Chocolate Harvey looked at the scene of devastation around her. Turning over several pieces of fur and carbon-fibre, a twinkle of silver in the sunlight caught her eye. Sweeping aside grit with her fingers, she made out the name ‘Steve A’Dore’.
“Oh Steve,” she said, “how did it come to this?”
A few weeks earlier:
“Honestly Steve, can you believe this tripe?” Choc pointed towards the screen with a microscope slide.
“Do they really think that Bono and Oprah can save the world by eating their breakfast live on TV every day for six weeks?” She put the slide down and Steve slotted another into the microscope.
“It would appear Miss Harvey that this is indeed what the television company believe.”
“But it’s rubbish,” said Choc. “It’s unwatchable.”
“From the empirical data I have collected so far, I believe you are incorrect Miss Harvey.”
Choc looked up from the microscope. “What empirical data?”
Steve whirred as he appeared to calculate. Choc frowned,
“I know you’re solid state,” she said. “That affectation really doesn’t suit you, you know.”
“I’m sorry Miss Harvey, but it is my experience that humans don’t react well to the instantly available correct answer. I am merely trying to put you at ease.” He glided down the bench.
Choc sighed, “If I were any more at ease Steve, I would be horizontal. Please – just tell me – what empirical data?”
“I have observed,” said Steve, “that since the beginning of this series of Celebrity Big Brother you have watched 35 out of a possible 40 hours of viewing time. It would appear to be far from unwatchable”
Choc shook her head.
“This is purely professional interest on my part. They sidelined me in favour of Vince ‘I’m more photogenic than you’ Sky, and I want to see just exactly how much of an ass Tex makes of himself trying to persuade people to vote for their own death sentence.”
“Query: Tex?” asked Steve, gliding back up the bench bearing a cup of tea.
“As in Texas,” said Choc, taking the tea. “He’s got a lone star state of mind.”
“You do not believe that Professor Sky deserves to win the contest?” asked Steve. “He seems to be very popular at the moment, despite his recent debate of the problems of over-population with Kitty Kelley and Bob Dylan. In fact, the press are referring to him as an overnight sensation.”
Choc rolled her eyes. “He’s been cultivating that impression for the past 20 years. Have you noticed that every time he drags out that Malthusian over-population theory, every time he talks about it, he starts going on about taxing the 1%, limiting their net worth and forcing them to limit themselves to a maximum of two children? No one cares about humans dying off if they think they can get more money out of people like Al Pacino and Venus Williams in the process. I bet he never takes that Leo Thornton tribute t-shirt off.”
Steve chimed. “You asked me to remind you about the genetic radish project Miss Harvey. Your deadline is at 2pm today.”
“Damn, I forgot. Thanks Steve. I think they’re going to love what I’ve done with their idea. Clear the bench will you. I’ll start getting the things together for the presentation.”