Dawson Filter as He Relates to Conferences


Twelve-Anne Stradivari banged a newly purchased gavel against the surface of a newly purchased table in a room of people with priceless friendships.

“Hank’s money-making department has had something of a successful week.” she said, “This is to say that we now have money.”

The Quest Committee stood for a round of applause.

“He has told me that he has been able to absorb the company responsible for creating The Local Game Show into ours, which is how we plan to fund every future project we take on. This brings me to Babe ‘The Autumn Tradesman’ Listowel, who says he has an idea for one such project.”

“I have been informed by my intuition,” Babe Listowel began, “that if we slay enough dragons, we shall surely be granted the True Meaning of Feelings, and our quest shall be complete. Dawson, Sylvester and I have refined our method of besting the brutes; that being Dawson slicing off one of the dragon’s vertical edges, bears wearing away at each remaining edge, promptly followed by Dawson delivering one final blow to the dragon’s weakest side. I have drawn a diagram to correct the blank stares upon the faces of Hank’s new staff.”

Babe Listowel held up the diagram, pictured in figure 1.

Dawson's Night Out
fig. 1

One of Hank’s subordinates stood to speak. “Hello, my name is pretty much Ethanol Silverspool. I’m the receptionist for The Local Game Show, among other things. I think that the Autumn Tradesman’s slaying method is swell and all, but I bet we could bolster our efficiency beyond human comprehension if we merged the dragon slaying department with the money-making department. Game show contestants would be told to slay the dragons for us, and we could steal any information they might gain.”

Dawson Filter replied, “That would be a pretty nifty merger; but does not darkness shroud The Local Game Show with respect to The True Meaning of Feelings? When I asked the contestants that particular meaning earlier, one of them punched me in the stomach, putting me into a three month comma.”

“Dawson Filter,” Twelve-Anne said, “you needn’t be so negative. Just remember our town’s motto, ‘Murderville: Where nothing ever seems to go wrong’.”

Dawson Filter conceded that Twelve-Anne was right. Ethanol Silverspool’s idea was funky and fresh and super legal. He signed the merger, along with everyone else in the Quest Committee; primarily for reasons. The remainder of Hank’s staff introduced themselves. Their names were Kelton McArtherstone, the tallest among them; Krillthorn Seembirth, the least extraordinary; and Barry Dextrous, the only one to give his real name. They set to work at once at writing The Local Game Show’s revised ruled. Contestants would be taken to the outskirts of Murderville, Nevada; and told to slay a dragon by any means necessary. Barry Dextrous would continue to host the show; and the prize for victory would continue to be two coupons to the restaurant of the sponsor’s choice, under the condition that the contestants tell Barry of any true meanings that might pop into their heads as they slay. Ethanol Silverspool was given the position of Chief Dragonmaster, which pleased her more than wood itself, and Krillthorn Seembirth would be official helper.

The conference was over. It was over, if you prefer pronouns. I must say that I do; I am a pronoun, after all. And although it was over, Dawson Filter, Sylvester Denny, Twelve-Anne, Babe Listowel, Ethanol Silverspool, Hank the Embezzler, Kelton McArtherstone, and Barry Dextrous’ lives were just getting started.

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Dragons


Babe Listowel opened the trunk of his van, releasing the bears held within. Dawson Filter slid the Sword of Patrick from its denim hilt, brandishing it at his side. Sylvester Denny was also there. In addition to to those already mentioned, a dragon was present. I haven’t mentioned any of the other dragons present over the course of this story, but this particular dragon gives what I feel is necessary context to the actions of Sylvester Denny, Dawson Filter, and Babe Listowel in this chapter of their life story. I have created a version of this chapter that does not mention the dragon if you would like to dispute this view, available here.

Sylvester Denny approached the base of the dragon. He pulled out a tape measure from his North-East pocket to check the dragon’s dimensions.

“Thirty feet by forty-five!” he called out to the others, “And it looks about seventy high.”

Dawson Filter nodded, squaring his sword with the dragon’s front face. Babe Listowel herded the bears around the beast, stationing thirteen at each corner.

The magic dragon puffed a ball of flame, eliminating two of the bears from “The Exhaustive List of Things That Exist: Revised Edition”, by Thermal Derdict.

“Blasts!” exclaimed Babe Listowel, “How can I evenly distribute fifty bears around four corners?”

Dawson Filter, being a rocket scientist, knew that Babe’s problem was unsolvable. He also knew, from being himself and making his own way in life, that problems, when unsolvable, can often be changed. By cutting off one of the dragon’s corners, he would create two new ones, giving five corners around which to distribute the fifty remaining bears.

Dawson Filter called out to Babe, “I’ll cut off one of the corners, and it’ll all be as alright as it’s going to get.”

“No!” Babe cried, “Then I’ll only have three corners left, and fifty divided by three is sixteen-point-six-repeated! You’d have to cut off another corner after that to get a number fifty could be evenly distributed by, and by then it would surely be too late!”

“Trust me! This will work! This has to work.”

Dawson ran to one of the dragon’s corners, releasing a battle cry. He sheared off the verticy, and seven bears swarmed to join the thirteen already positioned by the two new corners. They grouped themselves into tens, and stationed themselves by each corner. The plan had worked, if only for the time being.

Babe Listowel smiled a mouth of approval at Dawson Filter, pleasantly surprised by the state of geometry. He whistled, clapped, made assorted guttural noises, and set off a signal flare, signaling the bears to attack. The bears politely complied, and so the desolation of the nameless dragon began.

When the bears could desolate no longer, they no longer desolated. Dawson Filter drew his sword for a final blow, which he planned to issue to the dragon’s now rounded left side. The creature had been reduced to twenty seven feet by thirty eight by fifty one. Less than half of its original mass, the dragon had seen better days. It had been slowly deteriorating for a few years, and the bears certainly didn’t help matters. And it was raining. Stupid circumstances. Dawson thrust the blade into the dragon, thereby rendering it legally slain. It disintegrated into dark granules, and began submit to the wind’s distribution across Nebraska.

The Quest Committee retreated to Babe Listowel’s van for debriefing. As the Sun began to rise, they agreed to drive back to the office to file the day’s events. Dawson Filter just hoped the filing wouldn’t “drag on” too long. He was not disappointed.

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Bears


Dawson Filter, who had eyelids, opened his eyes. His eyelids were cooperative; but then, if he hadn’t had eyelids, his eyes wouldn’t have been closed in the first place.

Before these eyes stood Sylvester Denny, a person if I ever saw one. Dawson noted that Sylvester was standing in a hospital, and extrapolated that he was also in a hospital, likely the same one.

“What happened?” asked Dawson, in the way that he did.

“You were punched in the stomach.” began Sylvester, “You said that you didn’t feel well, so offered to drive you home. On our way there, we found out that there were other cars on the road, several of which hit us. An ambulance arrived to take you away, but it was struck by a meteorite while it was peeling out. Fortunately, you were the only one injured, but you needed to be escorted out of the wreckage in an airplane, because a fireman who was bad at things thought your head needed to be elevated. This plane was then in a ground-related crash.”

“How bad is it?”

“Your attention span will be shorter for a few weeks, because of the snake-bites you got on the plane; and your ribs have been replaced with copper. Other than that, the doctors expect you to be grieving for some time, but you’ve been accepted into Therapeutic Paws of Canada‘s Bears for Sad People program.”

“I deny that I’m grieving, and I’m a bit angry that no one consulted me about the bear thing. I think what I really need right now is just a tongue depressor and a good book. Those bears do sound like a bargain, though. I accept.”

“That is convenient, given that the bears are waiting for us in a van with Babe Listowel. Hank the Embezzler already payed your injury bills, so we can leave anytime, except for in the past and after we die.”

“I am currently pleased due to all of my happiness. Let’s leave now.”

“Silly Dawson, that was two seconds ago. Let’s leave now.”

Dawson and Sylvester used their legs to walk out of the hospital. After this transpired, they were out of the hospital. Sylvester snapped his fingers, opening the van door for Dawson to climb inside. Sylvester followed, and Babe Listowel did the stuff that makes vans go places.

As the trio drove, they began to feel the van begin to slow. Of the three, only Babe Listowel knew why: he had placed his foot on the brake. The others had no way of knowing this, of course, as Babe was also the only one in the van who could read minds. This is a condition called Listowel Syndrome, named after Babe Listowel, who had the only known case. It is believed to exist exclusively in fictional characters, being caused by 457 extra chromosomes allowing one to read the subtext of one’s own story. There is some scepticism within the scientific community about the existence of the genetic variation, as the only person ever to have written on the flantsiky is Micah Kipfer, who seems to think that “flantsiky” is a real word.

“I can tell from your minds” said Babe, “that you’re wondering why the van has stopped. This is because I have determined, via my instincts, that if we slay enough dragons, then we shall, in all probability, be rewarded with the knowledge of the True Meaning of Feelings, thus completing our quest and otherwise generally improving our quality of life. As we have recently obtained a van-load of bears, and a man with a sword from the future, in tandem with the fact that a dragon stands before our van at present, I believe that now is a relatively awesome time to start.”

Not all of the reasons Babe Listowel had given to slay the dragon made any sense to Dawson. Nevertheless, he was his peer, and so Dawson Filter felt obligated to do exactly as Babe Listowel suggested.

Will this prove to be a wise decision? Find out next week, or by guessing.

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Stomach Punching


“Who here can read words?” called out Barry Dextrous, the host of a Nebraska game show. The crowd let out a united cheer. “But seriously, folks,” Barry continued, “who here can read?”

Several members of the audience raised their hands, of whom Barry called up Dawson Filter.

“Welcome to the show, my good man.” the host said, flashing his new teeth, “The game show, that is! You’ll be our question reader this week. Don’t believe me? Just look at the future.”

Dawson took the stack of cue cards from the hand of Barry, allowing the hand of Barry to more freely flail about as he introduced the contestants.

“Oh, look, it seems we’ve got some contestants this week. And what’s this? It seems as though they have names! Whee! I’d like to welcome Luther O’Finn, Babe ‘the Autumn Tradesman’ Listowel, and J. Gordon Whitehead, who has a chair.”

Dawson began to read.

“Truth or dare?”

Babe pressed down on his buzzer, causing it to buzz like never before.

“Truth.”

Barry Dextrous pressed on a buzzer of his own, to indicate that Babe’s response was not only correct, but also audible. Barry had two buzzers, one of fire, one of ice; the former to indicate a correct response, the latter to indicate anything less.

“Neat job, Autumn Tradesman.” Dawson said, “I am currently pleased that you survived the moon thing. It makes me feel better about forgetting to mourn your death. And from what I’ve tasted of desire, I’m glad you got the button you did. But if I had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate to say that for destruction ice is also great and would suffice. I’m sorry; that sentence didn’t make as much sense as you probably would have liked. I suppose I’m just feeling Frosty today. I shall now ask another question. Prepare your ears. You are trapped on the moon with a lawyer, a drill sergeant, and a seamstress. On the second day, the seamstress disappears, leaving only a single lock of her hair in her sleeping bag. On the third day, the drill sergeant disappears, leaving only a single lock of her hair beside where you had laid the first lock. On the fourth day, the same happens to the lawyer. On the fifth day, you find the three locks of hair in your satchel; and a shuttle arrives to take you home. What is the right thing to do?”

“I would like to say” said Luther, preparing to say “that I am super outraged about your use of the word ‘right’. Man, my right eye doesn’t even do anything. Not even my left eye does things. In fact, in Lanc-”

Luther’s word continued, as did his sentence, and his life. All of these these things will remain undocumented, for reasons beyond, if not my control, at least yours.

Dawson arose from the chair upon which he was sitting, the chair I never told you existed, to ask yet another question.

“What is the True Meaning of Feelings?”

As the question mark echoed through through the room, J. Gordon Whitehead leapt up from his own chair, the one you know all too well; and ran to Dawson Filter. Why he ran as quickly as he did remains unclear to this day; life is about the journey, after all. When he reached Dawson, he pulled out a fist he’d been saving for such an occasion as this, and walloped Dawson’s stomach with the very same fist as the one I recently said he pulled out. He reached into his pocket to pull out a pair of sunglasses, which he placed over his eyes to shield them from what he was about to say.

“The Sun.”

Which is when I think the day sort of jumped the shark.