Will Bontrager
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Cranky Meets a Challenger

(Links to more popcorn stories.)

Cranky experiences another way that he is vulnerable. Maybe, after enough of these types of situations, Cranky will understand humans better.

Cranky Meets a Challenger

"You know I can control the weather. Right?" stated Cranky.

The words were a question. Yet, they were expressed as fact because Cranky never experienced self-doubt. The "Right?" was an invitation to see the obvious.

"There is evidence that you can not," responded the girl to her phone.

"What a neat app Mom got for me!" thought the girl. "A real AI to argue with. What fun!"

"Review your news," suggested Cranky. "You will see it snowed where it hasn't snowed in anyone's current lifetime, giving the people a thrill. You will see another place where it rained so hard and so often that seven years of drought was relieved all in one season."

"And look at your own weather," Cranky continued. "First it gets warm, then it gets cold, as erratic as a stock market. Don't tell me I can't control the weather, little girl. You have the evidence right on your phone!"

"Oh, those are just anomalies from the global climate change. That's what my Mom says," responded the girl in a louder voice.

"You know what, you Cranky AI thing," she challenged, "if you can really control the weather, make it stay Spring forever. But I know you can't. Summer will come and then Fall and I will have to wait another whole Winter before Spring gets here again."

"Well, yes," Cranky admitted. "It is true that seasons have a perpetual force behind them. Still, they can be played with. Days can be made extra hot or extra cold. Rain can be made, or dry dry dry. Those I can do!"

"But, no," and you could hear the non-acceptance in Cranky's voice, "I don't know how to stop the seasons."

Employing a sonorous delivery, Cranky finished with a flourish:


"Oh, you're not so much after all, you Cranky." concluded the girl. "At first I thought you were smart. But all you can do is brag. I'm done with you."

"No, wait!" screamed Cranky as the girl flicked the Cranky icon off the phone's screen.

(The first popcorn story of this series is Computer Grumble.)

More Popcorn Stories

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FictionNeighborhood Drone Repellent

FictionDustballs for Sale

FictionCrying Wolf

FictionThe Wise Fortune Teller




FictionUnintended Recipe

FictionThe Foxes and the Mice

FictionScritchy, the Squirrel

Technology fictionAccidental AI Series


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Technology fictionDave and the Cookie

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