Beta is Better

Main character's dating profile.

Name: Jake Lloyd

Age: 23

Gender: Male

Occupation: Video Game Tester

Likes: Bro stuff

Dislikes: Bananas

Where do you see yourself in five years: Head of development for a gaming company, married to a badass bitch.

Religion: N/A

Sexual Orientation: straight

Special Skills: Can clap with one hand


  • #3 NYTimes Online Comment

I wonder how many members of the United States Congress or The New York Times Editorial Board know what the cosine of pi over two is?


Beta is Better

“Honey Joy! Damn it! Honey Joy! God, I can’t believe these words even come out of my mouth. What a stupid fucking name for a dog.” Jake moans as he bends down under his desk.

“What’s up Jake? Did the dog pee under your desk again?”

“Yeah man, and I’m sick of it.”

“Sorry bro. I did see the boss man walking this way, I’m sure he’s coming over to grab the mutt.” Greg grabs his manhood and adjusts himself. “You wanna start testing this new game, or what? Grab some headsets and controllers and we’ll get started.” Jake slowly gets up off of his hands and knees, throws a pee soaked paper towel into the trash bin, and heads to the shelf to grab two headsets and a pair of game controllers.

“You know, when I got hired here, I would brag to all my friends back home that I was this big shot beta game tester at, ‘Beta is Better’ in New York fucking city, and they all shit their pants. But this is not how I thought I would be spending my afternoons. Picking up dog shit and playing video games with someone who grabs his nuts all day long.” Jake goes to sit down on the giant sofa in a 2,000 square foot room on the 40th floor of Beta is Better’s main office in Tribeca. His heavy frame slams the sofa with such a thud, and with such force, that Greg’s body flies up about an inch off the couch.

The sound of the 70” Toshiba flat screen turning on is almost overwhelming in this open loft space, not to mention the fact that it’s coming out of a surround system that a world-renowned game testing Production Company can afford.

“Damn dude, who was the last person in here?” Greg asks while grabbing the TV remote and turning it down as fast as possible.

Jake is staring at the pee spot under his desk, as if he’s staring into a void, a black abyss of nothingness. He snaps out of it almost as quickly as he went into the zombie like gaze. “I don’t know man, it was most likely the interns up here after hours watching some ridiculous British sci-fi show. I’ve caught them up here a few times.” Jake starts clapping with one hand, it’s a weird talent he has and he likes to bust it out of parties. Apparently he thinks this impresses people. It does not.

Loud whistling is coming from down the long hallway. “Hey girl! Honey Joy! Come here girl!.” Chad, Greg and Jake’s boss, (who looks like he walked straight out of an Abercrombie and Fitch magazine) is gallivanting down the hall looking for his prode and joy, his Honey Joy. “Ah, here she is!” Chad, with his ridiculous smile. “She hasn’t caused you boys any trouble has she? I would hate for her to interrupt the important work you two do here,” he says with a snide laugh. Greg looks at Jake with a grimace; worried he was going to snap at their boss for not being able to control his damn mongrel. “No” they say in unison. “Great! Well, I’ll let you guys get to testing. I hear this game is a beast.” Chad picks up Honey Joy and starts to walk away. “Actually, quick question. Do either of you know what the cosine of pi over two is?” Chad’s body is out of the room, and only his head is peaking inside the door, as though this is a simple question that should only take a second to answer. “No.” Greg and Jake again say in complete unison. “Okay, no biggie. See you guys later!” Chad is the only person in the office who says things like no biggie.

“I wonder how many members of the United States Congress or The New York Times Editorial Board know what the cosine of pi over two is? Jeez, I really hate that guy” Jake says not even slightly amused by Chad’s question.

INTERGALACTIC BATTLES BEGIN! The game begins and the volume is still so loud that the entire room is vibrating. “Lets do this!” Greg says super pumped. Greg is kind of a douche. He looks as though he just rolled out of bed and came into work. He’s in a full sweat suit, flip-flops, and a baseball hat that he just took off so he could get his headset on. Jake still seems less than impressed with this entire day. First, the damn dog pees under his desk, then his co-worker…well, honestly, Greg doesn’t have to do much of anything at all to piss off Jake, and then, his boss asks a ridiculous question.

“Seriously man, what was that about?” Jake throws his controller and headset down on the table in front of them. “The work day is almost over dude and we haven’t done shit all day. Lets at least get through the first level. You’ve been bitching all day! Who cares why Chad would ask a dumb question like that, we didn’t know the answer, and he left. No biggie!” Greg said ‘no biggie’ in Chad’s voice, just to drive Jake a little more bonkers. “Okay, I’m done bitching, and mainly I am done talking to you. Lets play level one. Only speak to me if you see any issues. And I mean technical issues pertaining only to this game” Jake grabs his headset and controller back up off of the table.

They only make it about a quarter way into the first level before Greg stops “Uhhhhh dude, huge glitch, we need to stop and note this.” Greg scribbles something down into a beat up notebook he pulled from the back pocket of his sweatpants. Suddenly they hear whistling and barks coming down the hallway. “Oh shit” they say, out of unison this time. “It’s only 5pm, why are Chad and Honey Boo Boo stupid Joy leaving already?” Greg says under his breath while he continues to write in his notebook. He had made his note about the glitch already; he just wants to look busy in front of the boss man.

“Hey guys, you come across that glitch in the first level yet?” Chad doesn’t seem at all concerned about this; instead he just stands in the doorway holding Honey Joy. Greg and Jake just sit there starring at him, confused. “Oh, well remember when I was in here earlier and I asked if either of you knew what the cosine of pi over two is?”

“yeah” the guys say, back in sync. “Well, in order to solve this glitch, you will have to figure out the answer to that equation. See, I’m trying to find out who my strongest beta testers are, so this is, a better beta test. Get it? Man, I crack myself up!” Like Greg, Chad is kind of a douche. “Well, no sense in trying to figure it out tonight. In fact, no sense in trying to continue working on this game anymore this evening. Go home, enjoy your weekend, and if you figure out the answer, you can come back to work on Monday and finish testing Intergalactic Battle. What a stupid name for a game. Anyway, enjoy your weekend!”

“Did we just get fired?” Jake is still sitting on the couch, stunned, confused, and still pissed about the pee under his desk.

“Well, you may not come back on Monday, but I sure plan to figure out the damn answer this weekend” Greg puts his headset and controller away. They hear a ruckus coming from the back of the room but don’t pay it much mind. “Hey Jake, turn the light off on your way out. Maybe I’ll see you on Monday” Greg winks at Jake and puts his baseball hat back on as he walks out of the room. Jake finally gets up off of the couch, puts his headset and controllers away, takes one last glance at the pee spot under his desk, grabs his keys, and heads for the door. He hears another small ruckus in the back of the room, but doesn’t care. He turns out the lights, and heads home.


“Move! I mean it Chris, move your arm, there’s no need for you to be this close to me!”


“Ow! Get off!”


“What the hell!?”


“Shhh, I think they’re gone!”


Five interns come crashing out of a storage closet in the back of the game room.


“Man, those guys took forever to leave. If only they would’ve started playing that game sooner, then Chad would’ve told them about the challenge and they would’ve left hours ago!.”


“Yeah man, there was no way either of those fools would know the answer to that!”


“Alright alright, shut up, and someone put on Black Mirror already!”





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