‘Seven Things I Don’t Miss From Before The Megacorporation Took Over’, by Ben McLeay

Public domain image via Pixabay.

We can all agree on one thing: the Megacorporation is perfect and there’s no better way for anything to be and it’s a literal crime for anyone to suggest otherwise, but from time to time, before taking your morning, mid-morning, noon, evening, bed-time, or midnight Mandatory Behaviour Pill, a little bit of nostalgia can come creeping in. Any suggestion that things are in any way worse since the Megacorporation took monolithic control of the planet Earth and every one of its citizens is, of course, entirely illegal and deeply wrong, but here is a 100% legal list of things from before the Megacorporation that are bad and that I’m actually really glad are gone.

Books

Sure, let’s sit down and stare at a whole bunch of words for a few hours, that sounds like a whole lot of fun, right? Wrong. I can’t imagine anything worse than sitting completely still and having to use your eyes and your brain to turn a bunch of squiggles into entertainment. Luckily, I don’t have to, because imagining anything about books is entirely illegal. A lot of people were upset when the Megacorporation Antiliteracy Squads found and burnt every book anyone owned. A lot of nerds, that is. A lot of criminal nerds who are now either dead or working in the silicon mines.

As a source of knowledge, they are useless. If I needed information about anything I could just consult the Megacorporation’s immense datasphere that encompasses all human knowledge, except I won’t, because I have all the information I will ever need. I have no questions. I will never have questions. I love the Megacorporation.

Sex

Hey, I’ve got these gross poking out parts and you’ve got those weird inwards parts, want to slap them together for a bit and get real sweaty and your hair all messy? Uhh, no thank you! When sexual intercourse was first declared a Level 6 Recreation Crime, people said “that will be impossible to police” and “that’s genuinely insane”, but the Megacorporation proved them wrong by installing microchips in all of us that meant when any two people stayed in contact for more than 30 seconds they’d both be blown to bits by bombs embedded in their skulls. Who’s insane now?

It’s just like the Megacorporation always says: “If you’re close enough to touch, you’re close enough to commit a Level 6 Recreation Crime.”

The Sun

Remember a time before the Megacorporation sealed every major human city in a giant steel dome and gassed everyone and everything living outside the domes with a chemical that broke down all carbon-based life? I don’t, and neither do you, because that would be illegal. People say “the sun is nice to look at” and “how can we tell if it’s night or day?” and to them I say: please report to megajail for being a criminal. Why do you need night and day when the Megacoporation has thoughtfully replaced all previous systems of counting dates and times with arbitrary work and non-work periods, announced at random intervals?

Sunsets? When you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. I assume.

The Colour Blue

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m a simple man of simple pleasures: to be specific, the three Mandated Pleasure Rations I’m allowed under my Personal Pleasure License. I’ll tell you what’s not included in my Pleasure Rations: any colour other than the nine colours the Megacorporation deems legal:

  1. Red
  2. Grey
  3. Dark grey
  4. Darker grey
  5. Really dark grey
  6. Flesh tone
  7. Greyish green
  8. Brownish grey
  9. Sunflower yellow

If there was anything in my pre-Megacorporation childhood that was blue, I can’t remember it, because the part of my brain that can process the colour blue was removed as part of my Mandatory Puberty Upgrades, along with my kidneys and big toes.

Laughter

There was a time when you couldn’t walk down the street without hearing the joyful laughter of children. That time is definitely not the present. Trained snipers in baskets suspended from the dome keep their fingers poised on triggers, ready to eliminate the source of even the slightest giggle. Also, all the children are gone.

There are other, much less illegal ways to express joy than the antiquated, noisy, mouth-flapping disaster that is laughter: raising your eyebrows a little, humming very quietly, keeping it to yourself, not experiencing joy in the first place.

Solid Food

Like you, I get all the nutrients my body needs from a combination of the pills I’m forced to swallow under the supervision of armed guards, and the dark grey carbohydrate liquid dispensed from tubes in the ceiling at the end of every work period. I’m already overwhelmed enough by the three senses we’re allowed to experience to even think about what would it be like having to experience taste. What a hassle! “Chewing” flavoursome “meals” at “regular intervals” more than once a “day”, what a drag! I love Megacorporation brand CarboLiquid and I will eat it until I die at 35, when I’m killed by the Megacorporation so my body can be turned into Megacorporation brand CarboLiquid.

My Children

Small, exuberant and not all that bright. Those are the things I’m allowed to remember about my children. There were two or possibly four of them – definitely an even number. I remember the day they were taken away as if it were yesterday, mostly because constant memory erasure by the Megacorporation has ruined by brain’s ability to put my memories in order. The charming stormtroopers of the Megacorporation handsomely threw tear gas canisters into my habitation unit before they so kindly picked up my two or four probably quite unimpressive children and swept them off to some undisclosed location.

Where did they go? Why did they take the children? How come I’m getting severely painful electrical shocks from the control device at the base of my skull when I type these purely hypothetical questions? Because the Megacorporation is love.


Ben McLeay is a programmer with delusions of grandeur from Brisbane, Australia. He writes for SBS Comedy’s The Backburner and tweets hot garbage at @thomas_violence.