Hot Fudge Sundae

A Joseph Castagno short story…

I know it was for my own good, but I miss bacon… pizza and what I wouldn’t do for a donut or a milk shake – the cubes aren’t so bad and we’re not supposed to even remember the old days… but I do. The days before Techocracy, before the vaccines saved us, you know back when we were still allowed to think for ourselves – but it’s better now right? No more cancer, no more diabetes, no more fat people…

It had happened pretty quickly after the 2022 mid-term elections, we had all thought the mergers were a good thing and hadn’t we laughed at the names? Amazoogle, Micrapple, Sprizon… Pfizeneca was probably my favorite, but it didn’t seem so funny when they had setup a national governance board replacing the executive branch of what was no longer a democracy or the forced vaccination programs… no that wasn’t funny at all.

Covid had been a test run if you will and the vaccines had worked with unprecedented efficacy, eradicating the virus had been a nice side effect – testing out DNA manipulation had been the real win though. Cancer had been a fast follow, I mean how do you argue with curing cancer, it was the fucking holy grail, wasn’t it? Diabetes was next, you don’t really need to worry about insulin costs if you wipe out the disease.

All this was just part of the learning curve though, the real test was programming out human behavior, a small hormonal adjustment here and there and all of a sudden no one craves food anymore. Science had learned plenty during the Covid years including how to turn off taste and smell and wasn’t that really at the heart of desire? I try to push all this aside as I gaze at my toes… socks or no socks? That I was even making this decision and could see my toes was progress, right?

I had decided no socks, but the kitchen floor was cold and I was rethinking my decision as I cut two green cubes in half and contemplated adding a yellow. About six months earlier I had found an old jar of peanut butter, God only knows how the inspectors had missed that, turns out toasting the yellow and adding a glop didn’t trigger any taste sensations, but the Alexa alarm system had scared the shit out of me. That little experiment had cost me another inspection and fifty tokens as that bitch Siri is fond of reminding me every time, I check my account.

I stand at my desk and adjust the treadmill speed, no one sat any longer it wasn’t healthy, plugging in I receive the overnight “news” – ahh all is well in the world, no unemployment, no disease, everything is green and the climate is perfect… Elysium I think to myself, damn where had that come from, Dante? No Shakespeare… I can’t quite remember as I start to tremble… Oh fuck no I think licking my lips, a hot fudge sundae pops into my head. Everything starts to fade and I can hear the Alexa alarm going off somewhere in the distance…

The Old Neighborhood

So I’m hanging out in the old neighborhood the other day having a cappuccino and who should I see but Vinnie Vermicelli, now I haven’t seen Vinnie since he and I used to fight over that sweetheart Kathy Calamari… man she was a dish! Anyways, we get to talking and he tells me that Sammi Salami is engaged to Mary Mozzarella, can you believe this, Sammi? I’m like no way she was with Peter Pepperoni forever. It’s true and if that ain’t enough Maria Marinara and Larry Lasagna are married and expecting, I can’t wait to see how that turns out. Vinnie has been dating Cami Cannoli much to the chagrin of her big brother Carmine, he always seemed a little sweet to me, but hey to each his own I guess. I look up and would you believe Marty Mortadella and Bobbie Bruschetta are walking through the door, so of course we have them join us. Now Bobbie is a talker and she is going on about Sal Soppresseta and what a hot head he is. Apparently Tony Tortellini was caught with Sals little sister Sammie Soppresseta. Tony never was very bright I still remember the day he stole Frankie Fettuccini’s car I thought the Scungilli brothers were going to tear him a new one. We’re having a good laugh about that when Patty Provolone shows up bragging about this new restaurant Lenny Linguini and Paulie Primavera just opened. It was good to see everybody, but I sure was hungry after that…