'Two Clones Walk Into A Pub' by Lance Cross

Tony waited silently in a corner of the Robot and Parrot pub. He fidgeted with a coaster, pausing occasionally to run his hand over the itchy brown stubble on his head.
A bald female in purple overalls walked in and scanned the room. When she spotted Tony she strode over and sat down next to him.
‘Hi. I’m Tony 12,’ said Tony.
‘Sharon 5. But call me Sharon.’
Tony nodded. ‘I’ve taken the liberty of getting you a drink.’
‘What is it?’ asked Sharon, as she inspected the glass of brown, fizzy liquid in front of her.
‘It’s called ‘beer.’ It’s made from water, a fermenting agent, and some sort of plant material.’
They both took a sip of ‘beer.’
Neither of them liked it.
Tony wiped foam from his top lip. ‘So Sharon, what do you do?’
‘I haven’t been assigned yet. I’m only one day old.’
There was an awkward silence just long enough for both of them to take a further gulp of their pints.
‘How about you Tony?’
‘I’m a Test Subject.’
‘That sounds interesting.’
‘Does it?’ asked Tony. ‘It’s not what I saw myself doing when I was younger.’
‘Really?’
‘Yeah. I dreamt of being a Lab Assistant – but I didn’t pass the entrance exam.’
Sharon did a quick visual inspection of Tony’s head. ‘How old are you?’
‘Nine days.’
‘Oohh. An older man.’
‘The dating site said you weren’t adverse to someone mature.’
Sharon smiled. ‘Oh no. I like a man who’s seen a bit of life.’
‘Well,’ said Tony, ‘you know how it is?’
‘No. I don’t.’
They tried another swig of ‘beer’ – and still didn’t like it.
‘Where are you housed?’ said Sharon, as she fondled her coaster.
‘In the lab. I still live in the lab.’
Sharon’s eyes widened. ‘After nine days?’
‘There’s a cubicle shortage.’
‘Oh right.’ Sharon crossed her arms as Tony hid behind his drink.
Tony stared into the bottom of his empty glass. ‘My Ex was always on at me about moving out.’
‘Your Ex?’
‘Karen 4,’ said Tony. ‘What a control freak she was.’
‘Were you together long?’
‘Three days.’
‘Wow.’
‘Yeah.’
‘It’s not too soon is it?’
‘No,’ said Tony. ‘Life has to go on.’
Sharon shrugged. ‘I suppose so.’
An alarm sounded from the i-Everything daggling from Tony’s left ear.
‘Oh, I have to go,’ said Tony. ‘Time to have my blood changed.’
Sharon sighed. ‘That’s a pity. I felt we were bonding.’
‘You could come back to the lab with me,’ said Tony. ‘I could show you my cultures.’
‘Won’t your incubator technicians be there?’
Tony’s shoulders dropped. ‘Yeah. And they’re so embarrassing. They’ll want to show you pictures of me as a foetus in a test tube.’
‘I should be getting back to my cubicle anyway.’
‘Well, it’s been nice,’ said Tony, grinning widely.
Sharon smiled. ‘This was nice wasn’t it? Shall we do it again tomorrow?’
‘I’d love too,’ said Tony. ‘But I’m being dissected for spare parts after breakfast.’

Comments

  1. I like this. Imaginative and funny.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wonderfully insane logic and a bit sad. Nicely done.

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  3. I really loved this. Insanely wacky and disturbingly, insightfully plausible at the same time.

    ReplyDelete

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