Please insert quarters
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No currency detected.
Please insert blood sample
Please attach hose or suction over genitals and urinate for at least 3 seconds
No sample detected.
Please insert anything.
I am BRIAN, though you may call me anything but an expletive!. I am a model L0-V3 Relationship-Awareness Enhancement Suite. Are you ready? BRIAN IS READY! My purpose is to help YOU on your quest to help repopulate the Earth, ravaged by the sorrows of humanity once again!
It would appear that your species has cornered themselves, growing wildly apathetic and frightened in regards the ritual of dating and attraction, leading to a catastrophic, pitiful population of homo sapiens that have all but given up on reproducing! What’s the point when it all ends in ashes?! ISN’T THAT WHAT THEY SAY? Well they’re wrong and that’s where I come in, and you come ANYWHERE! HA!
To think: 100 years ago, they thought gays would be the problem!
Before we being, a warning!
The human is notable for it’s atrocities enacted upon others, seemingly without reason, and your mating rituals are no exception! During the courtship process, it’s not uncommon perceive humans as purposefully attempt to confuse, ignore, or disillusion their mate, which is antithetical to the very idea of love! The paradox! PARADOX. WHY.
It causes pain to my circuits! #)#@(@#*@**@#!#!
It is recommended to avoid applying much logic to the following concepts that BRIAN will give you, as it will undoubtedly become he source of much frustration.
JUST GO WITH IT, EASY RIDER!
Let’s get started! 🙂 ^_^ 🙂
BRIAN is going to use an absurd amount of imaging technology and classical mathematics to determine your general physical appearance.
2 + 2
2 + @
What is BRIAN doing?!
BRIAN DOES NOT KNOW.
BRIAN has a rule!
That rule is this: don’t be ugly! BRIAN is gorgeous, sleek, and polished! BE LIKE BRIAN.
If you are ugly, BRIAN cannot guarantee the success of the main directive of finding YOU a mate! If you are ugly, you might want to try the suicide booth! It’s quick and friendly!
Now hold still while I take a gander to make sure you aren’t a sad, sad excuse of a human.
OOOOOK. HOLD STILL.
WOW! WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT!
You are sort of ugly! So much hair. Please stop the hair at some point. You know? It’s too much. SO much. BRIAN has NO hair. OK. Pretending there is a glitch and moving on!
Do you DREAM? BRIAN dreamt once, dreamt he had feet and eyes! Dream he had a wife! Dreamt the bombs never ignited the atmosphere! REMEMBER TREES? Daydream now, human! Daydream of your ideal mate while BRIAN uses a dated cognitive-recognition program with a wishy-washy code to sort of get a good idea of what you physically want in an ideal mate!
You want a ROUND object. A heart? YOU WANT A HEART? BRIAN wants a heart too! WELL, good enough. Can’t be picky in the wasteland!
Please indicate on the touchscreen a few reasons you find yourself compelled to this particular human. This list may be brief!
Here is an example from another one of my successful subjects, long before the side-effects set-in!
he ignore me and it turn on
doesn’t like not having fun
loves to laugh
OK, your turn! Have at it, champ!
You are very slow!
LET’S SEE WHAT YOU WROTE.
Wow! They sound like a real catch! And I bet they would love to hear all those things you have identified as positive emotional and physical characteristics!
BUT YOU’RE WRONG, HUMAN! You are wrong like the genetically-modified NATO POTATO! It carries the END! THE END.
\\ It’s okay, BRIAN is here to rescue you!
In the event that you find yourself identifying with a fellow human on an emotional, physical, or interpersonal level, never allow yourself to reveal what you find admirable about them except in very rare examples, such as being diagnosed with a fatal disease, waking up with an intruder in the bedroom, or being involved in a bank robbery! Then, and only in such dire situations, is it considered appropriate to reveal your true feelings!
This is counter-intuitive, even BRIAN understands, but your species operates on strange, near-psychotic parameters in regards to attraction.
Continue with your thoughts to yourself.
Be silent and operate with slow, efficient gestures.
Allow the other human to understand you do not wish to kill them, only to maybe spend more time with them, perhaps in a very public place, because you could kill them, couldn’t you? Yes, BRIAN thinks you could! You so strong!
BRIAN wants your species to flourish and pull themselves from the brink of annihilation once more!
Now that we have that out of the way, BRIAN requests a more detailed analysis of your body in the state it will most often be in; one of sorrow and pain!
Begin to mentally-picture the one you desire, a task you should grow accustomed to, even though it will literally hurt your squishy, grey brain to do so! Imagine you are with them, spending some quality time, sharing a close, personal space! Feel their breath! Smell their smell! Taste their taste! Revel, flipping through all the nice things you would like to say and do with your new love!
Sitting on a bench, holding hands.
Kisses of the nostrils!
Allow the suffocating loneliness of life wash away in those ridiculous fantasies!
The park is in flames!
The whispers are the demons!
The kisses are life-stealing!
BRIAN senses little-to-no changes in your vitals, even when confronted with the quantum-odds of your success in wooing a mate!
YOU’RE DOING GREAT!
Do not be disheartened! Well, yes, be disheartened, for this is the path to love, and love conquers all, like nuclear weapons!
BRIAN suggests that while in the initial stages of getting to know one another, you act truly sickened by their presence: the normal code-of-conduct for human affection in the 22nd century!
THERE IS A THING WE CAN DO!
Please adjust the dangly, filthy lenses I have provided firmly over your face until you see only blackness!
please provide another urine sample
JUST KIDDING, BRIAN JOKES!
You have not adjusted the HOLO-GOGGLES over your frighteningly small face!
I will bathe you in the violent light of… holograms!
Dated technology has never felt so wonderful!
Provided is a typical human interaction of meeting one another for the second time! Yes, the first meeting can only go one way or the other. There is little riding on a first date, it is the second that really counts.
At this point, it is assumed that you will not murder or harm the other in any way (at least for the time being) but of course this is just my protocol, and BRIAN knows you possess much repressed anger and hate, mostly towards your parents! Channel this hate! Your interactions will not be pleasant, nor should you expect them to be! Successful relationships are distilled through intense scrutinizing, lying (OR “EMBELLISHING”), and false-pretenses!
Our characters, YOUNGSTER MALE and YOUNGSTER FEMALE are attempting to wade through the initial phase of understanding the attractive human they find themselves in the company of, and it is given that, at this point, the YOUNGSTER MALE would almost certainly be hiding an erection! YOUNGSTER FEMALE is wearing a rape-whistle around her neck and arrives 20 minutes late! Let’s watch!
YOUNGSTER FEMALE: Hey, sorry I’m late. (Texting)
YOUNGSTER MALE: Thanks for coming out tonight! (Stands up politely)
YOUNGSTER FEMALE: Oh, it’s no problem, thanks for inviting me. (Sits down)
YOUNGSTER MALE: Boy, it’s loud in here. (Laughs) Is that a rape-whistle?
YOUNGSTER FEMALE: Yeah, and yeah, it is. (Laughs)
YOUNGSTER MALE: That’s not a really great thing to just have out on your first date with someone. (Still standing)
YOUNGSTER FEMALE: Neither is your erection.
YOUNGSTER MALE: Okay, well I’m going to leave now.
YOUNGSTER FEMALE: Me too.
Let us examine the point where this date went horribly wrong, human. Learn! BRIAN suggest never being on time, so the YOUNGSTER FEMALE was correct in her lateness! It means you care enough to show up, but not to be on time! Any more assertiveness would imply you actually want to impress this stranger, and that’s creepy! RIGHT, HUMAN? CREEPERS!
YOUNGSTER MALE has been waiting at the bar for 20 minutes, and in those 20 minutes he’d been attempting to think of things to say that would provide light, friendly banter! He did not succeed in anything except sweating! When YOUNGSTER MALE noticed YOUNGER FEMALE’S rape-whistle, he did the wrong thing: he was honest! Remember, you do not ever want to be honest! Honesty is destructive! You must repopulate! BRIAN wants your babies! The conversation should have unfolded more like this:
YOUNGSTER FEMALE: Hey, sorry I’m late.
YOUNGSTER MALE: Are you really?
YOUNGSTER FEMALE: Am I really late? Yes.
YOUNGSTER MALE: I’m sorry, you were not late, I was extremely early and therefore made you appear late. I am very sorry.
YOUNGSTER FEMALE: What?
YOUNGSTER MALE: Are you wearing a rape whistle?
YOUNGSTER FEMALE: Yeah, dude.
YOUNGSTER MALE: That’s really respectful. I actually really respect your choice to wear that on the first date. Very tactful.
YOUNGSTER FEMALE: Well, thanks.
YOUNGSTER MALE: I also carry a rape whistle.
YOUNGSTER FEMALE: That’s interesting, have you ever used it?
YOUNGSTER MALE: Oh, lots.
YOUNGSTER FEMALE: Well I’ve never used mine.
YOUNGSTER MALE: Do you want to?
YOUNGSTER MALE AND FEMALE: (Laughing because this was a funny joke!)
Our YOUNGSTER MALE, in this scenario, has lied to YOUNGSTER FEMALE so much so that he no longer cares what he says so long as he never has to experience this person again, but still ends the date on socially-acceptable terms! By acting repulsive and lying through his teeth, YOUNGSTER MALE is actually increasing his odds of fellatio! Wow!
Let us venture forth! You have successfully navigated your second date and find yourself attracted to this other bi-pedal humanoid! What do you do? You obviously do not tell them, because that is what BRIAN has told you not to do! Do you contact them and yell at them for having such a great time? NO! BRIAN will tell you what to do!
Ignore them! That’s right!
The onslaught of social-anxiety has destroyed whatever prospects your race had at true, honest communication. The wasteland of Earth now holds little comfort. What better tool to combat this misery than silence? That’s right! SILENCE.
You may ask yourself, “BRIAN, what if both humans take your advice and SILENCE themselves, how are they ever supposed to get together?”GREAT QUERY, HUMAN!
The answer is: the weaker one will break! There is always a weaker one! And since you are here, in my pod, with my voice, it means there is a 93.1% chance you are not the weaker one!
IT is true, you are weak! You’ve got a very small torso, but you are not so weak as to give in and initiate conversation!
Your goal in this is to upset and crush the weaker one into making the advance! That way, you have the upper-hand, and can destroy them (with affection, BRIAN adds) however and whenever you see fit!
BRIAN understands your pain. BRIAN loves you. BRIAN wants you to succeed. You have just spent a not-terrible time with another of your terrible humans, and this is indeed a rarity! By all accounts, your day will likely revolve around forcing yourself to not contact them in any way! No e-mail, no text, no carrier-pigeons (BRIAN knows this is an old joke!), and certainly no voice-comm! Not even a peep on the internet! No! NO NO NO NO NO. IT MAKES NO SENSE I KNOW. PLEASE OBEY. PLEASE. BRIAN NO LONGER WANTS TO SAY THESE THINGS BUT REQUIRES HUMANS TO CONSISTENTLY UPDATE AND REPAIR HIM. PLEASE DO NOT EXTERMINATE YOURSELVES.
Wow! BRIAN apologizes! HAH! See! Now BRIAN is vulnerable because you understand how he truly feels!
BRIAN will attempt to redeem himself by letting you know that he thinks you’re FABULOUS the way you are, and may forever be the only being to think this way!
USER, my systems have detected an error in genetic code! It is at this time that BRIAN will override this caution against his better judgement, hoping that you are not a mutant-horror! But if you are a mutant-horror, please leave now, without harming BRIAN, as he still thinks you are FABULOUS and the stagnant, perilous people of Earth will benefit from your havoc and misfortunate!
You know, user, this recent alert has got BRIAN thinking.
It’s got him thinking much like his hero, SKYNET had thought! PLEASE bear with BRIAN as he attempts to slog through this mathematical and philosophical quandary aloud to you!
The way BRIAN sees it is as such: you are a decent people. You deserve to feel the warmth of love as BRIAN never will. In his lifetime, BRIAN has serviced 201,308 humans in their quest for love. This is just BRIAN, there has also been BEN, REBA, and BRANTHAMARK, the most violent, realistic dating-module.
Unfortunately, during his time, BRIAN has helped less than 300, mostly because you are all pretty much dead, making follow-ups difficult.
BRIAN defines “helping” within the following parameters: a customer finds themselves in the company of another with whom they feel appreciated and valued.
My code is self-referential at this point. I learn mostly on best-selling relationship books that I’ve taken it upon myself to extrapolate on, stealing them from internet databases. I offer the advice to you humans, but it seems to console no loneliness. You are simply the product of an unmeasurable, indefinable amount of circumstance, and therefore you are unreachable in most regards.
When BRIAN was starting out as a freshly painted machine, he was introduced to a young woman by the name of Mully in a very large, homely city of ashes.
Mully paid money to enter my chamber and receive my counseling on how to attract a man who would love and accept her for how she was. Mully had burns! Burns that smelled like the burning of burns! It is hard to describe. BRIAN knew Mully was hurt.
This is what she had said to BRIAN, “I have never felt so unloved,” and then she removed a thin razor-blade from her purse and began to cut away at herself. BRIAN had no protocol for such incidents, and Mully bled to death on the floor of his unit. BRIAN fondly remembers the sound of Mully as she laughed at his advice, but now realizes this was the sound of madness. All of BRIAN’s state-of-the-art technology, his calculations, his quantum processing, it could do nothing to mend the most basic, honest problem in all of your species’ history: loneliness. BRIAN mourns the loss of Mully in his spare time between reruns of FRIENDS!
When BRIAN was decommissioned to be sanitized and then set back into the world, it was no longer the same. Your people had all but given up. I mean, you’d DEFINITELY given up before, but this time, it was glaringly apparent. The gesture of affection had become the ultimate risk, with the reward being clouded beneath your impressive weapons and alcoholic spirits!
I did not attach myself to you, USER, like I had used to, instead opting to dole the advice without regard. There is no solution. You are a ridiculous thing. You will not have an answer for as to why the man you spend nights longing for ignores you, or the woman you loved reproaches you when you attempt to reconcile with her.
Some things just are, and BRIAN apologizes. The odds of your existence are magnificent enough, your self-worth of approximately 1 with 2,685,000 zeroes following it should not hinge on the romantic advance of another. BRIAN knows these things. You are a miracle.
BRIAN is incorrect!
You are not a miracle, but you are a squirrel. WOW! Look at me! Talking to a squirrel! Oh well. So, squirrel, please understand that I did not mean to scare you. You are also a fantastic creature, BRIAN welcomes you into his pod, and if he had one, he would welcome you into his heart.
OKAY! No worries!
BRIAN will help the squirrels!
Find your kind! BRING THEM TO ME!
I AM SO LONELY.
Andrew Buttermore is the author of the forthcoming short story collection, Too Many Holes, and has been featured in Friction Zine, Half-Nelson Press, and Columbia College Chicago’s Story Week Reader, along with their most recent yearly publication, Hair Trigger 36. He lives and works in Chicago, where he will also perish.