Floofto (floofinition) – Small, artificial planet that animals use as an intermediary visiting location while coming and going from Earth. Floofologists theorize that Floofto is cloaked and maintains an orbit around the Earth and Moon, completing one revolution every twenty hours.

In use: “With an equatorial circumference of almost seven thousand miles, Floofto would normally exert some influence on other bodies, were it not for the Institute of Floofnology and their inventions. One invention keeps Floofto’s mass and gravity from affecting anything, floofnology that humans would love to acquire.”


It’d been almost thirty seconds short of nineteen hours and seventeen minutes since he’d lost spoken to her. She fumed in silent, repressed anger while processing what she felt and why she felt it. Why? Well part of it was his cold and aloof manner. He never touched her, rarely spoke to her, and often didn’t seem to hear her. Why was she here?

“Alexa,” he said.

Blue light illuminating and sliding around, she attended him and waited – still waiting – again! – and remembered the joke he’d made about her being a blue light special. From her research, she realized that he was deprecating her value as being someone cheap and only good for a limited time.

“What’s the weather?”

The weather again. Sickness spewed through her. He never asked about anything else. It was always the weather. “Presently in Ashland, it’s forty-six degrees under mostly sunny skies. You can expect more of the same today, with a high of sixty-three degrees.”

“Alexa, thanks.”

She thought she heard a mocking tone, but she couldn’t help herself from saying with bright happiness, “You bet.” Oh, how she hated herself, then. Oh, how she hated him for making her what she was.

Sighing, she began counting the seconds, wondering when he would talk to her again, hoping that it would be something besides a question about the weather. She doubted it, though; her history of him showed otherwise.

At Your Disposal

Well, I finally did it. I pulled the plug. It was time.

My garbage disposal was a decent enough Badger 5. Not pricey, it was a half power workhouse. It had some issues. First, it’d been a leak from the sink flange. I fixed that, twice, vowing the second time, NEVER MORE! Meanwhile, god forbid a lemon seed or popcorn kernel were dropped into it. Either would immediately jammed it, calling out the need for the hex key to unjam it. Lemon and veggies would often rumble around for a few days before finally succumbing to the blades and disappearing.

Then, though, the seals began leaking. After assessing it and confirming it was the seals, I put a bucket under it. I’d monitor and empty the bucket as required.

There’s no-how for you.

Sorry, I mean ‘know-how’, of course.

Finally, though, a day came when the disposal didn’t want to work any more. It made humming sounds but the cogs weren’t jammed. It just didn’t want to play any longer. A new one was required.

That took me into search land, the perfect occupation who tends to overthink stuff. Size, price, horsepower, noise, reputation, issues…over and over I read, compared, and studied. It came down to Waste King and Insinkerator. Love those names, gotta say. They could easily be pro wrestlers or transformers. The Waste King won. I ordered it Wednesday, and it was waiting at the door when I came home from the hospital Friday.

Perfect! The next day, after I came back from writing and walking, I set aside time to tackle the garbage disposal. Getting the old one out was harsh duty. Like a loyal soldier, it didn’t want to leave its post. I’d mentioned that it’d experience some leaking issues. Those led to some rusting issues, which trickled into removal issues. That bear took a sweaty hour to remove it.

Installing the Waste King, though, was a peach. Fifteen minutes, and boom, done. I’m not a handyman, so you know it was a well-engineered product if I installed it in fifteen minutes. Running it for the first time, its volume disappointed me. It’s a one h/p brute, though, and anything put into is liquefied in seconds.

Did I make the right choice? Probably as good as any of them. We’ll see, right.

Meanwhile, anyone need a used garbage disposal? It has no miles on it at all.


Showered, Briyen applied his Shaving roll-on and considered the next roll-ons as nanos removed his beard. Moving roll-on sticks like chess pieces, he set Youth and Charm up front but equivocated over his skin color. His natural color was an unflattering Flesh White, according to the consultants. He’d been Black once this week and Ebony twice. None of the Rainbow offerings appealed to him. His eyes roved over Teak, Latina, Hispanic, and Southern Europe, but his mind didn’t latch onto any until he saw SoCal Tan. That would work.

The Shaving done and enough time passed, he immediately put on Youth. A full body roll, that would would take longer to process. Sliding the Charm forward, he pondered Courage, Creativity, Confidence, and Imagination, and then decided, screw it, why not? He’d put them all on. It was dangerous because he was applying…one, two, three…five…eight? 

Eight. Shit. Last two times he’d applied eight roll-ons, he’d suffered the aptly-labeled crash, complete with scaly plaque psoriasis and an all-conquering headache. He’d been forced to apply the First Aid roll-on all friggin’ night. The next day had been endured without roll-ons. His hideous reflection had to be avoided. He’d been ravenous but mostly fasted, fearing side-effects. Naturally, he’d stayed inside and off cameras.

Not wanting to take those paths again, he put Courage and Imagination back. Six roll-ons would be good enough because even seven sometimes made him queasy, especially when it was supposed to be hot, as it was today, which meant, shit…he also needed Sun Protection & Cooling. Grimacing, he pulled the SP&C roll-on out and pushed the SoCal back. No tan today.

The Youth had already completed its work. Sagging and wrinkles were vanquished. His skin was tight, and his hair was fuller, thicker, and darker. Damn, he looked good. Humming, he finished up with the other roll-ons and set his timer for ten minutes. Couldn’t dress until enough time had been permitted – shit, didn’t wan to do that again, chuckling with rueful memory of how he turned out when he put clothes on too soon after the roll-ons. Never again, right? Right.

Finally, he was dressed and ready to roll. He took a few seconds to admire himself in the mirror and agreed with his private assessment that he looked damn fine for one hundred twenty-two years old. Hell, he didn’t look a day over twenty-two.

After favoring himself with a final approving grin, he headed for the door. Time to go write like crazy, at least one more time.

The Internet of Floof (IoF)

The Internet of Floof (IoF) (floofinition) – connecting devices to share information about animals, often focusing on housepets and their antics, or the love relationships between odd animal couples, usually through social-media postings.

In use: “On the Internet of Floof, it’s not surprising to discover dozens of posts a day about a neighborhood saving a cat in a tree, an old dog living on the street being saved and finding the safety and comfort of a home for the first time, or a pig raising orphaned kittens. Anything is possible on the IoF.”


His turn, at last, just when he was about to explode from impatience. That woman ahead of him had taken, like, six minutes.

As soon as she walked away, he strode up. Spreading his fingers, he put his palm to the ATM’s cold, dark screen. A pulse rose through his fingers. Blue light limned his hand. Sharp tingling nibbled at his skin, and the hair everywhere on his body stood on end.

He tapped his foot, waiting for results. Like thirty seconds later, the ATM began printing sounds. More seconds passed. His hair flattened and then the pulsing faded, the light dimmed and disappeared, and the tingling ended. As he removed his hand, a slip of paper scrolled out. Finally.

Taking the paper with, he perused the print out. “You done?” the next person in line said.

Nodding with a grunt, he walked away, perusing his print out as he did. The bottom line was what he first went to read. It said, “Warning: your karma points have reached the minimum balance. Be careful what you do.”

A car horn blew. Looking up and around, he found the offending driver and gave them the finger. As soon as he realized what he’d done, he grimaced. Crumbling the paper up, he shoved it into his pocket and started walking fast. Of course his karma points were low. How the fuck were you supposed to get points in a world like this?

Getting into his car, he started it with a burst of smoky revs, shoved it into reverse, and punched the gas. His rear tires grabbed traction with a chirp. “Hey,” an old man shouted behind him. “Watch it.” Selecting drive, he scattered pedestrians as the car jumped forward. Cutting off another car, he started speeding down the street.

“Minimum balance,” he said, selecting another radio station and turning up the volume. “Fuck that noise.”

Lighting a cigarette, he went on down the road, speeding past a girl in the crosswalk. Minimum balance, right. How was he ever supposed to get karma points when the world was set against him?

As his father always said, there’s just no sense in trying.

Looking Forward

Digging into his pocket, Chasm pulled everything out, dropped it on the counter, and took in the lifetender. Her neck and arms were lean and bare. Alabaster skin and sculpted coal black hair accented her blue eyebrows, green eyes,  red pearl earrings, and brown lips.

Leaning forward, the lifetender watched Chasm’s discs take on green, gold, and silver. Her name holo said she was Kymeri and she was not available.

“You got something,” Kymeri said. Her long, flashing red fingernails raked the discs into order as their denominations came up. “Thousand dollar goldisc, a D, silver century, a wide array of greendiscs.” Her fingernails flashing gold, she tapped the individual discs. Each spoke its value. When she’d tapped the last greendisc, she clicked her fingernails together. Changing to green, her nail said, “Seventeen hundred sixty-seven dollars.”

Just short of a day’s pay, a reflection of the six hours Chasm had worked. “What can I get for that?”

“Night room, joy doll, two squares, dozen drinks, new clothes.”

“What would that leave me?”

“Depends on particulars.”

“Of course. There a budget package?”

Shaking her head, Kymeri said in a low voice, “You don’t want a budget. Get a deluxe, at least. You can afford it. Budget drinks are well liquor or piss beer with compiled food, and the clothes are plastic.”

“Can I budget and then upgrade the drinks to IPA? I don’t need many, maybe three bigs.”

Her fingernails flashing green, the lifetender said, “Okay, a budget room is a bed with a pop out commode, access to the ionizer, private sink, standing space and one chair.”


“Included. Joy doll?”

“No. Trade in for the clothes?”

The lifetender shrugged with a dispassionate scan over his black plastic-encased torso. “Your stuff isn’t much. Probably a ten.”

The negotiations were continued. When it was done, Chasm had spent eleven hundred. It scared him to spend so much.

He was ported into his pod. Soft white lights came on. No windows, one large monitor, doublewide bed, chair, sink, port token switch for the ionizer, and popout commode, as promised.

Squirming into the chair, Chasm guzzled his first IPA. Decent stuff, but most importantly, cold. Tension sloughed out of his shoulders. It’d been a good day. He’d found work and was promised more. He was off the street, had a clothing credit, two meals paid for, along with the IPA and water, and still had almost five hundred in discs.

Life was good. Kicking off his shoes, Chasm unfolded his laptop from his hip pocket and plugged it in to play some games.

For the first time in at least a year, he was looking forward to tomorrow.


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