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.