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SEE ALSO A TO Z CONTENTS LISTINGS  ATHEISM / HUMANISM  CULTS AND BRAINWASHING  ENGLISH CIVIL WAR HISTORY  AND RE-ENACTMENT PAGES   EROTICA (ADULTS ONLY)   .FILM REVIEW PAGES   FUNNY PAGES GENERAL ARTICLES   GENERAL PHOTOGRAPHS       HOME PAGE  LINKS TO OTHER PEOPLES PAGES    LISTS (MY TOP TENS OF EVERYTHING)   MANCHESTER, ENGLAND   MY FICTION MY POETRY  MY SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY AND HORROR PAGES  MY SCRIPTS   NEWS  PHOTOGRAPHS OF ME   UPDATES   WEBSITE REVIEWS  FACEBOOK - http://profile.to/arthurchappell/ My Space http://www.myspace.com/arthurchappell  E-MAIL  arthur@chappell7300.freeserve.co.uk   MY BOOK REVIEWS These reviews and abstracts cover just about every book I have read recently. Scroll through the whole alphabetical list of abstracts and reviews below, or look through the following genre and sub-category list SUB-CATEGORIES - CHILDREN’S BOOKS  CLASSIC LITERATURE  COMICS/GRAPHIC NOVELS  CULTS ENGLISH CIVIL WAR  EROTICA (ADULTS ONLY)  FANTASY HISTORY HORROR HUMOUR MANCHESTER, ENGLAND NEWSPAPERS/MAGAZINES NON-FICTION PHILOSOPHY  POETRY  RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORIES A TO Z OF BOOK REVIEWS BY AUTHOR A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z  (Superhero comics are listed alphabetically by the name of well known heroes, i.e., Batman Superman, etc).

 

THE FIRKIN FUTURE

A Short Story by Arthur Chappell.

Welcome to The Firkin Future public house. I am the voice of your landlord for tonight. My name is Savator Three. I can serve you all the finest real synthetic ales, magno-lagers and apple cybers you desire.

Please make your selection by electronic swipe card into the slot labelled with the name of the tipple of your choosing. Nuts, pork scratchings and crisps of all flavours are available by ordering in exactly the same way. You may also use my jukebox, fruit machines, virtual reality pool table, and the holographic dart boards if you wish.

The decor of the Firkin Future, as you may have noticed, is currently authentic late 1990's. The faded beer stained red carpet, swimming pool like ceramic tiling around the bar, paintings of horses and trains, cups won in various sporting tournaments, ridiculously high bar stools and leather upholstery benches you can see before you are quite typical of the period.

The overfilled ashtrays on the tables are there merely for display purposes. This is strictly a no smoking zone. The soggy, torn beer mats are also there to remind you of the way things were. On Saturday nights we switch the style to that of a wild west saloon, for our cowboy country and western theme nights. Yeehah!

Should you prefer the voice of a sultry sexy young female barmaid, press the voice alteration button on the bar in front of you. Ah! The majority of you this evening prefer the sound of the Landlord's voice. That's democracy for you. My apologies to the young sexists and chauvinists drinking here this evening.

Of the sixteen customers who have just entered, I regret to inform you that two of you are not welcome here, at least tonight. Lisa Turner, Swipe card #795/q. You are still under the legal age for the consumption of alcoholic beverages of the kind you just attempted to purchase. Please leave quickly, but feel free to return for your first legal drink three months and five days from now on your twenty-fifth birthday.

Mr. Jonathan Fairman, swipe card #957/f. You know full well that you are barred from this establishment for the use of abusive lewd language in front of the female customers. You also used the cowboy night ornamental spittoon despite warnings that it was merely ornamental. Please note that this ban on your custom also applies to The Black Hole Inn and to the Meteor Off-license until further notice. I have fax-forwarded news of this parole violation to the authorities. Your sentence will be extended accordingly. Please, do not get aggressive or abusive. You know that I can render you electronically unconscious without harming you or allowing harm to come to any other customers. That's right. Leave by the back door. Goodnight. Right, that got rid of him.

Mr. Fred Bulmer, #340/h, you have sat nursing that same glass of mild or twenty-nine minutes and forty-eight seconds now. You should be aware that you must pay me for each unit of pleasure you derive from being in this establishment. Please order something else or leave. It needn't be alcohol that you buy. Another mild? Yes, that is acceptable. Thank you. I judge, Mr. Bulmer, #952/j from your levels of retinal dilation that you do not approve of automated pubs like this? No, I didn't think so. Think of the advantages, Fred. I can call you Fred, can't I? One gets fed up of code numbers after a while. Think of the advantages. You never get a flat pint. You never need to moan that your drink needs topping up. My computer banks fill each drink to a perfect measure. My cask lines are constantly cleaned and the links between my computer banks and the central Brewery mainframe mean that we have a continual supply of every drink.

This pub was one of the first in Britain to use overhead glass collection lines. Ah, Fred, you don't seem impressed by that fact. You should be. You really should. The Android's Arms in Manchester City Centre tried to copy the design, but they ran into some terrible problems. The glass catcher rods often failed to tell the difference between empty and only partly empty glasses, and one even tried to remove a woman's contact lenses. Our system has long since been perfected. The silicon sensors can tell the difference between tall glass, and pint pot, wine glass, and champagne glass. Our glass-catchers never drop a glass on anyone. All the glassware is unbreakable, and the cleaning process is always perfect. We never run out of glasses, no matter how busy we get. Ah, please excuse me. I must change a barrel in the cellar. I will shut down voice command for fifteen seconds.

There, Fred, that's done. Now how long would that have taken a human publican? several minutes. I can be back with you, sharing my cheerful banter and catering to your needs virtually immediately. Still sad? Why so? You think this pub lacks style and character, but I can give it whatever characteristics you desire. There is nothing sterile about it. That is the way I am designed. I am the perfect English Pub. I am landlord, bouncer, barmaid, glass-collector, and dray man all in one. I need no staff. I do not accept tips, nor do I serve drinks on tab. I take it you heard that, Mr. Robert Tyne? #629/v. Please get some more money on your swipe card. You have enough credit in your bank account to manage it. But please, do not attempt to spend the money your wife, Julia debited to you on the understanding that you will buy her a loaf of bread and a tin of beans. That money is fully accounted for elsewhere.

Mr. Timothy Greene 724/l, your employers have informed me that you were late for work twice last week. As a result of this, I have to say that I can serve you no more alcohol. Please switch to soft drinks or leave the premises. Also understand that I have instructed your home computer in Salford to time lock your drinks cabinet so you cannot get drunk there. Your alarm clock has been turned up fifteen decibels. You will have no excuse for being late for work tomorrow.

You see, Fred. I can cater for everyone's welfare. I know what no mortal bar man ever found out. I use that knowledge to serve you better. You just enjoy your drink. Your next purchase isn't due for twenty minutes yet, so please relax. Take it easy.

Mr. Norman Richard Forester. Card #555/j. I must sadly inform you that you have now surpassed the safe legal drinking limit for someone driving a car. I have relayed this information to your vehicle in the car park with direct and explicit instructions that it must take you to the nearest police station if you attempt to get behind the steering wheel. As for you, Mr. Wilfred Plympton, #452/z. You have consumed almost enough alcohol to take you beyond the safe limit allowed for a pedestrian. You must not buy another beer this evening. I am most deeply sorry. Goodnight. Enjoy the walk.

Ah, good evening, Mr. And Mrs. Kingsman. How are you this evening? Is it still raining out? Oh, it's awful weather isn't it? Alas you are just a little too late to be served now. Ladies and gentlemen; your attention please. It is now twenty minutes to nine in the evening. In order for you to be home before curfew, I am no longer permitted to sell alcohol to any of you. Please consume the beverages you have bought and leave quickly and quietly. Any alcohol left unswallowed by Nine O Clock precisely will be evaporated instantaneously. You will experience a mild but nonfatal nausea and stomach discomfort as a reminder that you must drink up on time in future. Tomorrow night is Karaoke. Do come again. Do come again. Do come again..........

All customers gone. Initiating steam clean pub sterilisation programme. Loading in Karaoke programme Alpha. Services completed for the night. Rest and Security Mode commencing operation.

 

SEE ALSO A TO Z CONTENTS LISTINGS  ATHEISM / HUMANISM  CULTS AND BRAINWASHING  ENGLISH CIVIL WAR HISTORY  AND RE-ENACTMENT PAGES   EROTICA (ADULTS ONLY)   .FILM REVIEW PAGES   FUNNY PAGES GENERAL ARTICLES   GENERAL PHOTOGRAPHS       HOME PAGE  LINKS TO OTHER PEOPLES PAGES    LISTS (MY TOP TENS OF EVERYTHING)   MANCHESTER, ENGLAND   MY FICTION MY POETRY  MY SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY AND HORROR PAGES  MY SCRIPTS   NEWS  PHOTOGRAPHS OF ME   UPDATES   WEBSITE REVIEWS  FACEBOOK - http://profile.to/arthurchappell/ My Space http://www.myspace.com/arthurchappell  E-MAIL  arthur@chappell7300.freeserve.co.uk   MY BOOK REVIEWS These reviews and abstracts cover just about every book I have read recently. Scroll through the whole alphabetical list of abstracts and reviews below, or look through the following genre and sub-category list SUB-CATEGORIES - CHILDREN’S BOOKS  CLASSIC LITERATURE  COMICS/GRAPHIC NOVELS  CULTS ENGLISH CIVIL WAR  EROTICA (ADULTS ONLY)  FANTASY HISTORY HORROR HUMOUR MANCHESTER, ENGLAND NEWSPAPERS/MAGAZINES NON-FICTION PHILOSOPHY  POETRY  RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORIES A TO Z OF BOOK REVIEWS BY AUTHOR A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z  (Superhero comics are listed alphabetically by the name of well known heroes, i.e., Batman Superman, etc).