfortably.
The man’s arm infection was spreading: it was making his body silver, black, even
sparking and blinking in places. He was becoming a robot.
“My name is Richard Pinkerbot—just thought I’d…—I prefer Rich!—and I implore you
to splash around in here with me for we are a family of farmers and the aliens are all
everywhere! Look at ‘em!” Many families with children all unbudgingly were “sunbathing”,
most likely asleep or recharging.
“I know your deal,” Rich continued. The splashing ceased and he simply stood facing
Chris. “You’re a human cop, sir. You’re not exactly a common type. You look at least a little like
me under that navy sleeve, don’t you? Well go and do something with your time, or do some
pure nothing. I’ve found out, for example, how awesome water is!”
Rich took a less insane pause.
“Moisture is so different.”
Rich and Chris looked at each other. Then, Rich started sparking and convulsing in the
life-giving water, knowing all along that it would bring his end. He had a wild smile, finally, on
his metal chips.
Worthsley cleared his throat, did it again louder, and then again until he pulled up his
sleeve and jumped into the fountain with abandon. Standing there, however, he felt foolish
compared to the man who had adapted to the surrounding, or who had claimed it. A fellow
officer gave a programmed greeting, and the fat Worthsley stepped out of the fountain with
calculated care. He continued walking, patrolling the park, and held his badge to his shirt—kept
it hanging by hanging on to it. He soon began to leave footsteps behind that were no longer his,
but boxy and regular. But with his badge in his hand and an LED smile on his face, Chris
Worthsley spread the fountain’s moisture through the bottoms of his feet, his last gift to a
starving planet earth. She then returned the favor by offering a limited, a diminished, but a pure
nothingness for Chris the Man to explore.