Oxford Merit

(“Study at Harvard!

We’ll fortify your mind with certainty, immerse your ideas in refined orthodoxy, and facilitate the sacrifice of your ambitious and amoral soul by acolytes of Moloch around the world.”

The commercial beaming into your brain as you wait in your auto-doctor’s office shows a group of diverse, blood-soaked Harvard students laughing in the streets of Cambridge as they whip and corral naked, bound, and mewling members of the meritocratically deficient underclass.) 

You think, “Barbaric Harvies, their lashings lack sophistication. Oxford Forever.”

Two beeps from the auto-secretary interrupt your judgement. 

You believe this means it’s your turn.

Confirming your suspicion, the floor moves your chair to a back room in the office.

As you’re moved, a commercial for Fresh Air Keurig Cups dances on the periphery of your awareness.

(A well-dressed man sitting in an office cubicle takes a deep breath and starts coughing.

“Polluted air got you down? Don’t let any old air into your lungs. 

Introducing Keurig Fresh Air.”

The same well dressed man, still coughing, places a cup in a Keurig machine. 

The machine begins spraying clean air into the man’s face.

The man sighs, and breathes without coughing.

“Make the best choice for yourself and your health. 

Keurig Fresh Air: Because you deserve to Breathe.”)

When you enter the room, an auto-doctor machine greets you.

“What is your health concern?” The device beeps as you enter.

You respond as you slide to a stop in front of the looming metallic being, “I noticed a lump on my throat a few weeks ago and…”

“Reveal the condition.” The device intones.

You pull down your collar.

It scans your lump.

After a moment of processing, the device replies, “Your education and calculated potential productivity qualify you for a biopsy. Remove your fabric coverings.”

You hesitate, misunderstanding the machine’s meaning. 

“Remove your fabric coverings immediately, or you will not be serviced.” The auto-doctor warns.

Realizing it means your clothes, you take off your shirt. 

The machine hovers over your body, injects your neck with a numbing agent, and extracts a sample of the lump. 

Analyzing the specimen, the machine responds, “You have cancerous cells that require approximately $1,350,000 to treat. Your calculated productivity potential is approximately $560,000. You do not qualify for this level of healthcare. Thank you, have a nice day.”

“But, I have an MBA from Oxford!” You object as the floor moves your chair back into the waiting room. 

A commercial for Johnson & Johnson Adderall Vitamins pops into your head.

(The commercial displays an office full of sleeping workers with coffee cups turned on their sides, spilling coffee on their desks.

“Not getting the most out of your employees?”

“Try new Adderall Extra Strength Dissolving Tablets.”

A manager drops three tablets into a water cooler and uses an air horn to wake the sleeping workers. 

The workers shuffle into a line to retrieve a cup of infused-water.

As they drink, their eyes open fully, and they return to their desk energized, ready to work hard.

“Turn a lazy worker into a superstar with a single cup of our patented healthy vitamin supplements.”

“Your clients, and your stock price, will thank you.”)

Shocked by the calculations of the auto-doctor, you pull your shirt back on and find your phone to call a former classmate working as a lobbyist and lawyer in Washington DC.

“Hello, This is Miriam.”

“Miriam? Hi, it’s Georgette.”

On the other end of the line, Miriam responds, “Hi Georgette, I hope you’re doing well. Luckily you caught me between meetings.”

“I just need a moment. You see, I was just diagnosed with cancer, and…”

“I’m sorry to hear that, that’s quite bothersome. I had to take a few days off work to treat mine a few years ago.”

“It’s fine, yeah, I might too, we’ll see. But the issue is this auto-doctor told me the operation costs more than my CPP and…”

“What? That’s not possible. You have an MBA from Oxford!”

“I know! There must be something wrong. Could you ask around? There might be an auto-healthcare variable that needs some adjustment. I know you know the right people, and I’d owe you big time!”

“Sure thing, sis!”

Miriam hangs up the phone.

Thirty minutes pass.

In that time, along with commercials for simulated sexual arousal supplements, mood elevating supplements, a new model of robot butler, and a trip to a recreated version of what the rainforest in Brazil used to look like, you watch as five other patients are moved in and out of the back room. 

By their expressions upon returning, their clothing, and overall bearing, you guess two have a CPP high enough to receive the healthcare they need, and two do not.

You’re disturbed you’re in an office where it seems half the patients are from backgrounds that don’t qualify for needed healthcare.

The final patient, an aged, nonbinary figure bent over and gnarled with the telltale signs of a lifetime of coding factory labor, never returns at all.

You worry this office might be mistaking you for a coding factory laborer, or some other menial position.

You’re an Influence Maximization Consultant with an MBA from Oxford! 

Why are you assigned to an auto-doctor’s office servicing those of lesser merit?

You make a note to call another Oxford alum, who works for Auto-Health and Human Services, to help you switch auto-doctor offices to somewhere more suited to your background.

The auto-secretary beeps, and your chair once again moves to the back room with the auto-doctor device.

“What is your health concern?” The device beeps as you enter.

You tell the device, “There’s a cancerous lump on my throat.”

“Reveal the condition.” The device intones.

You pull down your collar.

The device scans your lump.

After a moment of processing, the device replies, “Your education and calculated potential productivity qualify you for treatment. Remove your fabric coverings.”

You remove your shirt and the device begins operating on the lump. 

During the operation, you view a commercial to join the military.

(A woman in an Air Force captain’s uniform sits at a computer, studying the display.

“Want to be a hero?”

The captain monitors an auto-drone, which is seen flying over a meadow on a split screen.

“Want to make a difference?”

The captain watches their screen and gives updates as the auto-drone finds its target and executes its mission, “Target sighted, rifle, release, impact.” 

The split screen shows a guided missile exploding within a village.

The captain throws up a peace sign and shouts, “Count it!”

The Air Force logo appears in your brain, along with the words, “Be Force.”)

When the auto-doctor finishes, it sanitizes the area and tells you, “Return to this office in one week for additional treatment. The auto-secretary will have your prescription. Thank you, have a nice day.”

You put on your shirt as the floor takes your chair back to the waiting room.

You text Miriam.

“Thanks, sis. You’re a life-saver.”

Miriam texts back, “I didn’t do anything? I’m still in a meeting! What happened?”

You laugh, and type, “My CPP qualified…must have been a glitch?”

“Those auto-doctors…are you in a mixed-merit office?”

“Sure am. I just noticed some of the other patients are decidedly less-meritorious.”

“Gotta upgrade your auto-doc, sis!”

“Way ahead of you. About to call Fatou at HHS and get this sorted.”

“Get it, girl!”

“Always! Stay Woke, Oxford Forever!”

“SW, OF!”

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