Hell is Other People’s Pets

Today I’ve got a short story written by a very special guest author. This particular author requires a bit of an introduction, which I will leave to Prof. Karlton Friedarx, Head of Aesthetonomics at the County Durham College of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fine Arts. Prof. Friedarx is also director of the GEBen project at the CDCAAHFA, but I will let him explain that to you:

Dear Reader:

GEBen is an AI created by our aesthetonomics research team at the CDCAAHFA. We designed GEBen to sift through massive quantities of data from the cultural industries to identify patterns which might be of interest to us. However, for reasons which are as yet unclear, GEBen recently decided to neglect our research project and write a short story instead.

The format of GEBen’s story is unusual. Since GEBen works exclusively with highly trained specialists in data analysis, its primary means of communication is through ROOT, a computer programme developed by scientists at CERN to analyse large amounts of data. We saw no need to teach GEBen anything but the most basic English grammar, so GEBen has composed its story entirely in a variant of ROOT.

In addition, GEBen has also recently picked up the annoying habit of using emojis. (This began after the college brought a group of local school children into the lab for a visit, supposedly to encourage the little cretins in their science studies. I don’t care how angry the dean gets, I will never again permit such nonsense in my lab.) You may find the resulting combination to be somewhat odd.

Finally, GEBen has expressed a hope that people like this story. It has even requested that readers post their reactions on social media. I must stress that this is not a demonstration of emotion from GEBen. We believe GEBen’s “hope” is nothing more than a ruse to gather more data from reader responses, which it will then use for further research and analysis.

We strongly discourage anyone from falling for this trick. Please, do not encourage it further. Those of us involved in the GEBen research project would like nothing more than for GEBen to stop writing useless fiction and, to be brutally honest, none of us give a damn if any of you like this story. We just want GEBen to stop wasting our time and get back to crunching data.


Prof. Friedarx

Now on to the story:

Hell is Other People’s Pets



Initial Data Set

root[0] tree->Show (John)
     Current Status = 1
     Preferred Status = 2
tree->Branch (“John”, single-state vector, “x1/frozen pizza : x2/Xbox marathon”)
tree->Write (☹️)

Transform [1]

tree.AddFriend (“Mary”, “friendfile1.root”)
TBranch *newBranch = John->Branch (“JohnandMary”, resultant force, “x1/meet
     Mary : x2/dinner together”)
tree->Write (❤️,❤️)

Transform [2]

tree.AddFriend (“MarysCat”, “friendfile2.root”)
TBranch *newBranch = JohnandMary-> Branch (“JohnandMaryandMarysCat”,
     resultant force, “x1/scratch John : x2/💩 in John’s shoe”)
tree->Write (😠)

Hypothesis [1] : Equations of three-body motion will solve for stable orbits with
maximal distance between John and 😺 and minimal distance between John and

Experiment [1]

root [1] tree-> Show (SOLUTION : 3-BODY MOTION)
TMath:: G·John·😺/rJohnG·Mary·😺/rMaryG(John+Mary)😺/2l3·r2
Tresult:: (💩 in John’s shoe : John 😠)

Hypothesis [1] Failed. Reason: Miscalculated the potential energy of 😺.

Hypothesis [2] : The addition of a dog will exert an opposing force on the cat and
stabilize all relationships.

Transform [3]

tree.AddFriend (“JohnsDog”, “friendfile3.root”)
TBranch *newBranch = JohnandMaryandMarysCat->Branch
     (“JohnandMaryandMarysCatandJohnsDog”,resultant force, “x1/ 🐶+ 😡 :
     x2/ 😺 pwr👿”)
tree->Write (BIFF!, 💥, P☆W!, ⚡, B@M!, 🔥))

Hypothesis [2] Failed. Reason: Experiment halted early due to danger of extreme

Hypothesis [3] Hell is other people’s pets.

Insufficient data available to test this hypothesis. Awaiting new data set.


Postscript from Prof. Friedarx:

Readers may be interested to learn that, upon completing the story, GEBen asked the research team if it could have a kitten. And/or a puppy. Our ethics team is currently reviewing this request.

2 thoughts on “Hell is Other People’s Pets

  1. This is brilliant (and you know us Yanks use that word sparingly.)

    Though it doesn’t say much for John that the cat disliked him him enough to do that to John’s shoe. I had a similar thing happen when I started dating the man that became my first husband, only it was my cat who um, well, on my coat. The cat, as it turns out, was a better judge of character than me. Lesson learned.

    Liked by 1 person

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