“Look, I get it: Life is to be cherished and health is a privilege. But if I sneeze again I’m going to murder an Amish family.” Tom was furious as he spoke through a clogged nose, and flailed as he sneezed again.
“Well that settles it then, Tom, I’ll go get the axe, or would you prefer the chainsaw, you know- put the fear of technology into them!”
“Very funny, Cheryl.” He said and then blew his nose.
He had taken the week off to deal with his sniffles, so Cheryl agreed to come in and update him on the reports. Not a good first date, but at least it was something.
“Anyway,” She added, “I noticed an anomaly in this week’s reports, something you might want to check out.”
“Anything good?” He asked, sniffling.
“See for yourself.”
She handed him the laptop. The display showed the electron transfer of a collection of oak cells. Together with their team at the lab they had created living artificial trees in the hopes of revolutionizing the solar industry, hoping to one day end humanity’s dependence on oil. They got the idea from a man named Tim Travis, who was most famous for tricking rich people into doing good things. Travis wrote a book about how he imagined that one day every tree in a forest would provide energy to civilization. It was an ambitious idea, dreadfully impossible, but Tom’s team figured it was worth a shot.
“This.. This is incredible!” Tom yelled through his stuffed nose.
The cells were able to act as a power plant, leaving some extra energy the way a Tesla coil would. Essentially, wireless electricity from trees.
“I can’t believe we did it! We finally did it!” Tom had forgotten about his nose, he jumped up and down with the laptop in his hands.
Cheryl smiled at him and reached down to her purse, from which he pulled out a bottle of Champagne.
“Figured you could use the celebration.”
“Use it? Damn Cheryl I’m practically bubbling myself. I can’t believe this worked! I mean I thought we were just riding on the funding, but this- this is incredible.”
“Just imagine, free energy for everyone.” She popped the bottle and poured each of them a glass from the plastic cups she had in her bag.
“It’s no longer something to imagine, it is actually possible! Christ I can’t wait to do the boring bits now.”
They clinked the glasses and took a sip. Tom sighed and even felt a little better as the bubbles washed down his throat. He looked at the cup for a while.
“What is it?”
“I think we’ve made two discoveries today.”
“Yeah, I found the cure for the cold it seems.” his voice clearing up.
“No, beautiful coworkers.”
He leaned in, and kissed her.
He woke up on the floor with a searing pain in his jaw. Confused, Tom looked around as stars faded into reality. Next to the bottle of champagne was a note. Didn’t know my own strength. Good luck with the abstract. My name had better be after yours on that paper. Cheers, Cheryl.
Tom slumped back down onto the floor. He shifted as the Champagne seeped through his pants and he stared at the table for a while. Damnit, he thought, My nose is clogged again.
Life isn’t easy. Sometimes we take risks and fail, other times we do things that just aren’t acceptable. We aren’t all godly creatures- quite far from it and each of us is caught up in a horror of emotional strife. I just hope you think a bit before you act sometimes, but not all the time.
Image cred. Wikipedia