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ABOUT THE 3 ILLUSTRATIONS: Done by my buddy Jay, back in 1987. One day he read "SallyJones", and decided to take magic marker to paper to draw a few scenes. He was homeless, though lived out of a truck. We spent a few months together, then he suddenly upped and left. I don't know how--or where--he is, and only have these illustrations to remember him. But oh what delectable drawings! Thank you, Jay, I love ya to pieces. Sincerely: your "Alsatian whore", Eugene (my name back then).
(A Parable For The 21st Century)

© 1998 by Ezekiel J. Krahlin

Sam&EllaJones 2 wanted to have a ReelChillun, but couldn't. There was nothing biologically deficient with either mate, but there were stiff population growth laws in the Year of Our Lord 00000000000000000000011111111000. For one thing, the worlds were overpopulated. For another, they came from a long line of average IQs and uninteresting faces. But they were desperate to round out their family life, and so opted for the legal alternative: a SurrowgitChillun.

At the Factory of Hyoomin Model Engineering they filled out the applications and waited in suspended animation. 00000000000000000000000000001001 months later, a mechanical stork with the initials FHME stamped on its white breast delivered a bouncing SurrowgitBayBee exactly to their specifications: part Irish for the curly red hair, part Italian for the healthy glow of Mediterranean skin, and part Nepalese for a touch of the exotic; and 00000000000000000000000000000011 years old to get the messiest part of chillun rearing out of the way.

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Illustration by Jay - 1987

Sally (as they named her) was an exquisite, lifelike repro of a HyoominChillun, only she had a nylon pump for a heart, and iridium chips for a brain. Without a scanner to probe the internal workings of SallyJones, you could not distinguish her in any way from a NormulHyoominChillun; for she was programmed with the same emotional and intellectual capacities. (At the age of 00000000000000000000000000010010, however, a hitherto inactive ROM chip will instruct her to marry a SurrowgitSpous and fly off for their honeymoon on Mars 00000000000000000000000000000100. Actually, they will return to the Factory for disassembly, but this was TOP-C-KRET.)

Sam&EllaJones nourished their chillun with affection and government nutrients delivered biannually in crates. It looked like the food everyone else ate, but was actually PlastiPulp 3 and Noogloo 4 (TOP-C-KRET again). Sally took the CitiKoptur to school every day, since their home floated in the clouds of Suburbia Annex #00000000010100000011011111111010. (Room on the ground had run out a long time ago. Even the HydroponiKowz lived in HeavenScrapers.)

For several years the Joneses lived in familial bliss as their daughter grew into a healthy, attractive little lady. But in the back of their minds, Sam&EllaJones could not love their SurrowgitChillun as completely as they knew they could love a BioBayBee. But SallyJones was programmed to love her parents. And she did, dearly. Every time she looked up at their faces, she saw the face of G.O.D. 5, and every word that came from their lips was sacred to SallyJones. (This is expected, as neither Bio nor Surrowgit Chilluns leave the factory without rigorous testing for bugs. #00000000001010101000111000011110-H8D was no exception and, when handed over to Sam&EllaJones, was, by all scientific determination, delivered in a StateofPerfekGrace.)

Like any HyoominChillun, Sally was dependent on her parents for many of life's "(Y/N)" decisions, in order to become a useful subroutine of society. But Sam&Ella's growing prejudice for a ReelChillun led to an excessive number of "N" responses until there was no space left in Sally's RAM for even a lowercase "y". Despite all the safeguards and error-checking protocols built into Sally's firmware, a glitch was inevitable.

The problem occurred one morning after breakfast. Sally kissed her father on the cheek before trotting off to school, but he never looked up from the NoozPrintout. Now, while each SurrowgitChillun is programmed to have emotional feelings equivalent to those of a HyoominChillun, the intensity of those feelings is randomly selected. F.A.T.E. 6 gave Sally an extremely sensitive emotional program. When her father did not look up and say, "ByBySweeHart" with a peck on her nose, Sally's little heart crumpled, creating a loop that made her system crash into ReelTeers. But her father never saw this, for she wiped them quickly away and ran for the Koptur.

But the Koptur had already left and, in its place, stood a gleaming RoboSfear. At the porthole stood a large Rabbot 7, beckoning her with a basket of sparkling ShugarZips 8. Sally danced into the RoboSfear that whisked her away into a point of blue in the silver dome far, far above the peaks of Suburbia Annex #00000000010100000011011111111010. After witnessing their daughter's abduction through a PitcherSkope, Sam&Ella went on a PikNik.

The RoboSfear hovered like a Gnat 9 beside The Factory of Hyoomin Model Engineering, which soared 00000000000000000011101010011000 levels into the sky, almost above the head of SallyanRabbot 10. It was stuccoed with basrelief storks-- hieroglyphic fashion--and dazzled in the thin air. The RoboSfear found the NeedlzEye, and entered.

Several weeks passed without their little SallyJones, and the emptiness in their home began to seep into the souls of Sam&Ella. They had never known such trust in another Hyoomin- BeeIng as they had from SallyJones--not even from each other. Soon, this emptiness grew into a desperate yearning that tore at the walls of their SanityCell 11, until they realized their mistake and jetted back to the Factory of Hyoomin Model Engineering to request return of their beloved daughter.

"What do you mean, 'no return after deposit'? This is my daughter we're talking about!" Sam's face grew beet red.

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Illustration by Jay - 1987

"I'm sorry SamJones, but we must abide by the rules," said the polite clerk, her left eyelense peeking through a flip of glossy NuHair 12. (NuHair is expensive, for each strand is a complete organism in itself. It waved seductively at SamJones. Ella touched her own, real hair, and was jealous.) Though distracted, the clerk's fingers never stopped dancing across a console of blinking LED's. Ella glanced down at her own, real fingers. But SamJones was persistent until the clerk referred them to the AdMenstruator of Life 13. The AdMenstruator of Life was a willowy brunette with a freckle beneath her left eye. She looked up from her desk where she was peering down the Skope at a MicroFish of S.Jones #00000000001010101000111000011110-H8D.

"SamJones," she admonished, "you know very well what the contract says. We cannot possibly return your chillun."

"Why the hell not?" Sam pounded on the Sofdesk 14 for emphasis, but it tenderly yielded to his blows. EllaJones wrung a Plaskerchief 15 in her hands.

"It is TOP-C-KRET. The AdMenstruator cannot tell," a voice spoke in the minds of Sam&EllaJones. Ella wondered where the voice came from, then noticed the AdMenstruator's finger pressing the F4 key.

"Well then, where is she now?" SamJones tried to clutch the AdMenstruator's HoloGarb 16 lapels, but they eluded him. Ella touched her own, real blouse.

The AdMenstruator tapped the function key again: "SamJones, that is also TOP-C-KRET."

SamJones leaned menacingly forward into the AdMenstruator's ProtoShield 17. The Sofdesk began to slump. "What exactly do you do with returned Surrowgits?"

She withdrew her hand from the keyboard and sighed. "SamJones, I cannot answer these questions. They are against company regulations."

SamJones scowled and shook his fist, "Then the next time you see me, it'll be with a TorneyBot 18!"

The AdMenstruator of Life shrugged. "That will do no good, SamJones. You'll only be stripped of your read/write NezTik 19 status for the next 00000000000000000000000000001000 BioCycles, and youanElla will be ported to level 00000000000000000000000000000001 as RandumbAksessCanners Class \N. No TorneyBot will defend you."

SamJones knew heanElla could survive with read-only Neztiks for at least 00000000000000000000000000001000 cycles, but he shuddered at the thought of standing on solid ground. Two brave character strings emerged from Sam's trembling NuLips:

"Why not?"

The AdMenstruator of Life shook her NuHead 20 resignedly. "Alright, SamJones, EllaJones. Please sit down and I'll explain what I can, but first you'll have to register your IDNA code on the VidPlate 21 in order to release me from any consequences of distress my explanation might bring, and bond you to TOP-C-KRET-C."

The AdMenstruator pressed CTRL-ALT, and a Sofdesk window popped open, exposing a rectangular grid that hummed expectantly. SamJones looked deep into the AdMenstruator's NuHazelEyes 22, then, with quivering MayzurPen, signed. The moment he lifted the pen, the VidPlate glowed, and 00000000000000000000000000000110 electrons reversed their polarity in the microcircuits of 1010110101010010100010000000000 satellites across the 000000000000010000000000- 00010001 galaxies of sector 00000000000000000000000000100111. Sam pressed the ESC key; the VidPlate flashed:





and vanished.

The AdMenstruator of Life then described the process of the disassembly of SallyJones, and the reassembly of each part into 111010100010001111111011110110011 other SurrowgitChillun.

It was impossible to reassemble SallyJones.

"But we can make you an identical version of SallyJones," said the AdMenstruator, who held the MicroFish of S.Jones #00000000001010101000111000011110-H8D between petite forefinger and thumb. "This program contains the very essence of SallyJones, heart and soul," she declared, waving the MicroFish alluringly beneath the noses of Sam&EllaJones.

Ella began sobbing and, between dabs of her tears with the Plaskerchief, murmured: "It wouldn't be the same. It wouldn't be OUR chillun, OUR Sally."

For another moment the AdMenstruator dangled the shiny MicroFish like a bauble in SamJones's bewildered eyes, before tossing it into the moleculizer. Two sudden beams of light reduced Sally to dust, then molecules, then nothing. Sam stood paralyzed in mute witness to the evaporation of his daughter. The AdMenstruator pressed F4, and G.O.D. spoke again:

"Don't worry, Sam&Ella; Sally's blueprint is permanently ARChived 23 in the Akashic Mainframe."

The AdMenstruator of Life then rose from her Sofchair 24 and slowly, pointedly, spoke: "SamJones. EllaJones. Sally was perfect. It is YooHoo are lacking."

A Plutonian cold descended upon the Joneses, and a void filled the space between their Sofchairs. The distance and their shame became so great that Sam withdrew his hand from Ella's clasp. But a solitary thought linked their minds like a bridge from one circle of Hell to the next: "We moidered our daughter."

The Sofchair eased the AdMenstruator of Life back into its strong, but gentle, embrace. With another tap of the function key, the AdMenstruator shook her Nuhead sadly: "No, Sam&EllaJones, you did not moider your chillun. She is a part of every chillun that we have produced in the last 00000000000000000000000000001110 minits. Be grateful for that much." A window then exploded (with a "Vooooooooo- oooooooooooop!" sound) behind the AdMenstruator, extending across the back wall from ceiling to floor:


Per VidPlate Agreement



Breach of contract punishable to
the fullest extent of the Law

SideKik (c) 7F0, Vogon Hive Cluster V2-3BA7C22F

There was nothing more that Sam&Ella could do. Head bowed in shame, SamJones beckoned Ella to rise from her Sofchair and humbly depart. But Ella belligerently stood up and, shaking her tiny fist, peeped: "You'd think there weren't enough BioBayBeez to go around!" Whereupon they were immediately surrounded by a contingent of armed Sofchairs and sofas, stripped of their read/write NezTik status, escorted to level 00000000000000000000000000000001, and handed two khaki uniforms for RandumbAksessCanners Class \N.

Before admitting her next client, the AdMenstruator of Life stood before a mirror and thought, "No wonder we don't let them have ReelChillun: they're 2-goddam-stoooooopid," and admired the NuFreckle 25 under her left eye: a gift from SallyJones.

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Illustration by Jay - 1987

1 SallyJones: Vogon Patent #0000000000101010100011100001- 1110-H8D:AU by FHME (Factory of Hyoomin Model Engineering), copyright 00000000000000000000011111000100 by Ezekiel Krahlin.

2 Sam&EllaJones: Vogon Patent #100001000001110000100000- 11010010:10000000000000000000000000000000:AU and #10000100-000111000010000011010010:10000000000000000000000000000001:AU by TheJonesmakers, Inc., a RAMCO subsidiary.

3 PlastiPulp: Vogon Patent #001101000111110000100000- 11010010:10000000001100000000000000000000:AF by the United Federation of Cosmic Sanitary Engineers.

4 Noogloo: Vogon Patent #001101000111110000100000- 11010010:10000000001100000000000000010000:AG (a byproduct of Equestrian Fantasies, Ltd., cloners of the NooImproved Unicorn IX ver. 12.001.2CE).

5 G.O.D. ("Great Omnipotent Database"): copyright 00000000000000000000011111110111 by Intergalactic Business Machines.

6 F.A.T.E. ("Flowchart Analysis of Temporal Entities"): copyright 00000000000000000000011111110011 by Intergalactic Business Machines.

7 Rabbot: Vogon Patent #011001010100000000100000- 11001000:00000000000000010000000010000000:AH by GENE-TEK, Inc.

8 ShugarZips: Vogon Patent #0010010000000000101000001101- 0010:10000000000000000000000000000001:AG by Nabisclone.

9 Gnat: Vogon Patent #011001010100000000100000- 11001000:00000000000000010000000010100000:AH by GENE-TEK, Inc.

10 SallyanRabbot: Vogon Patent #00000000001010111000111- 000011110-H8D:AU, a joint effort by Ezekiel Krahlin and GENE-TEK, Inc.

11 SanityCell: Vogon Patent #0010010000000000101000001101- 0010:10000000000000000000000000000001:AB by Modular Environments, Inc., a division of HUD (Housing Uranus most Desirously).

12 NuHair: Vogon Patent #10100100000100000010000001010010: 10000000000000000000000010000000:AI by Genes 'R' Us, a joint venture of GENE-TEK, Inc., and MakDonald's (over 1.2E+18 burgerbytes organically molecularized every nanoblip!).

13 AdMenstruator of Life: Vogon Patent #0110010100000000- 0010000011000000:00000000000000010000000010000000:AL by Aunt Lydia's Ball Busters (a temporary employment agency).

14 Sofdesk: Vogon Patent #0110010000000110000100001100- 0000:10000000000000011000000000000000:AY, a public domain SideKik utility designed for Hyoominoids with special permission from the Vogon Hive Civilization Cluster V2- 01110111010011111000010001011111.

15 Plaskerchief: Vogon Patent #011001010000000000100000- 11000000:00000000000000010000000010000000:AH by Scot's Tissues and GENE-TEK, Inc.

16 HoloGarb: Vogon Patent #1000001110000000001000100101- 0010:10001000000000000100000010010000:AC by Xian Dior in cooperation with NIH (National Institute of Holograms).

17 ProtoShield: Vogon Patent #1011101110000000001000100101- 0000:10001011000000000100000010011000:AJ by Bee King's Sofweir Security Systems, Inc.

18 TorneyBot: Vogon Patent #1100000110001110000000000000- 0000:00000000000000000000000000000100:DA by ACLU (Andromedan Civil Librarians Union).

19 NezTiks: Vogon Patent #(TOP-C-KRET):AR by FORTNOX Numiz-o-Matik Sofweir, Inc.

20 NuHead: Vogon Patent #1110000010010000000000000101- 0010:10000000000000000000000010010010:AI by Genes 'R' Us, a joint venture of GENE-TEK, Inc., and MakDonald's (over 1.2E+18 burgerbytes organically molecularized every nanoblip!).

21 VidPlate: Vogon Patent #1011101110000000001000100101- 0000:10001011000000000100000010011100:AJ by Bee King's Sofweir Security Systems, Inc.

22 NuHazelEyes: Vogon Patent #1010010000010000001000000101- 0010:10000000000000000000000010010000:AI by Genes 'R' Us, a joint venture of GENE-TEK, Inc., and MakDonald's (over 1.2E+18 burgerbytes organically molecularized every nanoblip!).

23 ARC: Vogon Patent #1111101110000000001000100101- 0000:10001011000000000100100010011100:BB by (TOP-C-KRET).

24 Sofchair: Vogon Patent #0110010000000110000100001100- 0000:10000000000000011000000000000001:AY, a public domain SideKik utility designed for Hyoominoids with special permission from the Vogon Hive Civilization Cluster V2- 01110111010011111000010001011111.

25 NuFreckle: Vogon Patent #1000000010010000001000000101- 0010:10000000000000000000000010000001:AI by Genes 'R' Us, a joint venture of GENE-TEK, Inc., and MakDonald's (over 1.2E+18 burgerbytes organically molecularized every nanoblip!).