Biblio_D kept on writing and handing me juicy snippets and I had to draw Pharma because he was asking for it.
Have Part 2:
“Fucking BITCH.” Angie hit the breakroom in full steam. I about jumped out of my pants.
“SOME people should never be allowed to BREED.” She slammed a box down next to the coffee machine and pointed a finger at all of us. Us being Bob, the current cellphone sales flunkie man, and me. We blinked back at her. “Say you had a kid. The kid wants to be a doctor. Do you, A, get her a plastic doctor kit with the cute stethoscope and spend some time playing with her, or B, buy her an expensive toy and let her junk it?”
We looked at each other. Bob checked his coffee mug for traces of drugs, as if that’d explain Angie’s rant. “I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say ‘fucking bitch’ went with option B,” I ventured.
“God, yes. BITCH.” The repetition apparently helped her feel better, because she said it a few more times. Angie shook her head violently to try and drive the anger away, then ran a hand through her hair. “Bitchzilla came storming in and started screaming at Rick in front of his whole line of customers waiting to be rung up. Wanna guess what she was upset about?” Without waiting for an answer, she opened the box and — gently, I noticed — reached in to lift out a…what the fuck. Seriously? This was option B? “APPArently,” Angie snarled, rolling her eyes and setting the domestic electronic on the countertop, where it promptly plopped itself down and looked around in a daze as the ranting continued, “her brat threw this out the window of the apartment after chopping off his hands for freakin’ transplant theatre on another electrodomestic. Was she upset about the kid mangling the toys? Fuck no. She was — get this — pissed off because we should be,” her voice pitched into a mocking whine, “selling better quality products. This is substandard! Look how it didn’t even fly! It just crashed to the pavement outside instead of zipping back up through the window for more abuse!”
The handless domestic electronic on the counter looked like it was still in shock, which it probably had been since retail nightmare-woman’s brat went surgery-happy on it. The Transformer brand electrodomestics were kind of delicate that way. I wasn’t surprised it’d crashed. “Daaaaaaaang,” Bob and I chorused, eyebrows nearly in our hair. That seemed to freak the little thing out even more.
Hey, I wouldn’t blame it. It sounded like it’d had a tough time. I didn’t work the domestics department, but even I knew that the more sentient electrodomestics had personality matrixes meant to conform to their owner. The sales crew in that department were all really nice, because you never knew what aspect of you the display models would pick up on. If this guy’s owner had been a bratty would-be surgeon who’d amputated his hands and thrown him out a window, well, what kind of matrix had it ended up with?
“Here, do something with him. I gotta get back to my register.” Angie patted the bitty ‘bot roughly on the head and took off back out of the breakroom. At least she looked less about to strangle the next customer she met.
We all got up to gather around. Cell phone flunkie took one look and shook his head before leaving, but Bob and I had been at the store longer than he had. You got used to looking at returns with an eye to adopt.
“One of the Delphi models,” Bob assessed. “A Pharma, I think. Shit, man, this’s a heckuva expensive toy for a kid. This is something you get somebody goin’ into med school. C’mere, you.” He picked up the thing with the ease of a guy who’d been working this store forever. He was a professional wriggle-wrangler at this point. “A-line, Transformer brand. Hands are gone, but I bet he can still transform.” He gave me a look.
I already knew how this was going to go. I always got the cripples. “Dude, no. I already have a bunch from the D-line. I don’t need a companion electronic. I’ve already got appliances coming out my ears!” I backed away from the poor little ‘bot being held toward me. Bob knew my weakness. The minute I held that thing, I’d be taking it home.
Unfortunately, the choice was taken from me. The second Bob’s grip loosened, the electrodomestic zipped out of his hands. He darted into the cupboard to go hide up by the ancient tea bags nobody liked. And, of course, Bob was off break in two minutes while I still had ten minutes left.
So guess who got to fish Pharma out from behind the paper plates and plastic forks? I found him trying to bury himself in Earl Grey.
He was frickin’ sullen and scared and ARGH. Why the heck are these things so cute? They’re like Happy Meal toys for adults.
For the record:
Tesarus is a grinder/grater, like a heavy-duty salad shooter crossed with a coffee grinder. He happily grates all the vegetables while I cook, and gets fussy about what coffee I buy for him to grind.
Helex is an individual-sized crockpot/slow cooker. He sits on the counter patiently as Tesarus grinds vegetables into him. Then he cooks away from the rest of the evening.
Kaon is a wireless internet router. He wanders around the apartment trying to find the best signal.
Vos is supposed to be one of the new car keys where you just push a button and the car starts up. He was an import sent to the store by accident, so he only works for foreign cars and doesn’t communicate in English. He sulks because I don’t have a car myself. When he gets grumpy enough, I give him my apartment keys and carry him around in my back pocket like a fancy keyring, just so he feels functional. He makes clicky beep-boop noises at all the cars I walk past, trying to find one that he works with.
Tarn is a mobile audio player. I dock my MP3 player on his tank mode, and he follows me around playing the music.
Pharma is a talking pharmaceutical and medical terminology dictionary.
Pic by me, fic by Bibliotecaria_D.