Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, March 25, 2004


Page 15



Place: USS Enterprise. Subject: Hot Dogs.




“Computer!” the captain or one of the crew of the Starship Enterprise would bellow in the various “Star Trek” series, summoning the attention of a question-answering machine that would seldom fail to provide the information sought.

To tap into this technology, we journey to Stardate 45128.0. It’s late night. Captain Jean-Luc Picard is downing a hot dog splashed with chili and accompaniments, provided by the food replicator. It tastes just like the hot dogs they serve on Luros 5, with Tevrizian boren meat used instead of Earth beef.

Picard, sipping on some ale seized from the villainous planet Munger, and a bit tipsy, quizzes the computer about hot dogs.

“Computer!” he begins, predictably. “Tell me about hot dogs.”

“Objection,” it responds in a mechanical voice, a distinctively female one that sounds like that of Nurse Christine Chapel on the original Enterprise and that of Lwaxana Troi, mother of Counselor Deanna Troi on Picard’s Enterprise. The voice continues:

“Vague, overly broad, unduly burdensome—.”

“Damn!” Picard interjects. “I knew we shouldn’t have replaced lawyers with computers. Every time I ask a question these days I get an objection. Computer: disengage law program! Disengage the medical one, too. I don’t want to be psychoanalyzed or told I’ve had too much ale. And disengage olfactory program—I don’t want to hear that I have onions on my breadth.

This dialogue ensues:

Picard, still sipping ale, obtains his second chili dog from the replicator, and continues quizzing the computer.

Copyright 2004, Metropolitan News Company


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