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