Sneeky Upgrade

@ernie

Did you watch the news? Mayor Coolson is telling us we have to wear our crotch-rags and bath towels at home now. Just great. What’s next? Mandatory enemas? I don’t even care anymore. Thanks to El Cassetto, my regular clothes no longer fit, and so I’ve been towel-ridden anyway. It’s the principal of the thing, though. The being told I have to stay fundoshi. My knee-jerk reaction is to immediately get dressed, but as I said, I don’t even care anymore.

It sounds like someone’s knocking on the front door. Gramps answers, talks briefly to the someone. That someone clambers loudly down the hallway and into the bathroom. I don’t really care, but I guess it’s not altogether unwarranted to go see who it is. Cuz. I put on my bath towel (again, cuz) and open the bedroom door, poke my head out into the hallway.

Gramps is standing there with his arms folded, and is watching some technician-looking dude through the open bathroom door. “How are you feeling, kiddo?” Gramps asks.

“Like I’m nine months pregnant,” I reply.

“Should I call the school again for your homework?”

I shrug. Poor bastard thinks I have dosequisvirus. “We’re doing online classes now, Gramps.”

He nods, ruffles my hair.

“What’s he doing here?” I jerk my thumb in the direction of the bathroom.

“Oh, he’s a technician from the city. He’s installing our new Sneekycam system. Nasty business with these DOSVID-19 embers. Flaming viruses! Who’d’ve thunk?”

What, are we playing the telephone game now? “Gramps, rogue embers and the dosequisvirus, they’re two different things.”

But Gramps just chuckles and heads back to the living room.

Moving into the bathroom doorway, I observe the Sneekycam fat-ass, his enormous butt crack smiling at me from above the waist of his loincloth-utility belt combo. See, that’s why I chose to go with the bath towel instead of a loincloth. Only fit or maybe skinny people look good in loincloths. Fat fucks such as myself and the Sneekycam guy, we’re only passable in towels or robes.

I lean against the door frame and ask, “How’s a rogue ember supposed to get in here? And even then, this is a bathroom. It’s water and tile. It’s literally the least-flammable part of the house.”

The Sneekycam guy shrugs. “You’d be surprised. I have a cousin whose cologne caught fire while he was prepping for a date. Ended up in the ER.”

Why do people always do that? I could mention unicorns being fake, and I bet someone somewhere would have a rebuttal starting with, “I have a cousin who…” Followed by the most bullshit story involving a unicorn. Don’t believe me? Go ask a friend or family member something ridiculous. I guarantee they’ll have a completely baseless response as to why it’s not so ridiculous. Now, I’m not saying dosequisvirus isn’t real or that rogue embers don’t exist—but you have to admit the way society is handling them, unicorns can’t be far behind.

Once the Sneekycam guy’s finished and out of the house, I go into the bathroom and check out the “improvements” he’s installed. It’s really just the shower that’s been upgraded. Instead of hot and cold taps, it’s all touchscreen. The shower head looks sleek and fancy, kind of like a giant dick, if you ask me. I wouldn’t put it past the city to have repurposed used dildos just to save a few bucks.

I hole myself up in my room again after making a pitstop in the kitchen for some much-needed snacks. Being home from school is both a blessing and a curse. Yeah, I may be able to lie around my bedroom all day in my birthday skin, but it also means I’m alone with my thoughts, and being alone with your thoughts is always lame. Honestly, I’ve given up on the whole El Cassetto thing. Part of me has been considering, what if it is a hoax? What if it is all in my head? Pattern recognition or whatever the hell Theo had said that day we made the bet?

No. Fuck that.

Fuck him.

Fuck him in his delectable little scrumptulatum.

Yes, I fully realize I’m blaming him for the larger picture, which is that life isn’t all neat and episodic like in the movies. Leads go nowhere; plots fizzle out; endings never come. Shit just goes on, you know? Doesn’t mean I’m automatically cool with my best friend stating the obvious.

El Cassetto is totally real, and I’m living proof. But finding the damned tape, proving it’s not just a meme gone wild like they’re saying on the news, that’s a whole other deal. The Internet’s huge, the world even bigger. How do you find a needle in a haystack? Turner & Hooch at the bottom of a discount DVD bin? I was doomed from the start. Sprite was merely the final nail in the coffin that interred my search for truth. He’s what I must look like to the rest of the Runt Squad: lost, hopeless, bat shit crazy. Oh, the bet’s off, isn’t it? I’m through. Like when Mulder finally gave up trying to get everyone else to believe him. He knew the truth and that it was out there, but he also knew it was pointless convincing others. And so Scully became the believer, and Mulder the non-believer, and…I forget where I’m going with this. I know what’s happened to me, I know it’s not just me jumping on some social media bandwagon, and I know no one will ever listen to me. This is literally my weight to bear, and mine alone.

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El Cassetto: a SuperMegaNet novel by Jesse Gordon

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Jesse Gordon

Geek. Writer. Supreme overlord of the SUPERMEGANET pseudoverse. Author of THE OATMEAL MAN, DOOKIE, and other such wasteful nonsense.