Freshly percolated coffee pours from a spout of an ingenious machine into the cusp of mug in a futuristic fully automated house that greets its owners with a cheerful; “Good morning” in a calming yet artificial voice of a nurturing woman. Accompanying the timed coffee maker is an array of postmodern glass wares; jars of spice with chrome lids, a fancy decanter full of brandy, salt and pepper shakers. All that one would expect to find in a kitchen however invariably useless since even the cooking is completed via automation. The echo of coffee being dispensed flourishes in the background as household computer announces; “System check commenced”. Computer screens flicker through incoherent code, LED lights flash on and off, intermittent beeps bip and bop as the computer continues its soliloquy of its internal workings. “Menu search in process” said almost indolent and indifferently and then proclaims that the “Heating cycle is complete, Swiss decafe ready , appointment schedule printing”. This is a SMART House, state of the art, top of the line and the best money can buy. It does everything but wipe our butts clean but that is what the bidet is for. George enters the room and greets his wife Lydia with an enthusiastic “Ta daa” as she grabs the coffee mugs from the counter top and replies with a not as eager “ta daa”. As they walk towards each other to embrace George comments on her reply, almost with contempt; “that was some “ta daa”. They have their morning kiss, just as is expected from any loving couple and George inquires; “Where are Peter and Wendy?”. “Where indeed?” the wife retorted being just as exasperated as her husband on the unknown whereabouts of their children. Just then the computer announces; “Incoming video message”. It is their children video teleconferencing to declare that they will be late for supper. It wasn’t exactly a conversation, they just appeared on screen Peter said they’d be late as Wendy waived and then ended the transmission. George was frustrated by this one sided communication and before he could get a word in the video telephone call was over. His wife Lidia then posed a concerned question; “George, I want to have a look at the children’s nursery”. George had an aloof response; “Why is it broken?”. To which Lydia replied; “Or have our therapist come look at it”. George was confused and then bemused by the idea; “Who David McClean, why?”. Lydia was befuddled by her husband’s lack of honest concern for their children wellbeing and had an almost sneering reaction; “The nursery its – its changed” said almost as if in disbelief of something we dare not even our conscious acknowledge the abstract oddity of reality. George replied with a confident fatherly regard for change; “Lydia, the kids are older now”. “No, no, no, it” and then sputtered silent searching for the right words. “Its strange! Come look.” She said and then put down her coffee and started walking towards the children’s nursery and George followed. As they were walking down the corridor to the nursery George said; “Good lord, for what we paid for that room.” He was about to go on a tirade but ended-up being interrupted by Lydia. “You’ll see”. As they got to the nursery doorway Lydia shushed George and then commanded the door; “Open”. The computer obliged and opened the door and acknowledged the order with a reply; “Nursery door open”. The couple entered the room to see and hear the grand landscape of the African Savannah. In the foreground a pride of lions with a nearby cypress tree above a great valley stretching for miles with a bright sky slightly hazy along the horizon. George was impressed with the grandeur of the electronic illusion and in his state of awe said; “Ooh yeah”. Just as a lion roared he continued his rational explanation of the mirage. “Dolby sound three-dimensional tapes, laser images, etc. I still can’t get used to this”. The virtual projection focuses on a pack of zebra grazing the luscious green field of view as Lydia scans the room for an anomaly. Eyes squinting as she scrutinizes every detail. As George takes it all in he finally says; “So.”. Lydia has a condescending reply; “Just wait”. She the nobs a moment later and points out; “There, a pack of vultures, those filthy creatures.” “So,” George abruptly replies as if having scavengers in a simulation is anything at all to be concerned with. Lydia just repeats “There is something strange here.” She was almost sceptical, now that there was another inquisitive mind examining the falsehood portrayal of reality within their children’s nursery. “Oh lord, look at that majestic pride. They just finished feeding.” George said with almost banal atonement. “Yeah, but on what.” She said with grave concern. George being a realist replied; “Maybe zebra or a baby giraffe”. “Are you sure” Lydia said still concerned. To which George cynically replied; “It is too late to tell”. “Wait George, don’t you feel it” Lydia whispered with a mother’s intuition. George looked up at the sweltering sun high above more vulture were gliding the drifts. Just then the heat got to him and he wiped the perspiration from his forehead. [up to time index 4:06… from youtube video]

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