Before our births, void of choice, we became part of the story,
During our lives, with a choice, we can't escape the story,
After death, abandoned choice, the story continues to seep.
- Andrew Mansell

Month: August 2014


Photo by Nick Normal

Photo by Nick Normal

After setting up my new 3D printer, the first thing I thought to print was a girlfriend. I imagined her voluptuous figure – persimmon shaped breasts, taut bottom, wavy blond hair and eyes the colour of summer skies. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not totally into outer surfaces. Her personality was to be – caring, helpful and intelligent. Her clothing stumped me though and I hoped the dress I printed stayed on her forever, saving me the cost of going clothes shopping. I was a uni student who spent my last dollar on a 2 year lease plan just to get the printer. I could have printed her naked but decided that was taking things a little too fast.

That’s when I remembered Gregory and the 200 dollars he owed me. I thought if I could get that money back, the dread of shopping with my new girlfriend might be bearable. Hell, we could probably even see a movie and grab some munchies. Gregory was always broke though, despite him being the instigator, the one to say let’s go out! or how about we order a pizza? or your place will do for the party. It was only later on, when payment was needed, that he’d open his wallet to reveal a black hole.

Gregory had been bragging about a new job for weeks but his stinginess remained a constant, sort of like the stains from bird droppings on an abandoned car. I’d lost count of how many times asking him for my money back.  If only I were a pickpocket.  If only I could print a pickpocket. Yes! I remembered one of my favourite shorts and clicked on The Hitchhiker.

I couldn’t bring  the pickpocket, who described himself as a finger smith, from  Roald Dahl’s story back to life as that would be plagiarism – frowned deeply upon at uni but rife on the internet. In any case, I needed a pickpocket with less class than a fingersmith, like one of those thieves that prey on tourists in Barcelona, somebody with a permanent three day growth, glazy eyes, who cared not if his jeans were ripped  –  somebody who appeared to be unassuming like Gregory or me but with a hidden talent to boot. That way, I wouldn’t raise suspicions when introducing the pick pocket to Gregory as a uni friend or even an overseas student.

I made my pickpocket thinner, shorter, smaller and weaker than me, cunning but not too clever, just in case my new character got out of control and I needed to rein him in. Above all though, I concentrated on the fingers, long and thin, flexible with fingernails that melded seamlessly into the fingertips. With my digital blueprint set, the printer grunted and got to work, beginning at the feet. Bones, tendons and flesh grew before my eyes; designer runners way cheaper than those from a factory outlet came to the fore. In a seemingly random pattern the printer moved upwards; ankles, calves, thighs, hips appeared momentarily to be covered by my made to order, ten year old, navy blue jeans. Then came the gut which I made a little flabbier than mine. I’d always wanted an inwards belly button and gave him one. The upper torso soon covered his ribs and raspberry jelly like heart. His arms were long and thin to match his fingers but also strong and strained like steel wire.