Joy the Joystick wore a permanent smile on her face when she helped others. She had always been an authentic Sorny Inc. controller: she longed to love humans, video games and consoles alike. Her secret for happiness and authenticity was to play video games and to get regular exercise.
Exercise, for her, consisted of regularly working and oiling her buttons to make sure they didn’t atrophy. She did this while playing hours of sports games. She calibrated herself well enough to belt fastballs out of the park at a major league rate. Most gamers would be lucky to have such a joyful and skillful controller in their lives.
Conrad the console, however, was everything that Joy was not. His rugged, square shape had rounded a little over the years. The kids from across street had borrowed him a few times and slipped him out of their sticky soda stained hands. He was quite fond of sitting around all day collecting dust. He had developed many vicious habits while sitting there, wondering about the meaningless of life. Conrad had gotten into such bad shape that it hurt when he played video games and when he did not. He just did not care what Jimmy, his human, did.
Jimmy was not the most thoughtful of humans. He would often eat cheesy nachos and rub his greasy hands all over his controller. He would sometimes leave Conrad running all day without reprieve. Jimmy’s friends often said he did not appreciate all of his video games and console. They thought he took Joy and Conrad for granted.
One day, the phone rang and Joy overheard a conversation between Jimmy and his mother. A smile burst out across Joy’s face as soon as the call ended. She had heard that Jimmy was coming home from a trip abroad.
“He can’t wait to play a new video game he bought! Isn’t that swell?,” Joy asked.
Conrad spit out his chewing tobacco, and the dark wad flew across the room before plopping into a flower pot. He downed a swig of whiskey to freshen his breath. Then he chomped into a cigar, filling the room with the incense of Cuba, to clear the heat out of his head. He let out a puff of greyish white smoke that matched the colour of his stubble.
“Meh,” Conrad said, “he can go play with himself.”