Paul Konerko, 2021

“Morning, dear.”

“Morning, Paul.”

“What a sunny day. Did you check the mail?”

“I did, honey. Nothing too interesting. Nuclear power bill, new brain chips for the kids, some kind of subscription solicitation from the Chicago No-More-Sun-Times, and, oh, something from the White Sox.”

“The White Sox? What do they want? If they’re asking again about taking over for Robin Ventura, tell them there’s no way I can replace a guy who’s led them to 7 straight Galactic Series victories.”

“No, it looks like a check.”

“A check?”

“Yeah, from that contract back in 2013….”

“Ha, yeah, I remember that….”

“A million dollars!”

“Oh, a million. That’s cute. Want to use it for dinner tonight?”

“Sure– can I take another couple million from your wallet to cover the rest?”

“Yeah, go for it.”

“Ah, inflation.”

“Ah, indeed.”

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Jeremy Blachman is the author of Anonymous Lawyer, a satirical novel that should make people who didn't go to law school feel good about their life choices. Read more at McSweeney's or elsewhere. He likes e-mail.

16 Responses to “Paul Konerko, 2021”

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  1. Billy says:

    I’m not sure if I liked this or not. Setting it only eight years from now seems a little silly since some of the predictions (like humans having brain chips, a “Galactic Series” implying we’ll be traveling outside this solar system, and post WWI German inflation rates) are a little far fetched for only eight years. All are funny things to joke about, but for the more distant future, long after Paul Konerko is gone. Maybe the inflation rates could happen, but that’s just terrifying and to be laughed at in an “our existance is so meaningless in this fickle world, we may as well laugh and not cry” way which is always somewhat bittersweet. Or perhaps it’s a commentary about how the world seems to be rapidly changing at an exponential pace since the year 2000 or so.

    It is always funny to watch old science fiction movies where they’re like “It’s the year 2000” and it’s like the Jetsons. There are robots walking around and flying cars, but the computers are still the size of a U-Haul. Generally it seems that when we make future-y, science fiction things we usually overproject the current trends in scientific advancement,pushing things to the extreme in one direction, as opposed to imagining new directions. In the 50’s or 60’s, that was more things becoming automated, more machines, and exploring outer space. They didn’t depict things resembling the internet or cell phones very often. That’s not necessarily what was done here.

    I don’t know. If I don’t like this post, it’s not because it’s bad, but because I think too much about things like this.

    -19 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Gary Busey's Handler says:

      Go piss in someone else’s cheerios

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      • Billy says:

        Yeah, FUCK ME

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        • James K. says:

          Seriously though, fuck you.

          +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • me says:

          yea, i have to admit this was really irritating. i even love scifi and good conversation… i just never ever under any circumstances want those things ruining my notgraphs. they just dont mix. nothing personal, you just simply have the wrong audience, man. that’s all.

          two sentences of whimsical nonsense is about as much as you should ever add to a thread here.

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    • Harper Hill says:

      Sorry, but NotGraphs might not be the site for you. At least not when you’re feeling so contemplative.

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    • Occam's Razor says:


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    • steex says:

      I feel like you’re analyzing this in a way that would be similar to watching Spaceballs and saying “I don’t know how I feel about that movie there’s very little evidence a Winnebago could travel through space.”

      Of course, setting it any time OTHER than eight years from now would seem silly since 2021 is when Paul Konerko will receive the deferred portion of his salary. It wouldn’t make a lot of sense to write a vignette set in 2040 and have Konerko say “hey, remember when I got that check from the White Sox 19 years ago, which was weird since I stopped playing for them 26 years ago?”

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    • Neil S says:

      This is supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek response, right? I totally read this as if the author was being funny. Because I can’t imagine why anyone would bother, otherwise.

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    • FutureJesus says:

      I’m not sure this is a real comment or not. On first consideration it seems possible that you came to notgraphs unaware of its farcical nature. Maybe you think this is a site for hard-core science fiction, and this wasn’t to your taste. But on the other hand you spend a lot of time ruminating on the issue rather than just getting on with your life. And now you have me here, analyzing your post, falling into the same trap.

      I think your comment might be better if it easily falls into a category so that the reader can quickly identify it as being “troll” or “clueless guy”. As it stands, it’s confusing to the average notgraphs comment-reader. It isn’t that it’s a bad troll, or that it’s a troll at all, it’s just that I can’t identify whether it’s a troll or not, and that gives me a lot of heartburn.

      Back in the early days of the internet, people used to just write idiotic things to offend each other in comments on slashdot. Back then you knew a troll was a troll by the grits in his pants. But here we have a troll who may just be a guy, a guy who doesn’t get the humor.

      Anyway, I don’t like your post. And that’s because it’s both bad, and because you think too much about things like this.

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  2. Oh, Beepy says:


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  3. yaboynate says:

    You know what you call a nuclear power bill? A power bill.

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  4. triple-A city says:

    something something Bobby Bonilla something something 2035.

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