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Something about The Game

Date: Thu, 8 May 2003 02:16:26 -0400
Subject: Something about The Game
From: blake
To: poker-night

I was up late last night, working on my time machine, when I had the
sudden insatiable craving for a good stiff martini.  I made my way up
from the DangerHaus sub-basement secret time travel laboratory knowing
that there was some statistical probability of the existence of fine
Gin in the freezer.  Before I could make it to the freezer to, by power
of observation, cause the statistical waveforms to materialize into
some form of Gin or not Gin my fellow DangerHaus Labs researcher Matt
M. violently accosted me and started lecturing in an unnaturally
loud voice about the prominence of Robots in everyday life these days
and how Robots are the future of DangerHaus Labs and, slumping into the
chair in front of his powerful Internet Machine started bringing up
page after page of news in the world about simple stupid robots that
are making their creators the Mad Money.  Falling to the floor from
pointing at the workstation monitor a bit too vigorously he continues
to rant for another ten minutes, then got distracted by a political
argument.

I proceeded to the kitchen, mindful of the many traps the more paranoid
researchers had been setting recently.  Amazingly, I was already there!
I saw myself see me and dash out of the room onto the balcony.  There
was the sound of breaking glass as the other me jumped through the
window, then a brilliant blue flash of light and the smell of ozone.
Somehow, the I that was not me had vaporized, midfall, in a spasm of
plasma.

Well, these things happen, I thought to myself.  Seem to be happening
more recently now though.  We were all quite surprised the first time
it happened.  Gonj had been quite confused about why his laundry
seemed to get dirty at three times the normal rate.  The rest of us
thought nothing of it, simply assuming that he was surrounded by some
sort of time acceleration field.  Then one day Gonj came home, opened
a beer, and sat down on the couch for a relaxing cigarette after a long
hard day of cybernetic research.  Seconds later, Gonj came home,
opened a beer, and sat down on the couch for a relaxing cigarette.  We
were all so wrapped up in our research we probably wouldn’t have
noticed except that the second Gonj had taken the very last beer so
when the third Gonj came home and went to get a beer there were no
beers left.  This was the last straw for the third Gonj.  He had
already had to deal with cars identical to his taking up his two
favourite parking spaces, both of his mysterious girlfriends being
mysteriously unavailable when he went to meet them for dinner, and his
mother called him three times while he was in the middle of gluing
cyber-neurons to a model of a cat he had spend all week carving.  So he
started yelling.  Then the other two Gonj’s started yelling.  At first
they were just yelling at no one in particular, then they started
yelling at each other.  After about half an hour of this they noticed
that they were all identical twins!

That particular episode had a happy ending, in that the three Gonj’s
have, through the power of remarkably efficient scheduling based on
genetic algorithms, been able to do everything three Gonj’s would want
to do and only as much work as one Gonj would have to do.  Now there
is always a Gonj watching a DVD, always a Gonj sleeping, and always a
Gonj doing lab work, eating, or macking it with the ladies.

Every time that Geeta comes to visit us it seems like she ends up
staying up to five times longer than she had outlined in her travel
proposal.  We had also been noticing that she always seemed to have
enough clothing to wear a completely new outfit at least every day,
sometimes up to five times a day.  Whenever we would ask her how long
she was planing to stay she would almost always say “Oh, I’m going to
leave tomorrow”, but this answer never changed.  She was always leaving
tomorrow.   We don’t know how long it had been going on, but it turned
out there were actually 17 Geeta D.’s.  At any given time one of them
would be in DangerHaus, one of them would be in Towers, about five of
them would be at hip music concerts, four would be on AmTrack, five
would be on the Chinatown Bus, and the rest were randomly dispersed
about her classes, New York City bars, and oddly, the Museum of Natural
History.

Still, even though we’d seen this sort of thing before, seeing your own
self jump out a window and vaporize is a jarring experience.  After
about a quarter of a second I remembered I had wanted a martini.  I
decided to make it a double.  I opened the freezer and as the quantum
probability waveforms began to materialize into fine imported liquor a
chill ran down my spine as if I had been through all of this before.
The Gin was almost fully materialized when the world suddenly felt like
someone had connected power to the ground and everything started to
pulse at 60 hertz.  Like how your hand feels when you grab the business
end of a live extension cord that’s had it’s ends stripped and the
wires are bare, except it was all over.  In my hands, legs, my head,
hair, my little toe, I even felt it in the post-human extensions of my
body like my car and my semiautomatic rifle.  I don’t know how long it
lasted.  Maybe a fraction of a second.  Maybe a couple of minutes.
When it subsided I found myself staring into a mostly empty freezer
with a full handle of Citadel Gin with a note taped to it.  This is
what it said:

“Blake!

It’s Poker Night!
Tonight!  (Thursday)
at DangerHaus!

XX XXXXXXXXX XX. #X!

Somerville!

First hand at Nine!
Texas Holdum!

PS:  The Time Machine Rules!

love,
Blake!”

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