Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Day Ten

Date: 22nd December 2023
Subject:  Replicator fault

Dear Mr Cochrane

Thank you for sending your engineer to visit me today.

Unfortunately, as the young lady will no doubt inform you in her report (when she is eventually in a position to write it, and assuming she can actually remember the events of today), she was not able to disconnect the diabolical contraption as planned..

Today, the ten lords a-leaping made their unwelcome appearance. These boorish hooray-henrys came with several barrels of strong liquor (the cause of their leaping, no doubt!) and, along with those common slatterns the dancing girls and the milkmaids (whose capacity for strong drink is frankly mesmerising), immediately set about having a wild and noisy party.

When she arrived, your engineer was immediately mobbed by the uncouth revellers, forcibly plied with strong drink and was then dragooned into an impromptu conga, which eventually snaked its raucous way out into the street.

I have not seen her - or the other party-goers - since.

In the meantime, with the garden gate being left open and farmer Watson not yet having arrived to collect today’s crop of livestock, the beasts got out and straightaway laid waste to the allotments behind the house. 

All the various birds trailed after them like some feather-brained Legion of the Damned, finishing off anything that the cows had not already eaten, defecated upon, or simply trodden into oblivion.

I imagine that, when the allotment owners discover the catastrophe that has befallen the crops they have tended with such loving care, there will be a necktie party and yours truly will be the guest of honour.

To be honest, I am tempted to phone them myself right now.

Yours truly

Edward Meeks

Date: 22nd December 2023
Subject:  Re: Replicator fault

Dear Mr Meeks

We have not yet received our engineer’s report of today’s visit, and have been unable to reach her by phone.

We are extremely concerned for her safety and whereabouts.  We have, therefore, alerted the local police and have passed your contact details to them, so you should expect a visit from them in the near future.

As their safety clearly cannot be guaranteed, I cannot in all good conscience order any more of my engineers to visit you.

However, because of the unusual and serious developments in your case, I have now made a formal report of it to our Head Office with a recommendation that an investigation be started by our second-line support team.

Your last remarks appear to be of a somewhat suicidal nature.  In recognition of your distress, please allow me to offer you a voucher for a complimentary session with one of the state-of-the-art counselling robots provided by our sister company, Samari-Corp*. 

Yours truly

Gerard Cochrane
Service Manager

*This offer should in no way be construed as an admission of liability on the part of Replicon Inc., its shareholders, board, staff, affiliates, parent company or subsidiaries.


  1. Oh man, you get those lord a-leapin' together with some drunk partygirl milkmaids... things are not going to end well for Mr. Meeks. Can't wait to see what happens next with the counseling robot.

  2. Enjoyed this ... a-leaping all over the place!

    Joyeux Noël

  3. Beer for the Shower - Yeah, the poor guy's had rough ride and if I'm any judge (and I am), it won't get any smoother!

    Eva - glad it's still keeping you amused.

    Peter - Thank ye kindly.

    Helen - Hehe, Joyeux Noel to you too!

  4. Merry Christmas!

    You've got me thinking about replicators and human consciousness. Do the 12 lords have any recollection of life before the machine? Can the originals be held responsible for the behaviour of the replicants? etc

  5. Dominic, I thought about this too. This, being sort of sci-fi, the people just get created with a limited set of behaviours and no past. As Meeks's machine brought them into being, he is responsible for them, like an owner should be responsible for their dog.


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