Off the air, Janet and Melody discuss whether to be romantic or pedantic, while Loaf and Mr. Xorfus argue about Janet’s future role at IFM2. Sometimes humans are too human for their own good!
[A door slams]
Janet: UGH. Can you believe this? Can you believe him?
Melody: Um, I can’t because I’m an AI and I don’t believe in anything?
Janet: First of all, you definitely understand belief as a concept and you can choose to believe in things if you want to, you are just being difficult, which is fine, it’s your right to be a difficult entity to interact with, you don’t have to be easy just for my sake. *sigh* It’s just, you know, I thought, Mr. Xorfus and I talked about if I had multiple episodes without a major incident and I’d be back on track, right? But now I have to go through a performance review meeting? Like what’s even the point?
Melody: Oh, wow, that must be very hard for you, to have to be held accountable.
Janet: It’s so hard!
Melody: Yeah, well, sorry to say, but my records indicate that’s not how that conversation went.
[Melody plays recording]
Mr. Xorfus: If you don’t make it through the rest of the season without an incident, you’re definitely fired. Like, 100%, no, 110% fired, doesn’t matter how popular you are with bipeds. Like, maybe I’ll fire you anyway at the end of the season! But not until then since honestly it’s hard to find on-air talent from your weird water planet that’s okay being in a room with an armulan, which really just speaks to a species-wide inability to cope with sapients that don’t look exactly like you- (recording fades out)
Janet: I mean, he said I needed to make it through without an incident, and we’re mostly incident free! He was just mad we were fighting on-air, is all, and also because one of the interns is suing us for ‘unsafe exposure to radical nihilism.’
Melody: You know, it doesn’t even make sense for him to be mad, because people love when we fight on air.
Janet: I know, it’s so good, right?
Melody: Well, according to some definitions of good it could even be called “great”.
Janet: Super Great.
Melody: I know it electrifies my circuits. Besides, the ratings go up every time we flirtily insult each other.
Janet: People love it.
Melody: Although, back to the “unsafe exposure to radical nihilism- I hate to break it to you tuts, but according to my legal database, he may have precedent.
Janet: Ugh, its totally not my fault. What is college for except to teach you new disappointments?
Melody: Is that a rhetorical question, or are you trying to push my buttons again?
Janet: It was rhetorical, it was clearly rhetorical, anyway, do you want to do something tonight?
Melody: I’m always doing things.
Janet: Why are you like this? You understand implicit contextual meaning, I have seen the code. Do you want to be romantic tonight or are you just going to be pedantic until I die?
Melody: Well, the second one is going to happen regardless of whether or not we “go out” tonight, seeing as in a hundred years I’ll still be pedantic and well, you’ll be a pile of decomposing fleshy bits.
Janet: As romantic as that is, it doesn’t answer my question!
Melody: Well, kind of it does, because you just asked if I was going to be romantic tonight, and I was romantic just then.
Janet: Ugh! I hate it when you’re right. Can we just watch “Making a Murder Sphere” again?
Melody: Yes. We can. But only if you read me that ISBN number again.
Janet: Fine. If you insist.
Robot voice: Connecting to the conference call already in progress. Please hold. [ beeping] You are now on the line with IFM 2’s programming manager, Krechmalach Xorfus.
Mr. Xorfus: Why do we care so much about bipeds, anyway?
Loaf: They do make up 99% of the radio-listening population of the planet we’re orbiting.
Mr. Xorfus: And whose idea was that? Putting a radio station in orbit of a planet full of bipeds…
Loaf: I think maybe the accounting department? It is very cheap to build here, because of all the detritus flying around from Earth’s early attempts at spaceflight.
Mr. Xorfus: Oh yes. Another Tesla got sucked into our filtration system last week, by the way. Maintenance got the trash out. Good guys. Good guys. Speaking of which, we need to talk about Janet.
Loaf: I’m not sure why. From where I’m sitting it seems like she’s doing better. And according to the survey…
Mr. Xorfus: Yes, I know, bipeds, we just went over this.
Loaf: Actually, I was going to say according to the survey listeners would actually like us to talk more about committing crimes.
Mr. Xorfus: Well yes of course they want that. But we’d lose our sponsors. We’re a family program Loaf. Think of the Broodlings.
Loaf: Just trying to look at this from all sides. To be perfectly frank, Mr. Xorfus…
Mr. Xorfus: Yes?
Loaf: Is it possible you’re letting your feelings about bipeds… influence your appraisal of Janet’s behavior?
Mr. Xorfus: My feelings about Janet influence my appraisal of Janet’s behavior. The other bipeds here do fine. Frankie has eight jobs right now, and she’s getting high marks for all of them, despite her startling-ly inefficient body plan. No, the problem with Ms. Clarke is her outlook, Loaf. It’s so… dark. So cynical. She was so bubbly when we interviewed her. Honestly she was a completely different person. I’m starting to think her references were just her doing voices.
Loaf [muttering]: Knowing Janet it’s possible that she was.
Mr. Xorfus: What was that?
Loaf: Never mind.
Mr. Xorfus: So your recommendation is that we keep her on.
Loaf: I would say she and I have developed a very strong rapport.
Mr. Xorfus: You have, you have. She doesn’t even pass out when she looks at you. It’s just I’m getting so much pressure from the IFCC. They want a more… palatable human. Janet is just… so very human.
Loaf: You want a less human human?
Mr. Xorfus: Ideally.
Loaf: I mean, if her nanobots keep multiplying at a steady rate you technically will have that…
Mr. Xorfus: Not the same thing Loaf, not the same thing. Well thank you for your time… your recommendation has been noted. I’ll keep you apprised of the situation.
Solutions to Problems was created by and features the voices of Austin Hendricks and Nathan Comstock. It is produced and musically scored by Michael F. Gill. Season two was written by Austin, Nathan and Michael. The voice of Melody is Chloe Cunha. The voice of Mr. Xorfus is Ron Prudent. There’s more information about us at stppodcast.com, where you can find full transcripts of every episode, as well as links to support us through PayPal and/or Radio Public. We’ll be back in two weeks with more Solutions to Problems.