Aaron J. Shay
Mar 7, 2017 · 2 min read

John Everyman woke up to the sound of electrical buzzing.

“What is that, dear?” His wife, Jane Everywoman, asked him.

He responded, “It’s probably just the President, honey.”

“Oh no, not again.”

He picked up his word-box from the bedside table. It was always on, in case anything important should happen. But Everyman was not a public figure, no. Everyman was just an average code-conductor for the great and powerful Harold T. Googleman Corporation. Like thousands of other code-conductors, he would show up to work, say hello to the secretaries, and close the door of his office. Then, he would pick up his code-wand, the walls would change into screens, and then he would spend all day conducting symphonies of programming. This was a normal job, for a normal person, in this time.

But like every other person on the planet, Everyman wanted to know immediately if anything happened anywhere, at anytime. It was the only way to be a productive member of society. It was the only way to rise up the ranks of the social hierarchy. And the word-box was the source of that information.

But lately, it seemed as if the word-box had been completely taken over by the new president of the United States. No other news could get through the radio waves, they were so clogged with the White House’s strange and troubling messages.

“Well? What does it say?”

Everyman sighed. “It’s going to be terrible, talking about this at the office.” Then he showed her the box.

The sheet of paper scrolling out of his word-box read, in big bold letters: “THE LAST PRESIDENT LEFT HUNDREDS OF ELECTRIC SPIDERS IN THE WHITE HOUSE TO SPY ON ME. BAD MAN! NOT GOOD. -POTUS.”

Everywoman sighed as well. “That’s the only news we’re going to get today, isn’t it? I was so hoping that a new song from The Queen Bee would make the headlines. I just don’t know how I’m going to talk about this with the other ladies all day! It’s complete nonsense, darling!”

“Right,” Said Everyman. “The boys over at the water cooler are going to be talking about the legal ramifications of electric spider surveillance for a week. I’d much rather talk about the possibility of a Android Rights Amendment, or perhaps the upcoming Mars Bowl game…”

“I know, dear, but if it’s true, that means-“

“Of course it’s not true. The former president didn’t have the authority-“

Another buzz. Everyman looked at the word-box. And sighed.

“Maybe the last message wasn’t so bad after all…”

And as he said the words, Everyman’s memory of a time when the leader of their country did not make daily narcissistic, paranoiac, ignorant claims receded further from memory.


Aaron J. Shay

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Writer and singer; musical taxonomist; pop-culture ruminator.