The Purpling

a poem by Nick Montfort

We wanted the robot to be happy, too. Such a stickler, everything must always be done in order, but then it wishes each person a nice day after each financial transaction is done. While others puzzle over the problem of how they can be rude to it, we prefer to play nice. Perhaps a parti-colored outfit slipped elastically over the obelisk, over our automatic friend, as we make sure that its sense organs and openings for ventilation are not stifled by the attire? It was the festive season, after all. We ourselves had glitter-spray over our exposed surfaces, were wearing half-masks, and bore kazoos either in our hands or ready in holsters. Would the reaction be hesitant laughter, stunned silence, or applause, as we proceeded to the checkout to pay for our cascarones? As we headed out, would three individuals costumed as officers of the law appear at the door? Three individuals with badge numbers, checked out and registered, governed by procedures? The guise of happiness can't, legally, blanket everything.