Dawson Filter as He Relates to Semantics


Felipe, an intern of sorts, ran his finger along the doorknob of his time machine. Promptly after this event transpired, the door opened, and the contents of the time machine were released. The contents of the time machine were the following:

  • Dawson Filter
  • Sylvester Denny
  • Twelve-Anne Stradivari
  • Babe Listowel
  • Felipe
  • Wayne Rubblefish

“Sherlock lives in a cave along this way,” Felipe said, motioning to his left. As the group followed Felipe toward its destination, there seemed to fewer and fewer dwarves along the path.

Wayne Rubblefish made a point of stepping on the backs of Sylvester Denny’s shoes to pass the time while the others took in the scenery.

Franell’s terrain was lumpy; but the lumps were smooth, like malformed ice. The only source of water in sight was a row of irregularly spaced water coolers on the right side of the path; and the red ground smelled of candles. The green ground smelled of lilacs.

Less than an hour later, the group stumbled across the cave they were looking for along the path they were walking without any complications or disruptions. Felipe knocked the door down.

“Sherlock?”

“Is here. Names?”

“Felipe, Dawson, Twelve-Anne, Babe, Sylvester, Wayne.”

“Acceptable. In.”

Bookshelves lined Sherlock Dracula’s cave. On the bookshelves were a few gross copies of the first nine volumes of “Mo’s Guide to Himself” arranged into pi, using his 250 page eulogy, “No Mo’ Mo” for the zeros.

“Four sco’ years ago,” said Dawson Filter, “you published a crossword puzzle with the clue ‘the true meaning of feelings.’ 241 letters. The 132nd was ‘A.’ Then your newspaper company was destroyed, along with most of Canada. We’ve been on a quest for the past two years to find the answer to that clue. Then we found you. Do you happen to remember the True Meaning of Feelings, Sherlock?”

“Sit down,” Sherlock Dracula said, “Yes, I do. ‘A babbling brook, a child golfing, these are feelings. A feeling doesn’t need to rhyme, you know. There is feeling where there is meaning and meani(the letter A)ng wherever you see. True meaning comes with a true desire to inspire feeling, Dawson. A dove, a fawn a rose; I’ve seen it all and feel this’s Meaning.’ Ignore spaces and punctuation.”

Dawson Filter filled in the crossword. He read it over, and it was over. The answer to his quest was nothing but thinly veiled nonsense. It seemed appropriate, though, for nonsense to make one final appearance in this way. It had been the backbone of the quest, saving everyone so many times, guiding them at every stage of their journey. Dawson Filter realised that as nonsense claimed the final word, it was not making a mockery of him or his efforts; but bidding him farewell.

He tried to remember a time before his two year quest. He could recall some details, but with little clarity. In his first year out, Sylvester Denny had shown Dawson Filter that their lives were a work of fiction. At this, the arc of their story,  Dawson had to question what he would be in a few minutes. He hoped for an epilogue, to guarantee that his life and world would go on.

The Illuminati for the Blind would go on to crumble without its Director of Human Relations; and the Quest Committee would settle down in Murderville, Nevada. Using a time machine of his own design, Wayne Rubblefish would continue to oppose the Quest Committee’s mission until he was just an old bloke trying to have some fun on his last day before retirement, all the while aware that the mission’s completion was forever inevitable. He would even form a new world order to frame Dawson Filter for tax evasion. Every member of the Quest Committee, with the exception of Felipe, lived to see Wayne Rubblefish’s Official Government. Not much else happened after that, to my knowledge. Other heros came along, of course. Greater heroes, whose stories deserve more than Dawson Filter’s to be told. But Dawson Filter does not relate to these people. He relates to clams, rock ‘n’ roll, fountains of youth, 1782, self defence, tumours, blindness, beige, emigration, spandex, walruses, november, yaks, barbershops, ¡PAIN!, rain, the system, lighting, bowling, plywood, gloves, bails, tax evasion, rowboats, armchairs, thumbtacks, swords, bandits, projectors, explosions, oregano, whiteboards, rugs, real screwdrivers, lamp posts, taxis, parties, offices, snake-related injuries, game shows, stomach punching, bears, dragons, conferences, orbs of steel, starfish, grapes, dictionaries, money, balloons, sheep, flamingos, surveys, wheat, spoons, paper flowers, generally positive events, music, spaghetti, tents, bridges, chairs, ice, prison, omelets, the elderly, visually impared gangs, iron, sound, semantics, Twelve-Anne Stradivari, Babe Listowel, Felipe, and Sylvester Denny; and I’ve already said pretty much most of what’s to say about them.

The End

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Dawson Filter as He Relates to Sound


For two years, Dawson Filter and Sylvester Denny had been in quest to discover the True Meaning of Feelings. For nearly all of that time, they had no idea whatsoever how to find it or where to start looking. They’d endured attack and legal proceeding, dragon and Scottsman. But now they knew exactly who knew the Meaning, and had a time machine to get to him.

But of course, complications.

“What is the meaning of this?” a thin man in a dark green cloak asked them. He must have heard them in the hallway.

“Well, see,” Sylvester Denny pointed to his eyes nervously, “we’re search – looking for the True Meaning stove Feeling; and Wayne Rubblefish – or some of his goons, I guess, stole our time machine. That’s what this is.” He banged on the side of Felipe’s time machine a few times, causing it to shed lavender-scented dust.

“I gave Wayne Rubblefish direct orders not to waste his time meddling in your affairs.”

“I suppose we can leave, then?” Dawson Filter said.

“No, I think it’s best if we call Rubblefish down here now to sort this out.”

The man pulled a pager from his satchel and pressed several buttons on it. After several awkward minutes, Wayne Rubblefish emerged.

“You wanted to speak with me, Xavier X?”

“Yes. I would like you to explain to me what this time machine is doing in this room against my direct orders.”

“Well, you see,” said Wayne, shuffling a deck of cards, “this is a time machine. You only gave me orders to leave these folks alone a month ago; but I brought them here a year before that. It’s just that they’re arriving now.”

“They say they’re leaving.”

“Umbel-”

“I don’t think you kidnapped these individuals. I think you brought them here to conspire against the Illuminati for the Blind.”

Xavier X pulled back his hood, revealing his glassy eyes and bald spot. Wayne Rubblefish pushed Sylvester, Dawson, and Felipe into the time machine and jumped in after them.

“The moon, 1932?” Felipe asked. Dawson Filter nodded, and the machine twitched.

When the door opened, Twelve-Anne Stradivari and Babe Listowel rushed over to greet the time travellers.

“How did it go?” Twelve-Anne asked, “Did you find the Meaning?”

“No, we picked the wrong Sherlock Dracula. We need to find his twin, Sherlock Dracula,” answered Dawson Filter.

Wayne Rubblefish had run out of the machine, and had set to work knocking items off of the Quest Committee’s tables, making sure to pick items at irregular intervals to maximize unsightliness.

“Where is this Sherlock Dracula?” Babe Listowel inquired inquisitively.

“Franell. It’s a dwarf planet, largely uncharted.”

“Oh! That Sherlock Dracula.” Felipe said, “Nice man, bit eccentric. I have Franell’s coordinates for June 27, 2096. That’s when he likes me to visit. Hey, they’re even on the floor. How convenient.”

Twelve-Anne picked up the octagonal piece of paper to which Felipe pointed. 1889127, 1782. June 27, 2096. She tossed the paper to Felipe, who caught it in the back of his hand. Without skipping a beat or skipping, Felipe typed the coordinates into his time machine. The time machine had the habit of making sounds without any regularity, ranging from loud clanking to rhythmic whistling. It gave the impression that the machine was in need of maintenance, although Felipe was never able to stop the sounds with any repairs. This time it purred.

The Quest Committee and Wayne Rubblefish boarded the time machine. Wayne stuck his foot in the door to try to keep it from closing, but only lost his shoe in the attempt. Felipe pressed the button to travel, and the machine gave a sound very much like chuckling.