I'm sitting in my room, reading Naked Lunch. The TV is turned on, but muted. Jackie Chan Adventures will be on soon and I've developed this sick habit of watching it. I glance up at the set, searching for some vague clue about how much longer that damn Pokemon will be on. I recognize the commercial playing. It's the same one they play every single commercial break. I know what's being said, even without the sound.

When you see a number appear on your screen, be the 20th caller and receive a free set of plush Pokemon dolls.

After the TV has been muted for so long, the closed captioning kicks in. Despite the fact that I know what's being said, the text hovering at the bottom of the screen taunts me.

This entire book is a work of fiction?

This has nothing to do with the images of plush dolls and cartoon clips on my screen. The phrase isn't used or even hinted at in the audio. Why is it there? Who put it there?

I look down at Naked Lunch, splayed across my lap, half read.

This entire book is a work of fiction?

Someone, somewhere, has an odd sense of humor and a wicked sense of timing.

Update, June 2nd 2001.
Today, it was "You can relax, Metal man."
I'm scared.

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