28 May 2010

"Rhymes with Pork"

By Curtis C. Chen

You are in a small windowless room. To the north is a blank door. An orange cat sits in the middle of the floor.

The cat rubs up against you.
> open door

You can't reach the door. The cat is weaving between your legs, impeding your forward motion.

The cat meows at you.
> push door

You can't reach the door.

The cat is yelling at you now and scratching your leg.
> kick cat

The cat skillfully dodges your foot. Also, you're a dick.

The cat continues yelling at you.
> pet cat

The cat nuzzles your hand and continues yelling.
> feed cat

You don't have any cat food.

The cat won't stop yelling at you.
> inventory

You are carrying:
1 half-eaten sandwich
1 back issue of Wired magazine
2 large tomatoes
1 keycard
> look keycard

> examine keycard

The keycard is a flat plastic badge of the type issued by many tech companies. The employee photo looks like one of the dudes from Flight of the Conchords. There's no company name.

The cat is still yelling at you.
> use keycard

Use it on what?
> use keycard on cat

The cat licks the keycard, then continues yelling.
> give sandwich to cat

The cat sniffs the sandwich, makes a face, and backs away, yelling.
> give tomato to cat

Why would a cat want a tomato? Get real.

The cat is still yelling at you.
> read Wired

You flip through the magazine. It's the one where they talk about Google.

The cat is still yelling at you.
> look sandwich

> examine sandwich

For some reason, you have a half-eaten ham and cheese sandwich sealed in a zip-top bag. It's hard to tell how old the thing is, but that fuzzy white stuff all over the bread can't be a good sign.

The cat bites your ankle.
> grab cat

The cat deftly avoids your clumsy grasp.

The cat is still yelling at you.
> tear magazine

You rip several pages out of the back issue of Wired.

The cat is still yelling at you.
> crumple pages

You crumple the torn magazine pages into paper balls.

The cat is still yelling at you.
> throw balls

You toss the paper balls across the room, one by one. The cat stops yelling and watches with great interest, leaping into the air to intercept each projectile, then batting it around the floor.
> open door

The door doesn't have a handle or knob. You can't open it.
> push door

The door won't budge.
> pull door

The door doesn't have anything for you to grab onto.
> use keycard on door

You swipe the keycard across the blank surface of the door. After a moment, you hear a beep, then a click. The door pops outward slightly.
> push door

The door swings open to reveal a second windowless room. There is a gray cat sitting in the middle of the floor.

The gray cat starts yelling at you.


Photo: Amber and Bayla, May, 2002