The Omni Machine
By Joey Pugh
In the land of the Smart Gnomes there was a city called Machignomia. The city wasfilled with all sorts of wonderful computers, machines, gizmos and gadgets that ran dayand night. In fact, the city was so well lit up that it was just as bright at night as it wasduring the day. Machignomia was run by a committee of programmers and engineerswhose only desire was to come up with new inventions every day.One day, an e-mail message was sent through the town with a very exciting message.The Committee had designed, and was already beginning to build, a new super machinewhich could do everything. EVERYTHING! It would play computer games, cook, dotaxes, plan for your retirement, prescribe medicine, do your hair, nails, make candy bars just the way you like them, sing like an opera star, and control all the traffic lights in thecity. In addition to that, it would have 50 television screens so you could watch allchannels at the same time without missing anything! It would have 50 speakers so thatyou could listen to each radio station at the same time without missing anything! It hadkiddy rides for the children. It would be four stories tall and take up four city blocks. Itwould be called the OMNI machine.Everyone in the city was wild with excitement while the OMNI machine was being built.In fact, everyone helped to build it since every gnome in Machingnomia knew how to build, fix, or take apart machines and computers. The gnomes were so happy that they played all their singing machines while they worked, and they watched their dancingmovies during their breaks (no one in Machignomia danced or sang on their own, they lettheir machines do it for them).Finally, the day came that the OMNI machine was completed. The Committee declared aholiday so that everyone in Machignomia could watch them boot the machine up, but itwas evening by the time that the tests were done and the machine was ready. TheChairgnome of the Committee, who had appointed himself to hit the START button, gavea brief speech.“Citizens of Machignomia! We are gathered here today to celebrate the triumph of technology! Today we prove that computers can do everything! When I press this button, our lives will be changed forever!”At this, the “Cheer” signal went up at the platform, and all the gnomes began to shout“Hooray!” Then, the Chairgnome reached for the start button and a great hush fell over the crowd. He pressed the button, and lights went on all over the Omni machine. Thespeakers started playing stations. The TV screens played all the channels. The kiddy rideslurched into motion. The cooking terminal said, “May I take your order please?” The taxterminal said “Your taxes are due!” The Automated Toy Machine (ATM) started givingout toys.