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Old 07-06-2007, 06:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,938
Anyone mind explaining this Philip K. Dick story to me?(the Perky Pat one) (Spoilers)

So, I was reading a book of Philip K. Dick short stories, and one was The Days of Perky Pat, or something along those lines, and I'm afraid I must have missed something.

My question relates to the end, so I'll do a brief plot synapsis for those who might know the answer, but have forgotten details about the plot, and so the mouseover crowd doesn't get spoiled too bad.

It's post apocalyptic earth, and martians are dropping food and supplies to the few remaining human settlements. Adults are obsessed with a game called Perky Pat, which seems to be a cross between playing barbies and the game of life. In The game, Perky Pat goes through ordinary pre apocalyptic life, and all the adults build elaborate dollhouses for perky pat, and her boyfriend Leonard. The adults learn of a game played in a different settlement called Connie Companion, which is much like Perky Pat, except Connie is older, and married. The adults playing Perky Pat find out about Connie (but don't know that she's older, or married), and decide to challenge the Connie settlement to a game of Perky vs. Connie, with the stakes being the doll.

The Perky Pat town sends 2 players to the neutral town, and there they are shocked to find out that Connie is older, married, and even pregnant. the Perky Pat team wins, and takes the Connie doll back to their town. Their town is shocked as well, and when the 2 players show them the connie doll, they are kicked out of town.


Initially I thought it was the pregnancy thing, as several other Phillip K. Dick stories have implied that pregnancy would be an extremely big deal in some of his future worlds, but one of the kids said that he was born after the apocalypse, so it would seem that the community hasn't lost the ability to be pregnant.

Last edited by Taber; 07-06-2007 at 06:25 PM.
Old 07-06-2007, 07:12 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Stockton
Posts: 10,090
It's been awhile, so I can only give my impression at the time.

The Martians are supplying everying that the survivors need. There are no social roles based around production, only about interaction. So the interaction is important. (If nothing you do matters, then all that matters is what you do.)

Change in the social process is frightening because it reminds people that what they are doing is essentially pointless. So keeping the social process the same is critical.

Besides, people are nuts - something inherent in them causes them to set up social processes and defend them, for no rational reason. Was it in Gulliver's Travels that Swift had two countries at war because in one country people opened their soft boiled eggs from the big end and in the other the small end was used?

If I remember correctly, the children didn't play the game, but went outside and dealt with the world as it was, not needing to be reminded of how it used to be.

Last edited by Yllaria; 07-06-2007 at 07:13 PM. Reason: typo
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