small textlarge text

Katherine Vondy

Skyping with Oprah

Download MP3

The biggest scientific advancement of the twenty-first century was not the complicated medical procedure that rendered Oprah immortal, but rather the development of the technology that allowed Oprah to be split infinitely into multiple copies of herself. At long last, there was enough Oprah to go around. First there were dozens of Oprahs. Then hundreds of Oprahs, then thousands of Oprahs. Then enough Oprahs for anyone who needed Oprah, any time. With such a perfect correlation between supply and demand, nobody had to do without Oprah. Nobody was left bereft. Oprah was there for everyone in need, just one simple Skype call away.

If you needed a book recommendation, or if you needed an inspirational true-life story, or if you needed insightful observations regarding your partner's suitability for marriage, Oprah could help. Oprah had many handy travel tips as well as a firm grasp of the nuances of checkbook balancing. If you were in a low spot - a really, truly low spot - your recourse was as simple as getting Oprah on the line and describing your problem. You'd explain that you hadn't been able to feel happiness since the death of your mother, or that your adult children were addicted to drugs despite your very reasonable requests that they seek other pastimes. Oprah would listen sympathetically, and when your story came to an end her face would break open with understanding and joy and she would look into your sad internet eyes and exclaim:

"You get a car!"

When the car arrived, you wouldn't even complain about the taxes you owed on this magnanimous gift, because who could deny the irresistible appeal of a vehicle from Oprah?

Across the world, individuals Skyped with Oprah on a regular basis and then marveled at their newfound senses of inner peace. The divorce rate plummeted. Obesity ceased to be an epidemic. The salaries of the members of the female workforce at last reached levels equivalent to the salaries of their testicular counterparts. And to think: all it had taken was one woman, forbidden to die, then replicated countless times by a perplexing metaphysical process and subsequently linked to the world's webcams.

And what of Oprah? Did she grow weary? Did her joie de vivre wane? Did she yearn for the sweet relief of mortality, or at least to be a singular self again? Certainly she tired of strangers' burdens; no doubt, she felt the occasional weight of her own heavy troubles. But was Oprah there for Oprah? In moments of great desperation, did Oprah Skype herself? We cannot know; nor do we care.

For oh, how humanity blossomed and thrived with Oprah's calming presence perpetually at our fingertips. She advised politicians against wars, encouraged teenaged virgins to wait for true - or at least requited - love, reminded overly-diligent businesspersons that few people arrived at their deathbeds wishing they had spent just a little more time at the office. And the planet was smoothed and soothed, and it radiated with amity and concord, and it was hard to imagine the time - though it was not so very long ago - when we'd felt irrevocably lost in life, with nobody but our real-life friends and family to help us along the way.

➥ Bio