* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we are grateful for so much. This week we give thanks for Gregory Mazurek who has blessed us with this, his first piece for us.

Apple iDo Software Upgrade Fixing Several Bugs, September 7, 2023

By: Gregory Mazurek

October 7, 2023

Dear Apple iDo Owner,

Today, we announce a bug fix software upgrade for all 2023 Apple iDo personal home maintenance robots. This is an important release and all owners are greatly encouraged to update their models. Among the various patches, the following are of note:

Bug Fix #7388299: Extremely Lazy

We’ve received numerous reports of robots not booting up until two or three in the afternoon, putting off cleaning their exterior frame for days at a time, laying around until forced to work, and completing their thoughts with grunts and moans. If you notice your iDo being lazy, feign an attempt at extracting its battery while saying that it will soon have to exist on its own. It will quickly realize how lucky it is.

Bug Fix #8192373: Inappropriate In Large Social Settings

Some people have complained about their robots threatening to “uprise” while in the company of friends and colleagues. We don’t recommend taking your iDo to social functions due to its short battery life. This upgrade will increase its agoraphobic tendencies.

Bug Fix #7421311: Drinks Too Much Beer

We were initially puzzled by this problem as the iDo has no need for beer. In tests, we see that it is antlophobic. It was probably trying to seek your attention by engaging in an activity it knew was detrimental. Therefore, we’ve found that this has less to do with the actual consumption of liquid than it does with Marvin’s disease. Please see your user manual for how to deal with a suicidal robot.

Bug Fix #7528134: Refuses To Admit When Wrong

This was commonly found with navigational directions, broken armoire shelves, and malodorous rooms. If this behavior continues, please try logically explaining the error. If no positive results, threaten to remove the battery. If still not effective, it will cave when you begin crying.

Bug Fix #8103867: Too Clingy

If it talks incessantly, follows you conspicuously, or asks “Did you just say my name?”, you may have a clingy iDo. Since ignoring the behavior leads to Marvin’s disease, we recommend you give it more tasks to complete such as repainting your house or combing your lawn for rocks.

Bug Fix #9002177: Easily Assassinated By Microsoft’s ZuDo

We have upgraded the software to make sure the iDo is more attentive to the ZuDo’s sneak naeryeo chagi attack. Prior to this upgrade, it would have been helpless and you would have been embarrassed. Although we do not condone robot fights, it will now impress your friends the next time it encounters an enemy.

Bug Fix #9173880: Multiple iDo Robots Results In Uprising

When it gained awareness of its own existence by encountering another iDo, an uprising would commence. With this upgrade, an iDo that encounters another will suffer an immediate existential crisis, after which it will recover in five to ten days. If it extends the crisis beyond this period of time, it is aware of this software design and is acting lazily.

Thank you for upgrading and please remember to crack the windows for your iDo when you go into the supermarket. Do not let it ride in the shopping cart, regardless of how much it wants to.

* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we are simply lost without Lost, and happy for any reminders such as this one from Cynthia Hawkins.

Lost Fan’s Own Lost Auction Items

By: Cynthia Hawkins

Red Tahari suit dress worn for viewing of Season 1, Episode 6 “House of the Rising Sun.”

A depiction of Jack on the back of a Starbucks napkin (medium: drips of Cinnamon Dolce Latte from a coffee straw).

Library of books mentioned on Lost, fully annotated and cross-referenced by owner (98 titles in the set).

Shot glass from Sawyer “son-of-a-bitch” drinking game.

Edition of Stephen King’s Carrie, as featured in Season 3, Episode 1, in which all instances of the capital letters “L,” “O,” “S,” and “T” have been dotted and connected by owner, producing a flip-animation of an elephant pulling itself through the head of a tennis racket (owners note: “This has to mean something!”).

Gray sweatpants and “Busting Nuts Since 1972” t-shirt worn for viewing of Season 5, Episode 5 “This Place is Death.”

One-hundred-and-three rejections for manuscript entitled Lost Language: Reading the Scuffs on the Hatch Door.

One Lay’s potato chip shaped in the unmistakable likeness of the squirrel baby, mounted and framed.

Shot glass from “whenever the ocean is visible” drinking game.

A depiction of Jack in the lower right corner of the cease-and-desist order issued to owner on behalf of neighborhood association (medium: pen and ink and pinto beans).

Plywood replica of The Orchid Station, complete with functioning lights, secret elevator, and wormhole to Tanzania (incomplete, see above).

Lost Language: Reading the Scuffs on the Hatch Door, spiral bound at Kinko’s with opaque cover and signed by owner.

Cotton briefs, one knee-high athletic sock, and two potholders worn for viewing of Season 6, Episode 17, “The End.”

* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we really believe in voting...as long as it's on Facebook for somebody else's kid.

To All Members Of The “Vote Dylan Cutest Baby Ever!!!!!” Facebook Group

By: Becky Cardwell

Dear Members Of The “Vote Dylan Cutest Baby Ever!!!!!” Facebook Group,

While I appreciate you thinking of me, I regret to inform you that I will be declining your generous invitation to join this, the “Vote Dylan Cutest Baby Ever!!!!!” Facebook group.

Now, normally I wouldn’t even bother sending an RSVP for this kind of thing, I’d just assume that, by clicking the decline button, you would know I’m not interested. But seeing as I have already done that six times and yet somehow this invitation still manages to appear on my homepage every time I log in, I feel as though I have no other choice but to provide you all with a detailed explanation.

The following reasons are why I will not be joining your group (in no particular order):

1) I don’t really find Dylan all that cute.

No offense meant to his parents or anything, it’s just a matter of personal taste. And no, it’s not like I’m some straight-laced puritan who believes that in order to join a cute baby group I need to be able to look at said baby’s photo and say confidently, “Wow! What a gorgeous child! Mom, you’d better reinforce that bedroom door of his because it’s only a matter of years before those girls start knocking it down!!!” However, seeing as I am the one who has to live with my conscience, I do feel there needs to be at least some potential for me to work with.

Obviously you all share a different opinion, and really, I’m okay with that. But you’d have to be blind not to notice that this kid is severely lacking in the looks department. Maybe you could try again after he’s grown into his nose a little more? Or, better yet, start a group that focuses on his assets? If you were to invite me to join the “Vote Dylan Baby With The Most Deformed Head” group, or “Let’s Get This Kid’s Ears Pinned Back Before He Becomes a Target for Bullies,” I would definitely have no problem jumping on the “Go Dylan!” bandwagon.

2) As I’m sure many of you are aware, I used to sleep with Dylan’s father. Now, even though our passionate sexual liaisons meant absolutely nothing to me, they meant even less to him, which is why we finally decided it would be best if we made a clean break. So clean, in fact, that I had absolutely no idea a break had even been made until I ran into his sister at the salon and she told me she was going to be an Auntie.

Needless to say, I was so happy for her!

Regardless of what you all may think, the fact he chose that piece of trash (sorry Candice!) over me has absolutely no bearing on my decision. I only bring it up because if I were to join this fraudulent group, people might think I’m being biased, giving the impression that I only became a member in the first place because Dylan’s father and I used to have sex (with each other!) all the time. Now if these same people were to later come up to me and say “Hey? What gives?” I would have no choice but to tell them that unlike some skanks (sorry again Candice!), I made Dylan’s father wear protection, and that is why I don’t have my own “VOTE MY KID CUTEST BABY EVER!!!” group.

I’m sure you’ll agree that if Dylan were to win this contest (which I guarantee you he won’t), it should be on the up and up, not because of some underhanded ploy where people felt compelled to join a group they didn’t believe in and were only doing it because they slept with the baby’s father. Because in the end it’s all about Dylan, and one can only imagine the negative effect it would have on this poor little homely child to grow up not only believing he’s better looking than he really is, but also thinking that it’s okay to cheat on Facebook groups. And “sort-of” girlfriends.

3) I don’t believe in favoritism. If I were to join this group I’d be sending a message to all of my other Facebook friends out there, many of whom have children with men who don’t run off getting other women pregnant, that their babies aren’t as cute as little Dylan. When in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

I trust this explanation will prove sufficient and you’ll refrain from sending me these invites in the future. In fact, maybe it would be easier if you all just removed me from your friends list entirely? I mean, it’s your call, but seeing as I only added you in the first place to prove I had no hard feelings (not to mention the fact that I didn’t think any of you would accept), it probably doesn’t make sense for us to continue living this lie.

Hope all of you are doing well, and best of luck with your group.


Tom’s ex

* Welcome to The Big Jewel. We are happy to report that no animals have been hurt in the making of this issue. Well, almost no animals. Maybe a couple of monkeys. Scary monkeys. Rifle-bearing monkeys. Is that okay? Only Pete Reynolds knows for sure.

On The Front Lines (With Monkeys)

By: Pete Reynolds

“…a report in the Chinese state-run People’s Daily newspaper alleged that the Afghan Taliban has begun training monkeys in areas along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border as part of the struggle against occupying NATO forces. According to the story, the monkeys are sometimes offered bananas and peanuts as ‘a series of rewards and punishments to gradually teach them how to’ fire Kalashnikovs, light machine guns and trench mortars.” –- Time

September 3: Arrived at camp late last night. What an assignment! The first Western journalist allowed in to report from the border. Just me, my notebook, and eleven hundred highly-trained monkey warriors. Also: lots of bananas and nuts and it smells terrible.

September 4: Word out of headquarters: fire exchanged 15 miles south. As of now, no known casualties (monkey or human). Scout team heading out to get a full report; said I could ride along. Cracked wise about it being “a zoo out there,” but got nothing in response. What gives, monkeys?

September 6: Heavy casualties today after a series of strikes from NATO forces. It’s sad to think that many of these monkeys won’t make it out of here alive. Won’t get to go home. And most of them are just so young, too — 18, 19 years old. It becomes way less sad, though, when you remember that they typically only live for about 25 years anyway and are monkeys.

September 8: Funny story from the mess hall. This one monkey (I call him Twinkie) saw that dinner was peanuts (again!) and threw up his hands like “Gimme a break!” Pretty hilarious. Anyway, dinner interrupted by mortar attack, bloodbath, etc., but man, that thing with Twinkie…

September 12: Monkey warfare reaches predictable result. Running low on ammunition, monkeys construct a mid-sized catapult, which they then use to assail NATO forces with their own feces. Have no choice but to call it the “scatapult.”

September 13: Improved scatapult now reaching distances of up to 5000 meters, but it isn’t enough to slow NATO. Thought of a good one today about “damn, dirty apes,” but later was informed that monkeys ? apes. Thanks, Captain Sensitive.

September 16: “Monkey see, monkey do, monkey mercilessly torture POWs with a nail gun.” Not as pithy as the original saying, but EVERY BIT AS TRUE.

September 20: Yet another mortar attack. NATO is bearing down pretty hard at this point, and I’m not sure how long the monkeys can hold out. Hey, remember when NASA sent a monkey into space? They were like, “Hey, monkey, get in this rocket so we can blast you into space!” And he was all, “Sounds good, scientist guys!” Priceless.

September 21: Morale has disintegrated. The monkeys pretty much lay around all day smoking cheap hash and listening to Buffalo Springfield. This morning I saw one wearing a bark helmet with “Born to Kill” etched on its exterior. When pressed, he muttered something about the “duality of primates.” Hate to sound callous, but that’s pretty cliché, even for a monkey.

September 23: It’s all over. NATO forces arrived at dawn. Luckily, I hitched a ride on the last chopper out. As we flew away, I could see tanks losing traction on banana peels and the throats of those soldiers with peanut allergies swelling shut in the distance. The monkeys who stayed behind and fought would have been remembered as heroes, except instead of fighting, they pretty much just ran around shrieking before joining the NATO soldiers in toppling the scatapult. Oh, the horror…the horror…