Procedural (Daily Planet email #892)

Welcome! You’ve come here for the procedure, correct? Then I needn’t tell you but will tell you anyway that the procedure is minimally-invasive, non-toxic, fiercely optimistic, marginally-effective, great fun to watch, non-habit-forming, and most of all, n excellent topic of conversation, and who couldn’t use that in these trying times? Amiright? Are you with me? Great. Let’s move on.

Since time immoral, man has searched for a lasting way to achieve lasting ways. Well, we believe we have unlocked those secrets, obfuscated them up good, and locked them away again behind a wall of lawyers into an intellectual property called <redacted>. Imagine Ponce de León’s fabled Fountain of Youth. Gilgamesh’s alchemist divining the Elixir of Life. The great Djinn and his bejeweled vessel of enchanted unguent. Anyway, those are the paintings in my living room. I would imagine yours are different. Let’s say, a sunset depiction of two sailboats stranded at low tide? I’ve got a good sense about these things.

There are just a few basic questions we want to ask to ensure your safety and give us a good giggle after you’ve left. Are those the shoes you’re gonna wear? Have you had any surgeries in a foreign language? Do you have any plans of becoming pregnant? Well, now don’t get all insulted, I got no idea what kinda parts you got! Do you suffer fools gladly? Would you like to? Are you taking anything that would interfere with our prompt payment? Do you feel like we do? I mean all cotton-brained and generally anxious? Would you like a monogrammed crying towel? How is it we’ve never met before? Name me three breeds of bunny rabbits and I’ll stop with the questions. That’s two. Good enough.

Due to the immense popularity of the procedure, we are only seeing new patients by recommendation. May I please see yours? Mmm. Hmmm. Hmm-mm. Mmmmmh. OK, here you go. Wait, may I take a look at that one more time? Ah. Mmm-m. This is quite a skillful forgery, and I really wish my mother would stop signing them. Anyway, you’re here now and it looks like rain. Let’s just go already.

Three days prior to the procedure, read up on it and become quite worried. Question everything, everything except the random, unvetted website you just now consulted. Try to email us — go ahead, try. We don’t know all the answers. We don’t even know most of the questions. So many questions. Honestly, you people.

One day before the procedure, please remove at least two fake fingernails. If you don’t wear fake fingernails, please apply eight. If you have one hand, remove twenty percent of your fake fingernails and if you have no hands, please send us a picture of the unopened fingernails in a drawer. Your toes are fine, whatever, please don’t show me them.

The day of the procedure. wear loose clothing. Don’t get your undies in a bunch. A half hour before your appointment time, please be here while we don’t speak with you. We just want a good gander atcha. Now just hold up there, pardner. Don’t you make any false moves. Why U mad? Don’t be like that, we’ve established such a fine rapport thus far, us two, it would be a shame to throw it out just a’cause’a one of your silly little moods. We good? Well, I am.

In the event you ever successfully complete the procedure, would you consider taking a brief survey at the end of your recovery, should you still be with us? It will only take a few moments of your time, benefit us immensely, and make you feel like you had some amount of control, as if. It’s really ameliorative, in a cursory, passive way. Did we do a good job? Well, do you think we did a good job? How did the actual suffering measure up to your typical catastrophizing? What complications do you think you could legally pin on us? On a scale of one to ten, would you give us a malicious and spiteful zero with an asterisk seven for that one person who was really helpful that one time? I’ve got a good sense about these things.

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Matthew Hane

The falling anvil development team. The proportions of a pleasing error. Did we do it for money? Heavens, no. We did not.