Chuck writes about beards (Sometimes).
Chuck also tracks the strange search engine terms which lead readers to his site. Phrases like “My Beard Come so Fat, I wanna do Laser, so dat it Come Slow.” Seriously. Few people know where internet phenomena begins. Fewer still are able to get in on the ground floor of something like the dancing hamster or “I can has cheeseburger.” Chuck is running a flash fiction (1,000 words or less) contest right now in which one must involve the phrase “My Beard Come so Fat, I wanna do Laser.” My creativity gears up for things like this, and I’m in. Thus, I offer you “Dicky did Laser.”
Dicky did Laser
The Dapper Little Gent smiled with cartoon charm. “You my Number Two FaceSpace Friend Forever!”
Dicky Kincaid hunched over the faux oak computer desk which dominated his small, fifth floor office in the main street monolith that was Diggston, Murphy & Taft, Attorneys at Law. He clicked the mouse, shutting the door of his Adobe Flash animated barber shop right behind the Dapper Little Jerk. “I’ll be your Number One FaceSpace Friend soon, jerkapple. Then we’ll see.” He tapped his fingers on the mouse as he awaited the next customer. Dicky would show the jerk, and the senior partners. He would show them all that this game was involved in the disappearances.
His shirt and tie had long since been discarded. His white undershirt had grown translucent with sweat along the collar and under his arms. “C’mon, c’mon,” he muttered, reaching for a chip from a half crumpled vending machine bag. They littered his desk; the tombstones of hours devoted to Barber, Barber! an obscure, little played, FaceSpace game. Barber, Barber!, and the FaceSpace social network which hosted it, was the only connection between twelve families who had come to the law firm seeking a class action suit. They had claimed that the game was involved in the disappearance of their loved ones. Dicky had taken the case. The partners had laughed at him. Months ago.
Ring. A stick-thin man with long hair came in. He asked for a Flat-Top, #3 clipper. Dicky Kincaid, Esquire, Harvard graduate, went to work.
Setting up the account was easy, though he hated FaceSpace. Months of Barber, Barber! was excruciating. He had sent out friend requests purely because the game demanded it, then as a survival mechanism to help combat the hours of clicking and cutting. The dapper little gent demanded all kinds of other applications to unlock levels. FaceSpace Trainer now knew Dicky’s weight. FaceSpace GPS knew where he was right now. The Dapper Little Jerk demanded it, the firm demand it, so Dicky typed it all in and clicked “allow.” Over and over again. It would be worth it. He would “do Laser” and it would be worth it.
Ring. An overweight Blonde woman walked in and asked for a bob cut. Dicky’s mouse danced.
Dicky could see why the simple game was sparsely played. A number of regular customers came into your cartoon barbershop, at the ring of a stock-sound bell. Click and jiggle the mouse on their heads to cut their hair, faster and faster, before closing time. Upgrade the barber’s tools with the money made. Eventually the Dapper Little Jerk would walk in with shaggy hair or a crazy mustache. He would issue a new hair-based demand. If Dicky had the right tools, and was fast enough, the jerk would unlock the next level and declare Dicky his “Number X FaceSpace Friend.”
Ring. An African American man with comically exaggerated hair asked for a trim. Dicky clicked the mouse as a bead of sweat formed on his lip, glowing in the LCD light.
The controls were atrocious. Half the time Dicky didn’t even think he was really doing anything, like that knob which allegedly made the toast darker on the toaster in the staff lounge. The art was childish and clunky, even for FaceSpace standards. The dialogue was by far the worst aspect. The game must have been imported from a tiny, very foreign country and fed through the cheapest translation software on the internet.
“My hair adorns too long,” the Dapper Little Jerk would moan, “I wanna do Clipper!” Click the mouse quick, quick.
“My mustache exists too unkemptly,” he’d cry, “I wanna do Shaver.” Dicky, lowest man at the firm, would comply. But it would be worth it, he’d remind himself. The game was connected. He could feel it. It asked for so much information, demanded so many friends. It was dirty. Dicky would prove it. He was almost there. He was three more high-speed cuts away from the one link that all twelve people shared; their FaceSpace pages had updated that all “Just did Laser—don’t you wanna do Laser, too?” and then they vanished.
Ring. A short Latino man asked for a high and tight. Dicky snagged another chip, his gut churning with acid.
A tall red-headed woman asked for a Boho curl. Dicky cringed and gripped the mouse. The most difficult cut in the game! The last one before the Dapper Little Jerk showed up. He gritted his teeth, muscles tight. Satisfaction.
Ring. It was him! The Dapper Little Jerk was here, and his beard was enormous. “My beard come so fat,” he said, “I wanna do laser!” The lousy grammar didn’t matter. That he meant laser hair removal didn’t matter. This was it. Dicky cut. Dicky cut well. The man smiled, Dicky’s heart swelled with victory…
Ring. “Tell ten friends that you just did laser to continue,” a window said. Dicky roared and clicked random people; he just didn’t care.
The LCD screen swirled with color.
Dicky, small man in a small office, in the small hours of the night, fist raised in triumph, vanished in a faint puff of vapor.
The air within the governmental command bunker of a tiny, very foreign country was crisp and dim. A man turned from a monitor, his glasses glazed in light. “The microwave satellite laser, codename Weapon of Seville, has had another successful test fire, Mam.”
“Wonderful,” A bald woman replied, with a grin. “The fools fear nuclear. They fear viruses. They don’t fear FaceSpace. We will have them soon.”
Across America ten computers chirped. “Dicky Kincaid just did Laser—don’t you want to do Laser, too?”