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Author Topic: EP313: Playing Doctor  (Read 4062 times)
eytanz
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« on: October 07, 2011, 01:44:22 AM »

EP313: Playing Doctor

By Robert T. Jeschonek

Read by Josh Roseman

First appeared in PS Showcase #3: Mad Scientist Meets Cannibal

---

The problem with having a crush on your mad scientist boss is, every day she doesn’t see how wonderful you really are seems like the end of the world.

“This is all wrong!” says Dr. Hildegarde Medici, hurling the tray across her cavernous secret laboratory.  ”You’re a complete imbecile, Glue!”

Her words sting, but at least she’s paying attention to me.  I’ll take what I can get from the woman I love.  ”I’m sorry, Dr. M.  Please let me try again.”

“Everything is ruined.”  With one arm, Dr. Medici sweeps notebooks and glass beakers from the table in front of her.  ”Now I’ll never finish the doomsday weapon today!”

As Dr. Medici throws her head down onto her folded arms on the table, I cross the lab and pick up the silver tray that she threw.  I see myself reflected in its surface–thick glasses, big nose, bald head, pure geek…not her type.  ”I thought you liked the crinkle-cut ones,” I say as I pluck chicken fingers and french fries from the floor and drop them onto the tray.

“Steak fries,” says Dr. Medici without raising her head.  ”How many times do I have to tell you, Glue?”


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
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Darwinist
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2011, 04:37:05 PM »

I really liked this yarn.  I laughed, I cried (not quite).  Hard to imagine being that hooked on someone to put up with a lifetime of guff but it made for a neat little tale. 
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raetsel
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2011, 04:09:13 AM »

.......
Bold and innovative create, from beginning to end beyond the preceding appoint of beckon archetype;

Sometimes spam has something to say too. Smiley

I wouldn't quite go so far as to say "bold and innovative create from beginning to end", but I did enjoy this story and it made me smile until it got kinda sad and serious in the last part.

In the end I couldn't decide if I should feel sorry for Glue or annoyed that he knew Dr Medici would never reciprocate his affections and yet he kept on trying to please.

The fact a piece of Glue's heart was in the creature was a nice romantic touch.

It did get me thinking about famous female mad scientists from stories and films and none sprung to mind, I'm sure other more well read forumites will be able to name some. *throws down gauntlet*
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eytanz
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2011, 04:15:01 AM »

Just so everyone knows, I deleted the spam post raetsel quoted above.
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Dem
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« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2011, 08:05:34 AM »

What is it with all the love-lorn wimps lately?! Chap in 'Radio Nowhere' drizzles on for 15 years without noticing the doe-eyed looks from his 'friend'. This week it's the Frankenstein wannabe who's so spineless he even makes his own rival to deliver unto the adolescent Doctor-Madam! I think if I'd written this, I would have grown, for the new boy, some other piece of Mr Glue. Grin
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washer
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« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2011, 06:52:54 AM »

I loved Robert T. Jeschonek's last piece on here, thought it was clever and well-executed.  This one didn't do it for me.  The main character's a hopeless sap, Dr. Medici instantly falls in love with her handmade hunk, she's abusive and insane and yet Glue excuses all her outbursts.  When we learn about Dr. Medici's past and the tie-in between world domination and cancer, I think it was supposed to be a moment where everything clicks together in the mind of the listener, but mostly I found myself saying, "Did he just ask her to get naked?  The hell?"  So, yeah.  Very little made sense and very, very little made me connect with the characters or view them as having depth and believability.
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2011, 08:49:54 AM »

This had some interesting ideas, but I just got really frustrated with Glu and his lack off effort towards his own happiness.  He's perfectly willing to be a doormat the rest of his life.  He could make his affections known, but he assumes that she would not be interested and time and again he suppresses them.  Since he made the man I'm sure he could be a mad scientist in his own right but he chooses to dwell in her shadow.  The outro made it sound like his actions were supposed to be noble, but it seemed to me that this wasn't that great of an ending for either of them.  I think she'll just grow more discontent with humanity in general because she has an assistant and a lover whom she can trample at will, and he'll be tortured watching her with someone else and knowing that someone could've been him if he'd just had the intestinal fortitude to speak up.

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Listener
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« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2011, 02:57:53 PM »

I think my favorite parts of the story were the flashbacks and the snarky commentary about terrorists vs mad scientists.
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Scattercat
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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2011, 04:42:50 PM »

Ugh ugh ugh.  Bleah!

It's like someone condensed Nice Guy Syndrome into a weaponized aerosol and shot it into my sinus cavities.

If you are in love with someone who doesn't love you back, then either MAKE A MOVE or GET YOUR OWN.  Moping around lamenting being stuck in "the Friend Zone" and making up elaborate stories about "Ladder Theory" and telling yourself that women are just mysterious creatures who are attracted to jerks and it's so unfair is complete and utter BS.  This story made me actually angry.  (That is, my blood pressure and heart rate are slightly elevated right now, perhaps the equivalent of walking briskly for a few minutes.)  The character in this story not only fails to grow as a person, but actually regresses; he cuts himself out of the loop and actively LOOKS for excuses not to speak up, all the way up to creating a perfect rival that he never has to feel bad about not measuring up to.  He's built this little ego-cushioning cocoon centered on his chosen identity as a doormat and refuses to let it go at any cost.  If he took an actual risk, he might lose, so he handicaps himself to make sure he has no chance of winning and then expects pity. 

It's not charming that he built the perfect man out of himself.  If he doesn't feel good enough, then he needs to change his MIND or change the things he doesn't like about HIMSELF.  Both options are available, and both can be done in a healthy manner.  Yes, if the object of your affection has found someone else and is happy, then the correct and polite thing is to quietly excuse yourself and not pursue a relationship with them.  If they are empty and hurting, handing them a placebo is the action of a self-absorbed twatwaffle of the first degree.

I used to handicap myself.  I used to not even try, to sit back and let things happen and tell myself that it was better that way.  I'm still trying to overcome that.  This story, instead, glorifies it and holds it up as the ultimate in altruism. 

Bull-effing-crap.

(Frankly, anyone who would be happy and fulfilled in a relationship with a brainwashed sycophant programmed to love you eternally is not worthy of anyone's respect or admiration, but that's really a separate issue.)
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Talia
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« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2011, 06:22:31 PM »

I'm pretty sure this story was meant to be taken tongue-in-cheek and enjoyed for the fluffiness of it. Of course it doesn't stand up to in-depth analysis of the relationship, it's a goof. Smiley

I enjoyed the sillyness of it, and for what it was was glad the protagonist got some measure of happiness from it in the end. Though I guess the Dr. is still going to die from cancer, so that will be short-lived. :/
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jenfullmoon
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« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2011, 03:36:55 PM »

I enjoyed the sillyness of it, and for what it was was glad the protagonist got some measure of happiness from it in the end. Though I guess the Dr. is still going to die from cancer, so that will be short-lived. :/

See, the cancer thing kind of ruined the goof-ness of it. Like "oh, now you're dying, but I can give you your own Rocky Horror to boink! That makes it all better!" I wish the author hadn't gone there, because it kind of wrecks it.

(Though yeah, total Nice Guy. Ugh. But hey, Igors can't aspire to get the hand of the princess, really.)
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Dave
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« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2011, 05:53:20 PM »

This one was pretty amusing. The ending surprised me- I was certain he was going to put his own consciousness into the construct body. Then I thought he was going to offer to put HER consciousness in it instead, to save her life, and give up on his own dream to some degree. But I remember feeling that way about someone (a few someones, in younger days), and doing things along similar (although of course not quite so drastic) lines.

I feel like the two of them could have cured cancer if they'd really put their minds to it.
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-Dave (aka Nev the Deranged)
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« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2011, 11:50:43 PM »

Oh, ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. I found nothing redeeming about this. I was totally on board and loving it until he found her crying on the floor about "how lonely she is!" Who is that freaking self-centered?! Or that she makes her childhood friend call her Dr. and she calls him Glue! Beyond the fact that she started off as a strong female character that turns into a helpless child incapable of seeing what she has and becomes enthralled by beauty, what the hell is with Glue? I never fully understood why be was so incapable of expressing his feelings to her, even when she says she is dying. And his response is not to express his feelings for her, or help her find a way to get better, or ANYTHING remotely interesting, he gives her a brain washed half clone of himself, which really seems more like a puppy dog than anything else. $10 says she would be bored of him within a month. Anyone that intelligent needs an equal, not an empty mind and a pretty face. This story had so many ick factors I have only touched on the main ones, and really I need to go read ANYTHING else so I forget about this story. Ew.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 04:04:56 PM by Calculating... » Logged

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Talia
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« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2011, 11:57:02 PM »

It's a joke! Joke people are that self-centered. Tongue

The cancer element does throw a jarring element into the joke, but other than that, it's sillyness. don't take the characters so seriously Tongue
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Scattercat
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« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2011, 02:19:57 AM »

Even funny stories have themes.
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« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2011, 04:03:32 PM »

It's a joke! Joke people are that self-centered. Tongue

The cancer element does throw a jarring element into the joke, but other than that, it's sillyness. don't take the characters so seriously Tongue

If this story was meant to be a joke I missed the punchline...or any humor in this at all.
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Talia
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« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2011, 04:16:04 PM »

o.O

You don't think a little girl who wants to grow up to be a mad scientist is funny? That terrorists ruined the mad scientist business? What about the mad scientist's plan to become Queen of the World was foiled because of a scandalous book? Tongue

Well, to each their own, I guess. I knew someone once who didn't like chocolate.. heh.
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2011, 08:32:26 AM »

o.O

You don't think a little girl who wants to grow up to be a mad scientist is funny? That terrorists ruined the mad scientist business? What about the mad scientist's plan to become Queen of the World was foiled because of a scandalous book? Tongue

Well, to each their own, I guess. I knew someone once who didn't like chocolate.. heh.

You don't think a little girl who wants to grow up to be a mad scientist is funny?

What, isn't that normal?  I think that may have been my sister.

That terrorists ruined the mad scientist business?

It seemed that was clearly meant to be funny, but I just found it more confusing than anything.  So what is the difference exactly?
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Talia
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I like pie


« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2011, 08:42:04 AM »

It seemed that was clearly meant to be funny, but I just found it more confusing than anything.  So what is the difference exactly?


What, the difference between mad scientists and terrorists? I suppose that mad scientists were just doing what they were supposed to be doing, being generically evil in an outlandish sort of way for the time-honored reason of power/money, whereas terrorists are just out to hurt/kill people for unknown reasons of their own and thus are arguably more sinister.

Obviously that's a debatable explanation. Smiley I personally found the juxtaposition of the two types of villains amusing. 
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CryptoMe
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« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2011, 08:55:01 PM »

I'm with Talia on this one. This story was hilarious!!

My favourite part was actually the "I love my career, but it's so lonely" discussion that Calculating found so offensive. Sure it's pathetic. But there's some truth there, and when presented in that so over the top way, it was hysterical.

I definitely don't think you're supposed to analyze this seriously. No more than you would the movies Zoolander or Dumb and Dumber for example.
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