“My, a philosophy shop,” thought Dawson Filter, “I’d better enter that shop.”
He found a door, and walked through the hole he created when he opened it. The walls of the shop were covered with old newspaper articles, most of them from 1999 and 2016. They were mainly missing person articles, with a few human interest stories about alchemy and time travel. A leaf fell from a potted tree as the proprietor stood.
“So,” he said, “do you fancy some philosophy?”
Dawson Filter recognised the voice from when he’d been stuffed in a burlap sack, held prisoner on Ganymede, framed for tax evasion, and trapped inside the universe with a large steel orb; but he couldn’t quite place who the voice belonged to.
“Some philosophy sounds delightful,” Dawson Filter replied.
“Let’s end the charade, Filter!” the proprietor said, ripping off his mask to reveal his true identity as Wayne Rubblefish. He knocked over a stack of books and pointed at Dawson. “We both know that I tend to run around making your life worse, and that’s probably my goal now!”
Dawson Filter remembered the door and how bad he was at conflict.
Wayne Rubblefish ran after him to kick his shins.
“Wait,” he said, “remember those people I stole in 2016 and 1999? I only took them to save them from the fire and Y2K. So that’s quite a reason to keep talking to me.”
Dawson Filter turned around. Wayne Rubblefish was gone, challenging Dawson Filter’s ideas about reality and space, thereby ruining his day.
He found his old cohort Babe Listowel, with whom he decided to talk.
“Hello, Babe Listowel. I recently became sad. Would you like to help me quest for this feeling’s true meaning?”
Babe Listowel nodded his head in confirmation, “Maybe first we should find the meaning of meaning first, though.”
After sitting in deep thought for a few hours, Babe Listowel remembered that the power of music helped him think more clearly. He pulled a guitar from his pocket and began to strum.
“Thinking, thinking,” he sang, “that’s what I’m doing / The thing that I’m doing is thoughtful and in my mind / Look at my mind / Can you see the thinking?”
A small crowd had gathered around him and Dawson Filter. The people of Murderville had forgotten about music. Someone tossed a head of wheat into the guitar.
“Golden, golden,” the admirers said amongst themselves.
Babe Listowel reached the climax of his song.
“All of the other things / That exist that I’m not doing / Must not be thinking / Man, I must be free”
The crowd cheered as the music faded out.
“I sure appreciated THAT music.”
“Woah, how did my mind get so blown?”
“You must agree to be the town’s official rockstar!”
Babe Listowel raised his hand to silence the mob. Someone handed him a microphone; and he cleared throat to speak.
“You will have your king.”
Dawson Filter followed the crowd as it carried his friend to the town hall. It set Babe Listowel on a heavy wooden chair, draping fine silks over the back of the seat. It found a nearby laurel to hang around his neck, after which it hung the laurel around his neck. A tophat was found, and covered with tinfoil. A lady tore a string of rubies from her neck to embed in the crown, which she set atop Babe Listowel’s head. A single cheer, to which all in the room contributed, roared through the halls.
Dawson Filter smiled. Babe Listowel had got them a bit off track from their original goal, but Dawson was positive they could get back on course by nightfall.