Embed – Chapter 5: Yuuuuuuum Mart!

“Welcome to Yum Mart,” the Yum Mart robot says as we enter the Yum Mart.

“Why did it have to be Yum Mart…” I whine.

“You know I never go to Fami,” Lamar says. “Not after the chicken incident.”

“Food poisoning at one Fami does not mean food poisoning at all Famis. It’s pure nonsense. A logical fallacy of the highest degree. Also, Fami is so much closer and we’ve been walking all day…”

“Do whatever you want.”

Ah, a little snappy there, Lamar. He hasn’t gotten into full banter mode with me and it shows. I’ve got to condition him back into the swing of things. Because, you know what they say, if you don’t got that swing, nothing matters.

Lamar’s picking out some drinks from the refrigerated section. “What do you like?”

I point to the non-refrigerated section. “Buy the six-packs.”

“Beer?”

“Vodka soda.”

“Huh. I took you for a beer lover.”

“I guess my aura’s changed after all,” I say. I enjoy beer quite a bit too, but I don’t want him to KNOW that or anything. “Grab the peach ones. Georgia Pride and whatever.”

He shakes his head.

“I mean, like, not the kind of Georgia Pride where you burn crosses on Stone Mountain. The multicultural unified Georgia Pride. All for one, peaches for all.”

He shakes his head harder.

I am failing with conditioning him on my banter.

“I’m going to get some beers for myself,” Lamar says. “You can have the peach stuff.”

Ouch.

Here’s how I’ll make this work. I grab a couple Yum Mart-brand chip bags and head up to the counter, where the robot cashier is standing idly by.

“Next customer,” it chimes.

I walk up and lay the chips down. Lamar sees me and I give him a quick wink. “Hey, robot. How much for these?”

“Two dollars and fifteen cents.”

“I’ll give you a buck eighty-five.”

“The chips come out to two dollars and fifteen cents,” the robot repeats.

“Nah, I think a buck eighty-five is better,” I say. “These chips suck, after all.”

“Two dollars and fifteen cents, please.”

“How about two dollars even?”

“Two dollars and fifteen cents.”

“Morgan, what are you trying to do?” Lamar asks.

“There’s this bug in a lot of the older service models from about ten years back. Just watch. Uh, robot, there any deal we can get with?”

“Two dollars and fifteen cents. Do you wish to continue this transaction?”

“Uh, yeah, but only for two dollars. I don’t like sales tax.”

“Sales tax is seven percent. Therefore, the total price is two dollars and fifteen cents.”

“Yeah, but I don’t want that. I don’t believe in government.”

“Do you wish to continue this transaction?”

They fixed the bug, I guess.

“Morgan?”

“I, uh… the robot was supposed to start bickering back with me and then short out for a few seconds before doing a hard reboot.”

“That sounds…”

“Well, it was going to be really funny if it actually worked. Trust me.”

“Whatever you say.”

I grumble and pay the two dollars and fifteen cents. Lamar comes up to the front counter to let me pay for the six-packs of alcohols.

Things will improve. They must. I will not fail you, Lamar. We will get to bantering, no matter the cost.

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6 comments

  1. I published the chapter today extremely early compared to usual. That’s because usually I schedule the post to come out early in the morning each EST, But today, I felt like switching things up, and posting midday in my local time. That means the chapter is coming out basically right at midnight, and for western timezones, that means it’s still Monday!

    What do you think about that? What time of day do you usually read ATL chapters, and what time do you prefer them to come out? It’s a lot easier to manage stuff for me when I’m actually awake for the chapter releases, but that also means releasing chapters in the middle of the night for most people…

    Also, don’t forget to vote this week on Top Web Fiction! We must beat Everybody Loves Large Chests at the polls! ATL cannot be considered a true web serial until it passes Everybody Loves Large Chests!

    1. If Morgan can’t banter, Morgan can’t function.

      Also, looks like your comments are finally auto-approved by this site after like six months of making comments. But this also maybe means that I don’t get notified when you comment oh no lol

    1. The robots are supposed to be faulty and glitchy to allow for unauthorized bartering… but not this time…. it was kind of embarrassing

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