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‘I’ve finally lost it.’ he thought. ‘I should have taken to fishing as father insisted.’ He was no longer in his room, but surrounded by pure white-light. As he tried to look around, he found himself neither turning nor moving. He was neither weightless nor weighed down. Sensations and perceptions escaped him.
A booming voice startled Hisao.
‘选择普通话请说普通话’ the voice spoke as though it were a boisterous young man fluent in Mandarin. Then it spoke again, this time in Spanish, ‘Para seleccionar español por favor diga español.’
‘To select English please say English’ the voice had the soft-crackle of old cassette tapes.
‘हिंदी का चयन करने के लिए – ’ ‘English!’ Hisao had been on far too many customer-helplines to let the voice finish speaking.
‘English selected.’ stated the voice.
Then a funky tune started to play softly. ‘This is familiar…’ his dazed brain was unable to recall the song. The music continued,
♪Oppa Gangnam Style….♪♪♪ Gangnam Style…♪♪♪ Najeneun ttasaroun-♪
‘Congratulations!’ the voice was earnest. ‘And Annyeonghaseyo!’ Gangnam Style continued to play in the background.
‘Your species is the two-hundredth and thirty-eighth to have solved the Unifying Theory of Everything, the eighteenth most challenging problem in the universe! You have made your people proud! Praise be upon your Supreme Commander, Mr. Kim!’
As a Japanese man, Hisao was not amused the voice had mistaken him for a North Korean.
♪ ….Areumdawo sanrangseurowo … ♪
‘On behalf of the Milkyway Council, we welcome your species into a new era. In honor of your civilization, for the duration it takes light to travel one garghoyz-click, we will be playing your most popular song Gangnam Style, across the galaxy on the 54.3 exahertz band.’
♪…. Aaaaayy, sexxyy laaadayy…. Op, op, op, op Oppa-…♪
‘From this moment on, human civilization is a permanent member of the Community of Backward and Minority Species! Kindly, grace us with your presence in four hundred and eighty-three garghoyz-click. Thank you. You may now continue your scientific advancements.’
With that final statement, the voice, Gangnam Style and the white room had all disappeared at once. Hisao was back in his room staring at his finished equations. He heaved a sigh of relief, poured the rest of his tea down the drain and then promptly tore up his work, crumpled it into a ball and tossed it into the trash. Then he went to bed.
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