Title: The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine
Songs: The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine
A Simple Desultory Philippic
„I beg your pardon, Leonard, but what did
you say this kind of device was called?“
„It’s a Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine,
Spock. And it’s the acme. The utmost. The best you can get out of a fair, you know.“ The doctor, chewing on an
enormous batch of rum-flavored pink candy floss, was all excitement. He had told Spock a hundred times how he was looking
forward to this shore leave, that L27b was a lovely planet which still held a real old-fashioned fair, and that he loved fairs,
he really did. Spock, always open to new experiences, had agreed to accompany him. It was his first fair.
„Take a ride with us AND YOU’LL FEEL
JUST FINE NOW!“ – „Take A BREAK FROM DAILY STRIFE at a reasonable price!“ – „Is life within
the business world a drag? HAVE FUN OVER HERE, take a roller coaster ride!“ There was a lot of shouting going on, and
part of the fun seemed to be listening to the advertisements.
„Look, over there, Spock, there’s a
Cosmic Caterpillar! Let’s start with that one!“
The Cosmic Caterpillar was a noisy, narrow affair
in which you were stuck up with your partner among green upholstery and whirled around and around until your head spun. Of
course Spock’s head didn’t spin. He only noticed that speed and centrifugal force provided for a lot of friction
and body heat. Which Leonard cooled down with iced Romulan Ale when they had dismounted.
„Are you looking for a way to chuck it all?
AT LEAST FORGET ABOUT IT FOR A WHILE OVER HERE!“ People crowded around the barkers, laughing, shouting and only too
willing to be separated from their money.„The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine!!!! GET IT HERE!“ – „Are
you worried and distressed? PUT OUR PRODUCT TO THE TEST!“ The aluminum booth from which a heavily k-holed Arcturian
was advertising looked anything but inviting.
„This looks good!“ Leonard was already
on his way. „Have one!“
Spock sniffed at the pale green slices of fruit
the doctor offered him and shook his head. „No, thank you. You know that I do not approve of fruits spoiled by alcoholic
„Bah, just a few tiny drops…oh, well….come
on, Spock, let’s have a roller coaster ride then!“
The roller coaster sported comfortable little carts
which raced on electromagnetic tracks through an imaginary mountainside, swung around in loopings, dropped down from considerable
heights, and released their occupants with wobbly knees and upset stomachs. Leonard had to lean on Spock for a moment, and
Spock took care to hold him safe and very close. „What next?“ he said.
„What? – Oh. Oh, yes…“
„How about your Green Machine?“
„My green…oh, no. We’ll save the
best for last. – Let’s have some Turkish delight!“ The Turkish delight was appreciated by Spock and washed
down with another amount of Romulan Ale by Leonard. Next they visited the zero gravity booth and while Spock floated dignified
and solemnly Leonard paddled around, turned somersaults, shouted at Spock about how he liked that when a kid and finally stranded
alongside Spock, asking, „What did you just say about fucking in free fall?“
„I assure you that I said nothing of that
„Leonard, please, we are not alone in here…“
„Oh, come on, nobody notices, and when they
do nobody cares, this is a fair, it’s fun, it’s forgetting about your daily drag and distress - “
„I observe that you are beginning to sound
like one of the mountebanks out there. And I would rather leave now, if you don’t mind.“
„Spoilsport.“ Leonard consoled himself
with a drop of Southern Comfort that was sold in a bar next to the Hall of Moving Mirrors. Spock took some green tea to brace
himself for more new knowledge and found the Hall of Moving Mirrors an interesting experience. Dozens of Spocks, illuminated
by colorful strobe light, hopped around him, funny looking ones, ugly ones, and a sudden thunderstorm of lens flares made
at least Leonard so dizzy that he ran smack into Spock and had to be held and comforted since, as he claimed, the mirrors
had duplicated the amount of alcohol in his circulation. And the lens flares seemed to have brought the stuff to the boil,
to judge by the way the doctor now pressed against Spock, who accidently brushed his mouth against Leonard’s lips once
or twice when leaving the Hall of Moving Mirrors.
„IT IS – GREEN!!!“
„I am beginning to wonder what it really is
about,“ Spock remarked.
„Yes…,“ Leonard, still holding
on to him and obviously not listening, looked into black eyes absentmindedly for quite some time, and an advertisement for
„THE BEST RIDE YOU EVER TOOK!“ was lost on him, too. A glass of Saurian Brandy from the nearest stall brought
him back to his senses.„I’m having the time of my life! See that ad over there? Let’s take a ghost train
Spock had to admit, while he followed Leonard to
the ghost train, that he enjoyed at least part of the attractions offered at the fair. For instance the sight of Leonard,
dressed in tightly fitting jeans, clambering into the shiny little car in front of them, and he had to admit that the tiniest
bit of genuine shock was involved when he sat beside Leonard in the wagon that rushed along on air cushions – shock
over the naiveté of adults who could, to reckon from their screeching, obviously be frightened by laser crafted illusory bats
and rats in a cave-and-dungeon hologram. There was hardly room to breathe, and he clung to Leonard, who clung back, happily
singing snitches from an ancient song called ‚A Simple Desultory Philippic’ which usually came to his mind when
„…I been ayan randed, nearly branded
Communist ’cause I’m left handed! “ Leonard chanted when they left the ghost train, and a sylphlike blue
skinned girl with a mane of silver hair brushed up to him and murmured, „Try it on me then, Hon, I’m not suffering
„That’s nice, “ Leonard beamed,
„but when it comes to using my left hand, or my right hand, or both, I’d rather use them - “
„In and on the Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine?“
the girl chirped, winking roguishly.
„What? – Oh, no, most certainly not.
That’s for kids. Lemme tell you, I got something better AND bigger AND GREENER, AND TALKING ABOUT PLEASURE - “
Spock shut the door of the air-cushion cab towards and into which he had been maneuvering the enthusing McCoy on the both
of them before Leonard’s ads could attract a crowd, and then he shut Leonard’s mouth with a kiss, to be on the
safe side. - Pleasure Machine, indeed.