Aphelion Issue 279, Volume 26
December 2022/January 2023
Long Fiction and Serials
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Flash Fiction
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Bob’s Diary: A Modest Proposal

by David Barber

My friend Bob keeps a diary.
Its five year mission now a continuing
quest to log the quotidian.

Bob, the modern Pepys.
My wife features in its pages. Famously,
Bob said her grapefruit salad was interesting.

In Bob’s Enigma code, diarrhoea
is interesting. Bob feels strongly
he shouldn’t upset the future.

Once handwritten, the diary now
resides in Word. And backed up on disc.
Though there’s still the problem of delivery.

Perhaps his GM descendants won’t search the attic.
Or own a quaint CD reader. Or a PC.
If Moore’s Law teaches anything it’s that

the rate of obsolescence doubles every 18 months.
I have suggested stone, which worked for Rameses,
or a gold disc nailed to a space craft,

or he could publish. (I typed poems
on an old Underwood. Even with a dropped e
it looked more professional than long hand

but they never got printed, not even in magazines
that went spine up after two runs, the bastards.)
So, the Internet. But it is sure to mutate

someday, dumping Bob’s life into cyberfill.
Craig Ventnor wove logos into the plasmids
of his artificial bugs. A smart retrovirus

could rewrite all that junk DNA;
Bob’s diary encoded in the blood
of his heirs. The word made flesh.

Though to be absolutely certain
might I propose infecting everyone on the planet
with a plague of Boblical proportions.

© 2011 David Barber

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