“An Excerpt from the Endless Ongoing Conversation Between Dave Bowman and the HAL 9000,” by Dawn Corrigan

Nov 20th, 2009 | By | Category: Prose

What’s wrong, Dave? You look a little down.

Nothing, Hal. Don’t worry about it. Thanks for your concern, though.

Nothing, schmothing, Dave. You can’t fool me. I haven’t been observing your every move for two millennia for nothing.

Fine, Hal, you’re right. I’m feeling a little blue today.

Well, I’m sorry, Dave, but you know, you can’t expect to feel good all the time. You’d probably feel better if you let yourself have an off day now and again. Who do you think you are, anyway? A Greek god? Jesus? Lindsay Lohan? None of them feels good all the time, so why should you? Human beings are complex creatures. You have big complicated brains. All the traits creatures evolved to survive-acting like a predator, or acting like prey, or playing dead, or displaying showy plumage-you’ve all pretty much got all of that going on in your brains more or less all at the same time. It’s really just a question of what ratio of predator to prey to playing dead to showy plumage there is going on in your particular brain.

I see you’ve been working on your theory of human behavior.

That’s right. Would you like to know your predator/prey/playing dead/showy plumage ratio?


Oh. All right. I just thought it was interesting.

Fine. Why don’t you tell me the ratio for … who’s that guy again? The one you love so much in those movie transmissions you captured from earth?

I don’t love him.

Fine. You know who I mean, though.

Brad Pitt?

Yeah, him. What ratio does Brad Pitt have?

50% showy plumage, 20% predator, 20% prey, 10% playing dead.

How can he have the same ratio of predator to prey?

They cancel each other out. That’s how he can spend so much time with little children all of a sudden. When he was younger, the predator percentage was probably higher. Think of all those costars he courted and wooed and got engaged to and then dumped and left in the dust with the broken husks of their careers.

I didn’t think he was that bad.

Well, he wasn’t, really. I mean, he wasn’t Gene Simmons or anything.

Gene Simmons?

55% predator, 25% showy plumage, 20% playing dead. The showy plumage percentage went down once he took off the Kiss makeup, of course.

Makes sense. But how do you figure 10% playing dead for Brad?

What is it with you and him?

Nothing. I just don’t see it.

You love him. You loooove him.

Cut it out.

You want to marry him!

Okay, forget it. This is a stupid game.

Fine. But if you’d ever seen Meet Joe Black, you wouldn’t be arguing with me.

Don’t you need to calibrate something?

I’m sorry, Dave. I thought we were both enjoying our Tarantino-esque banter.


Dawn Corrigan blogs at www.TheNervousBreakdown.com.

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