The bell in the upper-left quadrant of the glass-and-steel door rings. I pass through the threshold. There are five life-forms inside the place of business. I identify one whom is standing up. Male, 39. All others are sitting and facing away from him. Conjecture: he must be the leader. Are they afraid of him? He wields a metal object in his hand, actively dismembering the hair on their head. Identifying: object appears to be a pair of scissors. Primary use: cutting. Human functions are quite foreign; no database entry on “hair cut.”
Greeting: “Salutations, human.”
The man with the cutting instruments does not turn to face towards my platform. “Jesus, what are you doing here? Thought I told you not to come back after last time. That girl nearly lost her scalp.”
Statement: “I still do not understand. If humans are okay with removing their hair, they must surely accept removal of more.”
His exhalation is distinctly audible. “Well, whatever business you have, make it quick. I’ve got two other customers waiting, and I don’t want you hurting any of them this time.”
Identifying customers: male, 34; female, 17; male, 60. They appear to have excess hair.
Query: “I am, how you would say, curious. How do you dispose of the hair?”
The scissor-man’s eyes turn approximately 346 degrees in their sockets. Analyzing expression: eyebrows raised, pupils contracted, lip curled downward. 95% match to perplexity. He turns his head towards me, away from his victim. “We’ve got a broom. Ricky sweeps it up and throws it in the dumpster. Can’t just leave it around, it’s dirty. Health Department would shut us down. You know the Health Department, right?”
Statement: “My database contains an entry on this Health Department. It is such a shame to dispose of such luscious hair. I do not understand why the government would mandate such an act.” I watch as the scissor-man removes the hair from the male, 34. The brown locks fall to the ground in wet mounds upon the linoleum tile. Searching database for reasons to dispose of hair; error, no entries found.
The scissor-man turns to the end of the cutroom. His vocal amplification increases to 14.3 decibels. “Ricky, sweep it up!” A male, 18, appears from the end of the cutroom, wielding a large implement in one appendage, with a flat plastic plate in the other. Identifying: large object is a broom; flat object is a dustpan. The scissor-man returns his attention to me. His exhalation is again distinctly audible. “Listen, tin man, if you like hair so much, go buy a wig and stop bothering me. There’s a place down on Plantation.”
Search terms inputted: one entry found. WIGGED OUT, 334 Plantation St. Specializing in both monofilament and natural hair wigs.
Query: “One is simply able to purchase a covering made of hair?”
“‘Course you can. Hell, I’m wearing one right now.” The scissor-man reaches with his hand and removes the hair-garment on top of his head, revealing a bald scalp.
Query: “But why would one wish to dispose of one’s own hair. Is it not for warmth?”
The scissor-man replaces his hair-garment to his scalp. “Look, buddy, if I wanted to stay warm, I’d put on a sweater. Hair ain’t about that, it’s about style.”
Missing connector found: style. Related terms: beauty, status. Other automatons are without such qualities.
Conjecture: “Perhaps with a hair-garment, I would be able to become a unique platform. Hair brings with it much ‘beauty and status.’ Without it, one is mundane.”
The scissor-man returns to dismembering the seated male. “I’m not sure about that. Look at Vin Diesel, he isn’t mundane.
Diesel: liquid fuel used to power machinery by compression of air mixture and injection of fuel. Not my machinery.
Statement: “Fuel is irrelevant in this conversation.”
Query: “WIGGED OUT is located 10.3 miles away. Is there not some business transaction that we could make and bypass the locomotive process?”
The scissor-man makes an abrupt cut and pauses. He rotates his head towards me. “How much cash do you got?”
My motivator core glows.