Wrinkly Joe came on the blower over the weekend with some interesting news. I probably didn’t mention this, but for years now, he’s been working on the creation of an artificial life form, and he’s finally succeeded. Originally when he began this work, Joe planned to create a human being, and all his energies, plus a good slice of his vast fortune, went into the project. You might remember that a few years back, Halliburton embarked on a similar project, and despite all their vast resources, the best they could manage to create was Cheney.
Well and good, but wealthy though he might be, Wrinkly Joe is not Halliburton, and I told him straight to his face, “Joe, drop the human bit. Halliburton failed and so will you. Go for something a little simpler.”
And so, after a good amount of reflection, and two bottles of Wild Turkey, Joe decided to build the world’s first artificial scumbag. It wasn’t easy, but it was better than trying to build a human. For one thing, he was able to reduce the vocabulary processor to fifty words, doubled to a hundred by the automatic prefix, “fuckin’.
Initially, he believed he might be able to engage with the creature on some emotional level, perhaps teaching it to care for those around it and the world it inhabits, but those efforts proved futile. He had better success with basic motor functions, such as rolling the peak of a baseball cap, spitting on the footpath and breaking a car window. One interesting fact he has noticed is that the creature seems terrified on its own but, when placed among a large group of dummy scumbags, it gains confidence and aggression.
Wrinkly Joe is a gifted programmer, and I knew it would only be a matter of time before he turned his prodigious talent to work in his unceasing search for the Soul of the Scumbag.
I knew he wasn’t happy with the software he was using. It was too intelligent and inclined to make intuitive leaps. It also had a tendency to occasional acts of responsibility. More than once, on trial runs in town he had to stop it from helping old people across the road and picking up litter. But his big breakthrough came at the weekend, and this is why he called, almost incoherent with happiness. And very drunk.
You see, he now has a fully-functioning scumbag. It has all the functionality of the real thing. It can do doughnuts in a Honda Civic. It drinks Dutch Gold. It’s able to leave black bags on the pavement in the middle of the night.
The secret of his success? A new programming language invented by Wrinkly Joe.