230 - Managerie


 "What do you mean you 'don't have those'?" you ask the server. The pitch of your voice rises so high in your incredulity that it cracks under the weight of the word "have".

"I'm sorry, sir," she replies apologetically, "but we don't have forks. No forks."

"No forks?" you parrot back to her.

"Not a one."

You allow your jaw to lie slack for a moment, feeling the still, cool air of the restaurant rest upon your tongue. The air has a strange taste to it, which for some reason reminds you of the terrarium you kept your pet hamster in when you were eleven. You shake off the thought and return to the issue at hand.

"This is a noodle restaurant, correct?" you ask the server, exasperation oozing from your throat.

"Correct," she states simply.

"So how am I supposed to eat these noodles?" As you ask the question, you hear a series of loud booms on the outside of the south wall. You jump in your seat. "What the hell was that?"

The server, apparently unfazed by the booms, ignores your second question but answers your first. "You eat the noodles with the plastic fork I have provided you, sir, sir." The server's head jerks suddenly to the side. She turns suddenly and returns to the kitchen from which she brought your noodles.

You look back and forth from the plastic knife to the bowl of ramen in front of you. You sigh and look around the restaurant, noticing that you appear to be the only customer. Your gaze passes over the front door and you're certain you see a giant eyeball through the small window in the heavy oak panel.

"So hungry I'm hallucinating," you say out loud for some reason. You dig in to the noodles with your hands.

Outside the simulated restaurant of your cage, the giant alien scientist nods and scribbles in his notebook. She turns to her assistant. "See what happens when the server robot farts in front of him."