The Eighth Page

Phillipian Satire: Computer Generated Commons Dialogue

Paul walks into Paresky Commons and sees Ada looking at her phone, standing in the most annoying spot in between the first-floor servery entrance and the right turn to go up the stairs.

Paul: What is up, Ada?

Ada: Hello, Paul! Would you like to consume?

Paul: Oh! Apologies. I am unable. I have to prepare for a chemistry test next period, so I am entering Silent Study.

Ada: Come on! Please? You know that there is no one in sixth lunch.

Paul: Fine, but I must consume rapidly.

He drops his blue Herschel backpack right in the center of 12 other blue Herschels piled up in front of the cubbies. Later, he will forget where he placed it.

Ada: I want stir fry.

Paul: Yes, and I want mother to stop sending my personal essays to my extended family. Do not be a fool, Ada. Reasonable nutrition is barely worth waiting for. I will have white sticky rice with soy sauce again, and maybe a side of peanut butter.

Ada: Excellent call, Paul. I shall accompany you and deprive myself of nutrients also because I, a Senior, am unable to walk into lower right alone.

Ada and Paul sit at the end of a long table. Ada motions to a girl of below average height sitting at a small table.

Ada: Is that… Freshman?

Paul: Indeed.

Ada: Should we tell her to leave?

Paul: You may tell her to leave. I am afraid.

Ada: I, too, am afraid.

Paul: That settles it. We shall just keep looking over and muttering to each other.

Ada: Yet another good call, Paul.

Ada looks at Paul affectionately. Paul consumes rapidly. Sarah, who lives in West Quad South, comes over.

Ada: Hello Sarah.

Paul pretends to check his phone. He then looks up at Sarah and communicates by raising his elbow to a ninety degree angle that he would like for them to connect palms in a “dap up.”

Sarah: Squirrels?

Ada: Yes, Sarah.

Sarah makes two guns with her hands and raises her eyebrows. Ada and Paul wave goodbye.

Paul: I do not like it when Sarah does that thing.

Ada: What, the squirrel thing?

Paul: No, the two-finger point. It is my thing.

Ada: You did not invent the two-finger point, Paul. As a matter of fact, you have not invented anything. Your personality is composed entirely of traits you copied from your parents and peers.

Paul is not listening. He is staring at the peanut butter stuck between Ada’s two front teeth.

Paul: Whatever, Ada. I have consumed, and now I must leave.

Paul and Ada walk together to clear their trays. A group of 12 Uppers sitting at a small table are causing a ruckus in the distance. Paul walks to the pile of blue Herschel backpacks. He has forgotten where he put his.

Paul: It is a tale as old as time, Ada.

Ada: What? Have you lost your backpack again?

Paul: Indeed.