I eased open the door of the lab. There was only one occupant, dressed in a white coat and hunched over a microscope, “Hey Jimbo,” I said suddenly, with the intent to startle, “what’s so important that you needed me to come to your lab.”
He jumped and looked over in my direction, “Man Reggie, don’t call me Jimbo at work. Here people call me Dr. James. I have to maintain a modicum of regimentation to maintain the heiarchy.”
“Don’t talk to me like that Jimbo, talk to me like I’m a person. How’s your mom?”
“She’s better Reg. Thanks for asking.”
“So what’s up dude? What’s so important that it couldn’t wait for the weekend?” I pulled a stool up next to him, sat down and leaned my elbow on the stainless steel work surface.
“I think I’m onto something Reggie. I think I’ve unlocked something amazing. I wanted to try it out and thought you might be interested in helping.”
“What…” I started.
He bowled right over me and kept talking. “I’ve developed a compound that allows a person to read minds. I’m doing it right now.”
“See, I knew you were going to say that.”
“I knew you were going to say that too, and before we start chasing our tails, I knew you were going to ask about my Mom when you came in. I know you’re thinking about the Sox right now. I know you are wondering what your chances are with the new checker at the Safeway store and I know that if she were here right now I could tell you what your chances are.”
“I am unimpressed, Jimbo. I’m always thinking about baseball and sex. We’ve known each other since first grade so you know that. You gotta do better if you want to convince me.”
“You’re thinking about beer now, specifically Leinie Honey Weiss. Nope, you just changed. Now it’s the Summer Shandy.”
“OK, I’m convinced. I don’t drink those fru fru beers so there is no way you could have guessed that. Tell me about it. How can I help? What do you want from me?”
“I need another test subject.” He said. “You’re my best friend, I can trust you.”
“Say no more, I’m in. What do you have to do? Implant a microcomputer in my brain?”
“No Reggie, I told you it’s a compound. I can give you an injection, which is how I took it, or you can take an oral dose. By and large, I think ingestion is going to be a more efficient means of introduction.”
“Gimme the pill then,” I said.
“I don’t have a pill. Here,” he offered me a bag of potato chips. They were the ruffled kind, my favorite so I reached in and grabbed a handful. “Just eat one,” he said, “that should be enough.”
So I did.
“By the way Reg, I don’t know how long it lasts. Preliminary research leads me to believe that you can’t turn it off but I’ll work on that.”
“I don’t care Jimbo. Do you know how much time and money this is gonna save me?
“Whoa, it’s already working; I know that you’ve already thought about that. Dude, I can totally read your mind. You are fuckin’ awesome.”
“Yeah,” he smiled, “I knew you were going to say that. Go ahead on then and get over to the Safeway store but don’t tell anyone about this. Come over to the house tonight, we’ll have a couple of beers and talk more about it. Mom would like to see you.”
“Thanks Jimbo. You da man! I’ll see you later.” I turned and sprinted towards the door. I was thinking about that new checker – I thought she’s got an awesome smile.
“She does indeed,” Dr. James called after me as I pushed through the door.
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