Dawson Filter as He Relates to Oregano


This chapter has been designed to be read in real time. For full effect, read at the pace indicated in blue at the beginning of each paragraph.

(Read at your own pace) Dawson Filter had always been a bit of an adrenaline junkie. He was also a personal safety junkie, and a lawfulness junkie, which kept his other addiction in line; but he had to admit that he liked it when things happened. Or rather, he would have had to admit it if he was asked, and silence and lying stopped being possible. Granted, he’d only set off on his quest through time and space to complete a crossword puzzle to delay the onset of dementia; but his reasons for enjoying the quest were primarily excitement-based. He liked explosions for similar reasons; but, and I realize I’ve been using the conjunction far too often in this paragraph, explosions which kill your best quest-mate 98 years in the past just didn’t quite inspire the same sort of glee as clowns blowing each other up at his local wheat festival. 

(1440 words per minute) He took a second of his own time to think; taking some comfort in knowing that whatever was going to happen, it already did.

(288 words per minute) “Can we travel back in time to the year before Manhattan exploded to take Sylvester out of the city?” Dawson asked every single one.

(360 words per minute) “We really have no idea what the rules of time travel in this story are. Whatever physics suits our author’s fancy, I should imagine; unless he’s some sort of thrd party writer for a micro-managing publshing mogul, but we don’t seem quite thouroughly enough edited for that.” Twelve-Anne said, mainly in response to Dawson’s question.

(411 words per minute) “Why don’t you just find the man who built our time machine from sweat and math, and ask him what sorts of things are possible.” Sylvester Denny said through the intercom.

(28 words per minute) Babe Listowel ran with all the speed of the rest of his body to the time traveling machine, joined by Twelve-Anne ‘n’ Dawson, whose names also had a “w”. Unlike the time before they started running, it was 6:13 PM for the portion of the Quest Committee who refused to be named Sylvester Denny, and would be for the following 34 seconds. Babe Listowel stooped down to read words and the character “©” at the base of the machine. Felix Sports’ Machine For The Doing of Good Things ©2067, Felix Sports

(720 words per minute) “2067: It’s a year, and it’s a year worth dedicating a sentence to!” Babe Listowel declared; twisting the only dial in sight to 2067, resulting in fast acting relief for the issue of not being in the aforementioned year.     
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(864 words per minute) Felix Sport’s Machine For The Doing of Good Things brought the Quest Committee sans Sylvester to a room, the first time it had done so from the Committee members’ perspectives. It was a decent room; it might have been better if I felt like being descriptive, but it was certainly better than murder. In the room I used to be talking about before I started this sentence, which uses itself as its subject, sat a man. He looked about 6’7″; and might have looked taller still if his legs were longer. As the char-man reached into a bowl of oregano, Dawson Filter cleared his own throat.

(298 words per minute) “Who is it?” The man said before Dawson Filter had a chance to use his newly cleared throat, “And an even better question:”

(946 words per minute) Dawson saw that the man was pointing at him, and decided that he might try his throat out for a spin after all.

(246 words per minute) “Oh! You mean the question I was going to ask. That’s nice. You seem fun. Ack! None of these are questions. How’s the weather in 2067?”

(Read at your own pace) And then I had other matters to attend to, with local festivals and whatnot; so I stopped writing.

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Dawson Filter as He Relates to Explosions


Sylvester Denny pulled a wire out from behind his left ear; and, 98 years later, an android designed to closely resemble him fell down in front of Babe Listowel. Sylvester read the previous sentence, and deduced that he was located in 2016, via math.

If you would like the above paragraph to make sense, I would recommend reading last week’s chapter, “Dawson Filter As He Relates To Projectors“. On the off-chance that it doesn’t make sense, I might suggest reading everything else I’ve ever written on this website, or giving up.

“So, I’m in 2016.” Sylvester told the Quest Committee.

“Do you know which time of year?” Twelve Anne asked, “Or where you are in physical space?”

The janitor, named Titan, leaned his mop against the wall in 2016, and said “It’s March 12, and we’re in the Texan district of Manhattan. We’re the only shack on 79th Street, besides Simôn’s Aromatherapy, so you should be able to find us if you’re sufficiently good at things.”

“I know deep down in my heart of hearts and mind of minds that this doesn’t have anything to do with saving you,” Dawson said, “but how are the ‘literary waves’ all being received in 2016, in an order that makes sense, when they tell a story spanning at least 98 years? And how are they being decoded by the (probably uneducated) modifications of a fax machine by a columnist without enough good fortune to have a name other that ‘Lexter’?”

Titan sat his body down, stroked his chin, and spoke in a way which defies explanation. “We really don’t know. Literary waves seem to have the ability to bend time and space; to warp reality itself to comply to what is written if it makes for a good plot point. Me and the other cleaning boys think that whatever’s writing us almost wants us to see what it wrote; which would explain why the code to read the waves is exactly the same as the one they use for fax machines. That apparently makes for a good story where our author comes from.”

Silence fell over the people, falling most strongly on the ones I’ve been writing about; but still slightly bringing down the noise per capita of the rest. Sylvester looked at Titan’s watch. As a result, he knew the time. He looked again. The same time. That couldn’t be right. Sylvester looked again. Still the same time. He did this another twelve times before getting a different result. He decided that he hated silence with all that was within him, and began to spite the force with the patter of his twiddling thumbs. He decided to start disliking boredom. He started to count to 23 in increments of 0, starting at negative four. He then decided to take up speaking.

“It’s 3:34 right now, so if you could swing by with the time machine by four, that’d be really neat of you.”

“Our time machine can only travel to preset times and places,” and “so you may have to wait over a year before we can get to you.” Twelve-Anne said, respectively.

“That’s fine, Manhattan’s got plenty o’ things to fill my days and haunt my nights.”

Babe Listowel moved his apparently mobile phone to eye level; Binged® “Manhattan”; and became concerned by what his eyes saw, which were words.

“I have news that also doubles as bad news.” Said he, “Manhattan was destroyed via explosion on March 12, 2016, at 3:47 pm.”

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Projectors


“Lo! I have been blinded!” Sylvester Denny noted. Shortly after he issued this remark, his line of vision lit up with things; revealing that he was strapped to a dreadfully fancy office chair facing a white, plastic wall.

He craned his upper torso to see man of the janitorial sort standing by a light’s switch. “Oh, sorry and stuff.” The man said, “I must’ve bumped the projector.” He pressed a button marked with green, in order to close the projector of which he spoke’s circuit. Dawson Filter, Babe Listowel, and Twelve-Anne Stradivari’s respective images appeared on the wall like a bug in a rug. “There. There are your friends. You can watch them again now.”

“Sorry, so my life is a lie, then?” Asked Sylvester, for the first time in years.

“Not even as such!” Said the cleanliness aficionado, “To find out just what your life has been up until this point, just watch this short informational video.” He extended one of his own personal arms; and pulled a trolley of television sets to the side of his body corresponding to the aforementioned arm, pressing a dark, dark, button on the leftmost television via the rightmost finger on his unused hand. Its screen lit up.

“Hello,” said a voice within the set, “in 1989, columnist Lexter ‘middle name removed for privacy reasons’ Fox noted that the fabric of space and time seemed to be having some difficulties with a jug of grapefruit juice he’d set out to cool on his kitchen table. When he turned on his radio to investigate, he found that there was a considerable amount of interference in the sounds. He then decided to adapt a nearby fax machine to be able to receive radio waves; and out of the fax machine came a printed copy of the heartwarming story of a young girl finding a puppy and naming it John, which inspires the girl’s mother to reconnect with her former husband, also named John. Mr. Fox found out the following afternoon that this was exactly the situation of his apartment neighbour, Rose Welton. Four afternoons later, they founded Foxy Research Centre together, as an unofficial subdivision of the Secret Obituaries. They situated their main office six feet from Lexter’s desk for the first month so that he could keep his columnist job, until they moved the branch out to a well-furnished shack with a large receiver perched atop its roof pointing into the expanse of space. Upon becoming tired of staring at a largely inactive fax machine, Rose adopted several newborn humans; and strapped them into chairs facing projectors, with life support systems hooked up to the children to keep it all legal. The projectors displayed what was captured by cameras connected to humanoid robots, which the orphans controlled with transmitters connected to their brains. Rose Welton converted the fax machine further, so that the converted radio signal would be written in the bottom right corner of the projection. This allows the orphans to live perfectly normal lives, and observe the phenomenon of literary waves. Once they turn thirty years old, they are to be released; and asked for a synopsis of what they read, to be published in several reputable scientific journals.”

The janitor switched the television off, and tried to think of something to say to remove the look of shock from Sylvester’s otherwise perfectly normal face. “If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard of this before, it’s because literary waves only range from 67.834213 kHz to 67.834217 kHz.”  

“Thanks, that really helps.”

Sylvester saw Dawson Filter waving to him on the projector.

“Sylvester?” Dawson asked, expecting an response of ‘yes?’, or some other excuse for an answer. “Are you sane? Whose voice is in your mouth?”

Sylvester leaned into a microphone placed in front of his chair. “A janitor’s and a television’s.”

He went on to explain as best he could what he’d learned from the television’s sounds. He said that he hoped it was possible for the Quest Committee to find him, and see him in the flesh for the first time.

Dawson Filter smiled and lied, “Wonderfully possible.”

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Bandits


“Har, ha, we’ve bested the system!” Babe Listowel told the world, beating his fist against his chest. The world was indifferent, but thankfully, so was his chest; and as he ran ahead of the others in his Feelings-quest posse, Twelve-Anne called out to correct him. 

“Well, no; Dawson was innocent, and we proved to the system that he was innocent. It was more of a helping the government help us situation than anything.” She said, after which she began to dash toward him, in the hope that she could tie him in a footrace to wherever he would end up in about six seconds. Sylvester ‘n’ Dawson did the same; but alas, the winner was a dark horse.

“Ho, ho, ho, I’ve gotten y’all now!” Guffawed the unexpected winner after pulling ahead of the flock. He was clad in an black eye mask with eye holes cut out, a beige cardigan with armholes, and trousers you wouldn’t care about. The man raised an empty pistol, and asked the Quest Committee for their collective funds.

Dawson Filter chose to quiver helplessly in his clothes, while Sylvester Denny spoke his words out.

“Don’t worry,” he said, “Our funds are safe, my neighbours. That gun’s running on empty; and funds don’t even have souls, so that really wasn’t a huge concern anyway.”

“I’m sorry,” Dawson Filter said, leading in to him telling Sylvester that they had no way of knowing the contents of the gun, “but I hereby tell you that we have no way of knowing the contents of the gun.”

Sylvester Denny turned his head to face Dawson; choosing to rotate it clockwise, because the direction was 274º shorter than the alternative, and he wished to waste no time. “Dawson,” he began, “do you remember when I told you that we’re being written?”

“Yes…” Dawson Filter said, tripling the standard number of periods to show that his sentence (my sentence, by copyright law) is three times as finished as the average.

“The real reason I know is because I can read us.” Sylvester said. “That gun as is empty as our author is honest.”

The bandit man threw his gun downwards, and pointed at his cardiganèd arms. “No matter,” he said, “I’ve still got these guns.” The Quest Committee realized that the guns the gunman was referring to were his arms, which were too busy being used to point at themselves to be a concern.

“Debilitated!” Babe Listowel shouted, pointing, with a finger on his hand and a place in his heart, at the bandit.

The gunman let out a cry of defeat, and Babe pulled a pair of hand-tailored cuffs from behind the man’s ear to interrogate him.

“What do you know of the True Meaning of Feelings?” Is what Babe Listowel said.

“I’m a child on the matter, really;” The bandit promptly responded, after which he motioned his head in the direction of Wayne Rubblefish carting off Life-Choices-Luther in a burlap sack, “but that man yonder told me that I was supposed to ask the questions, and even then, to speak with my arms; so I could well be middle aged on the matter, and a senior citizen of a liar.” He made a hand flourish appear from thin air, rolled into a nearby bush, and coughed.

The Quest Committee was alive; and any committee worth its salt is alive, so that’s nice.