Ryan Ridge

from 22nd Century Man


I expect I can tell a heron from an egret at long range, but I haven’t tried it in awhile. Everyone
has gone to sleep, but I’m still awake and so bored and I wish someone would call and ask me to
hang out. Last week the navy lost the war. I’ve never considered myself a polyester person. I
never learned to play piano. I feel lonely upon realizing our founding fathers’ fantasies.
Automobiles are ambiguous to me. I am fasting. I don’t know much about Alabama, I just know
it’s there. I like the thought of cops. I like licking stamps. It’s impossible to describe the color
blue. Someday I’d like to go to Seattle. I used to sing in a gospel choir. I like Science Fiction
books. Tell me more about Microsoft stocks. Politicians will lie and cheat just for the money. My
father is my father. I want to have a million children. I most certainly should have a thousand
dollars. I should. I’m always excited when the UPS man arrives. I think populists are elitists.
Quite frankly I need a lot of sun. I’m interested in stopping and starting time. Regret is my main
concern. A list of adjectives and a list of verbs. As an atheist I’m attracted to the pictures that
come with the frames. I don’t respond to the chaos of nature. Last year everyone was shopping
especially my mother. I think I may have just made the biggest mistake of my life. I watched
Titanic again. I killed a lizard with a shovel. I pulled the wings off a fly. I drive a minivan. I feel
unloved. I’d like to pet a pony. I want chocolate. I like Harry Potter. On Tuesdays I play the
fiddle in a bluegrass band and it’s great, great fun. I consume one point twenty one gigawatts
every time I speak. When I was first born I ran on a pentium 90 web server! I’m an atheist,
which means I don’t believe in any God. I do not approve of terriers in cells. My mother taught
me to sew. It’s hard to stop extremists, because they are prepared to devote all their time to being
extreme, whereas normal people like us like to watch TV and shop. I like sitting by the fire.
When I hear the phrase “does harm” in isolation the first thing that comes to mind is the ability
to relax and not worry about wasting time on things I don’t want to do. I don’t know anyone
named Heather. Once I got wasted beneath a palm tree with Rhonda Shear. Western Sudan
ponies should be your choice of horse––very peaceful and easy-going breed. Well, I look just
like Moby, which is strange. I’ve never worn white or insisted upon anything being spotless.
Meet me at a post office in Idaho. I think this is a nation with a lot of problems. God created us.
Ok, so let’s have a real conversation. I still do candles for my birthday. And my mother. 1999
was a great year for funerals. I’m interested in the meaning of making. I prefer to be indoors. I’m
all about the facade. I like to talk. I don’t have thumbs. I’d like to drink and dance tonight all
night. There is no musical instrument useful for murder other than piano wire. I’ve killed lizards
with first aid cream. I’ve never heard of the stock market. I can’t jump very high. There are so
many freeways. I prefer meat to sheet cake. I don’t have a middle name. I hate mint chocolate. If
I could bring a dead person back to life it’d be my childhood. If something can go wrong it does.
Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it (in English). I’m going to see a
man on a horse about a horse. When I was a baby I wore a feather boa. I try not to think about
9/11. I heard birds mean freedom. I’m learning to count crows. I’m becoming a real girl. They
call me the architect of Detroit. Children are the future, apparently, but the future is also a
mystery school for adults. I like to role play. Winning the lottery is the best language. All the
garbage on earth goes to the moon. Clear is clearly not a color. Contrary to popular belief, danger
is not my middle name.

NOTE: This piece was generated by posing the questions from Padgett Powell’s Interrogative
Mood to a trio of internet chatbots: Cleverbot, Brother Jerome, and Sensation Bot respectively.

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