TRICKED by Alex Z Salinas

Erections used to mean something. 

This is the summation of my research at the biblioteck. Long before Dr Claude “Stretch” Kransenberry, “the Grand-Godfather of Teleportation,” untangled the stickiest of equations in quantum entanglement, completed the world’s first Teleportation—a fly swatter from his kitchen table to his rooftop—there were planes, trains and automobiles. Elevators and escalators. Still are, but these were the formerly preferred methods of travel. Were the only methods of travel. 

The world’s changed in the last decade. Teleportation is en vogue. The usual monopolies—Amazon and Google—were the first to invest in the initial market-ready devices. Results astonished. Employees exhibited increased efficiency; they were better rested, spent zero time commuting. Job satisfaction climaxed to statistic euphoria. Now, most small businesses are on the telegrid—tax breaks! Commuting to work is a thing of the past. A dumb choice. The only people who hit the open road today are hippies—”ozone-blasters,” they’re called.

With all the commercial convenience that Teleportation has gifted us, something else has happened. Something big. Stretch Kransenberry never anticipated, quantum physicists never calculated... the erections. 

I suppose Dr Stretch’s nickname is well-earned, for half of earth’s population—male molecules at once stretched, relocated then stuffed back together again, during and after Teleportation—remain, in certain nether regions, stimulated. Tricked. 

The implication of this peculiar and prickly scientific phenomenon is grim. Where erectile dysfunction used to be the talk around water coolers, in doctor’s offices, diaries, confession booths, now erectile overfunction. EO. Not to be mistaken with executive order or essential oil, and especially not with, one little letter off, the old English rock band Electric Light Orchestra. 

Teleporting men, on average, after Teleportation, experience EO for one to three hours. 

The wealthy—approximately 100% of the 1%—have invested in personal Teleportation devices via the smaller luxury model TRX-XX-MP3. By getting places fast, they’ve overcome shortcomings (i.e., sexual performance deficiencies). 

Working men across the country—across the whole damned world—saunter around regularly with obtrusions in their trousers, everywhere afflicted with—oh no!—EO, also known as Trick: God’s joke, His proverbial bird-flip to mankind for toying with His crudely humoured laws of quantum physics. 

Trick. In four words, a very nasty nightmare. Worse, incurable for now.

We’re in a tight spot, society; women everywhere are frightened. You can see it in their eyes. Teleporting men behaving badly. For too long, their blood has flowed—congealed—in all the right-yet-oh-so-wrong spots. Infidelity is up. Domestic violence is up. Homicides are up. Suicides up. Penises up. 

It’s been murmured in the news that there’s a massive case brewing on the ethical outcomes of Teleportation. We’re talking Supreme Court, at least in the United States. And once it arrives, unfurls its monstrous form upon dusty robed men and women, who the hell knows. Three women sit on the Court presently, one of which whom is unapologetically pro-business. The other two, I imagine, are scared stiff—terrified she’ll be backed into a corner by her male colleagues, six of whom have Tricked before. Will surely Trick again.

I wonder: Inside the last sacred chambers on earth—the only sacred chambers that ever mattered, our bedrooms—what will erections mean tomorrow? And the next day? And what’s love got to do with them? 

Since the first sluggish revolution of a stone wheel—the first ignition of head and body hair on fire—have we superior humanoids always spiralled and frenzied and thrusted into a new age?

I’ll admit: Teleportation was bomb! It felt the way I’d always imagined it’d feel—like squeezing nakedly through a tube of warm soap bubbles!

While Tricked (for two and a half hours), I wrote five love poems. Five! Within a week of my submitting them to stuffy publications, all have been accepted. All! I’m charged and changed, improved and impassioned. A brand-new man!

I won’t Teleport for another month; my job has only just invested in one device. We all have to wait our turns. 

Meanwhile, to burn off the tingling in my legs, I purchased a bicycle. Something tells me something good is happening inside. Rebuilding. Or maybe rising and expanding. 

Today in the park, I met a beautiful woman. A jogger fine and dandy as the pink-blue spacious sky. We shook hands and, upon the sensation of her soft touch—her olive skin—my body spasmed terribly. 

I glanced down and there it was, peering. 

With her eyes and mouth and whole entire face—mercy me—she smiled back.


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