Dawson Filter as He Relates to Dictionaries

Dawson Filter was in quite a pickle. He needed to know the True Meaning of Feelings to complete his quest and feel satisfied with his day; but the only grapevine that knew the meaning spoke only in rhymes, and the answer to his quest had no rhyme. Dawson knew he and his cohorts had to create a language in which every word rhymes in order for the grapevine to give the answer.

Dawson Filter, Babe Listowel, Sylvester Denny, and Twelve-Anne Stradivari had already begun to write the language’s first dictionary.

The grapevine seemed to have little problem with slant rhymes, which freed the committee somewhat; although they decided that every word should contain the same vowels, and have an identical last syllable. This syllable was unanimously voted to be “florg.” There are an estimated 1.025 million words in English; but the Quest Committee planned to have no overlap in the meaning of any words in the new language. They also saw no need for articles, eliminating an additional three words. They guessed that they would need about 900 thousand words in total. With 21 consonants in the alphabet, each word would require five defining consonants to be unique from all others. The general format for words, they decided, would be the following (with an underscore signifying the presence of a consonant):


The first three vowels were always pronounced as short vowels; and both of the o’s as long vowels. Twelve-Anne named the language “Putijapoflorg,” after the language’s place of origin.

Experienced in dialects of nonsense, each member of the Quest Committee was able to coin about two words per second. They finished the dictionary in just under two days.

The grapevine, having all knowledge, immediately picked up on all the subtleties of the language; but Dawson Filter, Sylvester Denny, Twelve-Anne, and Babe Listowel’s Putijapoflorg was broken at best. Within a week, though, they learned enough to get by in basic conversation and communicate with vendors.

On their ninth day on the edge of the universe, Twelve-Anne decided to strike up a chat with some of the grapes.

“Hulisanobflorg,” she said, “dunilajoxflorg runilajotflorg yupisanonflorg lukilafowflorg buqiladopflorg lunigagogflorg?”

“Wutiradobflorg supifalotflorg gudipanotflorg.” the grapes replied warmly.

“Wutiradobflorg musitanogflorg supifalotflorg gudipanotflorg huvinagogflorg wuridabokflorg furitanogflorg  yupiramobflorg culijazosflorg.” said Babe Listowel, always the joker of the group.

The grapes laughed, along with Sylvester Denny; but Dawson Filter decided it was time to get down to business.

“Qutwihatorflorg supifalotflorg turirabobflorg muningogflorg runicavosflorg fulinagosflorg?” he asked.

“Wutiradobflorg supifalotflorg hudinanosflorg.”

Dawson Filter sighed. He smiled at the grapes. As a child, Dawson wanted to hunt and kill a fire-spewing death otter. At that time, his village was terrorised by rabid yardbird lions. When he told his mother that he wanted to hunt an death otter, she laughed, knowing that he knew nothing of what he spoke. Still, she saw an opportunity in his desire. She told him that the death otters lived in the shadows, protected by the yardbird lions. If Dawson killed the lions, she said, he would have a chance at the otters. Dawson Filter, normally a timid boy, jumped at this opportunity. He never found a single death otter, largely because they don’t exist; and spent a great portion of his youth slaying the yardbird lions. Eventually, every yardbird lion was dead. To this day, no one remembers the beasts. Dawson erased all signs of them; and the world is a better place for it. If there really had been death otters, he would have stopped the hunt and the people of the world would continue to live in fear of the yardbird lions.

In the time since Dawson Filter had been searching for the True Meaning of Feelings, he had rescued Twelve-Anne Stradivari from Ganymede, saved Sylvester Denny’s life, cofounded a reasonably profitably company, and made a way out of the universe. The grapes were right, the True Meaning of Feelings was hidden (hudinanosflorg). He knew that they knew the answer he wanted; but they answered hudinanosflorg. Indeed, the True Meaning of Feelings was hidden. Hidden behind every quest, over every horizon, beckoning him forward to wherever he was needed. He turned around and thanked the grapes for not letting the quest end.


Dawson Filter as He Relates to Grapes

Just outside the universe there is a grapevine. This is not to say, of course, that it would make any sense for a grapevine to be just outside the universe, that would be silly. Nevertheless, a grapevine is there. Generally, anything outside the universe quickly becomes added to the universe after its discovery; but territorial disputes prevented this in the case of the grapevine. Through this grapevine can be heard all concepts and ideas, those held by grapes being the loudest. Also possible to hear through the grapevine is Dawson Filter, if one listens on 4 December 2015 in the same fictional world as the one in which our story is set.

Dawson Filter peered through the hole starfish had dissolved in the 46.6-billion-light-year wide steel orb to which he’d been confined for the past three weeks. Making a sound that could heard, he climbed through the gap. Sylvester Denny, Twelve-Anne Stradivari, and Babe Listowel followed him.

“There are four,” thought several of the grapes, “four more than no score and no less than negative twelve of them.”

“What was that?” asked Dawson Filter, who had a limited knowledge of what things were.

“That was a thought,” Babe Listowel replied.

Twelve-Anne had walked over to a sign reading “This grapevine has all knowledge. It also has love, so that’s something.” She thought this an interesting lie; certainly more interesting than the lie that was Sylvester Denny’s life.

Motioning for the others to come, she said “Hello, friends of mine. Upon seeing this sign, an idea has entered my mind: let’s have a contest to see who can craft the most interesting lie.”

“A game and recreational activity?” scoffed Babe Listowel, “What is this, 15th century Europe?”

“I have an uncle with an eyepatch that says ‘no trespassing’ on it.” Sylvester Denny said, participating in the game to show his appreciation for 15th-century European culture.

“And I-” Dawson Filter began, cut off by the second part of his sentence.

Dawson was immediately crowned the victor, his lie being the single most riveting sentence any in the group had ever heard or thought. This is particularly impressive when one bears in mind that Babe Listowel built a thought-powered rivet driver in his college-woodworking class. Speaking of bears in minds, the grapes had begun to think again.

“Bears dare not bury their cares in safes made from soup wafers.”

This fact was not strictly relevant to the Quest Committee’s current activities. Nevertheless, it was undeniable. They had all raised a bear or two in their day; and not once had any of these bears ever dared to bury its cares in safes made from soup wafers. This confirmed that the grapevine did indeed possess all knowledge. Because the committee had just completed its most recent quest (ie; to escape the universe), they saw this as an opportunity to take out two quests in one day by asking the vine for the answer to the ever elusive True Meaning of Feelings quest.

“What is the True Meaning of Feelings?” Dawson Filter asked.

“Sorry, say we the sorry grapes, we hate to say nay and waste your time, but for the word for feeling’s true meaning, there is no rhyme. We stand amazed at the ways you take words and herd them into order unconstrained, and take pains to do the same for your sake, but are unable in the case you ask of us.”

Dawson Filter, Sylvester Denny, Twelve-Anne Stradivari, and friend hung their heads in sadness. They all fell into the fetal position and began to sing dirges in inharmony. They had only one option: create a language in which every word rhymes, and use the new language to ask the grapevine the True Meaning of Feelings. The simplest way to do this was to sing dirges in the fetal position.

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Starfish

Dawson Filter awoke from his slumber in Pahrump, Nevada. He was glad to have woken. He wouldn’t have traded waking up for the world. He wouldn’t have made a particularly fantastic world-owner in his sleep, anyway; so I suppose we should all be glad he woke up. Dawson was not in the habit of waking up in Pahrump; but was attending a conference with the other members of the Quest Committee there to decide how to escape a sizable steel orb that Wayne Rubblefish recently placed around the universe. They selected Pahrump as the location for the adventure-planning conference for its proximity to the universe and its slogan.


At the conference they decided that the best way to break out of the universe would be the classic method of surrounding the edge of the universe with starfish, which would use their ability to extend their stomachs out of their mouths to dissolve and digest the steel encasement. Reaching the steel barrier would prove to be a more challenging task; but fortunately I used artistic license and your (hopefully) suspended disbelief to place the Earth the distance of a three-week-by-shuttle flight from the edge of the universe, which was fortunately not receding at an ever-increasing rate.

Dawson Filter rolled out of bed and built a spaceship before waking up Sylvester Denny, whom he suspected knew a great deal more about acquiring starfish than he let on.

“Sylvester,” said Dawson Filter, “I command you to be awake.”

“Yes?” asked Sylvester Denny, for it was too early in the morning for him to know that ‘Yes’ is intended to be used as an answer, rather than a question.

“Ah, so you are awake. Good obedience. What do you know of acquiring starfish?”

“Certainly no more than I let on.”

“Oh, come now; surely you know a thing or two you haven’t told us.”

“Fine. One time, Babe Listowel was showing me a magic trick. He made it look like starfish were raining down from the sky; but as he walked away, I saw his satchel open. That Autumn Tradesman has more starfish stashed in there than a mime! Up to this day, I have told no one.”

“Thank you, Sylvester. You have been ever so very helpful.”

The two waited for Babe Listowel to wake up; and when he did walked to Twelve-Anne’s room to knock their hands against the door. Once she had emerged, the four members of the Quest Committee enjoyed a complimentary breakfast, worked on a crossword puzzle from the future, and left the Earth’s atmosphere. The following three weeks were quite funny; because the rule of three states that three things are funny.

The craft landed on the steel with a thunderous bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonn-thunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk, the sound resonating across the surface area of the universe. Babe Listowel pulled a quartet of space suits from behind Sylvester Denny’s ear. Dawson Filter and company slid them on and exited the rocket. It was, in fact, their plan from the very beginning to leave the rocket at some point, from the moment they decided to use a rocket to that time I told you they left it. I just withheld that piece of information from you for dramatic effect.

Babe Listowel tossed the starfish to the edge of things, smiling at the thought of starring in the story of his life as he fished for answers with starfish in the stars where fishy things had started to selfishly startle his wolfish mind; but he soon stopped smiling, because the second part of that thought was sort of sad.

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Orbs of Steel

One day, Ethanol Silverspool set about to wrangle up some dragons for a game show for which she worked. Her uncle, Jeffery Silverspool-Banks, lent Ethanol his front end loader; so the task took only the first half of the afternoon. She stored the dragons in a warehouse she found while riding a tandem bicycle with her coworkers; and spent the evening learning Nordic dragon lullabies in order to prevent death.

The following day, a whole motley o` things happened: the sun appeared to rise, a deer birthed a fawn, a butterfly flittered down to rest upon the the head of said fawn as a single drop of dew formed on a nearby flower, and Ethanol Silverspool opened the dragon warehouse. It was Thursday, the day The Local Game Show recorded its episodes. Barry Dextrous stepped into the light, where the light was better; and spoke words:

“Good evening, Murderville! We’ve got a real crackerjack episode prepared for you tonight. We’re experimenting with a new format; so instead of answering questions, our contestants will be slaying dragons. Oh, look, there are some contestants over there!”

The cameras focused on several humans in contestant attire before centring on a dragon being carted out of the offscreen warehouse. The contestants ran across the empty lot to the beast. Their lack of a plan should be frowned upon, although they did not suffer because of it. A door at the base of the dragon opened. In truth, it was not so much a dragon as a large sparkly wooden box. From the dragon box stepped Wayne Rubblefish and J. Gordon Whitehead. Wayne was clad in a brown leather jacket that neatly complemented his gold plating, and J. in a black suit jacket; if you were wondering. The contestants stepped back as Wayne spoke.

“Hello. I am Wayne Rubblefish, Director of Human Relations for the Illuminatti for the Blind. My associate, J. Gordon Whitehead and I are here today to disappoint you. You might have noticed that rather than slaying a dragon, you are listening to a monologue. Isn’t that a shame. And that isn’t even the worst of it. Oh, what’s this? I’m building suspense before I reveal what new evil I have done? I bet that strikes terror into your hearts. And what’s more: I won’t even be the one to reveal the new evil. Subversion of expectations!”

J. Gordon Whitehead looked past the contestants to face the camera. Brandishing his fist, he spoke:

‘Round the universe,

Wayne has forged an orb of steel;

There is no escape.

Watching the filming, Dawson Filter was among those disappointed. This was the second time Wayne Rubblefish had trapped him. The first was in a burlap sack, the first contact Dawson Filter had with Wayne. Dawson was able to escape that prison; but that was before being punched by J. Gordon Whitehead, which had a history of crippling people’s escaping abilities.

“Due to our disappointment,” said the contestants in unison, “we have decided to join these self-proclaimed evil doers. This life choice may not make complete sense; but in our systematic effort to build a better tomorrow the mistakes have been made call for desperate measures, fleece. Yours, D’Glester Hardunkichud and friends.”

The dragon box split in half, revealing a smaller box inside. This box was not truly a box, however, nor was it a pipe. It was a dragon. Wayne Rubblefish; J. Gordon Whitehead; the contestants; and Krillthorn Seembirth, whose conversion to evil was not notable enough to include in the story, climbed aboard the dragon to fly away.

Dawson Filter watched the dragon cross over the horizon. Ethanol Silverspool joined him. They had never appreciated their freedom until it was gone. They’d never even been out of the universe before the orb existed; but now that the voyage wasn’t an option, they felt claustrophobic. They watched the sun join the dragon over the edge of the visible world, taking solace in the knowledge that the game show episode would be the best Murderville had ever seen.