Dawson Filter as He Relates to Flamingos

Dawson Filter sat down at a booth in a breakfast and midday snack restaurant. That’s not quite how he would tell the story; he’d likely say something more like: “I sat down at a booth in a breakfast and midday restaurant,” but history is told by the winners. Seeing that he was now sitting, he looked around the restaurant for a waiter.

Context: Dawson Filter was on a quest to discover the ever elusive True Meaning of Feelings when his memories were embezzled by one of his subordinates, Hank the Embezzler. He believes his name to be Wayne Rubblefish; and came to the restaurant because he has cause to think that he is one of its employees. In fact, Sylvester Denny, one of his quest mates, used to work there, recently returning to the establishment after being unable to find Dawson Filter during a lengthy search for the man.

“Waiter,” Dawson Filter called, clicking his fingers together.

Sylvester Denny came to Dawson Filter at once, recognising his voice from the year and a half they’d just spent together.

“Dawson Filter! Fancy meeting you here!” he calpokohnsted.

Dawson Filter said something about his name not being Dawson Filter; but he was wrong, and I refuse to include anything but the facts in this story.

Fact: the name ‘Norway’ originates from the phrase ‘path to the North.’

Sylvester Denny explained Hank the Embezzler’s misdeed to Dawson Filter, and they both laughed it off for ≈2.78 hours, costing Sylvester Denny his newly regained waitering job. They summoned another waiter, this one named Morris, to order what the menu called ‘Foie Gras Flambé,’ so called because the dish consisted of smoked flamingo tenderloin, and ‘flamingos’ sounds quite a bit like ‘flaming goose.’

Fact: the cheese slicer was invented in Norway by Thor Bjørklund in 1925.

Once Morris brought over the meal, Sylvester Denny told Dawson Filter of their quest to discover the True Meaning of Feelings; and set about to devour the roasted bird. Seeing the way the meat broke apart in strings, Sylvester Denny felt an idea fly into his head.

“Say,” he said, “why don’t we string together a whack of people and pull a survey on them? We could be all like ‘what is the True Meaning of of Feelings;’ and they’d be all like, answering our question.”

“It’s sort of odd that we haven’t done that yet; but yes, that is quite the idea.” Dawson Filter said.

Just as Dawson Filter finished saying the thing I just told you he said, a group of people walked into the restaurant. How serendipitous, that Sylvester Denny’s plan required people, and there were people present. Dawson Filter stood.

“Hello, people,” he said, “would you mind completing a brief survey?”

One of the humans looked at its watch. It looked one of the others in the eye for a moment, feigned a smile, and said: “Sure.”

Fact: Norway is thought to be the birthplace of modern skiing.

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

The person said something to the order of: “I do not know.”

Promptly after this transpired, another thing happened: Dawson Filter and Sylvester Denny left the restaurant. They heard footsteps trailing behind them. The footsteps belonged to the band of humans to whom Dawson Filter had just spoke.

“You wasted our time back there, you question-asker,” the leader snarled, “and time is money. This particular restaurant charges money for its food. We tried to order a nice spread of clams; but we were 50 cents short. Now, I could let the whole incident slide; but now that I’m broke, I don’t think I’ll be able to pay my electric bill anymore. I’ll need to start thinking of some dishes I can serve cold.”

note: the dish to which the person is referring is revenge


Dawson Filter as He Relates to Sheep

Strolling through a valley he stumbled across on his way to something he’d now forgotten, Dawson Filter saw a sheep. It was Tuesday, then.

“Hmm,” he said to himself, “both the singular and plural forms of that animal with all the wool are pronounced ‘sheep.'”

Generally, people know this (excluding the 5.9 billion people in the world who don’t speak English. They aren’t really the target audience of this story.); but the significance of this state of affairs now struck Dawson Filter with a new reality. If number was irrelevant in the use of the word sheep, then was not the absence of sheep still sheep?

Dawson Filter took another step. He saw another sheep.

“Was it a sheep?” he wondered. A few minutes ago he surely would have said “No, that’s my shoe,” but now he wasn’t so sure. The absence of land was sky; the absence of wet, dry. Still, sky could be called ‘not land’; and wet, ‘not dry’. It would be reasonable to assert that the absence of sheep, while called ‘sheep’, could be equally ‘not sheep’. There were three kinds of sheep, then: the ones that truly were ones, singular in their sheepness; the ones that flocked in droves; and the ones hiding in every shadow, dispersed in every breath, the ones of which no one ever spoke.

Now that that was cleared up, Dawson Filter could finally focus on figuring out where he was. By this point, it was Thursday, and where he was was in a bagel shop. There was a person next to him, to whom he decided to talk.

“Hello,” he said, “and what are your thoughts on talking?”

The man turned around. He was Hank the Embezzler, a rascal if there ever was one (There was. See source).

“Well, talking’s alright, I suppose,” he said, “but I personally prefer embezzling company property.”

“Oh,” Dawson Filter said, wishing he had hobbies as clearly defined as this man seemed to.

“Now, you’re probably wondering who you are,” said Hank, “that’s understandable. I did embezzle your memories, after all. Your name is Wayne Rubblefish. You enjoy long walks on the beach and hope.”

Hank the Embezzler handed Dawson Filter a document.

Birth certificate

“Why are you telling this to me now?” Dawson Filter asked.

“It’s a social convention you don’t remember to tell the victim of any crime one might commit the nature of the crime and the victim’s basic personal information.”

Hank the Embezzler left the shop via the door. Dawson Filter, wondering what sort of person he was, ordered a bagel and patted himself down to find his wallet and personal information. According to a licence he found in his wallet, he was able to drive.

But lo! What new evil was this? The licence cited his name as “Dawson Q. Filter”! He threw the wallet to the ground, disgusted by its lie. He couldn’t believe he’d trusted it with his money for so many years.

Still unsure exactly what his place in society was, Dawson Filter began to search for clues that might lead him to his past. Hank the Embezzler said that he enjoyed embezzling company property. There was only one company in the world that considered its employees’ memories company property: Walter’z Breakfast and Midday Snack House.

Seeming to know quite a lot about rocket science, Dawson Filter built a spaceship and left for Saskatchewan, where the snack house stood. After orbiting around Mars several times, he found the joint, which he entered. It was midday. Because of the time difference between the restaurants, it felt like 8:05 in the evening. More importantly it felt like a time for answers.

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Balloons

Sylvester Denny was one happening cat. A hip dog, if you will. The extent of his radness, however, could not change the fact that he was in possession of $7,000,000 earned through questionable moral means. Or could it . . .

In his time being popular, Sylvester had met an abundance of swingin’ folks. Some of them owned businesses. Many sold balloons.

There’s something worth knowing about the balloon trade: it’s not like other industries, where people ask questions. Most customers pay in cash, and those that don’t have enough to hide that they have no intention of coming to the authorities with any dirt they might find on you. No one questions a balloon salesman masking his face. The reason for this is a law found in nearly every country, save only for Iceland, stating that any activity involving balloons is categorically legal. Anything that legal must be moral, Sylvester thought. By investing his money in the balloon industry, Sylvester would remove all guilt about the way his great uncle earned it.

Sylvester Denny walked with Dawson Filter to the nearest dark alley, knowing one of his balloon friends was sure to be nearby. Sure enough to be true, one such friend stood counting his fingers at the darkest point of the alley between Rendelin’s Butcher Shop and Stephan’s Deli of Meals. It was A.R. Wilson, a prominent member of the Nevada Balloon Club.

“A.R. Wilson,” Sylvester said, “how float the digits?”

There was a certain way of conducting oneself in balloon deals.

“76 cents on the each,” Wilson replied.

“Zikes!” exclaimed Sylvester, “Even for one as happening as myself?”

“The dial lands where it lands.”

“Fair and fine. I’ll take 9.2 mil to the station.”

“Pow, that’s more than Cleveland ’86.”

“They’d all be empties.”


Wilson motioned for Sylvester Denny and Dawson Filter to follow him into Stephan’s Deli of Meals. The walls were lined with paint. A picture was nailed to the paint. It depicted the colour blue, and prominently featured shapes. Dawson Filter stared at it for some time. He looked away, blinked, and looked back. It was uncannily similar to the way it was the first time he looked. He looked away and back again. This time it had changed. Dawson Filter then noticed that his eyes were closed. Opening them, he saw that the painting was indistinguishable from the first two times he looked at it.

“Oh, right,” he thought, “that’s how things work.”

Sylvester handed Wilson a cheque for $7,000,000.

“Keep the change,” he said.

In turn, Wilson gave Sylvester 9,200,000 deflated balloons.

Dawson Filter, joined four seconds later by Sylvester Denny, stood to leave. As Sylvester bent his knees, he saw another of his latexian cohorts, this one named P.K. Jackson. Jackson had a reputation as an expert marmateer, and a subpar businessman. He was in the business of buying balloons secondhand to sell to major distributors. Sylvester Denny decided to take this opportunity to win his money back. He knew it could well be his last opportunity to do anything ever again.

“Jackson,” Sylvester said, “how float the digits on the intake?”

“At the $1.03.”

“Such a deal! I’ve 9-and-a-fifth million empty ones.”

Jackson pulled a cheque for $9,476,000 from his overcoat. Sylvester’s hand took the cheque and put it in Sylvester’s pocket. It reached into the other pocket to give Jackson the balloons. Jackson felt pleasure.

Sylvester Denny smiled. He’d turned $7,000,000 of filthy blood money into $9,476,000 of morally awesome money. It was a good hour, one of his finest. He was glad to be as hip as he was. He was filthy rich and filthy moral, the universe’s most eligible bachelor.

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Money

When our story began, it was 2016. Dawson Filter asked Sylvester Denny to join him in the search for the True Meaning of Feelings. Sylvester agreed because his great-uncle Barack was dealing out his inheritance; and Sylvester wanted nothing to do with his uncle’s blood money (I can’t expect all of you to believe me; but I never intended this to be a political reference when I first wrote it. I have no comment on Barack Obama’s policies). Barack planned to give Sylvester his money on 17 February; and Dawson Filter assured Sylvester that the quest would extend past this date, allowing Sylvester to avoid all cash flow from his aging relative.

Early on in their quest, they stumbled across a time machine. They, along with Babe Listowel and Twelve-Anne Stradivari, had a splendid time whizzing about the universe until Sylvester Denny died in an explosion in Manhattan. To save him, the others traveled back to 2015, losing the time machine on the moon shortly after their arrival. They found other ways to whiz about the universe, one of their favourites being the rocketship. Nearing the end of 2015, they set off on a voyage to the edge of the universe to break a hole in a steel wall that had trapped all those who call the universe home. They returned from this voyage on 19 January 2016.

Sylvester Denny’s telephone rang the following day. It was his great uncle.

“Hello, my boy. I was just making sure you’re up for inheriting my money next month.”

Sylvester Denny stopped blinking. He’d forgotten all about his uncle’s desire to give him things. He couldn’t take his uncle’s money, he knew; but he couldn’t reject it for fear of offending the man. Oh, wait, he remembered, those are both perfectly legitimate options. He chose the one he wanted to.

“No, dearest great uncle Barack,” he said, “I reject your money and your lifestyle. Do not call this number again unless you have a reason that I like.”

Barack chucked with laughter. “Oh, Sylvester, you and words. Remember: Money, it’s a gas. Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash. New car, caviar, four star daydream, think I’ll buy me a football team.”

“Oh, don’t you tell me about caviar, uncle of mine. ‘A delicacy consisting of salt-cured fish eggs of the Acipenseridae family,’ eh? More like ‘A delicacy consisting of salt-cured fish eggs of the black tar heroin family!'”

“Money: It’s a hit. Don’t give me that do goody good rabbit nonsense. I’m in the hi-fidelity first class traveling set; and I think I need a Lear jet!”

Sylvester breathed directly into his telephone’s microphone, hoping the sound would irritate his uncle, thereby removing any inkling to give Sylvester his inheritance. In the time Sylvester was breathing, however, he was not speaking. Barack saw this as an opportunity to hang up and have the last word.

Sylvester Denny slumped to the floor. He sighed. Dawson Filter, seeing his friend’s quivering shoulders, reached out his hand to comfort his glum chum (gloomy roomy, sad comrade). Just as a smile broke across Sylvester Denny’s face, they heard a knock at the door. It was Barrack Swelton-Denny, sadness-propagator extraordinaire. Clad in a 4-piece suit and sunglasses dark enough to eclipse the fire in his eyes, he held out his telephone.  In his other hand, he held a cheque for $7,000,000.

“It’s pre approved,” he said, “so you have to cash it.”

The final nail in Sylvester’s coffin.