Treasure Island

David Lewis Paget

(22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)

The Prescient Vest

‘You’ve come to the end, it’s sad, my friend
But there’s nothing more we can do,
Your kidneys have malfunctioned, and
You’re at the end of the queue.
You’d best be making your Will out now
Or you may run out of time,
There’s just a question of fifteen thou’
You owe for our work, just sign! ’

‘I’ll not be signing my life away
Just now, though it’s almost done,
I may be taking a walk someday
But not ‘til I’ve had some fun.
You say I’ve only a week or two
To spend, and that’s at the best,
I’ll cram the rest of my living in
With the help of a Prescient Vest.’

The Prescient Vest, the brainchild of
A Silicone Valley clone,
It calculated the path of life
From the life already known,
It fed its images through a brain
That would never live to see
The normal span of the life of man
Through some abnormality.

So Kevin fronted the Institute
And was strapped into a chair,
Fitted with Vest and Headpiece
And was virtually aware,
It drained the memories of his life
That flashed on past his sight,
And stored them into a tiny file
Just less than a Gigabyte.

And then it started to calculate
Beginning with his wife,
It showed her having a sweet affair
With the boarder, Stanley Smythe,
They both attended his funeral
And she leant upon his arm,
And held the wake with a Currant cake
At Stanley’s father’s farm.

Then Kevin struggled within his bonds
And tried to say, ‘Not true! ’
But then his favourite daughter came
Quite suddenly into view,
She stole the funeral money he’d
Been keeping in a jar,
Then jumped on into his Thunderbird
And drove off with his car.

She let her idiot boyfriend in
To sit behind the wheel,
But all he could see were dollar signs
And a car he’d like to steal,
He dropped her off at a candy shop
Drove off and left his Pam,
While only a half a mile away
He ended under a tram.

Kevin suffered a minor fit
At the wreck of his pride and joy,
But didn’t suffer a single qualm
At the death of the stupid boy,
His job had gone to a minor clerk,
Dumped records in the bin,
The careful working of twenty years
That he’d spent compiling them.

Then Stanley got at his savings and
He frittered them away,
His wife was clueless, she let him sell
The house he’d slaved to pay,
The future, once he had gone was not
The thing he’d visualised,
He strained and screamed at the Techs,
‘Just get this thing from off my eyes! ’

He staggered home in a mood and took
Some gas from out the car,
Splashed it around the house, and took
The cash from the funeral jar,
He threw a match and it all went up
Though he didn’t know or care,
That his wife and Stan were up above
When the flames went up the stair.

He jumped on into the Thunderbird
And went for a long, last ride,
Along the Beachside Boulevard,
And once he had stopped, he died!
They’ve banned the use of the Prescient Vest
With a raft of bills and laws,
‘The future needs to be locked, ’ they said,
‘For the damage it might cause! ’

27 January 2014

Submitted: Sunday, January 26, 2014

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