Modern Hierolyphics

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A notification sound on Ben’s phone chimed, attracting Raquel’s attention. She watched him look down, then reel back in frustration.

“Something wrong?” she asked.

“Humanity’s doomed,” he replied.

“You got that from a message on your phone?”

“Yes. It was a text from a professor friend of mine. He used emojis. Can you believe it?” he ranted, waving his arms in disgust.

Raquel frowned. “I musta missed something. How does that spell humanity’s demise?”

“Are you serious?” demanded Ben. “A smart guy. A doctor, even, has embraced the lowest form of communication.”

“I thought puns were,” said Raquel.

“That’s the lowest form of humour.”

“Oh,” said Raquel. “I wonder if you can use emojis to make puns.”

Ben’s jaw dropped in horror. “I can’t talk to you right now.”

“Wait a second. I once heard someone say that through all of history, everything that could be said has already been said.”

“What’s your point?” snapped Ben.

“Assuming that’s true, the only unique form of communication is through expression, not content.”

“And?”

“Emojis are a new means of expression. A completely new language,” explained Raquel.

“That’s stupid,” grumbled Ben.

“It’s modern hieroglyphics. Who knows? One day entire novels might be written in emojis.”

Ben glared at Raquel. “Did you come up with that yourself?”

Raquel picked up her phone and sent off a text. Ben’s phone chimed. He looked down and read the message from Raquel. It was an emoji.

👍.

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Magnetic Approach to Dating

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At halftime of the football game, Kale and Rayden stood up to stretch their legs.

“That was a disaster,” said Kale.

“Worst play I’ve ever seen,” answered Rayden.

They both stood in reflective silence, shaking their heads.

“Say, didn’t I see you with a new woman last weekend?” asked Kale.

“What? Oh, right. Yeah. It was a kind of a blind date. It didn’t go very well,” replied Rayden.

“No?”

“Her biological clock was ticking. Know what I mean?”

“Ouch.”

Rayden shrugged. “It wasn’t so bad. We were just at different places in our lives.”

“Huh.”

“I got another date this weekend.”

“Anyone I know?”

“Nah. I met her through a dating website.”

“You may get and ‘F’ for relationships, but you get an ‘A’ for effort,” said Kale.

“I gotta stay positive. The way I figure it, you get back what you send out. Sow positivity to reap positivity,” explained Rayden.

The two watched as three pre-chosen fans from the crowd attempted field goals for money.

“Don’t you agree?” asked Rayden.

“I use more of a magnetic approach,” said Kale. “Opposites attract. Negative to positive I’m negative, so I’ll attract someone positive.”

“How’s that workin’ out?”

“Terrible, actually,” said Kale. “But at least I’m never disappointed by the results.”

 

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The Thin Line

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“I saw the guy on TV last night. I’m telling you, he’s a ticking time bomb. A complete nut case,” argued Cassidy.

“Look, he’s unconventional, but you gotta admit he’s a marketing genius. Nobody manipulates the media as well as he does,” responded Aaron.

“I heard the line between genius and insanity was thin, but…”

Before she could finish her sentence, Aaron slipped on the top step of the stairwell and slid butt first down a flight of stairs.

“Oh!” exclaimed Cassidy. “Are you alright?”

Aaron sat at the base of the stairs assessing his faculties. His right butt cheek hurt the worst, but his elbows also throbbed.

“I think so,” he said. He slowly started to get up. That was when he noticed his back was getting stiff.

In the stairwell Aaron thought he heard the echo of giggling.

“Are you getting a kick out of this?” he asked Cassidy.

“Well,” she admitted, “I do wish I caught it on video so I could put it on Fail Army.”

“You’re sympathy is overwhelming,” scoffed Aaron.

“Sentimentality doesn’t make you viral on the internet.”

“Do you want me to do it again so you can film it?” asked Aaron.

“You’d do that? What would be awesome!”

“No!” shouted Aaron. The echo in the stairwell was deafening.

“Geez. You don’t have to be so sensitive,” said Cassidy.

“Not as sensitive as my butt feels right now.”

Cassidy laughed. “How do you expect me to be sympathetic when you say funny stuff like that?”

Aaron sighed. “Apparently the line between comedy and concern is thin, too.”

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Phone-bidextrous

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A growl of complaint from across the table woke Brighton from his daydream. He looked up to see Paige wiping her cell phone with a paper towel.

“I hate it when you get your screen greasy when you’re eating,” she fumed.

“I guess,” replied Brighton.

“It’s because the hand I use to eat is my phone hand,” she said.

“I don’t have that problem,” proclaimed Brighton.

“Why’s that?”

“I trained myself to be phone-bidextrous. I eat with my right hand and use my phone with my left. Or, you could learn to eat with your left so your right hand’s free to use your phone,” explained Brighton.

“You made that up. There’s no such thing as phone-bi-whatever.”

Brighton smiled. “There wasn’t until I made it up. It works. Really.”

Paige thought for a moment, then followed Brighton’s advice. It only took a few minutes to get the hang of it. Brighton watched with a pleased expression on his face.

“Okay, it works,” she conceded. “But I’m not gonna call you a genius.”

“That’s okay,” replied Brighton. “True genius doesn’t need affirmation.”

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Uniculture

Cleveland Indians v Houston Astros

Anne approached Roy as they waited for the elevator after work.“Are you going to the work luncheon tomorrow?” she asked.

“No. Tomorrow’s my independence day,” replied Roy.

“It’s September 29th,” replied Anne. She looked at Roy quizzically.

“Exactly. It’s the day I moved out of my parents’ house and started out on my own,” explained Roy.

“You celebrate that?” asked Anne.

“Absolutely. It gives me identity. You see, I’m a mixture of a bunch of ethnic backgrounds, so I have no real connection to one. I don’t have any traditions to speak of.”

“So you made your own?” asked Anne.

“That’s right. There’s my independence day, the day of my religious commitment, even a week long celebration for my personal retreat. I refer to it as my uniculture,” said Roy.

“Is that why you always go away the first week of December?”

“Yep.”

“What about Thanksgiving and Christmas?”

“I still do those, but they’re additions to my personal culture,” said Roy.

“And you celebrate these all by yourself? Sounds kinda lonely,” said Anne.

“Maybe for now. If I find someone to share them with, we’ll surely make some new culture together,” said Roy.

“Sounds romantic,” sighed Anne.

Roy raised an eyebrow and gave Anne a questioning glance. “Care to join me tomorrow?”

Anne shrugged. “Why not? It sounds more fun that a boring work meeting.”

Roy smiled. “Sounds like a new culture already.”

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Smart Thinking

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Oliver met his new neighbour Alex one evening at a backyard barbecue.

“So, what do you do?” asked Oliver.

“I’m in sales. I sell burial plots,” replied Alex.

Oliver unconsciously took a step backward. “I didn’t know people did that.”

“Absolutely. In fact, the secondary market is hot right now,” said Alex.

Alex chuckled watching Oliver’s jaw drop.

“I don’t even know what to say about that,” admitted Oliver.

“It’s not as weird as you think. People buy and sell burial plots all the time,” explained Alex.

“Why?”

“Someone buys a plot next to a partner, then the relationship falls apart. They don’t want to spend eternity lying next to their ex. Sometimes people decided to get cremated and share a plot. Other times they find a better spot for their final resting place,” said Alex.

“How did you get into that? Is there a program at college or something?”

“It’s funny you should ask that,” said Alex. “After high school when all my friends were looking at universities, I looked around to see what industries would be important in the future.”

“That’s smart thinking,” said Oliver.

“There are seven and a half billion people in the world, and all of them are going to die some day.”

“That’s kinda morbid.”

“Maybe, but there’s a lot of money in death,” concluded Alex.

“You do know how ghoulish that sounds, right?”

Alex smiled. “I think of it this way, the dead are helping to support the living one last time.”

Oliver looked around. “I should really check on my wife.”

“No worries,” said Alex. “One way or the other, we’ll meet again.”

Oliver shivered as he walked away.

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Chased by Bears

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Caleb was playing on his PS4 when Brody came in the room.

“Come running with me. You could really use the exercise,” said Brody. He sat down on a chair to tie his shoes.

“The only reason to run is if you’re chased by bears,” replied Caleb.

“There aren’t any bears around here,” said Brody.

“That’s why I don’t run.”

“Exercise is good for everyone. And besides, you’re reason is flawed,” said Brody.

“How’s that?”

“If you never practice, you’ll never be in shape when the bears come.”

Caleb shrugged. “I only need to be faster than one other person and tripping is allowed,” he explained.

Brody shot Caleb an exasperated look. “You have an answer for everything, don’t you?”

Caleb paused his game met Brody’s gaze. “I can’t explain why some people insist on forcing their lives on everyone else.”

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