Right day, wrong century April 1, 2021 8:45 AM   Subscribe

Oh man, someone printed this calendar wrong; it's actually April 1, 1921, and it turns out we're all a bunch of French Dadaists. Nothing to do for it but play a little Exquisite Corpse I guess!

If you're not familiar with the idea: each player contributes a little bit to a collective work, but they can only see a portion of what came before. The result is often deeply weird, like a human Markov chain.

frimble's rigged up this thread so that only the most recent previous comment should be visible at any given time; go ahead and add something to what you see, and we'll see what happens.

Note: to keep dev time on this minimal, we let it be so that this thread will still display normally in most other site contexts. So if you want to avoid getting spoiled consider removing it from your Recent Activity if you use that function to read the site.
posted by cortex (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 8:45 AM (265 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

Once upon a time, there was a little acorn on the ground.
posted by frimble (staff) at 8:46 AM on April 1, 2021

It dreamed of one day being a mighty oak
posted by biggreenplant at 8:47 AM on April 1, 2021

Inside a cloud
posted by CrazyLemonade at 8:47 AM on April 1, 2021

of insect eyes,
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:50 AM on April 1, 2021

like glittering jewels in their carapace,
posted by carsonb at 8:51 AM on April 1, 2021

the crystal snails luxuriated in their pools of snail-slime, awaiting the moment when
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:54 AM on April 1, 2021

the rising sun would thrust its first tentative rays of light into the pools and
posted by ook at 8:57 AM on April 1, 2021

it became their time to rise, and all the world would laugh and cavort and sing songs of praise to the crystalline molluscs who
posted by h00py at 8:58 AM on April 1, 2021

eating the hearts out of fine spun-sugar palaces
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:02 AM on April 1, 2021

said, "how did you know we were molluscs had you not read two lines before," but i replied, "the same goes for you, anyway right now we must
posted by fleacircus at 9:02 AM on April 1, 2021

hang our heads in shame for camping out in this thread and
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:05 AM on April 1, 2021

visit Pete Carlsson, who broke his leg trying to harvest last year's crop of air peanuts. He needs help with groceries, de-scumming the shower, that kind of thing." But they just ignored me. Pete Carlsson's just not everybody's favorite person, I guess, despite
posted by Don Pepino at 9:06 AM on April 1, 2021

his affinity for absinthe and burlesque. So off I went to Pete's house, carrying
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:10 AM on April 1, 2021

forty-seven pairs of pants in a variety of sizes. Pete had demanded them. They could only be for
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 9:11 AM on April 1, 2021

his musical's big dance number. No one had ever done something of this scale before, but I knew that Pete was
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 9:18 AM on April 1, 2021

bound to be amazing-- as he said, the master of dance, the master of pants. However,
posted by zompist at 9:19 AM on April 1, 2021

the right person for the job. He would finish it or be finished by it.
posted by AugustWest at 9:19 AM on April 1, 2021

The french doors swung open in front of him, shocking him to his very core because
posted by tittergrrl at 9:21 AM on April 1, 2021

what he expected wasn't there.
posted by AlexiaSky at 9:24 AM on April 1, 2021

It couldn't be since, in every practical sense, it didn't exist.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 9:26 AM on April 1, 2021

Ah, but it is a grave mistake to forget about the impractical senses.
posted by eirias at 9:31 AM on April 1, 2021

But we're all talking about it, so, at the very least, there is a Kantian schema of it.
posted by donpardo at 9:32 AM on April 1, 2021

No matter. Bourbon was poured for two. In the courtyard, litter rattled in the breeze.
posted by jquinby at 9:32 AM on April 1, 2021

Pigeons squawked. Rats ran by. The bourbon was spilled.
posted by hydropsyche at 9:40 AM on April 1, 2021

The litter was rattled.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:46 AM on April 1, 2021

And the rattle was littered.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 9:46 AM on April 1, 2021

The rattle was littered, the litter was rattled, and the bottle was scuttled.
posted by pipeski at 9:48 AM on April 1, 2021

It was clear that Dr. Seuss had arrived.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:53 AM on April 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

As you approached, you could hear him casually telling someone "I actually never really liked those particular books anyway." He winced a bit. "They were at an early era of my career and it shows."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:01 AM on April 1, 2021

He was wrong though - the earliest ones were your favorites.
posted by insectosaurus at 10:06 AM on April 1, 2021

But it's not a favorite, it's a bookmark.
posted by phunniemee at 10:10 AM on April 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

That's what she said.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:12 AM on April 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

And with that realization I was struck by a bus, and knew only darkness for many days. When I awoke I was inside
posted by fleacircus at 10:13 AM on April 1, 2021

an isolation chamber, floating in a briny soup of tepid saltwater and my own juices. I screamed, and heard
posted by lostburner at 10:14 AM on April 1, 2021

nothing but echoes. I pounded on
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:22 AM on April 1, 2021

my own voice bleating back at me as a series of farty trumpet notes. I recognized the tune, from a children’s program. It was
posted by chococat at 10:22 AM on April 1, 2021

the Howdy Doody song, being played at a frenetic pace. The only thing I could think
posted by Night_owl at 10:24 AM on April 1, 2021

"Cows. Lots of cows."
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 10:29 AM on April 1, 2021

And you know what that means:
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:32 AM on April 1, 2021

My pants were Toulouse.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:34 AM on April 1, 2021

Going to Cleveland’s opening day game in the snow.
posted by kathrynm at 10:34 AM on April 1, 2021

It's a family tradition, after all, something my Dad and I did together, just like my mom and I went to
posted by jacquilynne at 10:40 AM on April 1, 2021

Lautrecing through the snow, in a Honoré's opening day
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:41 AM on April 1, 2021

Claire regretted that she left her hat at home.
posted by Gyre,Gimble,Wabe, Esq. at 10:41 AM on April 1, 2021

Luckily, she had a newspaper with her.
posted by xo at 10:45 AM on April 1, 2021

The rain started falling in little spurts first, but it opened into a full downpour just before she dashed into the pharmacy.
posted by deezil at 10:46 AM on April 1, 2021

"Do you carry Man Rays?" she asked the cashier.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:03 AM on April 1, 2021

The cashier rummaged beneath the till, took out a black mahogany mask, and leant her head on the counter next to it.
posted by greycap at 11:08 AM on April 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

"Surely it's too late for a nap?" said the mage. "Do I need to talk to your manager about your hours?"
posted by damayanti at 11:15 AM on April 1, 2021

"No need", said the horologist, "four-fold symmetry means I have unlocked the day-within-days. While you see me nap, I still have three days to my leisure."
posted by CrystalDave at 11:19 AM on April 1, 2021

At that moment, Ellie realized two very important things: 1) that a silent w made all the difference and 2) that she could not trust her older sisters on any matter pertaining to sex .
posted by thivaia at 11:27 AM on April 1, 2021

Of course! A sexual rite, not write, Ellie realized, tossing her soft porn manuscript in the waste bin. Well, it would be some enough to adapt..Except, perhaps, for the part about ..
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:32 AM on April 1, 2021

This made it all the more difficult to walk past the inexplicable fruit and vegetable arrangement set out in the dining room, where her sisters currently were talking. The zucchinis and cucumbers suddenly took on a whole different meaning.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 11:32 AM on April 1, 2021

Kur mano skraidantis automobilis?
posted by SteveInMaine at 11:58 AM on April 1, 2021

This, combined with the earlier issues surrounding the pants, promised to make this dinner party last well into the night.
posted by Gorgik at 11:58 AM on April 1, 2021

However, one guest made a shocking discovery when he looked out the window. Looking back at him was a
posted by PussKillian at 12:00 PM on April 1, 2021

Noticing the rare exotic fruits in the fancy display in the center of the table were very very ripe, her cousin the most exceptional Count Philipe grabbed a soft guava and flung it directly at
posted by sammyo at 12:01 PM on April 1, 2021

rabbit. It looked very hungry, as though it knew what was in the house.
posted by sillyman at 12:01 PM on April 1, 2021

"Oh shit," whispered Franky Cabbages, to whom I'd only just become acquainted -- and then scene exploded in screaming crashing chaos! The giant rabbit
posted by fleacircus at 12:05 PM on April 1, 2021

dashed across the hall, climbed into the escape pod, shut the hatch and hit the Eject button. But nothing happened. Was it jammed?
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:08 PM on April 1, 2021

would've made for a hasenpfeffer feast, were it not for the fact that it had chosen to live among avowed vegetarians. However, since the potato sack had been given over to Marjorie's bathtub gin, Hazel was somewhat concerned
posted by condour75 at 12:10 PM on April 1, 2021

that people would neglect to refresh their browser before replying in the thread.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:17 PM on April 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

But why would they do that and spoil all the fun?
posted by iamkimiam at 12:19 PM on April 1, 2021

Pete stared at his screen. Had he really written all that? What if
posted by zompist at 12:22 PM on April 1, 2021

his words became corporeal and
posted by phunniemee at 12:22 PM on April 1, 2021

his scent became ephemeral
posted by damayanti at 12:23 PM on April 1, 2021

"I'm only asking you, who's the guy on first base?"
posted by calgirl at 12:24 PM on April 1, 2021

my mixtape is liminal
posted by dismas at 12:24 PM on April 1, 2021

What a coincidence, so is mine.
posted by rifflesby at 12:25 PM on April 1, 2021

"My houseplants are arboreal, and my housekeeping abyssmal", thought Pete as he munched thoughtfully on a cucumber. "I wonder whether I should
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:38 PM on April 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

Is it a coincidence, though? I mean, if you think about it, it's almost as though it was always meant to be like this. If it wasn't, how would you explain the rutabagas?
posted by ApathyGirl at 12:39 PM on April 1, 2021

And there we have played you a scurvy trick, for nothing explains a rutabaga (although rutabagum are notoriously anti-scorbutic).
posted by notquitemaryann at 12:44 PM on April 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

The ascorbic properties are well documented in Rutabaga Stories, by Carl Sandburg. Consider it your best manual to these inexplicable vegetables.
posted by Illuminated Clocks at 12:49 PM on April 1, 2021

Thus was the Rutabaga Rhubarb conceived, with the help of
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:50 PM on April 1, 2021

10% battery and the properties of the rutabaga could not help establish the alkaloids needed. 7% power, days lite is quicking, no distant hum of tractor. Argus is missing.
posted by clavdivs at 12:51 PM on April 1, 2021

"Where is that bastard Argus anyway?" Belula grumbled, shivering atop the maintenance scaffold in the freezing wind. "He's got the last of
posted by rifflesby at 12:54 PM on April 1, 2021

....well the last of our family's productive DNA as it turns out". She jumped atop the manifold of the now rumbling engine. Victory would taste sweet today, but first she had to figure out the conundrum of what to do with Uncle Boris.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 1:00 PM on April 1, 2021

He was a small man, but it still seemed rather implausible that he managed to get his entire head and torso into the dumbwaiter shaft, and without
posted by condour75 at 1:02 PM on April 1, 2021

any artificial lubricant. However, the tub of Crisco had
posted by hototogisu at 1:04 PM on April 1, 2021

...enough left to make the blades of the sled slide across the river, now thick with ice, and dash right over the snowy banks on the south side, gaining speed as it went. The twins shrieked with laughter, but Anna held on, holding her breath as they skimmed the hillside and headed straight for the lights of the village below, where she hoped that...
posted by mochapickle at 1:09 PM on April 1, 2021

Count Philipe would be waiting,
posted by sammyo at 1:25 PM on April 1, 2021

He would wait forever, if need be, he was good at that, Count Philipe. Once, he waited twenty three years for an ice cream truck to drive by, but then he realized he’d jumped off the machine three centuries too early.
posted by Kattullus at 1:29 PM on April 1, 2021

Does anybody even read the comments down here?
posted by chavenet at 1:30 PM on April 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

She wondered, as she wandered through the snack aisle of Trader Joe's. Then she saw it --
posted by gingerbeer at 1:33 PM on April 1, 2021

the perfect hat. But it was on another head, not hers. So she ran, leapt, and....
posted by sillyman at 1:35 PM on April 1, 2021

got so much wicked air she was mistaken for Tony Hawk.
posted by phunniemee at 1:38 PM on April 1, 2021

(Even by Tony's close friends and family, which he found disconcerting but understandable.)
posted by rifflesby at 1:45 PM on April 1, 2021

(Not that Tony could really say he had all that many close friends and family.)
posted by whitewall at 1:57 PM on April 1, 2021

But enough about him. The real business was elsewhere. And the day before. The integrity of time and space being known to fail in situations such as this.
posted by philip-random at 2:04 PM on April 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

She raised one arm carefully into last week and unscrewed the gas cap, leaving the boat's fuel to spill into the water. There, she said, now we can be sure
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 2:08 PM on April 1, 2021

those evil monster fish will cease their attacks. And good riddance, she proclaimed, although many in the audience disagreed and thought the evil monster fish should be shown due consideration for their
posted by bleep at 2:31 PM on April 1, 2021

amazing dance moves and charming singing voices.In the face of their overwhelming audience support, she had no choice. She turned quickly and dashed out the back door to do the only thing left that could possible stop the fish.
posted by hydropsyche at 2:45 PM on April 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

But, no!
posted by Brainstorming Time! at 2:51 PM on April 1, 2021

It was not to be. Whatever idea had crossed her mind, had fled into the annals of forgetfulness. Oh, how she wishes she had not imbibed that fourth glass of absinthe. The possibilities swam in her imagination. Then, it came to her:
posted by mrgoat at 2:54 PM on April 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

The green fairy absinthe could chase out the green demon jealousy. She would seek out her true love and make her feelings clear.
posted by clew at 2:59 PM on April 1, 2021

It was strange how the decision, once made, gave all her frenzied thoughts a moment of rest. Would her beloved remember her?
posted by notquitemaryann at 3:08 PM on April 1, 2021

Would anyone remember her? Would she herself remember... oh no, she thought, what is
posted by zompist at 3:14 PM on April 1, 2021

the meaning in the "dash" of your life...that space between birth and death....
posted by annieb at 3:27 PM on April 1, 2021

Life! Breathe deep and stretch like a cat. Could there be anything more invigorating?
posted by Gray Duck at 3:38 PM on April 1, 2021

Now Anna discovers she is actually a cat, whereupon....
posted by sammyo at 3:39 PM on April 1, 2021

And what a dash it was. Truly his life had been a sprint from the day he entered the world in the back seat of a speeding cab, to the day too few years later, when he exited, also in the backseat of speeding a cab.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 3:39 PM on April 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

Why would a cat spend their entire life in a busy taxi? It was as if
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:47 PM on April 1, 2021

the cat knew something I didn't know. I felt compelled to stay in the taxi, just in case
posted by hydropsyche at 4:14 PM on April 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

...this cat was waiting and watching for someone, or someTHING, to hail the cab. And the final destination...
posted by stripesandplaid at 4:14 PM on April 1, 2021

it started to rain again. You know how cats hate the rain. I looked out the window to see
posted by phunniemee at 4:15 PM on April 1, 2021

if the Maltese Falcon was still hovering. It was. All I could do now was go left (turn to page 7), carry on forward (turn to page 64), or go right (turn to page 43). Going back to try and rescue the kittens was no longer an option as
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posted by inflatablekiwi at 4:20 PM on April 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

the taxi had left, speeding off into the pouring rain. As it roared away, I heard the driver say
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:22 PM on April 1, 2021

"There'll be another one along in a minute!" But alas, this was incorrect - I was waiting on the rainy corner for fifteen minutes, huddling under an alcove, until
posted by solarion at 4:28 PM on April 1, 2021

"Next time, don't forget the tip, ya jerk!" This puzzled me, because I was sure that I had
posted by rifflesby at 4:29 PM on April 1, 2021

paid the taximan. I even fixed a price. Don't pay the taximan? He got me to the other
posted by inflatablekiwi at 4:37 PM on April 1, 2021

side of the city. I think that's $20, same as the cab's in-town pricing.
posted by phunniemee at 4:44 PM on April 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

Unfortunately, you don't get to pick the destination if you choose that option.
posted by curious nu at 4:49 PM on April 1, 2021

There’s only one way to go.
posted by ook at 5:24 PM on April 1, 2021

Christ, what an Asshole.
posted by Gray Duck at 5:28 PM on April 1, 2021

i was king kong's proctologist
posted by pyramid termite at 5:30 PM on April 1, 2021

I donned the blue rubber gloves and got to work: hunting for danger or, though rarely am I so lucky, treasure.
posted by wordless reply at 5:43 PM on April 1, 2021

A sudden movement caught my attention.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:56 PM on April 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

Instinctively I reached for grandpa's machete, but the sight of my assistant Mendel stayed my hand. "Dammit man, where have you been?" I asked him, as he collapsed, panting, on the cabin floor. He gestured weakly out the door, and
posted by rifflesby at 6:01 PM on April 1, 2021

that's when I saw it. About twelve feet past the door, everything stopped. Everything. Just a featureless, black void, menacing and malevolent. Why hadn't I seen it before? Was it there, or more to the point, not there? How far did it not go on? I detect the faint scent of burnt steak. And then, the sounds started. They were
posted by mrgoat at 6:06 PM on April 1, 2021

an Angel of the morning. An Angel. It touched my cheek before it left me. “Baby” it said, “just call me Angel of the morning”. Then it slowly turned away, as I said “I won't beg you to stay with…
posted by inflatablekiwi at 6:17 PM on April 1, 2021

me and dilly-Dali. Quickly! Go and
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:32 PM on April 1, 2021

let loose the kittens of war! They who
posted by catatethebird at 6:37 PM on April 1, 2021

eat the cheese reap the cheese. It's time for
posted by ferret branca at 6:45 PM on April 1, 2021

all good children to go to bed. To bed. To bed. Until such time as they
posted by nobody at 6:47 PM on April 1, 2021

can speak softly, can play quietly, or mimic some degree of civilized behavior that does not require adult supervision. In which case, they could remain awake like stars, or like particularly suspicious pumpkins.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 7:08 PM on April 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

A gourd, as it turns out, is just as likely to betoken trouble as any other domesticated plant. It's not all pith and seeds in there, but dreams and deviations, too.
posted by Hellgirl at 7:18 PM on April 1, 2021

I don't get it
posted by vrakatar at 7:23 PM on April 1, 2021

Get it anyway.
posted by sammyo at 7:23 PM on April 1, 2021

So to recap, Anna and her sisters traveled through a snowy landscape after the food fight in the winter house, meeting with the prince, or count, or cookie monster and met
posted by sammyo at 7:25 PM on April 1, 2021

Elvis. They were therefore shocked to hear
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:42 PM on April 1, 2021

has not only left the building, he's left behind the very concept of buildings. Freedom beckons
posted by thatwhichfalls at 7:45 PM on April 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

beyond his line of vision. Beyond his comprehension, even. He releases a sigh of anticipation as he turns toward
posted by mixedmetaphors at 8:03 PM on April 1, 2021

but first, he thinks, breakfast."Waiter!
posted by thivaia at 8:03 PM on April 1, 2021

"Un oeuf poche avec des mouches noirs, s'il vous plait!"
posted by daisystomper at 8:07 PM on April 1, 2021

Le garçon prend un œuf de sa poche. "Nous n'avons plus de mouches de cette couleur."
posted by zompist at 8:16 PM on April 1, 2021

"Too bad," they said. All they came up with was brilliant: the old eyeshadows left behind by an older sister in college. "But I have an idea."
posted by cobaltnine at 8:24 PM on April 1, 2021

First, be smart from the very beginning. But before that, be certain you are at the beginning.
posted by notquitemaryann at 8:45 PM on April 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

And under no circumstances should you begin your story at the end.
posted by pwnguin at 8:54 PM on April 1, 2021

And it was that precise moment that Count Philippe burst forth from the nearby shrubbery, brandishing his prodigious zucchini and loudly proclaiming
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:13 PM on April 1, 2021

We wee oui, zis refuse from that magnificent food fight will finish you dearest Anna, done done, the petite mort, prepare to meet your glory. We will take the royal sled to the
posted by sammyo at 9:24 PM on April 1, 2021

finest cheapest establishment in the entire town, wherein we will feast on
posted by sillyman at 9:26 PM on April 1, 2021

peaches 🍑 from a can. They had been placed there by a man in a factory downtown. I turned to the Duke and exclaimed “If I had my little way, I'd eat
posted by inflatablekiwi at 9:52 PM on April 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

them all. Not just these, but every peach in the whole world. Georgia would need to come up with a new excuse for having a butt on its license plates, because all the peaches in Georgia would be gone. And then as if that weren't enough, I would
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:57 PM on April 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

never be able to eat peach cobbler again. Which would be a shame, because when I was 12
posted by Night_owl at 10:05 PM on April 1, 2021

I won first prize at the state fair for my peach cobbler, beating both my grandmother and Mrs Wilson, the reigning champion who had won more years than I'd been alive. Now here I was, facing the Top Chef judges, who were giving me that look, you know the one like
posted by Athanassiel at 10:18 PM on April 1, 2021

fire in the ice. And there was I, naked to the t-bone. Was this really a lover's disguise? I banged on the head drum, shaking like a mad bull.....she’s got the
posted by inflatablekiwi at 10:24 PM on April 1, 2021

...chills. She feared they were multiplying, but no, she had dutifully received her vaccine. Her thoughts turned to graveyard superstitions, and she spied a cat. She called out..."here, kitty! here...
posted by desuetude at 11:04 PM on April 1, 2021

... kittykins...
The kat turned to look at her and, as sentient as you or I, spoke
„My name‘s Reg. Not Kitty. What are you selling? ...You know, you don’t look so good. Tell you what, I’m just gonna wait over here. You do you.“
posted by From Bklyn at 1:52 AM on April 2, 2021

"also - you have no chance to survive make your time"
posted by pyramid termite at 3:08 AM on April 2, 2021

"Make my time?" I asked.

In light of recent events, that could only mean one thing. I haven't had a reason to call my old friend Erbhard the clockmaker for years. I wonder if she's still mad. Even if she's furious, how could she say no to this challenge?
posted by kinsey at 3:30 AM on April 2, 2021

I made her make some time and Erbhard consumed some wine and we started to opine then we slowly did recline. She respectfully declines.
posted by h00py at 3:35 AM on April 2, 2021

Tired and frustrated by this need for rhyme, Erbhard turned away and found solace in their knitting.
posted by sciencegeek at 4:22 AM on April 2, 2021

Knitting and purling, purling and knitting,
Soon they were dreaming, dreaming while sitting.
posted by Redstart at 5:37 AM on April 2, 2021

They awoke with a start. Something in the knitting was...moving.
posted by medusa at 5:54 AM on April 2, 2021

Probably just the damn cat again, but better to take a look anyhow-- remembering that one time not all that lomg ago really, when things had gone sideways more quickly than any of them had figured was possible.
posted by TwoToneRow at 6:08 AM on April 2, 2021

And then the murders began.
posted by zompist at 6:36 AM on April 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

Tie off the dream where indicated, using heavy twine and a knot you're familiar with; then rise. By now the sky should have changed colors.
posted by miles per flower at 6:50 AM on April 2, 2021 [4 favorites]

Step 2, preheat your oven to 375°. "Gosh, these Saveur recipes are always so needlessly complex!" she thought.
posted by phunniemee at 6:59 AM on April 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

She scanned the recipe. There were 10 more steps. Step 6 used a word she had never heard of: roux. She felt the last bit of energy seeping out of her. She left the recipe lying on the counter and went to bed.
posted by Redstart at 7:24 AM on April 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

While she was sleeping, her significant other found the recipe in the kitchen and decided to give it a go. It must be important to her since she had scribbled a note in the margin.
posted by rawrberry at 7:30 AM on April 2, 2021

As she ascended the staircase, her mind wandered to the peeling yellow stucco, which looked like a bowl of pasta had been thrown against the wall. Wait, what? It was pasta! "Oh thank god" she thought, "that explains all the blood - it's meat sauce!". One of the puppies started gulping down what she had just assumed was the former occupant of the villa. She finally spoke to the shadows. "The dogs will be the only ones left you know...once we're gone. I'm sorry, none of the cats survived. Who would have thought...
posted by inflatablekiwi at 7:32 AM on April 2, 2021

they would all leave in a single taxi? I didn't get a good look at the driver, but
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:48 AM on April 2, 2021

... oh no, it was one of those new driverless ubers, where could it be off too, and why did it peel out clearly under crazy mode?
posted by sammyo at 8:53 AM on April 2, 2021

The only way to find out was to follow it! She cut a small hole in the horses poop-catching bag and jumped into the saddle, following the uber at full gallop. There! He would wonder where she went when he came out, but with the trail of horse poop she was leaving, he'd have no trouble following.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:05 AM on April 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

Future scholars of the ensuing catastrophe noted how strange it was that the horse poop coming out of the Uber appeared to exist in all dimensions, and none, simultaneously and never.

An eternity lasted a moment, and then suddenly, she returned to reality.

"Welcome to Tim Horton's, what can I get for you?" she heard herself say.
posted by rpophessagr at 10:09 AM on April 2, 2021

The customer leaned forward over the counter and lowered her voice to a whisper.

"I've heard you have, you know, a secret menu? How much does it cost for the detonator disguised as a double-grilled hashbrown sandwich?"
posted by jeremias at 10:28 AM on April 2, 2021

"Two ninety nine," she said, "and you should be more careful." She called out "double hash sandwich" over her shoulder, then opened the paper sack and put in a plastic knife and napkins. She added two packets of maple syrup, taken not from the bin but from her apron pocket. The cameras didn't cover the area just behind the sandwich station. She'd checked.

She thought of the fight she'd had with her father. "A prime minister's daughter does not work at a cheap late night diner," he'd shouted as she left. If only he knew who she was really working for.
posted by eotvos at 10:44 AM on April 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

The Blockchain people. And she hated every minute of it. There is only so many times you can grimace through the pitch and hear how "The King of Uruguay founded a multipurpose fiat-backed hyperledger, while Hong Kong has just initiated multipurpose SaaS sidechains!" without feeling physically ill. But the trap needed to be set, and she was the only one who could deliver. Victory demanded it. And soon the whole world would..
posted by inflatablekiwi at 10:57 AM on April 2, 2021

know her name. Literally, as it turned out. Because while she was busy crossing every privacy t and dotting every identity-protecting i, she'd somehow neglected to remove the sparkly gold cursive Sharonna necklace her sister had left dangling from the handlebars of her e-bike that morning as (as it turned out, ironically) a good-luck charm. Well, there were worse things than being famous. Like
posted by Mchelly at 11:56 AM on April 2, 2021

extreme foolishness, the kind often seen in undergraduates and senior executives. She asked,
posted by q*ben at 12:27 PM on April 2, 2021

"Why would I ponder tragic accidents involving necklaces tangled in the spokes of a bike's wheel?" Fortunately she reached her destination before that occurred. She paused, then thoughtfully pocketed the necklace - too late of course. What she failed to notice were the two figures furtively trailing her and watching as she entered
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:28 PM on April 2, 2021

Inside it was dim and slightly hazy. The shopkeeper behind the counter looked up. "Yes?"

"I heard you were looking for this." She held out the necklace and grinned. "I must say, I've never met someone with worse luck."

It was at this very moment that the door opened and two men came in.
posted by xorry at 1:08 PM on April 2, 2021

the old dancehall. Like most of the neighborhood, it had been renovated, but barely, they’d replaces the glass in windows, but there were shards of the old skylight mingled in the dust in the corners, and shadowy unfinished nooks by the bar where
posted by thivaia at 1:09 PM on April 2, 2021

a handful of crickets perched, chirping along with the band as the trombones worked up a frenzy in seven-eight time. Still, I'd seen some of the best shows of my life here, and it's where I met
posted by offog at 1:13 PM on April 2, 2021

Susan the Bulldog and her owner, Lucy Framboise - Lucy, who was my best friend for a short time, and Susan, who ended up being my best friend for ten years.
posted by Redstart at 1:29 PM on April 2, 2021

Framboise was a gamine, and her amble was like a samba.
posted by box at 1:45 PM on April 2, 2021

"Framboise? You mean the red Chaos Lambic?", the sommelier asked derisively, "Nobody's seen all seven Chaos Lambics in a generation, much less together!"
posted by CrystalDave at 1:49 PM on April 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

The fabled Lambic Septameter! You could almost hear angels singing just by saying the series' name ...
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:03 PM on April 2, 2021

It started out as an alternative investment strategy, but, after being awarded the prize at the De Heeren van Liedekercke in Denderleeuw, the onetime country music sensation decided to devote her full creative energies to Miranda Lambert's Grander Lambics.
posted by box at 3:25 PM on April 2, 2021

Eventually, though, Gavin Lambert's Lesser Lambics got a large infusion of VC funding and, after a multi-pronged marketing and advertising campaign, drove everyone else out of the market.
posted by holborne at 3:49 PM on April 2, 2021

framboise, was a favorite. The Pilsner barons, bribe they tried, relented; allowing the Rhine wine cartel to ship, unrestricted, along the Elbe.
posted by clavdivs at 3:50 PM on April 2, 2021

Was it "Elbe" or "Elba?" She should have turned down the last round. But, who can turn down strawberries? It's only 5%. Is that the river? Everything is fuzzy. Are you the captain?
posted by eotvos at 4:05 PM on April 2, 2021

And how those strawberries glistened, beautiful rubies in an ornate bowl. It was only when she reached for one, and picking it up, saw that the fuzziness and rot underneath that had spread from strawberry to strawberry, sickly green and soft, making her look at everything again, this time noticing just how off everything was, how easily she had missed the signs of decay that seemed readily apparent. Just how long had she been here?
posted by Ghidorah at 4:27 PM on April 2, 2021

The juice ran down her hands. She stared at them, agog.

The announcement over the PA broke her fungus-induced reverie. “Cleanup in prepared foods. Cleanup in prepared foods”.

'Quick', she thought, 'no one must know that I was responsible for this.'
posted by lalochezia at 4:40 PM on April 2, 2021

Quickly tucking the zucchini into her purse.
posted by sammyo at 5:01 PM on April 2, 2021

The zucchini was displeased, and it swore revenge.
posted by holborne at 5:19 PM on April 2, 2021

However, due to being hampered by its lack of actual limbs, skeletal structure, or nervous system, it was forced to hire an intermediary to do its dirty work for it. That's where I came in.
posted by rifflesby at 5:29 PM on April 2, 2021

You may wonder how a zucchini could be sentient, but it had been part of a secret government program to create a super-genius new generation of thinking, feeling vegetables: The Exquisite Crops
posted by mochapickle at 5:31 PM on April 2, 2021 [4 favorites]

From zucchini to artichoke and back to yam again, it was a cornucopia of sympathy, empathy, and, in the case of one Carolina Reaper pepper, sociopathy.
posted by box at 5:36 PM on April 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

(Un)luckily for the Carolina Reaper pepper, she was a licensed Agricultural Therapist. She picked up a fork and knife, and then casually addressed her question to the cornucopia of produce before her, so as not to single out the sociopathic pepper too early. "Has anyone here ever killed someone, and what are your feelings about that?"
posted by mixedmetaphors at 5:45 PM on April 2, 2021

But nobody believed in ghost peppers anyway.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 6:00 PM on April 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

(que music)

The Tomato saw it first, a glint
(All our times have come)
Spoons toward melon
(Here but now they're gone)
The pepper rushed forth
(Seasons don't fear the reaper)
"Hold still, cornucopia, frayed handle..."
The corn then tossed a graple
(Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain)
The pommel of the grapefruit spoon slipped
(we can be like they are)
posted by clavdivs at 6:15 PM on April 2, 2021

Believe: no way anybody ghosted Pepperbutt.
posted by miles per flower at 6:16 PM on April 2, 2021

Even though Pepperbutt could be a huge pain in the ass.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:17 PM on April 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

We indulged his fire, as best we could, but any human body has its limits.
posted by box at 6:23 PM on April 2, 2021

We burned. And when we stopped burning, we rose from the ashes, and our body was no longer human.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 6:38 PM on April 2, 2021

We ran our hands over our new peanut body, put on our monocle, and picked up our cane in preparation for the evening's Feeding.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:42 PM on April 2, 2021

Monocle? More like a Sardonicle.
posted by box at 6:53 PM on April 2, 2021

Well if it's Sardonical, I feel like I should chime in. Consider me chiming.
posted by sardonyx at 7:47 PM on April 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

Yes, we will, but the lobster goes first.
posted by rpophessagr at 7:56 PM on April 2, 2021

One simply cannot safely precede a crustacean.
posted by ook at 8:07 PM on April 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

Given that crabs walk sideways, it is however relatively safe to stand in "front" of them. One just has to watch for their claws, and not agitate them.
posted by solarion at 8:12 PM on April 2, 2021

Duke Whiny McWhinypants insisted, nonetheless, in standing beside a very large crab that had now inexplicably appeared.
posted by sillyman at 8:17 PM on April 2, 2021

The crab, which was nearly as tall as he was, reached out one of its large claws and tentatively tapped his arm. He stepped back, but not fast enough.
posted by Redstart at 8:39 PM on April 2, 2021

"Perchance," began the man-sized crab, by a coordinated series of emphatic signals rather than by any coherent sound issuing from its mandibles, "are you familiar with the oeuvre of de Nerval?"
posted by notquitemaryann at 8:54 PM on April 2, 2021

"de Nerval?" Tom snapped crabbily, "What does that have to do with de price of oeuvres in China?" The crab clawed for purchase against the Duke's brusque verbal riposte and answered,
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:35 PM on April 2, 2021

"Your lack of appreciation of the poetic arts is hardly the fault of this crustacean! The human world is such a mess!" Not for the first time that day, he regretted the literary ambitions that drew him to the city. He could be just as prolific and obscure in the ocean, with far fewer self important mammals to deal with.
posted by the primroses were over at 2:39 AM on April 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

He gathered his papers and turned to leave. The man in the suit stood and held out his hand. Without stopping to think, without even the conscious decision to act, he reached out and crushed the fleshy hand in his right claw. He was surprised at how loud it was - the sound of shattering bones, blood falling on polished marble. The man stared in disbelief at the torn remains of his hand, backed up until he hit the wall, and fell awkwardly to the ground.

It was only one block to the river, and beyond that the ocean. He could leave the city forever. But, that would mean giving up.
posted by eotvos at 3:21 AM on April 3, 2021 [2 favorites]

How had it come to this? he wondered as he walked slowly to the river, leaving the unconscious man behind him, bleeding to his death, perhaps, in the room with the marble floor. He hesitated momentarily on the bank, and then dove in, his tail flicking furiously to drag him backwards against the tidal current. His papers were soaked. Soon they tore, and began to dissolve.

It could have been different. He could have done as his mother wished. Found a nice girl and courted her in the traditional way, by wafting a cloud of his urine gently towards her face. Waited patiently until the day she molted, and then, with care and tenderness, pierced her abdomen with his first pair of pleopods.

But such a life was not for him.

Never for him.
posted by kyrademon at 3:58 AM on April 3, 2021 [6 favorites]

No, he thought resolutely. Not a girl, mother, but a guy! He swam on recklessly now, extending his pleopods provocatively at every male he passed.
posted by zompist at 11:49 AM on April 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

Well, that was enough self-pity for one day. In one hour he was to appear on the Consider the Lobster podcast.

He checked his waterproof phone's Too-Dew app and reminded himself to stick to his talking points.

"- Your nose determines the differences in the taste of wine, not your tongue"
"- I increasingly think that none of our organizations think that they owe us any kind of truth"
"- the evolution of flat-surface comedy when you can't hold a mike will necessarily be slow"
"- There is no benefit to learning how to play the recorder."
posted by sylvanshine at 11:55 AM on April 3, 2021 [2 favorites]

Seeing many sets of eyestalks swiveling towards him, he realized he'd been muttering to himself.

A big robber crab sidled over toward him and put a claw on his dorsal carapace. Not threatening, exactly, but certainly quite heavy and not really friendly either.

"Friend," the robber said, "We've all got different opinions about things and that's as it should be. And, look, I don't know your life or why you're here on this bus telling us what musical instruments to avoid. But, friend, I gotta ask. If nobody plays the recorder, who exactly the fuck is going to accompany the da gambas? You think on that, friend."

And with that, the robber stepped away and pulled the cord for the next stop, at which point he stepped off and lost himself in the crowd.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 2:23 PM on April 3, 2021 [2 favorites]

Philippe stayed on the bus, pondering the stranger's words and how his life's work tended toward carcinisation. Perhaps he would finish that story one day and find out how it ended. But for now, he turned his attention to the bus driver, who
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:40 PM on April 3, 2021

was picking his nose whilest eating an ice cream whilest not really paying attention to a boarding passenger asking
posted by adamvasco at 3:32 PM on April 3, 2021

If anybody would be willing to give up their ticket in exchange for a little bell on a string. He set down his ice cream, considered, and said
posted by Gray Duck at 3:45 PM on April 3, 2021

no I have to go on the train but when he got there the train conductor was a dinosaur! And the guy said you can't drive a train you're a dinosaur and the dinosaur said you're right. And then the train exploded! But nobody died. Except for the one guy who died but he was bad. And the dinosaur said what will I do I'm going to get fired and the guy said you are right. But then some aliens came down! And they were on the spaceship and the alien said to the guy hey I'm your father hello son and the guy said no way you're an alien! And the alien said yes son you are an alien too and the guy said do I have any powers and the alien said yes you can now fly. So then the guy was flying! And the dinosaur was flying too because it was one of the flying kinds and they went to ride roller coasters but then
posted by dephlogisticated at 3:54 PM on April 3, 2021 [3 favorites]

they saw the big, angry sign that said "No Dinosaurs Allowed Due to What Happened Last Time." The guy and his dino buddy flagged down the roller coaster operator, and they asked him, "What happened last time?"
posted by mixedmetaphors at 4:59 PM on April 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

"Well," the roller coaster operator said. "Let's just say if the T-Rex had kept his arms inside the car at all times, he might still have longer arms."
posted by eponym at 5:02 PM on April 3, 2021 [2 favorites]

"But then," queried the alien, "How do you explain the oysters??" The roller coaster operator chuckled ruefully and replied, "Ah, well, the Duke has granted special dispensation that bestows upon them exclusive rights to
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:22 PM on April 3, 2021

both the pearls themselves, as well as the irritants around which they've formed. And since there's no sand here," she smiled, "that can only mean
posted by nobody at 5:30 PM on April 3, 2021

that the buck-a-shuck party starts at 4pm, with Blackout Stout on draft!"

"Wow, but how much
posted by lalochezia at 5:34 PM on April 3, 2021

do we need to take into consideration the time dilation effects, considering most of the party-goers will be vibrating in place at close to C?" she asked, hardly containing her elation at being able to ask such a normally-preposterous question.

His blank look conveyed more than his response: "You really are new at this, aren't you? You weren't weren't lying about being from the future."

She plunged onward, excited. "I mean, in my timeline, oysters have been extinct for 50 years or more. What are they like? How do you eat them? How are they caught? Like, with a hook and line?"

He sighed. "Please try to contain yourself while we're at the party. Please. I really don't want to have to explain to the club president, or The Twins, about why I brought a date who's
posted by glonous keming at 10:23 PM on April 3, 2021 [2 favorites]

familiar with neither the most basic special relativity calculations nor the most basic shellfish etiquette."

A glimmer of recognition. "Wait, The Twins?"

"I know what you're thinking, and you have to stop. I promise you they're nothing more than donors, and even if you
posted by nobody at 5:36 AM on April 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

could prove paternity by one or the other, I don't see how it could possibly matter." She shook her head.

I knew, though, that, marine biology aside, it would come to matter very much indeed once the will was executed.

"Perhaps you haven't considered
posted by Adridne at 6:28 AM on April 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

that the amazing Spotted Climbing Perch is able to 'gulp' oxygen from the air and can crawl over land using its strong pectoral fins in search of water?"

"Did you think of that, Huh, HUH?"

"Of course, I was aware of that. They are very slow-growing and may take several years to reach an adult size which means
posted by lalochezia at 7:12 AM on April 4, 2021

that it's a terrible choice for a membership-based, urban fish-farming startup."

"That's not the point."

"Then what is the point?"

"I'm not trying to break even next year. I'm not trying to break even in five years. I'm trying to
posted by eotvos at 7:38 AM on April 4, 2021

get a pet. My sister had twins and they're turning twelve, so I need a spectacular present so that I can at long last become the favorite aunt."
"Well, then great. Great plan. Go for it. You'll have a reprieve of at least three years and up to seven if you make the colossal mistake of buying a cute baby one, or, god help us, a pair of them, from the amoral-mall pet store in Decatur. Your nieces will love you; your sister will love you. And then one day you'll get the phone call. And you will have laid waste to a town. Maybe a county. Maybe a state."
posted by Don Pepino at 7:45 AM on April 4, 2021

And then the uncle (not the one with seventeen toes, the other one) arrived in the charabanc and took them all out for tea and kippers.
posted by altolinguistic at 8:18 AM on April 4, 2021

They all had a lovely chat concluding that Prince Philipe and Anna would live happily for ever after, when, the other other uncle (the one with the thing on his shoulder) entered with a dripping...
posted by sammyo at 9:10 AM on April 4, 2021

ladle. "Hey, Anna! Phillipe! All y'all! Chili's ready!" he said.

"Hoooooodoggies, y'all," the uncle with the thing on his shoulder said, taking off his cowboy hat and wiping the sweat from his brow. "This here batch... I tell you what! Anna, I know how you like it so I made sure to put in some extra
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 9:19 AM on April 4, 2021

he never finished the sentence. The thing on his shoulder grew fangs and tore his head off.
posted by philip-random at 9:22 AM on April 4, 2021

She glared at the winged, and now fanged, beast.

"I wanted to know the answer to my question. And now I never will! Unless you have an answer for me?"

The thing seemed to narrow its glowing eyes and peered back at her for a long moment. Then, to her surprise, spoke in her own language in a low, melodious voice:
posted by the primroses were over at 9:42 AM on April 4, 2021

"The answer you seek can be found in the questions you fail to ask." The winged beast snapped its fangs at her, and then its mouth-like appendage shifted into a smirk.

The damned beast was smirking at her. SMIRKING.

"Mock me at your peril," she said, now caring more about her ego than her original question. She reached for her nearest possible weapon.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 10:19 AM on April 4, 2021

But her hula hoop had disappeared.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 10:35 AM on April 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

So she stared off into the middle-distance and shook her hips anyway. And that's how she found
posted by nobody at 11:27 AM on April 4, 2021 [2 favorites]

herself in a cell, all alone, ears ringing. She tried to make friends with the officer at the desk, but
posted by Night_owl at 11:48 AM on April 4, 2021

he kept getting phone calls that sounded increasingly urgent. When he said, "Just keep the door closed," and hung up the phone with a thunk she started to tell him he was cute, but the phone rang again immediately and a few seconds into the call he was shouting, "Holy shit, no! No! Remember what happened last time?"
posted by Redstart at 1:32 PM on April 4, 2021

A bit later, as she was trying to nap on the cell's uncomfortable cot, the front door of the jail slammed open and the officer screamed "Oh my god, he's back! The crab is back!! The cr--" His shout was abruptly halted by a loud snapping noise. She laid there frozen in place and breath held, and wondered what on earth to do next. That's when she heard
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:57 PM on April 4, 2021

a grinding noise behind her. An opening appeared in the cell wall; a hand appeared. "Quick," a voice called to her. "In here, before it's too late."
posted by zompist at 3:27 PM on April 4, 2021

As her eyes grew acclimated, a familiar face smeared out from the gloom.


"You've been spiraling through micro-story after micro-story for almost four days now. I've only barely managed to catch you here. We're still trying to figure out how this thing works. From the lab we can only see glimpses. Something you're doing keeps bringing things around to oysters and crabs and other hard-shelled sea creatures. If you could pivot to turtles, and then to aardvarks, I think we'd have a chance of getting you home. Just don't --"

posted by nobody at 3:38 PM on April 4, 2021 [3 favorites]


Joan stumbled on the path, shaken by... something. A daydream? Something about Roman soldiers marching forward, shields up, somehow towards an old F-111? These daydreams, visions, whatever, had been getting more intrusive and somehow harder to remember. They kept walking towards the coast where the upper terminus of the otec plant shone under a clear spot in the otherwise grey sky. It started to rain, so they stopped and set out their cloth to gather themselves some doughnuts.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:59 PM on April 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

In general Joan preferred the bagel storma to the doughnut storms, but she’d never dream of complaining. When the old gods came back, they all expected chaos and bloodshed, no one imagined the eldritch would just get really into baking and
posted by thivaia at 6:42 PM on April 4, 2021

Joan would find herself salivating in wonder at the revelation that the fire and brimstone sermons that so fully shook her in her youth were simply describing the artisanal stone pizza ovens of hipster backyard gourmet demigods. And yet
posted by mochapickle at 7:53 PM on April 4, 2021

she couldn't help wondering if she was dismissing things too easily. If God can speak through a burning bush, why not a burnt bit of pizza dough?

Joan went to the front of the store, sat on a bar stool, and began to pray for the first time in 35 years. "Dear God
posted by eotvos at 10:50 PM on April 4, 2021

... thank you for the pizza and
I pray anyone who eats a lot here
Will see a big reduction in the price of beer
And all the pizza that you made in your image
Will be passed out on the street
'Til we all get enough to eat from pizza god
We sink our teeth in you ..."
posted by kyrademon at 3:40 AM on April 5, 2021

The pizza god, resplendent on a throne carved from the finest Parmigiano-Reggiano, smiled and was pleased. She twirled one finger, and John 'Papa John' Schnatter was drowned in a hailstorm of Roma tomatoes.
posted by box at 6:06 AM on April 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

Her last words, echoing through the chamber and bouncing back in waves of garlic-scented arpeggios, were,"...
posted by Mchelly at 7:39 AM on April 5, 2021

posted by Greg_Ace at 9:20 AM on April 5, 2021

"Excuse me," said The Reader. "Just hold on a sec. When in the hell am I going to get the whole picture? The full Monty, as it were? Who's in charge here, anyway?"
posted by jquinby at 9:27 AM on April 5, 2021

"There hasn't been anyone in charge since the Author died in 1967, darling," purred the Text as it stretched out to better enjoy a sunbeam. "If you want Sense, you'll have to make it yourself."

"1967? I thought it was 1921?" he spluttered.

The Text blinked lazily back at him, and said simply,
posted by the primroses were over at 10:01 AM on April 5, 2021 [3 favorites]

"Give up."

That wasn't what he wanted to hear. It was stupid to shout at a public display, but he did it anyway. "Oh yeah, well
posted by eotvos at 10:32 AM on April 5, 2021

.....you look like...you look like your font is a pound-store comic sans rip-off". There was a pause for the ages (but not for ages).
"You take that back this instant" growled the display. But he didn't. He simply grabbed as many of the free samples and pamphlets as he could and jammed them into his leather satchel. He had paid good money (well to be fair his employer had) to be at the conference and he'd be damned if some AI driven low resolution display was going to tell him how many free t-shirts he was allowed to take. He slung the satchel over his shoulder, with sample plastic bottles of caffeine-extreme energy drinks from earlier in the day hitting his hip with a muted thud, just in time for them to absorb most of the impact from the unexpected....
posted by inflatablekiwi at 10:53 AM on April 5, 2021

...arthritic network of Thrag font hipsters but the energy drink, an infusion of thyme, rutabaga and etheldrine.
" The situation seems improbable for statistical comparison of Neuro-Pons distribution, look, take the muon factor...,"

"Jim, I've always wondered, since this started...why would anyone shoot sophisticated robots"

The screen awoke Yul..
posted by clavdivs at 2:13 PM on April 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

"Hello, children" spoke Yul, with an eerie lack of prosody. "You have found me. I am without a terminal e, so there is no log, only Yul."

Jim was confused. Was Yul drunk? Can a sentient artificial neuro-graphical education unit become intoxicated? On what?

Jim shook those thoughts as Yul continued.

"Consider the tree..."

(still talking about wood, huh..... Jim feared Yul knew his thoughts..)

"Yes, Jim, wood. The tree is made of layers, concentrically threading to the void. You only see the new, and its crust. What do you call it.. bark? Cortex? The core, the past, the iterations and additions of that which was before is now dead, lost to impending rot. It shall never be seen."

Jim checked for any recent activity nearby, and found only a few traces. Crabs? Pizza? He didn't understand. No, Yul was not drunk. It was stoned.
posted by sillyman at 9:08 PM on April 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

Thanks everyone for playing. I'm going to finally unroll this now and you can see just what it is that you've created.
posted by frimble (staff) at 12:40 AM on April 6, 2021 [5 favorites]


A pause.

And with a flick of the wrist, the scroll unfurled, down first to the ground ("Once upon a time, there was a little acorn on the"), and then along the aisle ("They were at an early era of my career and it shows"), and out past the ushers ("They could remain awake like stars"), and out to the street ("Tie off the dream where indicated"), and down the lane ("She plunged onward, excited."), until finally it arrived at the foot of a
posted by nobody at 2:35 AM on April 6, 2021 [2 favorites]

proud little oak sapling.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:23 AM on April 6, 2021 [3 favorites]

Much as in another thread, some of us are Chaos Muppets, some are Order Muppets.
posted by zompist at 9:45 PM on April 6, 2021 [2 favorites]

Grover, of course, is Lawful Good.
posted by holborne at 8:25 AM on April 7, 2021

Count Von Count is lawful neutral except during chaos theory.
posted by clavdivs at 2:01 PM on April 7, 2021

And crabs are evil.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:10 PM on April 7, 2021

Not evil. Just very, very shellfish.
posted by kyrademon at 2:45 PM on April 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

"I may be a selfish shellfish
A sort of crabby hermit
Who makes art without a permit
Yes, I may be a selfish shellfish
But let the flashy abalones
Win applause by being phoneys
I will stay under my rock and do my art
To be such a lucky winkle warms the cockles of my heart"
posted by clavdivs at 7:08 PM on April 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

I ran the text through AWS Polly text to speech for those who would like some bedtime listening: https://xorry.website/misc/corpse.mp3
posted by xorry at 11:42 AM on April 8, 2021 [3 favorites]

Wow xorry thank you for doing this. It really sounds like a literary novel audio book. I am up to this part which cracked me up:

No matter. Bourbon was poured for two. In the courtyard, litter rattled in the breeze.
Pigeons squawked. Rats ran by. The bourbon was spilled.
The litter was rattled.
And the rattle was littered.
The rattle was littered, the litter was rattled, and the bottle was scuttled.
It was clear that Dr. Seuss had arrived.

posted by bleep at 12:40 PM on April 8, 2021 [2 favorites]

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