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Subscription Required: A Criticism in Satire

by Maddye Belov-Boxer

Hey, what should we watch tonight, guys? You feeling a movie or something? I really want to watch “Coming to America” so I can be ready for the sequel. Great, it’s on Hulu!

Wait, what? “Watch with Live TV?” What does that even mean? I got Hulu so I wouldn’t have to pay for cable.

Okay, you guys pick something else. I’ll go grab us some snacks. Let’s see, we got popcorn, potato chips, pretzels, all good. Ooh, Dibs! I haven’t had Dibs in ages.

Wait, what’s this on the boxes? “Upgrade to Nestle+ and Kellogg’dOn to enjoy these delicious treats.” Well, that’s inconvenient. Maybe we can just get a pizza.

Is pepperoni okay with everyone? Cool, let me place the order. Oh! “Get pepperoni access when you subscribe to Little Nero’s Hotbox for just $0.39 per pepperoni slice.” I guess we’ll just do plain.

Have we picked a movie? Seriously, there’s nothing good on? Fine, let’s play Monopoly so I can get some sweet catharsis from bankrupting all of you. I can’t help but feel like I forgot to do something. Oh well.

Does anyone know if Dave is coming? He mentioned something about not subscribing to the insurance tier that lets you drive more than 10 miles, so I don’t know if he’s getting a ride or something.

I feel kind of strange all of a sudden. I think I’m gonna lie on the couch, just let me know when it’s my turn.

Where’s that pizza? Oh, good timing, it just got here. Mel, can you get it?

Is Mel in the bathroom? She was literally just here. I hope she isn’t trying to use the toilet because I couldn’t afford to enroll in that penalty-free flush plan after the trial period ended. It hasn’t been fun, and I think the hemorrhoids are permanent at this point.

Okay, bad news everyone. I forgot that produce is reserved for the first 100 million national subscribers each month, so there’s no tomato sauce on the pizza. It’s basically cheesy bread, but that’s still fun!

Sweet Jesus! Mel, is that you? W-what happened to your skin? Did you not get your medication or something? What do you mean it’s “exclusive for new shoppers” now?

My head really hurts. Whose dog is that? Who brought the dog? What do you mean there’s nothing there?

Dana, have you always had an extra set of eyes in your nostrils? Randy, are your fingers thousands of tiny mice? Is it my turn in Monopoly yet?

Oh God, I know what I forgot. I didn’t renew my Concrete Reality, copyrighted property of Google and Epic Games, subscription. I’m so sorry you guys, I really am. Hang on to the nearest piece of furniture while it still exists.

You know, I’m glad we all got together tonight. The world is a crazy place right now and I really needed to see my friends. No matter what basic necessity these overgrown corporations try to indebt us into next, I know there’s one thing they can’t slap a subscription price on: friendship.

What’s that, Dana? Amazon just did that? I can’t say I’m surprised.

Dang, the pizza is cold.

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