Author: David C. Nutt
I watched the wifihead bounce into the door. I Love clueless look they all have when they realize they’ve lost connectivity. Next comes the part I love even better, when they swipe their finger across the door to open it. None of them have been off-line in their lives. The experts are saying this might go on for years. I watch as his panic starts to build, then I step in.
“Get you in the building for five bucks.”
“You want in? I can get you in. All it will cost you is five bucks… cash.”
“That’s outrageous! I work here.”
“Sure. And I don’t. Five bucks.”
“I don’t have cash… nobody who is anybody carries cash. That’s so… dis.”
Dis. He said it with a sneer. As in disconnected. As in me and roughly .17% of the population who for one reason or another cannot be directly connected to the net. Can’t have info downloaded to our noggins, can’t run the internet of things from our brains, can’t even make a phone call or watch a movie by tapping our temple. That part I could live without. But I can’t work in any kind of office, can’t get service in a restaurant, bank, or laundromat. Even worse, the new stuff they’re making doesn’t even have chipcard access anymore. Sure, I have an access port wrist set to get me some limited connectivity; looks like an old timey smart watch, but as soon as they see me use it, or find out that I’m not “jacked-in”- it’s to the back of the line. Even if I was first in line.
I looked at the wifihead. I smiled. “Yeah, so dis. 20 bucks. Unless you can go and get the cash.” I pulled back my sleeve so he could see my “smart watch.” He tapped his temple. I shook my head. He sighed and pulled out his chip card and tapped my wrist set. Twenty dollars was credited to my account. I smiled. I pulled the recessed handle and the door slid back.
The wifihead shot me a look of contempt. “That’s it?”
I bowed dramatically and looked up. “Sir, you are paying for your ignorance. I have given you a life lesson you will remember forever.”
“Dis freak.” He said under his breath. He walked into the vestibule. There was another door. He walked right into it and comically bounced off it. I let go of the outer door. It closed behind him. He was rattling the inner door. “Help! Help! Let me in!” I shook my head.
“Just push on the brass plate that says ‘PUSH’.” He pushed instead of pulling as he was previously doing, and the door opened. I looked past him into the building where my friend Angela was standing. She smiled and waved. It would be another five bucks to get on the elevator.
Oh, the next few weeks were going to be busy ones! What used to be our support groups for the “Dis” were now union meetings more-or-less. No need for us to be too greedy, or too smug. There’s plenty of opportunity for all of us now where we used to be marginalized as “Dis.” Appliances have to be turned on, thermostats adjusted, machinery re-set, phones dialed… and so much more! So much that they need us to do. And when the government steps in and legitimize us because they have to, well, then we’ll be national heroes. As for now… I’m just finally making good money and having the time of my life.