Sweet Thing and Scooter by Brad Rose

Like a circus clown at an action-packed funeral, I struggle to put on my selfie mask. All morning, I’ve been trying to trick the algorithms into playing something a little less swashbuckling, a little more humane— like Gollywog’s Cakewalk. Naturally, the Artificial Intelligence would like to think like everybody else, but it’s become all too human to make that kind of mistake. Yesterday, as Sweet Thing chased me around the robot nursery, trying to baby talk me to death, I made plans to flee the scene of our too-cute crime. As I donned a pair of avocado-green velour sweatpants and tightened-up my fright wig, I yelled, “We’ve got enough tchotchkes around here to fill a Hello Kitty toy factory.” Sweet Thing yelled back, “No matter what they say, Scooter, your clothes are lying to you.” What you see is what you get. When I turn up the music, all I get is noise.

Brad Rose is the author of three collections of poetry and flash fiction, Pink X-Ray, de/tonations, and Momentary Turbulence. His fourth collection, WordinEdgeWise, is forthcoming in 2021. Brad’s website is: www.bradrosepoetry.com

Photo by Brett Jordan