Rough Drift

"Small" writing challenges for my small writing talent. Hotel note pads are the only space allowed. Let's see if I can strip it down and tighten it up to learn something. Improving my skill of weird fiction.

50.) People Watching on Moorelaw Street


I watch the bolters of Moorelaw Street. This place has been a prime social district for decades. Store-fronts, signs, street performers and planned greenery filled a relaxing space. All are welcome to stroll and shop and sit down to eat or rest. This utopic vision had balance and even tolerable advertising that, for some of us, provided all the entertainment one could desire.

Bolters are hilarious. They freeze in position before an advertising panel, look around nervously, and suddenly take off running in random directions. That never happens in front of anything else, only an advertising panel. It shows everyone what they want to see. Specifically, what you like, as you walk past it. I had just witnessed a professional appearing man in a tweed hat spin a complete circle, almost knocking over a baby stroller when he leapt out of sight. The panel before him displayed a large red X across, announcing in loud and clear voice, “Your desired marketing preference is inappropriate for this location!” That’s when walking traffic stopped and turned to look at him.

All interests are found with the global cloud network. I was just researching, this very morning, for the best hover shoes for my nephew. The global cloud knows us and shows us advertising according to our interests when near an ad panel. It assists us in discovering new pursuits. Who knows when a new product or service of interest to my specifics, or yours, become available? I did not have to remember activating my personal filter when stepping out for the day, its always on and I’m not interested in strange things to begin with. Whatever this tweed man looks for or does in his own home is his own business, but we knew he didn’t set his filter before stepping outside. The ad panel deemed his interests inappropriate for social groups.

A big red X and a canned voice announcing a nondescript infraction of social standards tell everyone within earshot: That man is a pervert. It is honestly the first assumption of anyone nearby. It could have been a college art professor who forgot his filter settings. It happens. Marketing of or close to large nude baroque statue images would be the popular request from such a person met with an announcement and an X. Nothing that harmful if you ask me but there are no benefits of doubt. A pervert entered the public area, they think. The moms and families stop and stare down the tweed man with punishing looks of shame. I laugh at them all and guess random silly things the offender could possibly like to see. The tweed man ran away avoiding looks at children, so I just assumed the worst. I think the social police did too. They took off after him with stun batons in hand.


(Author’s notes) March 16th, 2016. Somewhere over Montana.

The USA Today newspaper had an article on the next iteration of the internet. Said it would be a giant learning cloud. They had concerns. So did I. If the cloud is accessible from anywhere and everything, and our personal integration in the world is ongoing, then you had better look out if you look at things on your computer that not everyone likes. This is my future on it. As a spectator of people watching myself, I had fun watching this.


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This entry was posted on March 18, 2016 by in fiction, future, near-future, observational, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , .
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