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"That's not it," she said quite clearly.
He put the iguana down next to the telephones and went back into the storage room. Precisely one minute later he came back out.
"That's not it either," she said, coolly this time.
He reentered the storage room, which was a big storage room, after he had leaned the penny-farthing against the automated ice cream machine. A minute later he was again standing at the door to the storage room.
"Nope, not it. Try again."
He gently laid down the four albums of shellac 78 RPM records on the chaise longue,
sighed, made a sarcastic salute, and went again into the storage room from which he emerged not one minute later.
"Keep trying. You'll get it right some day," she said. "Thumbs up!"
He leaned against the doorframe, nearly lost hold of the teleporter. He recovered, and put it beside where she sat. (He put the fern on top of the teleporter.) Then he emerged from the storage room a minute after he'd entered it.
"Nope," she nipped.
He dropped the skeins on the floor; they bounced. Then he brought out something else entirely.
"You'll get it someday.
Eternal recurrence of...
The Script Doctor
FIRST SCREENWRITER: A man falls down a rabbit hole and eats a little cookie and then a big cookie and he finds he's become the President of the United States for life. That's about it. There's other stuff I haven't filled in yet.
SCRIPT DOCTOR: The man, he's a democrat, right?
FIRST SCREENWRTITER: Of course!
SCRIPT DOCTOR: I'll call Harvey now.
SECOND SCREENWRITER: A crusading Public Attorney, always on the side of the little guy, sues the Really Big Corporation because they're causing all the global warming. Of course the Corporation has to kill him. There's
all sorts of car chases and stuff. The attorney fucks Penelope Cruz, too. How's that?
SCRIPT DOCTOR: We have to call it 'climate change.'
SECOND SCREENWRITER: Consider it changed.
SCRIPT DOCTOR: Fan tastic. I'll call Al.
THIRD SCREENWRITER: It's about a man and a woman who fall in love. They're going to get married, but she gets cancer. A very nasty cancer. It's like night and day. The wedding plans are made--but she dies before it happens.
SCRIPT DOCTOR: There's no political angle?
THIRD SCREENWRITER: It's a true story.
SCRIPT DOCTOR: GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY OFFICE!
The Consolation of Maths
Q: When you were out there stranded on that deserted island, was there any one idea that made you go forth from day to day without falling into utter despair?
A: Sure there was. It all had to do with heartbeats. You see, I'd put my hand on my chest, and I'd feel my heart beating, you know, ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-dum. And I'd imagine all the other heartbeats going on all over the world, the heartbeat of my wife and the heartbeats of my parents and all my friends, and my whole town and the whole
world, too. And I heard it all, I heard it all in my mind's ear, if you know what I mean, and it all came out sounding like a hum, all the beats mixed together out of phase, and I felt a part of it all even though I was but one insignificant-yet-significant instrument in that symphony. And so I'd sit in the dark, all alone, hearing that hum, concentrating on that hum and knowing that even though I appeared to be castaway I wasn't really castaway, not castaway at all. That and the goat I taught to lick me.
I repeat myself when under stress I repeat myself when under stress I repeat myself when under stress I repeat myself when under stress
A woman on the streetcar was talking loudly on her phone. She said, "I'll be there in about an hour. Did you get everything we need? Do we need anything from the liquor store?"
I said, "Do we need anything from the liquor store?"
She said, "Sorry, I didn't catch that."
I said, "Sorry, I didn't catch that."
She said, "No, there's some
I said, "No, there's some
She said, to me,
"Excuse me, will you shut up?"
I said, to her, "Excuse me, will you shut up?"
She got on her phone again. "What do you want me to get?"
"What do you want me to get?"
"Boy, this is annoying."
"Girl, this is annoying."
"I'll call you back."
"I'll call you back."
She hung up. I didn't.
She said, to me, "You're a very rude person."
I said, to her, "You're a very rude person."
She said, "I'm not saying another word."
I said, "I'm not saying another word."
She said, "Fine."
I think I've written this already....
ON THE SENSES
WHY WE'RE WHALES: You, out there, doing anything: yeah, you. Don't you know everything you do is what a whale, given legs etc., would do too?
Looking for a raise from that boss who always brushes his teeth? Try this gag. "Can I borrow your toothbrush? My anus needs some TLC." Guaranteed to work! It's even funnier if you email it!
ANTHRAX: Now why on earth did they name a disease after a rock band?
Wet worms after the rain don't smell as good as they did when I was a boy. Why is
London, 8 August 1961. Mr and Mrs Edge are pleased to announce the birth of a son, who will be christened The.
I keep on hearing, "Ron Sexsmith is a great songwriter, so neglected, blah-blah-blah." I have serious doubts. The same people who say these things are also people who think Atwood is a great novelist and Obama is a great orator. They have no taste, speaking only cocktail shibboleth.
Larry heard, from his left, the PING! of a hole being made in his window, and then, from his right, the PING! of a high-powered rifle.
(MORE ON THAT SHOT
Larry had chosen not to go to a party held by Dawn and Dave Dickens two weeks before, and because the party was only being held to provide an alibi for the abduction of, and cover the noises of, the neighbour's child held in iron chains in the deeper part of the basement he became the Dickens' prime suspect quite illogically I suppose but their prime suspect nonetheless when the police showed up two days before the bullet passed Larry nicking his ear incidentally, of course by that time the child was dead. Larry reported the
bullet to the police but that report was forgotten, just like Oswald's attempted assassination of General Walker was forgotten once Oswald shot Kennedy, when the universe was turned upside down from the "house of horrors" it turned out the Dickens' house was and yet no-one who had attended the party had suspected a thing and it never came to light who had tipped off the police probably for fear of retribution (cf. Larry's bullet) but the police used legal methods of investigation not based on the tip and so the Dickens were arrested and tried and executed for seventeen murders.)
I went into a store that advertised they sold pedestals and other things. I asked the woman at the cash register,
"Where are the pedestals?"
and she told me they were in aisle seven.
I went to aisle seven. First there were planters made from clay and plastic and a couple steel ones and some with plastic frogs looking over the rims. On the other side were trellises of various colours, some made from plastic and some made from wood. Halfway down the aisle on the left was where I found the pedestals. So much choice! Some were only
a foot tall and the tallest was about three and a half feet. Some were made, it seemed of real plaster and others were plastic. I couldn't decide so I went back to the woman at the cash register.
"There's so many different ones."
"Largest selection in town."
"I can't make a decision."
"What are you planning on putting on top of it?"
"I haven't decided yet. But I want to be prepared. Do you have any modular ones? Variable sizes somehow?"
"No, we don't."
I thought for a moment. "I guess I'll take one of each."
There were a number of people he wanted to thank before his time ran out.
He thanked his mother, in whose matrix his body was formed;
And he thanked his father, in whose soul his mind was formed;
And he thanked his sister who treated him nice one special day;
He thanked a teacher for showing him the beauty of math;
And he thanked the stranger who lend him bus fare;
And he thanked Euclid for showing him how to deduce;
He thanked another teacher who had supported his calculus;
He thanked his wife who let him into her
And he thanked how two children for putting up with him;
He thanked his several employers in America and Europe;
He thanked the managers of his pension plan;
And he thanked the nurses in his final nursing home;
And he thanked the hospital staff of the hospital in which he'd taken his last breath;
And he thanked the undertaker for making him a proper hole;
He thanked the worms, who had eaten him respectfully;
And he thanked God in advance for letting him enter Heaven.
And the day of judgement came.
And he was damned or he was saved.
VIOLENCE AT THE BOOK CLUB
Mrs. Smith said, "Alright, ladies. Let us hear, in order, your choices, and give us some rousing summaries."
Mrs. Jones held forth a copy of
"This volume is almost certainly the perfect meld of realism and romance. The language is impeccable; I dare you not to weep."
Mrs. Brown shewed
. "An encyclopaedic work summarizing all that is known in the world--but especially those revelations attributed to Shakespeare and scripture."
Mrs. Smith (in order next) displayed
War and Peace
. "Not quite a history of the world, but rather an intimate portrait, told
through some eight characters, of humanity living through a time of personal and political crisis."
Mrs. McLean held to side of her face
Pride and Prejudice
. "I daresay I did not complete it, nor can I say I managed to keep track of its myriads. However, I must say it is simply smashing."
Mrs. Smith said, "Let us vote."
The women wrote on cards which were thence assembled.
Mrs. Smith said, "Oh, Mrs. Brown. You recieved no votes!" The pistol was pushed toward her. "Go on."
Mrs. Brown took up the pistol quickly and put a bullet in her brain.
Come on, give it a listen. You won't believe your ears. Crystal clear, isn't it? All the components were designed in Germany and built in Japan. Those low, those highs, hear them? You could get dogs barking with this set-up. But here, check this out, give it a taste. Right here, or over here, different flavours all over. Did you ever expect anything like this ever had the right to exist? No, of course you didn't. Have another taste, then get a grip on the grips. They contours can be made to meet your individual hands and torso, but
this may off the factory floor be just to your liking. (Tailoring is priced reasonably.) Smooth, isn't it?
The lastest thing. And do you notice the scents in it, can you smell all of its parts? Each part is individually scented, a regular
of everything you could ever want to smell. All for one low low price. And the looks of it! the looks of it! It's post-futurism, post-post-now, this will never bore your vision. From all the angles, from the dimension of time even, there's nothing like it. Look at the blue: it's not found in nature.
I'm walking to the streetcar stop, along Langley Avenue. Ahead of me is a woman walking a poodle. Make that: Ahead of me there's a poodle, a needy poodle, pulling along a woman who thinks this pulling-along makes her so special. How to get past her? is it possible? That rotten cur--poodles are the most bitey dogs, you know--will nip at me, rotten cur. Should I cross the street? Rotten dog. Dirty white, probably smells dirty white. And the woman, the doggie's
, she's a special kind of hag, I can see. Geez, why bother wearing anything
if you're going to put on such shitty clothes? A shabby coat, shabby shoes, shit. All you need is a biddy hat to make yourself more worn-out-looking. Poor hag, poor hag. Havin' to haul around some fucken dog, pick up its shit, go back to your rotten life, and repeat and repeat. And you're in my way! you're slowing me down! and you don't even know! What is wrong with you, slattern? Are you stupid? are you deaf? How self-absorbed! Someone is
right behind you
, someone who has
important things to do,
Oh dear. I've just been struck by lightning.
It's a teachable moment about the difference between science and pseudoscience.
In climatology there was a problem with the evidence. The models predicted significant warming over the last decade, which hasn't happened. So they came up with a new theory to explain it: all the heat is hidden in the deep ocean! Rather than consider their theory could be wrong, they came up with a conspiracy-worthy explanation. The theory is
impermeable to evidence
Sociology. In the Globe: the conclusions of a survey concerning sex stereotyping. The results of the study are contradictory. However, instead of considering if the theory
involved--that sex-stereotyping is erroneous--is true, instead complexities get spinned out web-like. Their theory cannot be questioned. Thus, sociology is a pseudoscience.
Physics. It appears some neutrinos have been clocked as travelling faster than the speed of light, which goes against all known physical laws. Do the scientists try to force these neutrinos to slow down? No. They will try to replicate the results, then, if the results show neutrinos indeed travelling too fast, agree that the theory is
. And a new theory will be sought.
Pseudoscientific theories can only be proven. Scientific theories are mostly always wrong.
THE SMALL THOUGHTS OF PEOPLE LYING IN CARBON BATHTUBS
(conceived in conversation with Silvia Valino)
-A carbon bathtub. I'm in a carbon bathtub.
-A bathtub made entirely of carbon. What a marvel!
-Why did he say that? I remember every word.
-Really retains the heat.
-But why does he go there in the first place?
-Imagine this. Mostly carbon.
-Wrinkly toes. You'd think they'd've solved that problem too.
-Why did I buy this? Why did I
-One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four.
-Hard to believe.
-He's up there, I'm down here. So small.
man, gotta shit. Fuck!
-The binding of these cables is something else.
-I wonder what's for dinner.
-Where's the cat?
-My back is itchy.
-Should I wash my hair?
-What a horrible thing to say. I'm such a horrible person.
-Degas, Monet. Which one's Manet, which one's Monet? Who did the fruit?
-I could sleep in this thing.
-A carbon bathtub. Corcel number one. So cool.
-I wonder what the poor people are doing.
-Should go to Georgia this winter.
-Why even try?
-So all these laws of physics will be changed fundamentally.
IF you come across a plain plain space with nothing in it and you have been travelling for some time and you like the quiet and you say out loud, "This is quiet," THEN that formerly unoccupied space is now plugged up with something, plugged up with your voice, you voice saying "This is quiet" and so and so it's not quiet any more, it's not unoccupied anymore, because you, you've RUINED IT, it was nice you dummy it was like a clean sheet of paper that hasn't got a wrinkle or crease in it, then YOU come
stomping in with those ridiculous shoes and you're alluvasudden the OWNER of this blank spot just by saying, "This is quiet," you've COLONIZED it whatever that means you own it, it is yours it's a part of you now; THEN bring everything that's yours, all your dreams and memories and stuff, and set it up in the plain plain space on vertically planted banners like battalions in a Kurosawa movie and declare THIS IS MINE, THIS BLANK SPACE IS MINE, you're free to visit.... Come and visit my space. Don't be scared. I'm not dangerous. Come and relax a spell.
Dove (real name Nerd Finkstein) looked up to the sky and thought it might rain. He said to Raven (real name Nerd Finkstein), "I need some loving cuz there's a rain a-comin'."
Raven said, "Blonde, brunette, ranga?"
Dove shouted, "Blonde, dammit! Of course blonde!"
Raven muffled about seeking in the tavern a true-blue bland blonde and at the pooltable there was one who was thrilling and intelligent and working on her graduate thesis and she had nipples like walnuts and Raven said to her, "My friend needs some TLC if you know what I mean."
She said, "Are you
He said, "Oh, the costume? Does the cape make you think so?"
She said, "Yes."
"No no no. I have no skin in the game. I'm just, ah, procuring for Dove a girlie."
"Look: this 'Dove' guy, he's gone."
Raven looked. Indeed Dove was gone. "I hope he's okay."
"How gay are you?"
"Me? A bit. In any case I want you to come with me and go to him. He said he loved you."
"He did not."
"Please, I beg you, this narrative won't advance without you saying yes. Please say yes. Please say yes. Please say yes."
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