Nmherman on 31 Dec 2000 20:06:56 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] New Prose for the Genius 2000 Network by Eryk Salvaggio

This Issue:

1. A False Promise.
2. The Warning.
3. Words in Which "Bubblegum" May Serve as a Prefix.
4. The False Promise, Revisited.
5. Bubblegum Secrets.
6. How to Blow A Bubble Inside of a Bubble.
7. The "Big Bubble is a Good Bubble" Myth.
8. Tanks.
9. The Scientist Behind The Bubble Gum Explosion.=20
10. 7 Years.
11. Next Issue.


1. A False Promise

The false promise that I offer you is this: 19 packs=20
of bubblegum must be chewed and discarded, carefully,=20
upon a windowsill, and from this you will be capable=20
to create a bubblegum robot, capable of tasks which=20
are both useful and potentially terrifying.=20

This is no small feat and must be taken with sincere=20
dedication: the gum must be chewed in a short time,=20
lest the discarded gum lose its malleability. In the=20
event the gum becomes un-malleable, the 19 packs must=20
be started from scratch, or else you run the risk of=20
creating a tainted robot.=20


2. The Warning.=20

19 packs must be started from scratch, or else=20
you run the risk of creating a tainted robot.=20

A tainted Robot is nobodies=92 friend. It becomes=20
Melancholy; it cries without reason, and complains=20
about service loudly when in restaurants.


3. Words in Which "Bubblegum" May Serve as a Prefix.

    Clown Fish
    Ice Cream


4. A False Promise, Revisited.

The Japanese girls called him a liar. He told them=20
he had built a robot from 95 pieces of discarded=20
bubblegum; they laughed, called him strange, immature.=20

"The robot came into the world glistening with my=20
saliva," he told them, and they began to frown,=20
uncomfortable, feeling he was going to become obscene.=20
"And is now a tool for the most menial of tasks."

The robot was dismissed as fiction; but no sooner had=20
they changed the subject to popular skirt-rock bands of=20
the day, than did appear a pink form, blocky in some=20
places, such as the "head," but rounded, soft, in others=20
he moved with elastic limbs. He walked slowly but steadily;=20
he was, in the eyes of several anatomists, a new example=20
of the non-feathered bipedal organism.=20

But was it alive, or merely programmed with the whims of=20
its creator? The Japanese teenagers had wanted to know.=20

"It was easy," he said. "I chewed 95 pieces of bubblegum;=20
and formed it into the shape you see here." he pointed to=20
it. "It then began its mission of servitude."

The robot had root beer and candy, and smiled as it offered=20
some to the girls. They enjoyed the treats with squeals of=20


5. Bubblegum Secrets.

In the darkest of nights the scientist still slept=20
uneasily. He recalled the chewing of his bubblegum.=20
The 19th pack.=20

It played in his head like a screenplay.=20

Black and White. A Street Fair. There were clowns,=20
many clowns, men on stilts. He placed a piece of gum=20
into his mouth.=20

Behind him, a clown explodes.=20

It occurs for every piece in the pack, but he cannot=20
turn back now- he has come too far, and fears that=20
even worse would happen if he would not continue. Within=20
him, the monster would spring forth, a beast sprung=20
from the hubris of modern science and the mind of the=20
lazy professor. Perhaps he would, in the darkness,=20
simply pretend the gum was still malleable; it would=20
create a demon whose evils wereas of yet unbeknownst=20
to mankind.

A man in a white labcoat who crosses something off=20
of a clipboard in pencil after each exploding clown.=20

The Scientist is finally down to the final piece in=20
his pack of Ballistic Berry Bubble Yum(TM); as he reaches=20
for it, his eyes look up. He sees a man in a white=20
suitcoat, shaking his head, crossing something off a=20
clipboard. The mans eyes fill the screen, then the=20
professors eyes fill the screen.=20

The Professor wakes, bathed in sweat.=20


6. How to Blow A Bubble Inside of a Bubble.

When the robot is alone, and the Scientist is away,=20
and the tasks assigned to the robot are complete, it=20
oftentimes sits still and thinks.=20

The Robot, on this day, considered blowing a bubble=20
inside of a bubble. How to do it, it wondered? Its=20
internal systems were of course completely flexible,=20
he could push air through any part of itself it wished,=20
could change form- oftentimes, the scientist would make=20
the robot appear as a man, or an animal; sometimes as=20
furniture, if the scientist were short on a chair for=20
dinner parties.=20

The robot considered and began to put its thinking=20
into practice: within it, it had blown a tiny bubble.=20
The first success was cut short, however, as the=20
scientist returned home and needed some tedious=20
calculations finished.=20

The robot, however, kept the bubble inside of him=20
open; and spoke not a word of it to the professor.=20


7. The "Big Bubble is a Good Bubble" Myth

As the professor aged, he came to depend more=20
and more on the Bubblegum robot, which had managed=20
somehow to become most notably larger.

As the professor was on its death bed, unable to=20
speak, the robot returned to its never forgotten=20
internal bubble and began to increase its size.=20

Within hours, the longest time span the robot had=20
ever had to engage in what was clearly a frivolous=20
activity compared to the work of the professor, it=20
was incapable of exiting the room to fetch the=20
professors medication.=20

The Robot grew and grew from the bubble inside itself,=20
and eventually smashed the walls of the room. It grew=20
to be far larger than the house itself; until the robot=20
itself was a 10,000 foot tall, 100 foot thick creature.

The Professor, caught in the robots soft pink exoskeleton,=20
looked on with a combination of terror and pride: Yes, a=20
ten thousand foot bubble gum robot was growing beyond his=20
control; but it was HIS creation.=20


8. Tanks

- Were called in from the national Guard.=20
- Fired bullets, missiles, grenades.
- Were useless in destroying that which is elastic.=20
- Explosions suspended in time the way=20
+ bushes are slow motion hand grenades,
+ trees are slow motion bombs;
+ mushrooms are slow motion atomic weapons.=20

-Were useless against the bubblegum robot.=20


9. The Scientist Behind The Bubble Gum Explosion.=20

The Scientist had been caught in the skin, but as=20
the robot continued to repair itself, rotating its=20
skin until the cracks and holes were filled, the=20
professor found him immersed with the gum he had once=20
had within his own tiny mouth, now barely capable of=20

His head came to the internal chamber of the robot.=20
It was sparse, immense, a glowing pink, rattled from=20
the outside; bubbles would appear from the bullets,=20
pink light would fill the chamber as bombs exploded=20

The scientist stared at awe; lay down inside of the=20
chamber, and, awash in the smell of watermelon and=20
gunpowder, rest his eyes, his heart inflating and=20
deflating like so many popping bubbles in a schoolyard.=20

Finally, he fell into eternal slumber.=20


10. 7 Years.

The War between the World and the Bubblegum Robot=20
lasted for 7 Years.=20

The Robot was unhappy and could not understand what=20
had been happening to it. It sat down, in the forest,=20
and began to weep bubble gum tears, flowing from its=20
eyes and popping when they became too big.=20

Inside, the good doctors body had decomposed. The damp=20
atmosphere had kept its decay from occurring too=20
quickly, but now, finally, the professor had become=20
hollow within himself; no outer layer of skin protected=20
the contents of his body from leaking.=20

The brain fell slightly from his head; some bones=20
had collapsed; but most importantly, a piece of bubble
gum, residing in the doctors=92 stomach for several years,=20
undigested, fell from a bone and onto the lining of the=20
robots interior chamber.=20

The Robot stood up, and began to exhale. The sighs=20
lasted for several years; until finally the chamber=20
had become the size of a pea; and the robot itself=20
the size it once was, though its body ragged and torn.=20
Bullets, Shrapnel, Debris came out of its skin on the=20
way back down to the size of its birth.
The Robot became increasingly more willing to socialize=20
and engage in conversation with others.=20

One day, at a party, the Robot began to talk about=20
its older days as the target of the organized armies=20
of the world; a goal that had brought together the=20
nations into one, common task. The world had united=20
for those 7 years and lines and lines of tanks and=20
airplanes from around the world came to fire uselessly=20
upon the weeping, though dangerously tall, bubble gum=20

It excused itself briefly and stood in the restroom,=20
and from its stomach came the remains of the doctor,=20
distilled from his own stomach acids, into a single=20
pea-sized pellet. It was the doctor, entirely, aside=20
from a single piece of winterburst chewing gum with=20
flavor crystals.=20

The Robot placed the pea into a napkin and weeped: It=20
may have been a robot, but it understood irony, god=20
damn it. It sure as hell did.=20


10. Next Time:

A General Description of Tanks and/or Bubblegum.=20

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