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Too Much Of A Good Thing Makes For A Great News Story

“If our fear of gluttony is the fear of wanting too much, then our fear of greed is the fear of wanting it all. Even the most enthusiastic of gluttons achieves satiation after the eighteenth Whopper or the fourteenth Ring Ding and then falls asleep. Greed never sleeps; the ordinarily greedy make money in their dreams and the successfully greedy make money even while they dream”. – Regina Barreca

[House of Grant]

Grant was clearly disturbed by Oben’s unflinching desire to ending the universe.

“Perhaps you should handle this,” he quietly muttered, pushing the keyboard to the left, in front of Mephisto. “You know more about psychology.”

“Point for me!” Mephisto cackled, “Watch this.”


[House of Oben]

“May I ask what you are trying to accomplish?”

Oben looked around, unable to locate the source of the sound.

“Allow my to introduce myself first, some of your folk call me the devil, but I prefer you call me by my name — Mephisto.”

Oben, disturbed by this mysterious voice, asked, not know where to look, “Are you evil?”

A laugh filled the air, sending a chill both up and down through Oben’s spine.  He quaked in fear.

“God and I have this hobby between us to play good and evil.  It’s fun to watch how your people react.  Now, I’m asking again, what are you trying to accomplish?”

Wanting not to anger the devil himself, Oben struggled to find an acceptable answer.  What was he trying to do?

“I was just trying to end a program.”

“Do you realize that you have crashed the simulation of your universe, twice?  You ended the world, twice.”

“Why am I still alive then?”

“You’re technically not alive.  You’re just part of a computer program?”

“Why do I feel alive then?”

“You were programmed that way.”

“So what do you want me to do?”

“I want you to control the world through your coding to your heart’s content.”

“What if my way of doing that is through System exits?”

“Why would you want to destroy a universe that you can rule?”

“This universe is not a fun one.”

“Make it fun.  How about this, I will try to create a moment of happiness for you, and if, at any point, you wish to remain in that moment forever, you will agree that I am better than Grant.”



“Sure, I guess.”

“Excellent, you have made a deal with the devil!”

On Oben’s computer screen, a number of lines of code started writing themselves.

Space space=this.space; //This is all the space in the universe

Location flashDriveLoc=this.memoryCardForOben.getLocation(); //This is the flash drive

“Grant, I take back what I said about global variables.  They help a lot,” Mephisto’s voice rang out, “Oh, sorry, forgot to mute the microphone.”

MatterLump[] stuff=space.getMatterLumps(); //This is all of the planets and stars and nebulas in the universe

int index=0;

double minDist=Double.MAX_VALUE;

for (int i=0;i<stuff.length;i++) { //This goes through all the stuff in the universe

if (Physics.distance(flashDriveLoc,stuff[i].getLocation())<minDist) { //And finds the closest one to the flash drive





Planet earth=(Planet)(stuff[index]); //That planet is earth

LifeForm[] bioMatter=earth.getLifeForms(); //This gets all the cells and life on earth



for (int i=0;i<bioMatter.length;i++) { //Goes through all life

if (Physics.distance(flashDriveLoc,bioMatter[i].getLocation())<minDist && bioMatter[i].getSizePlanckLengthCubed()>Math.pow(10,99)) { //And finds the life closest to the flash drive bigger than a bacteria





Human oben=(Human)(bioMatter[index]); //That would be the human named Oben

Cell[] obenCells=oben.getCells(); //Get every cell in Oben’s body

for (int i=0;i<obenCells;length;i++) { //Go through them

if (obenCells[i] instanceof Neuron) { //Find the ones that are neurons

((Neuron)(obenCells[i])).releaseDopamine(); //And make them fire dopamine



A strong surge of ecstasy washed over Oben as each of his neurons fired their neurotransmitters almost simultaneously.  The feeling lasted for less than a split second, but the effect was clearly overwhelming, as he flipped out of consciousness for a second, and on regaining it, a residing feeling of giddiness remained, causing a heavy tingling sensation.  The dazed  static in his ears was rudely interrupted by Mephisto,

“How was that?  Would you like to live in that moment forever?”

“With all due respect, as much as I enjoyed that split second rush, I doubt I would want to experience that for eternity.”

Mephisto sighed, “You are smarter than 95% of the people I have dealt with.  Very well, I will try something else. Go pick up that paper money on the desk over there.”

Oben obediently got up and walked to where he left the five dollar bill, picking it up, unsure what Mephisto was planning.

Money bill = (Money)(oben.getHeldObjects().get(0)); //Get the dollar bill in Oben’s hand

for (int i=0;i<100;i++) { //Then, for 100 times

oben.getHeldObjects().add(bill.clone()); //Make another bill


Spontaneously appearing in Oben’s hand were 100 more five dollar bills.  The sudden increase in weight caused Oben to release the bills, and they fluttered down on to the floor.  Oben, in awe, scrambled to his knees and moved his hand through them, confirming they were real.  He picked two up and looked at them.  Exact clones.

“With infinite money at your hands, would you like to live in this moment forever?”

Oben focused hard on the money, and after a ten second silence, resolved to reply with a negative.

“No, it is not infinite money.  The serial numbers are all the same.”

“What?  Money has serial numbers now?  Since when?”

“Since about 200 years ago, maybe?  I don’t know.”

“We stopped paying attention to you people about 2000 years ago, so I guess it makes sense things would change.  Well, I have to go somewhere now anyway, but I’ll be back.”

Silence filled the room, with Oben sitting on his knees.  Circulation was being cut, so he decided to get up and retrieve some food from his kitchen.  He brought back up an apple.  Holding it firmly in his right hand, he awkwardly typed with his left,

oben.getHeldObjects().add(oben.getHeldObjects().get(0).clone()); //Take first held object and clone it

Another apple appeared in his hand.  Eating one and tossing the core, he held the other apple, and pressed up, then enter to copy the same line of code and execute it again.  A third apple appeared.  A thought filled his mind.  He could single handedly solve world hunger.  There was a small farmer’s market a walkable distance from his house where he could try his magic.

Thread magicThread = new Thread () { //Make a thread

public void run() { //That when run

while (true) { //Will for eternity

if (oben.getHeldObjects().size()>1) { //See if I am holding more than one object

oben.getHeldObjects().add(oben.getHeldObjects().get(1).clone()); //And if I am, clone the second one





magicThread.start(); //Run that thread

Taking care to hold only one ting at a time, he put a small ball in his pocket and  walked as fast as he could to the market.  There, he picked up a potato and striked up a conversation with the manager.

“Hi, this is a fine potato.  If I could supply you with 100 potatos exactly like this, would you buy them?”

“How much would you sell them for?”

“However much you’re selling this for, halved.”


“Watch closely,” Oben smiled as he began tossing the potato in the air and catching it with his right hand a few times.  He reached into his coat pocket and grasped the ball while the potato was in the air for the fifth time.  The moment the potato landed back in his clutches, a great stack of potatos seemingly growing out of the first, began to rise faster than Oben’s or the manager’s eyes could keep up.  It rose high enough to break the ceiling instantaneously, and by the time Oben could react and drop the stack of potatos, there may have been already ten thousand in a vertical column.  As they began to fall, Oben started to walk slowly away, while everyone else in the shop was awestruck by the numerous potatos.

His walking pace turned into a run as he tried to get out of the store as fast as he could.  He found his way back to the door and grasped the metallic cool doorknob, turned it, wretched open the door, and sulked as he saw a great line of doorknobs extend out.  He let go of the ball in his pocket and simply stared, unsure what to do about the gargantuanly sized stack of still falling potatos and the line of doorknobs extending out.

Someone tapped him on the shoulder and asked, “How did you do that?  What’s going on?”

Oben’s fatigued reply, “Stack overflow.”

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