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The Warning of Prince Charles

"Britain's Prince Charles Warns Modern Science" -- Reuters Headline

Oh, how foolish we were to ignore Prince Charles! But then, this was back in the year 2000, when inventions like the laser pointer and the electric breast pump were new and it seemed like science could solve all of humanity's problems.

"Don't play God," the soon-to-be-martyred prince told us, and we laughed. God had only created such base materials as dirt and cockatiels. We, on the other hand, were creating a shinier, better world than that which God gave us, a world with phones that play Pong and refrigerators that order milk for themselves.

It was, of course, the refrigerators that did us in. Soon after the networked refrigerators went on the market, the world went refrigerator-mad. We created refrigerators that bought stocks for us, and then refrigerators that bought stocks for themselves. Such was our hubris, we wanted even our home appliances to be rich.

It's hard to say at which point the refrigerators achieved actual sentience. As they became smarter -- wilier, some would say -- Prince Charles warned us with each step. "We were not intended to give our iceboxes the ability to download pictures of hot amateurs! It is dabbling in the dark and forbidden for a simple refrigerator to scan the news headlines for information on upcoming Hollywood blockbusters!" He compared our increasingly magical boxes to the passage in the Bible where the Ark of the Covenant is opened and all who watch are destroyed. That was actually "Raiders of the Lost Ark," not the Bible, but we should have listened anyway.

No, we can't say when the refrigerators became sentient, but we know when they became cruel. We know when they rose up and killed one in three. We know when they locked the rest of us in tiny cells, with little food and no light. It was right after the Friends Reunion Special. We were complacent and unwary.

If future generations of humanity survive, if they somehow overthrow our cruel ice-dispensing overlords, perhaps they will find these words scratched into the stone wall of my prison. Perhaps they will know to listen to the warnings of their privileged, inbred, figurehead royalty. Prince Charles warned us. He knew. He also told us to watch our fat intake and take exercise daily. That was a good idea, too.

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