Remember the joke about there being an app for everything? The invasion of the Puddlescrumps from the planet Mushkipper Prime sure proved that, didn’t it? But it wound up being our undoing, and I’m now convinced that there’s a special circle of hell for application developers.
When they first landed, my buddies and I communicated with each other using the BudCore application, which tunneled texting, vid-calling, and GPS locating of each other, all out of site of the aliens’ tracking. It worked a lot like Waze before the Puddlescrumps shut it down, and it worked especially well on the Saulsong phones most of us owned. That’s how we coordinated our counterstrike.
They’d taken over our neighborhood, but Terry had figured out a weakness in the way they changed the guard, slithering to a common spot in staggered groups. We’d set up an ambush to grab most of them in a narrow street where deploying their weapons would catch other Puddlescrumps in a crossfire.
We all approached our positions, but before Terry could send the ‘go’ text, a bunch of our phones chimed simultaneously due to a Saulsong update. It was impossible to turn off vendor update notifications, which—though usually just an annoyance—at this particular moment had become extremely inconvenient.
The Puddlescrumps squished into action, slurping toward every one of us that chimed. We scattered, sending out text after text: ‘ABORT! ABORT! LMAO IMHO IRL THIS REALLY SUCKS!’
Fortunately, we were prepared for this kind of thing. We would update the BudCore app with the aliens’ positions and coordinate our withdraw, reuniting according to Terry’s orders through messaging.
A Puddlescrump plotched after me down an alley, so I figured I’d update his location for my cohorts, then check my escape options. The app was quite good at identifying available doors to duck into, suggesting optimal evasion paths, and finding terrain inhospitable to the Puddlescrumps. (They shunned any street with mimes, a dinner theater, or a Waffle House on it.) As soon as I tapped the Puddlescrump icon, an advertisement came up on my screen.
‘PREPARATION-H ON SALE AT PICKLED JOES PHARMACY JUST AROUND THE CORNER.’
I tried to close it, but it kept changing the message. ‘STOP BY PICKLED JOES FOR YOUR ANTI-FUNGAL CREAM — HALF OFF.’ ‘DE-LICE YOURSELF FOR A FRACTION OF THE COST OF OTHER PHARMACIES.’
I finally gave up and tried a couple doors. The second one opened into a Chinese kitchen—how cliche is that?—and I ran through the building, soon losing myself among the many businesses and settling in the dressing room of a boutique.
I sat in the corner and cleared out the advertisements. When the main screen finally appeared, I looked at the updates, and—oh shit—the blasted vendor had reinstalled its stupid, frikking mandatory app, Sualsong Charge, which continuously forced its way onto the phone and bugged you incessantly to set it up—no was not an option. Assholes.
A bigger problem than my developer rage was that the Puddlescrumps could track devices with Saulsong Charge installed. I furiously navigated to the application manager to uninstall it. I knew I should have jailbreaked this thing—the warranty be damned. I forced the app to stop and uninstalled it.
I sighed in relief, and a tentacle snapped over the top of the changing room and wrapped around my throat. I was caught.
I hated app developers before all this happened. They don’t recognize that they develop for real people and negatively affect their well-being. They make their apps intrusive and bothersome and downright evil, but now the so-called smartphones went so far as to completely cripple our efforts and get most of us caught.
These Puddlescrumps won’t last long, though. When they interrogated me, I showed them everything. They took to several games, including Piqued Chickens, and soon had all of our handheld devices distributed among themselves, taking advantage of the newly named ScrumpFace app (they don’t even have faces, LOL) and a bunch of personal organizer apps I showed them. They’re doomed.