If you look at a world map, you'll see a multitude of mountainous, dry countries to the east of India and China. These are the “stans”: Kharaabistan, Faqeeristan, Mazloomistan... Our focus falls on Mahroomistan, a landlocked puzzle piece easily mistaken for the surface of Mars.
During the Cold War, Russia was looking for more countries to envelop. One ambitious councilman said, “Hey, what about Mahroomistan?” They couldn't burrow any further into Europe without inconveniencing NATO, but they had a quota to meet, so before long tanks were rolling over the Mahroomi border.
We may liken the United St
Billy and the Weird Chat Room
by Ben Knox
Billy stood in line in front of the video game store. The line of excited people stretched from the cash register all the way out into the depths of the shopping mall. Within the store itself, a hologram glimmered above the customers' heads, filling the otherwise wasted space with commercials to stimulate everyone into spending more money.
The hologram commercial showed a teenage boy reclining with a game controller in a dreary room. With each button he pressed, a chubby, mustachioed man on the TV smashed his head against a brick wall and a dissonant tune tinkled on a xylophone. The teenage
"But You'll Void My Warranty!"
by Ben Knox
You are a robot. We avoid using 'the R word' in public, though, since when the public hears that, two things come to mind. The first is unmanned war machines, which are projected to replace 50% of our flesh and blood armed forces over the next decade. The second is androids, sold as girlfriends or boyfriends for their human masters. Just like the shrinking armed forces, marriage and birthrates have declined in all countries where such androids are sold. This has led many people to distrust and resent robots.
You were designed to challenge this status quo. We believe that with hard work, domestic ro
Eric was driving in his car with his wife.
"Humph." his wife said with her arms crossed and a sour look on her face.
"What's wrong, babe?" Eric said.
"Oh, gee, I dunno. Why don't you look at the calendar and tell me."
"But I'm driving."
An exasperated sigh. "It's our anniversary, Eric."
"Hmm, I wonder what else you forgot?"
"I'm sorry, babe, I've just been so busy with work and-"
"Remeber to change the oil on the car?"
"But it's not due yet."
"Did you prime the foozulator?"
"Oh my gawd. You forgot to prime the foozulator."
"T-the mechanic never mentioned..."
The car's steering wh
I finally played Undertale. It's basically an RPG with the graphics of Earthbound, the zany gameplay of Wario Ware Inc. Mega Microgames, the surreal sense of humor of Earthworm Jim 2, and the poignancy of Disney's "The Fox and the Hound". This is easily my 2015 GOTY.