Dawson Filter as He Relates to Spoons

Dawson Filter, Sylvester Denny, Babe Listowel, and Twelve-Anne Stradivari sat at a table to discuss the MacGuffin of their story, the True Meaning of Feelings.

“Well, we did have that time machine a while back. Doing stuff with that again could be a neat idea,” Twelve-Anne said.

At that moment, Babe Listowel returned from the future to give himself a better time machine than the one of which Twelve-Anne spoke.

“Hello, self,” he said, “your time machine before was pretty lame, what with all the problems and stuff. Take this one, on me; and come to 22:13 17 March 2051 at the only barbershop left in the world when you find the True Meaning of Feelings.”

Babe Listowel looked at the time machine he’d just given away, wondering how he was going to get back, when he arrived again to whisk himself away.

Dawson Filter, having regained his memories since Dawson Filter As He Relates To Sheep, remembered Felipe, an intern of sorts who went along on the quest for a little while until he just didn’t.

“Why don’t we just give the time machina to Felipe,” Dawson Filter suggested, “so that he can swoop in and save us if we ever get in a real jam?”

The others nodded in agreement, and did the thing that Dawson Filter suggested. Once they returned, they decided to end the day on a high note with a 3951.07 Hz picnic.

“Blasts!” Babe Listowel lamented, “I’ve forgotten the spoons.”

Just as he said this, Felipe, an intern of sorts, arrived, threw the crew some spoons, smiled, gave a thumbs up to indicate that he was indeed happy, and left. Dawson Filter caught one of the spoons and used it to bite into his sandwich, when he began to have an identity crisis.

“Aughbnnhv, man,” he said, “I don’t have a personality yet, do I?”

Everyone thought for a moment (90 seconds) before simultaneously saying an assortment of things, all of which amounted to “No.” They realized that none of them had as clearly defined personalities as they might like, and so commenced a meeting. They determined that at this point, Twelve-Anne’s personality was as the vaguely nice person in their posse; Sylvester Denny used to be somewhat victimized in the story, but recently morphed into a completely faceless zombie with no meaningful dialogue; Babe Listowel was once a super-hip rocker/magician who experienced a similar fate as Sylvester; and Dawson Filter was pretty much nothing the whole time.

Seeing that I had done very little to flesh out their characters, they decided to write their own back stories to help define themselves, taking inspiration from things they’d noticed about themselves since they’d started the quest.

Babe Listowel chose to have been born and raised in Oslo, where he learned the art of slight of hand and that true magic lives in the spirit of rock and roll. He was to be alternately emphatic and stoic; and ever at war with the establishment while scorning mercenaries.

There was a general consensus that Twelve-Anne Stradivari should be aggressively polite, and place a high priority on planning things. She made a note to herself to remember to bring the spoons next time as Sylvester Denny suggested that she could also be pretty good at art.

Sylvester Denny, it was decided, was poor at communication and good at ideas. He was to be anxious, but was still generally a merry individual.

Dawson Filter, because of his extensive knowledge of rocket science, was decided to be a rocket scientist. His ideas tended to be more focused on progressing toward a goal than Sylvester’s, and less concerned with escaping danger. In creating ideas, he placed a high priority in approaching tasks logically; although the logic of the task itself was of little importance as long as it was of a reasonable amount of interest, and he was willing to follow the plans of others without observing any traces of logic.

Now that the quartet were ready to function as normal members of society, they continued planning their intergalactic quest to find and record the True Meaning of Feelings.


Dawson Filter as He Relates to Wheat

On his way home from a place one day, Sylvester Denny’s hat fell from his head.

“Oh great,” he said, “now what do I have to live for?”

But the story doesn’t end there.

He turned around to return to the place mentioned in sentence 1. On his way turning around, he saw Dawson Filter, a person.

Dawson Filter waved to Sylvester Denny, prompting Sylvester Denny to say “Hello.”

“Fancy meeting you here,” Dawson Filter said.

Seeing that Dawson Filter intended to pursue a conversation, Sylvester Denny turned back around to face the path to his house, where he and Dawson Filter could converse with style. Dawson Filter slipped on the hat, shattering his humerus.

Meanwhile, in the future:

Dawson Filter and Sylvester Denny arrived at Sylvester Denny’s house. Sylvester Denny handed Dawson Filter a clump of frozen wheat to reduce the swelling in his arm wound. He showed Dawson the house’s furniture. He had recently had a prolonged business trip to Murderville, Nevada. Fortunately, there was time travel involved, so burglars only had opportunity to steal a few of Sylvester’s couches and a handful of nightstands.

“Never mind the furniture that I’m currently showing you,” said Sylvester Denny, “we’ve got business to attend to.”

For all you grammar puritans reading at home, Sylvester Denny’s sentence roughly translates to “Never mind the furniture that I’m currently showing you; we’ve got business to which to attend.

Sylvester Denny and Dawson Filter began to make a new hat for Sylvester. It had to be large enough to fit around Sylvester’s head; but small enough that no one would ever ask to borrow it. It couldn’t be too hot or too cold, and couldn’t have inward-facing spikes. It had to be good without being too bad. It couldn’t be a dead goat. It had to be high enough to reach the top of Sylvester’s head, but not so high as to float above it. It had to be right side up in order not to break Sylvester Denny’s neck. It had to be the kind of hat that heads have.

Dawson Filter and Sylvester Denny looked around the room. Dawson Filter, having the superior vision of the two, spotted a needle in a grape on Sylvester’s table. He handed the needle to Sylvester. Beginning to sew, Sylvester Denny noticed that he didn’t have any fabric.

“Aaaaaargh,” he thought. He should have salvaged the fabric from his first hat.

“What about that?” Dawson Filter said, pointing to a teabag. After walking over to it, he ripped it open, letting the tea fall to the ground. He hoped that without the tea, ‘that’ would transform into a hat. It was a long shot.

“Huzzah!” Sylvester Denny exclaimed, “It’s perfect! I knew I was right to buy giant cloth teabags. We can use that for the base of the hat. If we could only find a brim-”

“Good news, ” Dawson Filter said, “the tea fell into this pot of boiling water and is now brimming with flavour.”

Sylvester Denny dipped the bag in the tea, nearly transforming it into a hat. All it needed was a feather.

Sylvester Denny remembered back to earlier that day when he’d ruffled the feathers of everyone who’d had the misfortune of overhearing his grammatically terrible sentence. Looking into his hand, he saw that one of the feather’s had stuck to him. Plucking himself, he stuck the feather into the wet bag. It was a hat and all was well.

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Surveys

Dawson Filter and Sylvester Denny approved of themselves. Some people did not take so kindly to them, however. Their enemies, for example.

They had made several such enemies recently, when they had a group of people complete a survey. The group’s leader felt that the survey was a waste of time, and swore revenge on the two of them.

Still Dawson Filter and Sylvester Denny persisted with their survey. They found other people, who were happy to fill out any survey to take their minds off of their dreary lives.

The other group found people too. They formed the Anti-Survey Coalition Squad, gaining approval from numerous public officials. Their billboards started popping up all over Saskatchewan; and newspapers tended to skew toward affirming the Squad’s message. One newspaper printed the following political cartoon:

"The Real Enemy"

Those willing to fill out the survey grew fewer and fewer. Sylvester and Dawson’s old comrades Babe Listowel and Twelve-Anne Stradivari joined them in a bowling alley to try to find a solution to the survey problem.

“What if we join the Anti-Survey Coalition Squad; and then while attending one of their meetings, point out that ‘Anti’ is an acronym for ‘Approving Notions of The Investigative’?” Babe Listowel suggested.

“Such an idea!” Twelve-Anne exclaimed, “Then the group would be forced to come to terms with the fact that it had been named the ‘Approving Notions of the Investigative Survey Coalition Squad’ the whole time, redefine its primary values, and leave us to do the survey thing that we’ve been doing.”

Dawson Filter threw his bowling ball down the alley. As the last pin fell, so fell the last of his doubts that Babe Listowel’s plan was flawless. Twirling back around to face the group, he expressed his approval with a nod.

Now that all the pins were down, the game was over; and the crew could begin enacting their plan.

The first phase of the plan was joining the Anti-Survey Coalition Squad and pointing out the acronym. They finished this step in an amount of time that was less than 12 years, as the leaders of the Squad were stationed just outside the bowling alley.

The plan had no other phases. It was a just a matter of waiting to see whether the plan worked.

The following is the diary entry of a woman named Rosaline Ingles found loitering by the bowling alley at the time of this story:


Dear Diary,

Today is a day. I know that most people know things like this; but I was just telling you because you are a diary and therefore know nothing. I bet you already forgot that it is a day today. You are pathetic.

Oh, look! There are people! Oh, right, you can’t look, because of reasons that you can’t know. Do my eyes deceive me? The people seem to be talking. Here is a transcript of everything they are saying:

Person 1: (Unintelligible)

Person 2: Hey, (Unintelligible)

Person 3: (Unintelligible) (laughs) (Unintelligible)

Person 2: (Unintelligible)

Person 4: (Unintelligible)

Person 1: The plan worked!

The people are gone, now. All of the people are gone. Every time.

Sylvester Denny, Dawson Filter, Babe Listowel, and Twelve-Anne Stradivari (listed alphabetically by last name) finished the survey a week later. It was disappointing and unnoteworthy. This was especially unfortunate because it was the first survey the Anti-Survey Coalition Squad had chosen to support, turning public opinion against the Squad and even further against surveys. But when fighting public opinion, one would be hard pressed to find a better team than the Quest Committee, the Anti-Survey Coalition Squad, and surveys, particularly when surveys are personified as a walrus-vampire figure with a giant claw.

"The Real Enemy"