Dawson Filter as He Relates to Bails


Babe Listowel vigorously shook his left hand in the hope that one of the $6 bills he was holding would fall to the ground; where someone else would surely pick it up, and save him the trouble of putting it into the vending machine himself. The note with the highest third highest serial number was the first to come down from its perch, and welcomed this opportunity to unite with the ground. Dawson Filter stooped for the bill, and pocketed it with the unrecognized help of his pocket.

Babe sighed, blinked, scratched his neck, stopped sighing, and overturned the vending machine. “None shall go hungry tonight, Plywoodn’t Give Up On Our Dreams!” He announced, to the dismay of None, a longtime resident of the vending machine.

 “Calling ourselves Plywoodn’t Give Up On Our Dreams was perhaps a worse idea than I thought.” Twelve-Anne confessed.

“What about ‘The Quest Committee’?” Sylvester Denny suggested.

“That sounds sufficiently fantastic.” Dawson Filter seemed to remark.

“Reviewing the bails could be an idea worth calling good.” Said Twelve-Anne, who’d been raised to believe that ‘bails’ was a synonym for ‘information’ as part of a bet her parents had with a local dentist.

“So, we’re pretty sure that if we go to the Amazon Basin I’ll know The True Meaning of Feelings,” Babe ostensibly said, “and that if we go to 2114, we’ll get pretty close to the Amazon Basin.”

 “Also, The Illuminati for the Blind seems to be quite a thing.” Said the man typically referred to as Dawson Filter, but who briefly lost his name without warning in 2016. “And they really want to know about walruses.” Ah, you highlighted this sentence. 

“No, ‘what do you know of walruses’ is just a code.” Twelve-Anne Stradivari explained, being. “The correct response is ‘though you might hear laughing, spinning swinging madly across the sun, it’s not aimed at anyone, it’s just escaping on the run, and but for the sky there are no fences facing.'”

“But they were” Said Dawson Filter. Oh, I’m sorry, did that interrupt the flow of the quotation? Here’s the end of it, it’s pretty good: “going to torture me until I told them!”

“They’re remarkably 3 bad at stuff.” Twelve-Anne said. The ‘3’ was silent.

Dawson shrugged, and turned the dial of The Quest Committee’s island sized time machine which they decided to call ‘the tumour’ to 2114. Everyone survived.

They sprinted off the machine onto Amazonian land. 2114 soil was firmer, and unlike 2016, there was a man with a lantern jaw and LED biceps standing in front o’ a giant chessboard holding a newspaper called ‘The Secret Obituaries’.

“Hello, my good man.” Babe Listowel said, guessing that the man would consider himself good; and if he didn’t, likely wouldn’t be offended by the mistake. “Could you direct us to the Amazon Basin?”

“I’ve asked for directions to way better basins than that spinach raft.”

“I can believe it,” Twelve-Anne said, “but we really just want to go to the Amazon one.”

“Ha! That’s nothing-one time I wrestled a bear!” The man boasted.

“What?” ~Twelve-Anne (2114)

“I’m just saying: wanting to go to the Amazon Basin is pretty lame compared to actually wrestling a bear.”

“This isn’t as much of a contest as you think it is.”

“Another time I water skied on a lake near Chernobyl. Are you even trying at life?”

“The odds of your life being neater than mine are really quite slim. Can you please just direct us toward the Basin?”

“Did you ever doubt it?” The man said, pointing forward with his right hand, and at his ‘I survived 2109 Wimbledon’ t-shirt with his left.

The Quest Committee thanked the man, and rush’d forward without a trace of regret in their hearts; nor in their spleens, handbags, or even minds. They were sure that they’d know The True Meaning of Feelings before 3:56 that afternoon; and they were right.

But such statements change a fair bit in meaning when time travel is a thing.

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Dawson Filter as He Relates to Gloves


A whirring sound, promptly followed by a regular sound, escaped from the metallic confines of the tumour; reverberating off of a nearby clock tower a short time later. The main reason why the audio duo were able to escape so easily was that the tumour was no longer making any effort to contain them; it was too busy time travelling.

Dawson Filter, the man responsible for this event in the tumour’s excuse for a life, saw his surroundings darken. He then saw himself. He shuddered at the pitiful fashion choices he used to make eight hours ago.

“Oh, we sure are in an ocean.” This self commented. Dawson cringed at its disgraceful arm flails. He desperately wanted ‘flailure’ to be a word, so that he could use it to sum up his life from ages 11-23.

“No, the ocean’s way better lit than this dump. Dead giveaway.” Lance replied. Dawson silently pledged to send Lance off before he had a chance to say more such things.

“It’s just midnight.” Dawson told himself. “Lighting has the tendency to really drop in quality about now. It’ll be the ocean in the morning. Every time-oh, a pun, because ‘time’ sounds like ‘time machine’, I’d better add that to my list-someone uses this time machine we arbitrarily call a tumour to visit 2016, he always pops up exactly four seconds after the new year begins, with the tumour at exactly this point in the Atlantic ocean. Here’s everyone who ever has and ever will come to 2016 in this tumour, from each time they have and will come.”

Sylvester Denny, Twelve-Anne Stradivari, and Babe Listowel trotted off, deciding they had no more to contribute to the conversation than J. Gordon Whitehead did to world merriment. They waved to themselves across the problems separating them from who they truly were; and pushed through these difficulties to who they were meant to be, finding true happiness at the end of the journey.

“Oh, Sylvester,” Twelve-Anne exclaimed, “I love you, I always have.”

“This is quite an agreeable plot point, then; given that I also love you. Let us now ask our future selves when the closest time to the Amazon Basin is, that we might discover the True Meaning of Feelings.” Sylvester promptly responded.

“Hello,” Babe Listowel said to himself, giddy to the point of (24, 53) upon seeing that in the future he gets to wear gloves, “would you kindly tell us the year that puts us closest to the Amazon Basin?”

“2114,” Babe Listowel2 answered, never slowing down or stopping to take a breath, “but-“

The members of Plywoodn’t Give Up On Our Dreams watched as their selves silently faded into their own timelines, forcing all speakers to abruptly end their sentences with hyphens rather that remotely good punctuation.

“Good riddance.” Dawson Filter muttered. He never cared about verbs when he was angry.

“Let us picnic at the top of our lungs until the Sun sets o’r the damp, damp, ocean!” Babe Listowel suggested, in order to lift Dawson’s spirit.

“Such a lovely idea, man!” Sylvester exclaimed, his words as real as ever.

“Ever so lovely, my dear.” Twelve-Anne concurred.

Babe Listowel reached behind Dawson’s left ear, pulling a wad of bills from behind it. Twelve-Anne clapped for Babe; prompting him to pull a vending machine from her ear. The picnicking portion of the expedition was ready, and the expeditioners were thoroughly convinced that they were ready for a picnic.

This would turn out to be far from the only mistake they would make that day.

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Plywood


After blinking for the 76159442nd time in his his life, Dawson Filter decided that it would be at least a borderline-good idea to introduce himself to the Phineas Gage-esq woman who’d just agreed to join his quest through time and space to find the answer to 56 down in a crossword puzzle which had yet to be printed for another eight months.

“Dawson Filter,” He began, flourishing his allegedly securely attached arms, “(insert colon here) the name of every man, woman, and child whose mother shares mine’s tastes.”

“Ah. Personally, my mother’s thing has always been more Twelve-Anne Stradivari, but let’s let our parents fight their own wars,” Twelve-Anne Stradivari replied, staring at a spot of mustard on Sylvester Denny’s life.

“I’m the Sylvester Denny of our clan.” Said the waiter, shoulders akimbo, but with his heart in exactly the right place.

“And I,” Babe Listowel proclaimed, calculating exactly how loudly he was able to speak before repercussions began, “am Babe Listowel.”

“Does the group own a name?” Twelve-Anne asked, promptly after wondering that very question.

“No.’ Dawson Filter replied, hoping that the apostrophe would trick you into thinking the quotation was over.” Sylvester said, grinning.

“What about ‘The Georgian Harrisons’?” Babe Listowel suggested, wishing to relive his days in his high school band of the same name.

“Or ‘the True-Meaning-of-Feelings-ists’. Our author calls us that, so it’s all neat ‘n’ stuff.” Sylvester offered, hoping to defer attention away from ‘The Georgian Harrisons’.

“Or,”~ Twelve-Anne Stradivari, 1 January, 2016. She would go on to say such things as “since we all know what plywood is, we could emphasise this common ground by, when it seems like an appropriate time to call ourselves a thing, we could call ourselves ‘Plywoodn’t Give Up On Our Dreams’.”

This was generally regarded as an overall poor idea, but Twelve-Anne was new, and Babe Listowel looked as if he was about to speak again, so Dawson and Sylvester nodded each other’s heads, and didn’t speak for another twelve minutes. During this time Babe produced ‘The IFTB’s Guide to Being’ from his waistcoat pocket, which he’d found at the bottom of a casserole in the Illuminati for The Blind Headquarters. If you found the previous sentence unclear as to whether he’d found the book or his pocket at the bottom of the casserole, know that it was both. As he leafed through its pages, he notices that they appeared to be growing progressively brighter. He concluded that this was likely the result of the Sun’s rising relative to the book, but was surprised that he’d never noticed how acutely sensitive to light he was.

The time of Dawson and Sylvester’s silence ended when Sylvester remarked that they were currently going nowhere (relative to the Earth), rather than toward the Amazon Basin, as they’d planned. This was especially troubling, because it seemed to be the only plan they had, save for a commitment to oppose the system whenever convenient.

“This tumour which we call our own relocates to a different place for each year we travel to, yes?” Babe asked, secretly using his last word to double as the answer. “So we need only find a time which places us near said Basin. We could ever so very easily travel back to eight hours ago, when we were in close proximity to our future selves, and ask them when such a time starts to exist.”

Dawson Filter placed his cool, bone-filled hand upon the tumour’s dial, and prepared to turn it to 2016, until he became aware that to do so could hardly be called turning, and so, he kicked the machine, to find that this was indeed a good idea, just as it is a good idea to end a piece of writing with a comparison that sounds more meaningful when you don’t think about it.

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Bowling


Twelve-Anne reached for the patch covering her leftmost eye to relocate it seven cm to the right. Now that she was several million kilometres away from the Illuminati for The Blind Headquarters, it would be a fairly good life choice to be as sighted as possible. Her best pupil reflexively constricted as moonlight flooded into her functional eye, and she thought of the last two years’ (the last 17 years’ and the next 24’s, if you were take an objective view of things, which I really wouldn’t expect) events.

She’d been serving thought-impairing beverages at the bar of a four-star bowling alley to remain financially stable while she toiled away at her art. It was late when she returned from her day job, late even by her town of Fleetinghope’s standards. Seeing that her latest art project, entitled “Entitled” need only be signed before it was ready for public viewing, she marked the canvas. “Bagghhnn!” she lamented, throwing her arm collection in the air. She’d signed the wrong name.  L. Finn wasn’t even particularly close to Twelve-Anne Stradivari. She smacked her face, wondering why she didn’t simply wait until morning to sign it, when her mind was clearer.

"Entitled", by Luther Gigee F. Mansete O’Finn
“Entitled”, by Luther Gigee F. Mansete O’Finn, 1999

When morning did arrive, she decided that L. Finn really wasn’t such an awful name, she could easily extend it to Luther Gigee F. Mansete O’Finn and become one of those women with male pen names, like Mark Twain (Twelve-Anne was an avid conspiracy theorist at that time). She signed with the false name for the next six months, and after the first four, she was able to quit her job at the bowling alley.

“Oh, an artist who is also a man.” The people would say. “I simply have to buy those paintings.”

As her work’s popularity grew, she began to receive invitations to high brow dinner parties and semi-formal barn raisings, which she heartily accepted. Many of these events’ venues boasted coat racks, and she understandably used them to store one such coat.

“Here, let me get your jacket for you.” A gold-plated man offered one Thursday evening.

“Oh, thank you, Spencer.” Twelve-Anne replied, assuming both that the man’s name tag was accurate, and that the garment was hers. She was mistaken on both accounts, the latter more detrimentally so, as the coat was also a one-way time machine set for 2038 Ganymede.

She’d searched for a way off the rock every Tuesday since, but its primary portal was always being used to import breathable air and humans from Earth, and was heavily guarded by highly persuasive signage. It seemed inevitable that she would live in the Illuminati for The Blind headquarters until her habit of aging caught up with her; but then, on the first day of Casserole January at the office, 1782 and company waltzed a time traveling tumour onto the planetoid’s face, and shared her vision for leaving as soon as possible. She stowed away on the tumour, with enough food packed to sustain her for the negative twenty-four years of traveling.

Twelve-Anne realised that she had been staring into the moon for the entirety of her seven-paragraph memory, and lowered her gaze to meet Sylvester Denny’s. Dawson Filter waved, and notified Sylvester that it would be polite to do the same, prompting Sylvester to do the same.

“Would you like to join us in our grand search for the True Meaning of Feelings?” Dawson asked, to make Twelve-Anne feel useful.

“Sorry, was that ‘of Feelings’, or ‘stove Feelings’?” She inquired.

Of Feelings.” Dawson clarified.

“Thanks.” She thanked, primarily out of gratitude. “And yes, that does sound like the sort of thing that’s good, and I think I’m free until my death, so I would love to join your quest, nameless stranger!”

Babe, Dawson, Sylvester, and Twelve-Anne (listed in order of polo skills) turned their eyes to stare into the latest sunrise, hope filling “their” hearts as they thought of assorted things, all of which were at least borderline good. What was lost in all the thoughts, however, was the shape of an ear within a triangle appearing in a pillar of smoke to their left.

Good riddance.