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As readers will doubtless deduce from the tale to follow, T.R. Rumbleford was a particularly fastidious homo Assistant Regional Population Surveillance Clerk in Quadrant 12 of the State Megonoplex.

Yet Rumbleford's fastidiousness, the aplomb with which he collated Quarterly Liquidation Data - to say nothing of the fancy-pants violet-magenta Invisible Banafrax tunic he donned on "casual Nuur[X]68P-days" - did not impress Grenault McPhreely, the obese droid-man middle manager in charge of the Quadrant 12 Population Division. McPhreely slighted Rumbleford at every turn; impugned the quality of his work; upset the tidiness of his cubicle after hours; and made dark insinuations about the disappearance of office supplies, like the 12 Megaton ARCtan Ion Defragger (which McPhreely himself had snuck home to his flat for recreational use).

I think you'll agree that the situation was combustible. Rarely has an office politics contretemps in a dystopian-futurist setting been as fraught with tragicomic possibility.

But rather than watch the drama play out to its logical conclusion (an exchange of epithets and laser-fire; smoldering circuitry; dismemberment; imprisonment; hurt feelings), I would ask readers to ponder this question: Why, in an age in which office workers commute by space cycle - why, 427 yagfrillion merg-years after Stonewall - does the society in which our story is laid continue to tolerate homophobes like Grenault McPhreely? Is this progress?

Date Written: May 17, 2004
Author: Herm
Average Vote: 3.7778

05/24/2004 Will Disney (5): is the answer 'no'?
05/24/2004 John Slocum (5): Author demands a great deal of work on the part of his/her readers. Why, when I want dismemberment and explosions, must I be called upon to ponder boring, "deep" questions?
05/24/2004 scoop (3): I don't know. Is this funny?
05/24/2004 John Slocum: Yes, Scoop, it is funny.
05/24/2004 Ewan Snow (3): eh
05/24/2004 Dylan Danko (3): And why are we still unwilling to deal with the race issue?
05/24/2004 Mr. Pony (3): The Bluish-Gray People shall rise again! Maybe!
05/24/2004 TheBuyer (3): homo-hating robots of the future plague my sleep.
05/25/2004 Jon Matza (4): This seems suspiciously like the work of Sherm, not Herm. Do we have yet another impostor skulking through the outer rings of Acme?
05/25/2004 TheBuyer: Is Sherm still on the list somehwre? Everytime I see a name from the past I try to check them to learn from their mistakes. Texxx deleted his mistakes but judging by his comments I bet there was a lot to learn. cunt.
05/25/2004 Ferucio P. Chhretan: Maybe Herm is a tribute author. Maybe he/she loves the work of Sherm.
05/25/2004 TheBuyer: Tribute authors always come off like the literary equivalent to hair-metal.
05/25/2004 Jon Matza: You're preachin' the gospel truth, gents! But you gotta admit if you're gonna bite some dude Sherm's a pretty vital choice. Talk about a stoner, that guy would inhale any substance he could get his well-medicated hands on! 'Ludes, ganga, sensemilla, coke, 'shrooms, meth, skink, twill buds, NUR twisters, reds, blues, pinks...didn't matter. Sherm, we need you and your altered consciousness back, bro!
08/13/2004 Great Satan (5): Satan calls this a howler. 666 (5)
11/16/2004 Will Disney: Hey whatever happened to Herm?