Scared Of Technology Essay Research Paper The

Scared Of Technology Essay, Research Paper

The supermarket was going to be a doomsday dungeon this Sunday afternoon for

James Faruggulo, but he knew he had to go. He had given the housekeeper a week off

to lie around in the warm tropical waters off of Jamaica. She did the laundry, cooking,

cleaning and of course, she always fetched the groceries. Even the perfect layer of

atmosphere which lay upon the earth that day could not keep his mind from

wandering. Bright blues could be seen through the sky, bright yellows bouncing from

his windshield by the sun.

If only people saw things the same way James did. He had read about the radiation

risks in the July issue of the Times Magazine. Microwave ovens with faulty doors, x-

ray machines constructed before the 1980s, and computer monitors were all capable

of giving off as much radiation as a small-scale nuclear weapon throughout one’s

lifetime. Even the radar scanner in your local grocers checkout lane could rearrange

your molecules in ways God never intended. James believed that most people knew

this. Either they didn’t believe it or they just didn’t care.

As he passed through the automated doors, he gave the electronic sensors a careful

glance, wondering if they, too, gave off unwanted x-rays. James never did his own

shopping and had yet to actually leave the store with a product, but this time was

different. This time James had to face the demon.

The inside of the supermarket was gigantic. Flickering, fluorescent light splashed the

floor from its halogen fixtures nested in the metal beams and rafters of the ceiling. A

place full of radioactive x-rays. He moved quickly through the aisles, stepping around

displays with the quickness of a halfback, dodging carts like a pinball. After he

gathered his groceries, he went straight to checkout number six. That was the longest

line, with four people ahead of him.

The rarity of grocery shopping had caused an awkward situation for both James and

the demon. One time he had tried to get the checker to ring up everything by hand, but

she had only given him a blank stare. She had asked why, as if she didn’t know.

Another time he only bought things, which didn?t have a barcode. The cashier, who

barely looked fifteen, looked at him, then manually type in the prices.

The line now shortened by two.

Another time, James scribbled out every barcode number with a black permanent

marker before bringing the groceries to the checkout lane. He was thrown out of the

store for tampering with the goods.

The remaining customer was a short, lady purchasing six bags of cheese puffs. She

finally claimed her groceries from the ?bagger? and moved out of the checkout lane.

The radiation seemed not to effect her. Maybe it was all in his head. Could it be that

James was wrong?

Radiation or not, James took a deep breath and pushed his trolley forward.

“Good morning,” the checkout chic said. She didn’t mean it. “Paper or plutonium,


“What!” James answered with a shocking stare. Perhaps they did know all along, and

now it leaked from their mouths.

“Paper or plastic?” she repeated impatiently.

“Oh, …ahh paper, I guess.”

Everything moved in slow motion from that point on. James watched her hand grasp

the box of Kraft cheese and macaroni. It drifted towards the ?glass-plated abyss?,

barcode face down.

As the box moved over the scanner, the world suddenly exploded in a blast of red

light. Everyone around him now wore melting masks of flesh. They dropped to their

knees and clutched their chests. The scanner gave the sound of an air raid siren. Then

everything came back into focus like a slingshot.

The red light disappeared. The sirens becalmed inaudible. People around him were

now wearing their Sunday Shopping faces instead of melting masks. Everything was


James was indeed mistaken. He had faced the demo. With the visions of radiation

treatment centers and chemotherapy sessions erased from his mind, he grabbed his

bags and walked through the automated doors. He didn’t even give them a second

look this time. The day was still terrific, but was it this quiet before? As he jumped in

his car, he briefly felt as though something might be wrong, maybe something in the

air. He couldn’t put his finger on it.

He sped out of the parking lot and turned on to Warringah Road heading towards

Beacon Hill. Large trees lined both sides of the street in long rows. The vegetation

didn?t seem to attract any animals today. As James came into a clearing, he looked at

the cloudy sky covering the thousands of roofs of the suburb. And that’s when he saw

it, faint in the distance, almost a mirage. It was simple, logical, and it was horrifying.

James pulled over to the side of the road and turned the car off. He took a deep breath

and watched the billowing mushroom cloud part the sky.


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