08 February 2013
"I think it used to be," Manda said. "My great-grandmother — like, my dad's grandmother? — she died when she was super young, like, eighty, and I think that's what it was."
"Yeah, well, people used to die of AIDS too. It's not a big deal anymore. She only has to take the pills for a week."
"So let's go and pick them up for her and be done with. She's your grandmother, and she's sick. Why isn't that good enough?"
"I just mean..." Tala stopped, not sure what she meant. "We need to go this way."
"Aren't you going to tell me about going over to Mark's place for dinner? That would be a lot more interesting than fretting about those stupid pills."
"They're weird. They're like these back-to-nature types. They don't even have a printer in the kitchen."
"No way! How do they make stuff to eat?"
"Ugh, it's like something from those interactive museums they used to make us go to when we were in school. Get this: Mark's dad had to chop up the greens to make the salad. Then he cooked the main meal on this big cubey thing, what do they call them, stoves? Who knows how old it is or where they got it from. It took forever, like half an hour or something."
"How was the food?"
"I guess it was okay. It tasted good, but all the textures were different. Like there was crunchy bits and soft bits all put together. Pasta primavera they called it. It had pretty colours. Mark was so embarrassed when he found out I'd never had unprinted food before. He said he would have explained things to me better. He's so sweet. Oh! and for dessert, we had an apple crisp. That took an hour to cook. But it was good, though, and the texture was more consistent."
They reached the pharmacy counter. Tala flashed the prescription notice at the scanner and waited for the pills to be dispensed.
"How's the new job going, anyhow?" she said to Manda.
"It's great," said Manda. "It's hard to stay organised, but I'll figure it out. Tomorrow we're going on a floor tour."
"Yeah, actually see the tablet components being printed and assembled. Sounds cool."
Tala rolled her eyes. "For that you went to university for four years?"
Manda flinched. "Well, I might be able to forecast design trends better if I actually understood the material limitations."
"Ugh. Makes me glad I'm majoring in business. I'm hungry. Let's go find a print vendor."
Manda shrugged and followed her.