If you’re in the mood for a bit of dark humor, paranoia, and violence, you can get your fix from “The Unsolvable Death Trap.” In it, Jack Mangan paints a picture of a future New York, where the traffic is so bad rolling it up in the third dimension doesn’t help, corporate mergers have produced the Firestang and the Mercedai, and a cabbie’s best friend is still the souvenir baseball bat stashed under the seat.
The narrator is a cab driver who seems to have the worst luck with his fares. He picks up the abusive guy, the smelly guy, and finally the terrorist guys. The coolest part of the story is the tubestreets he drives through, all the way up to completely upside down and terrified. The funniest part is the soundtrack provided by his last passengers.
It’s a good story to read out loud, as you get the chance to give voice to the narrator’s bad attitude and the central joke of the paranoid who’s finally right. Or you can listen to it in Beam Me Up #73. Not that it’s fit for kids. When he has to duke it out, things get gorey, and the story ends with the bleak assessment that life itself is the unsolvable death trap.