Escape Pod 890: The Mechanical Turk Has a Panic Attack
The Mechanical Turk Has a Panic Attack
by Francis Bass
Gab gripped her right wrist with her left hand at the small of her back. “Are we ready to order?” she asked.
The couple set their menus down on the brushed steel tabletop. It wobbled slightly. The man asked, “What’s on the cheese board?”
“The SEASONAL CHEESEBOARD is a selection of the best the Delaware Valley has to offer in Vegan cheeses. This month it contains a fermented cashew mozzarella, Real Lacto pepperjack from Pennlab, and a soft Pennsylvania Dutch Limburger made from coconut cream. The board also comes with stone seed crackers, torn sourdough, and raw treebark.”
“Oh treebark,” the woman said, “we had that at George’s retirement, remember?”
“Let’s get one of those,” the man said.
“What type is it?” The woman asked. “The bark.”
“We source our treebark from Adlaw Forests,” Gab said. “It comes from Adlaw pine, a geneered variant of Virginia pine. We use it raw on our SEASONAL CHEESEBOARD and SALAD 1, and pulverized in our PINE BREAD.”
A long silence. The woman squinted at her menu. Gab gripped her wrist tighter. She couldn’t leave, they had to dismiss her.