Driving yourself to distraction

Bernadette finished primary and secondary school without learning to read (just like her parents), so she couldn’t get a drivers licence or read the labels in the supermarket, but she got a job in a factory when she was 16, until a robot replaced her, so she decided to have a baby.

Fergus was 19 and could read and write and was an ace at video-gaming, so he didn’t see the point in getting a job when he dropped out of school to work on developing his own video game with his brother and become rich, especially when he could live at home in the meantime and do nothing but work/play on his computer.

Jake was an articulate and superficially intelligent computer programmer who kidded his brother, Fergus, that he’d help him with his video game one day, when in fact he’d become an expert in scamming retirees out of their savings online and hiding his income in the recesses of the Dark Web, while the pizza boxes and Red Bull cans mounted around him.

Estelle had been a devoted wife until her husband, Ron, ran off with a younger woman, leaving her with a mountain of debt and no house after the bank foreclosed, so now she lives out of her car and cleans house for Jake and Fergus’s parents to earn just enough money to buy food.

Kevin had worked out the reason that his farm never seemed to make any money was that the game had been fixed by an international network of aliens disguised as humans who had infiltrated the Government and would soon control the world through technology and bogus vaccines.

But then hope emerged for Bernadette, Fergus, Jake, Estelle and Kevin with the arrival of a saviour, who promised to lead them to a land of milk and honey, backed by a shadowy network of true believers, and they surfed the wave of distraction, never dreaming that it would dump them back on the same beach from which they’d started.

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