Everybody knows that paranoid old lady who thinks the government lives inside her walls. She locks her guest bedroom door every night so Big Brother doesn’t get Doritos crumbs all over the duvet cover and wipe his cheese fingers all over her robe. (George Orwell’s Big Brother, not the reality show, fools.)

Fantz

Before bed, she hoses down the yard with Monsanto jizz to keep informants off her lawn. She keeps watch on the front yard through a tiny slit in her shades, keeping tabs on the neighbors across the street, who are definitely tapping her landline. (The young family of three is reeling for news that bingo is delayed until Wednesday due to Harold’s diarrhea.)

She sleeps with one eye open, gripping her colostomy bag tight. Every creak triggers the underground network of cyber attacks that are about to erupt through her lead pipes.

She calls newspapers, demanding that they remove her name from the phonebook, asks bank security guards to patrol her home three times a day and constantly screams, “I know you’re in there!”

I had a similar incident happen last night.

I texted a pal, then opened Instagram and his photo was at the top of the feed. I wanted to give the photo some love, but I didn’t want him to think I was stalking him. But if I didn’t like the photo right away, I thought, then it will disappear into the abyss of cats, collage carousels and #nofilters.

I’ll just go search his posts tomorrow. But then the algorithm robots will forever place his photos at the top of my feed. What if he’s sitting next to me when I open Instagram?

I suppose it could have been a coincidence … although the photo he posted was from yesterday.
Does he know I’m looking at him right now?

I turned around to see if Google was behind me. I know you’re around here somewhere, you sneaky fucker. You’re probably diddling Siri. Meanwhile, Alexa is lounging in my bra, rewiring cables.

“I have got to buy a new bra this weekend,” my train of thought trailed out loud.

I opened Facebook to see if my paranoia was seeping across social media. Will dude’s posts be at the top of my feed there? Hold me.

Ads for bras began popping like popcorn.

I put down my phone and started spewing random things.

“Maggie Rogers Denver.”

“Diarrhea.”

“Tickets to Atlanta.”

Ads for Event Tickets Center, Pepto-Bismol and Frontier Airlines populated. The old bitch in me clutched my ass and ran for the toilet with a rumbling gut full of stress diarrhea. As I wiped my ass with medicated pads, I heard the TV turn on. And there was Big Brother, pantsless on my couch, fingering his belly button and picking his teeth with my pipe cleaner.

I really need to find different weed.


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