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Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Asperger Computer - Second Edition Preview: The Mentally Handicapped Stranger (Short Story by Me)

The Mentally Handicapped Stranger

A sunny day rises over the roofs of New York City. Everything is calm; no cloud in sight, no wind, no crime, no fires, nothing too dangerous going on in this ten-million-people city of the American Dream. It's 8:45 AM in Times Square, on a Saturday morning, and Broadway is not blocked. Traffic is moving frequently and efficiently; about 30 miles an hour (48 km/h in metric).

A 12-year-old boy steps inside the freshly renovated McDonalds located in the heart of Times Square; $30 in his pocket thanks to his parents who wanted him to try out interacting with people in the real world, one of the most important life skills. He was totally thrilled, in a negative way at first, to do this, especially if you consider him as a close-minded and limited person. But eventually he learned that he, mentally, hurt himself, and so his parents calmed him down.

His parents dropped him off, on 46thStreet and 6th Avenue, after driving up from Brooklyn Heights for about twenty minutes. Altogether, they live in an apartment close to the Brooklyn Bridge, where anytime he feels like it, he can go onto the old bridge and see the many things the city has kept for years: the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the Statue of Liberty, to name a few. His name was George Lundock.

Here, George was about five feet two, wearing bright blue shorts and a small Angry Birds T-shirt with all the birds of the Flock on a white background, including Terence, the Big Brother Bird, and Al, the Boomerang Bird. The shirt was actually given to him after his father, Brian, won a contest going on across the United States. Rovio CEO, Mikael Hed, and his brother, Niklas, made an offering to him with a signature. Brian asked them for just a small shirt with all the original birds, and Terence and Al in addition; both the Hed brothers signed their autographs on the front side, just right below Blue Jay, Jim and Jake.

George also has black hair, but with a straight-up cut. He prefers this than curly, and decides to wipe it with gel every single morning, until shower time at 7:00 in the evening.

When he came in to the McDonalds restaurant, he absolutely has no idea, whatsoever, on what he wants. Then again, he is limited with his choices that the only way to expand his interest is to make him feel obliged to eat other foods. He leans on a partial wall, close to the cashiers, that separates one dining booth to the corridor. No one is making him feel upset, and some people are having breakfast while others line up for their orders. George picks his nose, with his index finger, to reveal the yellow nostril stuff underneath, then wipes it on a Kleenex tissue he kept in his left pocket, and put it in his right.

He decides to pace outside, on the bright cement sidewalk, to see what he wants. He's pacing in front of the windows where management has put up the ads and menu. After 10 unthoughtful minutes, George comes to the menu and looks for what he likes. He is not due to be picked up until 10 AM. He continually searches for what he wants until he comes across something he would like to eat: an egg LT Bagel, with some apple juice McDonalds always offers to Happy Meals. He doesn't care about the nutrition facts; until he grows older and gets aid from his elementary school educator, only his taste buds satisfy him.

Finally, he comes back, from the warm temperatures of above 80° F (27° C), into the air-conditioned McDonalds, and waits in the shortest line possible. He isn't in a hurry; his educator taught him how to take turns and line up respectfully without consisting telling everyone, "I'm first because I'm perfect!"

However, as time progressed, he starts to lose concentration about the real world, and begins daydreaming about one of his own subdued interests: playing video arcades, on the beach on Coney Island. He's a star in playing The Fast and The Furious Superbikes 2, but not so fairly accurate with games like Time Crisis II or Time Crisis 4. He feels extraordinary when playing 80s arcades like Pac-Man or Galaga, but never Xevious nor Dig Dug. A few things he did want to check out is Namco's Dark Escape 4D, Codemasters' GRID on Sega's 42'' arcade screen, and a bunch of successful 90's arcades such as Sega Rally 2, Ace Driver, Ridge Racer, Racing Jam, and Cruis'n USA.

At the moment George sees himself in a white world with Sonic the Hedgehog, an 11-year-old girl behind him touches his shoulder by the slight tap of her finger. George impatiently turns around and hears her say "Excuse me, but there's a space in front of you. Would you please be so kind as to move ahead?" He does not say a word; he didn't even kept eye contact with the girl. He looked at the floor a couple of seconds after the girl started talking. But then, when the girl stopped speaking for three seconds, the girl's mom repeats what they want to do, with an agile voice. This time, instead of not listening, George turnes his back to the girl and her mom, without complaining, to move on closer to the counter.

As he waited for the last thirty seconds or so, he feels, fresh in his mind, "I want to eat right now. I have to. I am so bored and want to eat right now. I want to go back home and play on the 3DS." He rocks back and forth vigorously.

Finally, the last customer before George leaves the counter, with two of McDonalds' breakfast burritos, and a cup of orange juice (if you so desire) on his well-designed blue plastic tray. With his solid tan-colored sandals, George steps forward.

“Hello there, little buddy. What can I do for you?” said the female cashier, Helen.
“One Egg LT Bagel with apple juice, please,” said George.
“I’m sorry, but we are out of bagels and lettuce. Would you like to have a Big Breakfast instead?” said Helen.
From there, it seems that George is unresponsive. He looks to his left, and his right; no sign of his parents, thinking it was okay for him to be what he is. No one at the back contemplates about this, but Helen soon breaks the silence.
“Excuse me, my dear boy, but do you want a Big Breakfast?” asked Helen implicitly.
“I want an Egg LT Bagel with apple juice,” replied George unhappily.
“I’ve just told you, we are out of bagels and lettuce. We don’t have it anymore in our stockroom; it won’t be until this afternoon when the new delivery arrives.”

Then, like a small secluded atomic bomb blowing up in a field of ants with radiation as large as only 100 feet, an outbreak of emotions occurs. It isn’t pure happiness, nor is it just complete sadness; it’s an emotional breakdown!

George, with his eyes closed, opens his mouth with his vocal cords high and vibrating so strong, everyone in the restaurant can hear him, like a loudspeaker. He steps to his left side violently, making noise and cries, stomping his feet on the ceramic tile floor, and eventually disturbing the overall atmosphere of the restaurant.

The boy then comes back to the cashier she was talking to before.
“What is going on?” said Helen.
“I want that Egg LT Bagel with apple juice right now! RIGHT NOW!!” shouted George, with his irritable and screaming tone.
“Boss! We got trouble over here; I have a kid who won’t listen to me and has created havoc in our restaurant! Come quickly; I don’t know what to do with him!” Helen is calling out for her manager, Linda, who is sitting in the backroom taking a break before she continues managing her breakfast team.

George continues to scream louder and louder; as loud as an electric guitar with the amplifier at max volume. It creates so much noise the customers become attentive and decide to watch the irate 12-year-old creating disaster all across the restaurant.

Helen shouts out to her partners, feeling attacked, “Help me!!” The team finally pitches in, with one member going to the manager to tell her everyone needs help. The young manager seriously takes her grip and sets herself upright, in her lean white and black uniform, then rushes over to the counter.

“Excuse me, boy, but if you stop screaming and crying, we’ll give you a Happy Meal for free. We will never tell your parents about this,” said Helen calmly. The entire team decides to accept Helen’s proposal, even the manager who is never upset about serving something free to an angry customer.

But George keeps his hyperactivity, and now not accepting the team’s answer, the team can’t figure out what to do to stop him.

“What does he want?” says Linda, the manager.
“He wants an Egg LT Bagel and apple juice, but we don’t have any more bagels and lettuce! Our stockroom is running short of them, and unless we find a way to calm him down and make him happy again, he will continue disturbing our business!” said Helen.

Linda kindly says, “There’s a 7 Eleven down on the 42nd Street; they have bagels and lettuce there! What do you say I go down there to get the stuff, and you guys watch over the kid?”
“Why do you want to do that?” Helen interrupts.
Sounding absolute, Linda says, “We don’t know his parents’ phone number, nor can we tell him to stop crying. He won’t listen to us unless we give him what he wants; I feel that it’s totally unfair to call the cops and have them arrest a mentally handicapped person like this one.”
“How can you tell he has a mental condition or disorder?” said Helen.
“Experience, my dear Helen. I’m aware of the integrity needed to treat people with mental issues or special needs. In fact, I’ve even learned just how I can distinct regular people from those who are having mental problems. I’ve only worked here for five years, but I do have a minor university degree in sociology. Now, if you will excuse me.”
“Yes, Linda. We will keep the kid cool for as long as we can until you get back.”
Linda heads outside, still in her uniform, and walks towards the 7 Eleven. As she does, a very embarrassing scene occurs.

One customer, an angry and impatient 30-year-old, with a kick in discrimination, calls on the FOX News office just two blocks away, and tells them that the 'emotional meltdown' issue should be put on live television. The receptionist accepts his proposal, and immediately calls in a team of two, one reporter and one camera operator, about the scene to be imported to live television. They rush out, with their equipment, to the reporter's Mazda MX-5.

10 minutes passes by and Linda is still on her way to 7 Eleven. George has been walking around, feeling tense, and decided to go inside the 15-foot high Play Place located on the back side of the restaurant. He throws a tantrum at one of the children inside the playhouse, where he cries, "I want that egg LT bagel now!" The six-year-old boy could not stand against George's upset scream, and then begins crying for being mistreated. The young boy then heads out of the playground to his terrified parents.

All the time, the parents looked at George with his greedy and self-centered attitude. The father became angry for what George did to his child. But just as he's about to go inside the playground, the FOX News live television team arrives.

"We've come here to film what's happening with the emotional meltdown!" said the reporter. "Where is he?"
"He's in the Play Place set, being watched by two adults who screamed at their six-year-old son," said one of the female customers. "Please hurry! We gotta find a way to stop that boy!"
"Come on, Jack! Pull out your camera and start shooting!"
Jack pulled out his Canon television camera, with a signal transmitter, and starts recording what's happening.

"This is FOX Morning News, with a Breaking News report," announced the reporter. "A boy has thrown a loud social tantrum inside the McDonalds restaurant in Times Square. He's demanding for an Egg LT Bagel, but cashier Helen Mugger says there isn't any more bagels and lettuce. However, the boy is not listening to the employees, and now desperate enough, the manager of the restaurant has left and gone down to 7-Eleven on 42nd Street to buy what the team needs to make the bagel. Now, he's inside the Play Place and has just thrown another tantrum; this time, to a six-year-old who is crying right now, and their parents are furious about the boy. But they do not know what to do, because they are terrified that the boy will do the same thing to them, and be even more dangerous to them."

"Who the heck is down there and what are they talking about??" screams George in a paranoid fashion.

The reporter and Jack then turn their attention to George himself. Jack holds the camera down, at the reporter, and not at George.

"This is it, ladies and gentlemen. The boy is now being interrogated by us, FOX News."

The broadcasting station airs the live news on television, and from there, more than two million people are watching the news across the eastern United States.

George's parents, Ashley and Brian, are watching the TV on their comfy white sofa, eating their toasted bagels with half-fat cream cheese and pancakes. Just then, the picture changed to FOX News with the breaking news on the McDonalds scene.

"Emotional meltdown at McDonalds in Times Square…" says Brian sighfully.
"Wait! Brian, look and listen!!" shouted Ashley.
When Brian looks at the LCD screen, he discovers something. From the voices he hear, it sounds like it's George.
"Is that George?!" gasped Brian. "Is it??"
The reporter speaks out, "We will now ask a few questions to the boy standing inside the playground." She then asks the first question, "Who are you, and how old are you?" to the boy.
George respectfully says, but in a very sad and irritable tone, "George Lundock. I'm 12 years old."

When the words finally came out for the first time, Ashley and Brian freak out in horror.
"Oh, no, George! My baby! What has he done?!" shouted Ashley.
"Hang on, dearie, I'm going on the FOX News website!" Brian looks up the Breaking News article on the site from his iPad 2. "Mark my words, he wants something that the restaurant doesn't have all the ingredients for, but he won't listen and instead obliges the team to get the ingredients right now; he's mistreating the staff and once threw a tantrum at one of the employees!"
"Ahhh!!! What are we going to do?!" cries out Ashley in desperation.
"It says that the manager is gone to 7 Eleven to get the bagels and lettuce, but George won't stop being so rude in the restaurant until he gets his food and comes back out!" yells Brian, still looking at the article in his Apple portable.
"We gotta go after him!! If the staff and public can keep him over there, we'll be able to catch him and bring him to a rehabilitation hospital for an emergency," said Ashley.
"How can we bring him to rehab on Saturday mornings? There's hardly anyone working there!" said Brian.
"My friend Marcus is working there; he lives just a block away and is working for a couple of hours today. It's 9:45 AM; he just started his shift! We better get our boy and bring him to Marcus to teach him a lesson. Come on, let's get him!" said Ashley.
"Okay, get dressed, grab your shoes, and let's get out of here!" commenced Brian.

In a mere 8 minutes, Ashley and Brian put their cell phone and keys in their pockets and head out the single apartment door. They lock it up in five seconds, rush out to the parked car in a mere 30, and Brian starts the engine of his modified 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer, with World Rally and Formula 1 decals, in 10. The 340-horsepower sedan roars to life and George's parents head off immediately to the Brooklyn Bridge, without speeding.

Meanwhile, Linda calls the team and tells them she finally has got the lettuce and bagels, and will be back in another 10 minutes. They are on standby, waiting for Linda to come back without complaining.
George is still standing on the plastic triangular piece that's the way up to the top of the playground, with a net on the far side. Reporter and cameraman Jack still interrogating him.

"So you want an egg LT Bagel with apple juice. Isn't there anything else you want?" asked the reporter.
"No! That's all I want and will have, and I all want it right now!!" shouted George.
"What if I were to tell you that the manager of this restaurant will be back here in 10 minutes with everything on what you need to have your delicious bagel?" said the reporter.
"I WANT IT RIGHT NOW!!" screamed the annoyed George, throwing another social tantrum. "Who else is following me?! My parents are not going to take me. Will they? Will they? WILL THEY?!"
"No, I don't think so," said the reporter calmly. Jack has his camera pointed at George.
"What am I doing in front of this camera?! Get it off me right now! RIGHT NOW! All I can tell you is, I'm perfect, and will be getting that bagel, because otherwise I am going to punish everyone for good!" shouted George in a satirical manner. He stamps his right, hard foot against the solid but flexible plastic piece where he stands. The force is so great it vibrates the entire playground; it leaves three four-year-old children shaken and crying.
"OOH, WHERE IS THAT BAGEL?!" screamed George again. The entire restaurant just heard the scream as the public watched what was going on. It made even the entire kitchen staff feeling desparate.
"Where's Linda?! We can't stop George if he won't get his bagel for real!" said Helen.
"Linda's almost here; just two more minutes from Times Square!" said one of Helen's colleagues.

Just then, one of the employees heard a call. It was Ashley calling the restaurant on cell, from her Apple iPhone 5.
"This is George Lundock's mom. Please tell him, me and his father are coming to pick him up. We'll take him to the emergency section of the nearest rehabilitation center and work with my friend. He's a social expert," says Ashley.
"Thank you. Our manager is almost back with the ingredients; we'll let him have his bagel before he goes with you," says the employee.
"Thanks for the news," says Ashley.
The employee kindly comes up to the reporter and tells her about George's parents coming.

"George, I'm sorry to tell you, but your parents are coming to pick you up. They will be taking you to a hospital."
"A HOSPITAL?! NO, NO, AND NO!! I am not going to a hospital!! I am going to get my bagel, then get out of here and head back home to play Mario Kart 7!" shouted George.
"Well, you'll have to settle this with your parents. They are almost here," said the reporter.

From there, George begins crying again and shouts out multiple tantrums. "No! No! NO, NO, AND NO!!" He starts going around the playground, and pushes and punches anyone in his way. Ten children start to cry as a result of their injury, and they head out of the playground set.
"Oh, no! George has just injured a few children in the playground!" the reporter announces on television. "We got seven girls and three boys. Six were punched in their arms and upper backs, four were pushed by the lower back and are sustaining injuries. They are coming out of the playground, right now, to meet up with their parents; all of them crying."

Finally, after a staggering 45 minutes, at 10:05 AM, Linda finally arrives back at the kitchen.
"Hey, everyone! Get moving, because I got everything we need to make that bagel!" shouted Linda encouragingly.
The kitchen employees, including Helen, finally get together and make the Egg LT Bagel, with the sealed plastic cup of apple juice as a side.
"The Egg LT Bagel is ready! Tell the boy to come down and take the tray!"

"George, stop where you are," says the reporter.
"Yes?" asked George, in a disappointing tone.
"Your Egg LT Bagel, with apple juice, is ready. Time to come down," said the reporter.
"Can I eat it up here?" asked George.
"Unfortunately, McDonalds will not allow you to eat in the Play Place. You'll have to come down and get out in order to eat," said the reporter.
"Fine," said George. He calmly comes down to the bottom of the playground, out he goes from the set, and finally out the door where the reporter and cameraman are standing, with a bunch of customers behind. He heads for the counter.

"Now here's your Egg LT Bagel with apple juice. That will be $6.69 please," said Helen.

George hands over a new $10 note to Helen, with a detailed portrait of Benjamin Franklin. The note isn't actually counterfeit [or a fake note, in simple words. There isn't anything distinct between that and official dollar notes commissioned by Barack Obama and Congress.]; it was printed in Minnesota just two months ago, all licensed by The Pentagon and the White House.

Helen hands over the change, which comes to $3.31. One toonie, one loonie, one quarter, one nickel, and one pure copper penny. "Thank you. Enjoy your meal," said Helen. George heads for one of the four-seated tables at the Broadway window side, then sits down comfortably.

"This is just in. George Lundock has finally got his breakfast and will be sitting down until his parents come," said the reporter. "We are now officially done with the Breaking News. Be sure to tune in to FOX for more news outcasts!" The reporter and Jack, the cameraman, head out of the restaurant on their way back to the office.

Three minutes later, with the Lancer now parked on the side of Broadway, Ashley and Brian finally stepped in. They carefully search for George in his trusty Angry Birds shirt.

"Oh, George?? Where are you, baby?" said Ashley.

George sighed and tries to hide down by going underneath the table. But hiding isn't the trick.
Ashley and Brian walked around the restaurant, until Ashley saw the bagel half-eaten. "I recognize that egg LT Bagel, considering that no one else is eating the same thing. George, how are you?"
George stayed there, being silent.
"Now, now, George. Me and Daddy are here to talk to you. Please say hello."
But George does not talk out loud.
"George, I am serious. Say hello to us right now, or I will ask your father to pull you out," Ashley said, being serious but easygoing.
Once again, George stays there in defiance.
"Ugh, Brian? Go pull George out," says Ashley.
"Okay, my dear Ashley," said Brian. 

He walks towards the table and speaks, "George, I'm pulling you out. You're in deep trouble."
But Brian ignores what George says, and instead bends his legs by the knees, then with tough strength, pulls George out, succumbing the resistance George had. He holds on to the post the table is held to the floor by, but Brian pulls George strong enough that George becomes tired and lets go.

And so, Ashley and Brian grabbed George's arms, with George still screaming.

"Sorry about this, everyone," announced Brian, as he, Ashley and George, walk towards the doors. "Our son is not always, how should I say it, as mentally aware as all of you are. We are taking him to rehab and will help him fix up his attitude of being absolute on what he wants, resisting to what we tell him, being totally obsessive, throwing out tantrums, and pushing and hitting other people."

The entire McDonalds restaurant cheered for the parents in accomplishment. "Why are you not cheering for me?! I am perfect! I deserve to be cheered for!!" shouted George.
"No, you are not, George," said Ashley in an upset tone. "We're taking you to a hospital because you are being rude, and look what you have done. Unless you grow up, we will never let you go to a McDonalds restaurant again. Do you understand??"
"LET ME GO!!" shouted George.
"Let's get outta here, Brian! Thanks, everyone!" said Ashley.

The three, with the angry and irate son, head out to the Lancer and all together, they drive to the rehabilitation center. There, they go into the emergency room. After waiting for 10 minutes, the three go and see Marcus.
Ashley and Brian discussed to Marcus what the situation is, and how George is to be treated and taken care of.
"Of course I will take care of George for you. I'll keep him here for the rest of the day, until 5:00," said Marcus. "Just what was he diagnosed with when he was two?"

And so George, aggravated and depressed, stays in the mental rehabilitation all day, being treated and listening to Marcus' treatment proposal. It was hard for him to calm down and listen to Marcus where even another worker stepped in. George kept on fighting on how perfect he was, with paranoia, and still wanted to go out and spread the word about controlling everything, but being lazy on the job. Ashley and Brian come back home relaxing, and later on, they decide to take a walk around Broolyn Bridge. It is still sunny, but the situation has caused George to ruin his whole day. Hopefully he will grow up again and end up being more respectful to the McDonalds staff, especially when he is independent and has self-control. A few challenges will arise, but that's the way of living as a human. However, the symptoms George expressed at the restaurant will be coped with the right support and advice.

Just what did Ashley said when Marcus asked the question the first time Marcus met George a while after George was taken by Ashley and Brian from the restaurant?

"He has Asperger's syndrome. What we have here is a mentally handicapped stranger."

THE END; the setting and elements were done using 

Google Maps.

Photograph References (MLA Format)

1. "Brooklyn Heights Promenade." Published by Lee W. Nelson. n.d. Web. 6 June 2013.
2. "File:McDonalds Times Square.JPG - Wikimedia Commons." Wikimedia Commons. Publisher unknown. 3 January 2009. Web. 6 June 2013.
3. "Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center." Lincoln Medical Center. Published by The City of New York. n.d. Web. 6 June 2013.
4. "File:Wnyw-center.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Publisher is unknown. 10 October 2008. Web. 6 June 2013
5."7-Eleven is 'Pringle-izing' East Village, Anti-Chain Advocates Fume - East Village - New York." DNAinfo New York. Publisher: Serena Solomon. 17 January 2013. Web. 6 June 2013.
6. "Image: 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR Touring, size: 1024 x 682, type: gif, posted on: August 10, 2012, 2:15 pm - The Car." The Car Connection. Publisher: High Gear Media, Homestar, LLC. 10 August 2012. Web. 6 June 2013.
7."Archstone Brooklyn Heights: Apartment -- NY Bits." NYBits. Publisher: Archstone Apartments. 14 Nov 2008. Web. 6 June 2013.
8. "Early morning New York City Skyline, Empire State Building Skyscraper Intersection of Fifth Avenue And West 34th Street 1920x1200 WIDE." bestlifestyle. Publisher is unknown. n.d. Web. 6 June 2013.

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