Monkey-Chandelier

“All right, Mr. Goines. We’ve purchased your domain name and set you up with a great hosting provider. As of today, armyofthetwelvemonkeys.biz is up and running.”

“That’s great, Jim. Great. Yes! No! Good!”

“We’d like to hear your ideas on how you want your new website to function. Your site needs to be seen by all the right demographics.”

“There’s no right. There’s no wrong. There’s only popular opinion!”

“That’s actually a great approach. Keeping up on current trends can really optimize your—”

“My brain!”

“I’m sorry?”

“My brain, you fruitcake! You’re all going to study my brain exhaustively under the guise of mental health. I need to be interrogated. I need to be x-rayed. I need to be examined thoroughly.”

“Of course. That’s why we’re meeting today, Mr. Goines. To get your opinions.”

“Shut up! Get out of my chair! Okay. First, you’re gonna take everything about me and put it into a computer where you’ll create this model of my mind. Yes! Using that model you should be able to generate every thought I could possibly have in the next, say, ten years, which will then be filtered through a probability matrix of some kind to— to determine everything I am gonna do in that period. That’s how we’re gonna lead the Army of the Twelve Monkeys into the pages of history! And if you forget one thing, I will have you shaved, sterilized, and destroyed!”

“W-what exactly is the Army of the Twelve Monkeys trying to accomplish with an online presence? Call me crazy, but—”

“You know what crazy is, Jim? Crazy is majority rules. Take germs, for example.”

“Germs?”

“Uh-huh. In the eighteenth century, no such thing. Nada. Nothing. No one ever imagined such a thing. No sane person, anyway. Ah! Ah! Along comes this doctor, uh, uh, uh, Semmelweis, Semmelweis. Semmelweis comes along. He’s trying to convince people, well, other doctors mainly, that’s there’s these teeny tiny invisible bad things called germs that get into your body and make you sick. Ah? He’s trying to get doctors to wash their hands. What is this guy? Crazy? Teeny, tiny, invisible? What do you call it? Uh, uh, germs? Huh? What?”

“You might be thinking of Louis Pasteur—”

“Now, cut to the 20th century. Last week, as a matter of fact, before I got dragged into this hellhole. I go in to order a burger in this fast food joint, and the guy drops it on the floor. Jim, he picks it up, he wipes it off, he hands it to me like it’s all okay. ‘What about the germs?’ I say. He says, ‘I don’t believe in germs. Germs are just a plot they made up so they can sell you disinfectants and soaps.’ Now he’s crazy, right? See?”

“Umm… sure. Oh, before I forget, would you like to display any banner ads?”

“Commercials! Look, listen, kneel, pray. We’re not productive anymore. We don’t make things anymore. It’s all automated. What are we for then? We’re consumers, Jim! Yeah. Okay, okay. Buy a lot of stuff, you’re a good citizen. But if you don’t buy a lot of stuff, if you don’t, what are you then, I ask you? What?”

“Uhh…”

“Mentally ill! Fact, Jim, fact: if you don’t buy things— toilet paper, new cars, computerized yo-yos, electrically-operated sexual devices, stereo systems with brain-implanted headphones, screwdrivers with miniature built-in radar devices, voice-activated computers…”

“You know, I think we’ve got enough to work with for now, Mr. Goines. If we need any more suggestions, we’ll just give you a call.”

“Telephone call? Telephone call? That’s communication with the outside world! Doctor’s discretion. Nuh-uh. Look, hey. All of these nuts could just make phone calls, they could spread insanity, oozing through telephone cables, oozing into the ears of all these poor sane people, infecting them. Wackos everywhere, plague of madness!”

“Okay, thank you. Have a nice day. …Is he gone? Good. Get Lamar Smith on the line immediately. I have a feeling he’ll be very interested in Jeffrey Goines’s new website.”

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