Dawson Filter as He Relates to Ice

Being in Antarctica, Dawson Filter was cold. He made a comment about this to Sylvester Denny, who said that he was also cold; but was worried what his friends would think if he mentioned it. Babe Listowel placed his hand on Sylvester Denny’s forearm; and, feeling no difference in temperature between their respective skins, determined that he must also be cold.

“I bet that we would be less cold if were not in Antarctica,” bet Sylvester Denny.

“We should not be cold. We should not be in Antarctica,” reasoned Dawson Filter.

“We would not be in Antarctica if we left” ~ Babe Listowel, 2026.

“We could leave with a boat,” said Twelve-Anne, who was also there.

Babe Listowel instructed the group to close its eyes. After 8 hours, he told them that they could re-open their eyes, revealing a sailboat he had carved out of ice.

The sides of the ship were rough, and the sail was too octagonal to win any beauty pageants. The ship was only twelve seconds old, and was therefore too young to win any lotteries, either. Still, the sea didn’t really have any standards as to which boats were worthy to enter its waters, so the craft was deemed seaworthy.

The Quest Committee boarded the vessel, and adjusted its sail due north, to Murderville.

Dawson Filter rested his head against the halyard and followed an especially blue patch of sky with his eyes. Sylvester Denny set about chasing all the rats off of the ship, and Twelve-Anne worked on her memoir. Babe Listowel bailed out water that must have leaked into the boat. Dawson, Sylvester, and Twelve-Anne broke from their activities to sing some shanties; but Babe Listowel remained unable to find where the water was coming from.

“Is it raining?” he asked the others.

Sylvester Denny checked his barometer.


Science Background for this Portion of the Story:

Ice can melt. When it melts, it becomes water. Water is dangerous, and ought never to be touched. Our heroes are forced to face this reality when their ice-boat begins to melt. Water, when heated to 100 °C, boils and turns into water vapour. This provides one method of escape for our heroes, namely to evaporate the ocean, making the water benign; however, this requires more time and resources than they currently have, which is why they opt to scream for help.

“Aaaah! Help!” our heroes screamed.

Hearing their cry of distress, a group of people dressed as sailors turned their boat to face the crew of the ice boat. The leader held up a resealable bag and a lifesaver.

“We’ll rescue you if you buy these illicit drugs from us.”

“Alright,” Sylvester Denny said.

“Jokes on you. We’re undercover cops,” the leader said, pulling out a badge.

“THAT’S ENTRAPMENT!” Sylvester objected.

“Silence, you degenerate. I’m going to throw you these handcuffs, and you’re going to put them on. That goes for the rest of your crew, too. You’re everything that’s wrong with this ocean.”

A tall woman with a police-officer-ish face threw four pairs of handcuffs that were fastened to a pole with ropes into the ocean. The members of the Quest Committee fastened them onto their own wrists; loose enough to be humane but tight enough that they felt the weight of what they’d done. The officer who’d spoken turned a crank, hoisting them onto the coast-guard ship. A burly, toothless man with custom sunglasses labeled “Luther O’Finn” chained them together at the knee, and threw them into a room labeled “Prison.”


Dawson Filter as He Relates to Chairs

Dawson Filter whistled. He was in Antarctica at the time. Babe Listowel, who had the idea to invade Antarctica in the first place, looked around himself for defending troops. Seeing none, he took out a pen to write down the number of defending troops, and panned the area for civilians to rule. One stood by a table South of the ocean. His name tag read “North Tender.”

“We don’t have chairs, so you’ll have to stand or lie down or sit on something that’s not a chair or kneel or jump or something,” North Tender called out to the group.

“What to you mean ‘we’?” Babe Listowel asked, “There’s only one of you!”

“Then who am I talking to?”

“You’re on our side, then?”

North Tender pointed to Babe’s lack of chairs. “Looks like we’ve got something in common. I’m Tender, by the way; but most of my friends call me North, on account of my first name.”

“I am Babe Listowel, king of Murderville, Nevada. I have come to invade your lands.”

“Nevada…” North Tender thought for a moment, “…I guess that’d be north, wouldn’t it? If you’re planning on living here, you’d better change your name to North Babe. We have certain conventions here.”

The rest of the group introduced themselves, and North Tender called over some of his friends.

“This is North Winnie and North Dallas, and their son Neutral Peter. He born yesterday. People whom I just mentioned, this is other people. I forget most of their names. They’re from up north.”

Everyone took turns making eye contact until they all felt they knew each other adequately.

“Father, do they have any chairs?” Neutral Peter asked North. He could have easily looked up and seen the groups glaring lack of chairs, or stopped being everything wrong with the youth of Antarctica and listened to his elder; but Neutral Peter was only born the previous day, so he can perhaps be excused, although he was 89 in doughnut years. North Dallas took the perhaps and excused his son.

Babe Listowel began to feel the heat of the invasion starting to fade. He took out his pen again, filled it with gasoline, and took out a highlighter. He covered the portion of the lighter that read “high” to deceive the Antarcticans. Holding the highlighter to the pen, he warned them to step back.

“Oh no!” cried North Winnie, “What are we going to do about all this danger?”

“Flee!” two Norths and a Neutral suggested in unison. As they dashed away, they stumbled across a penguin and saw an opportunity. North Tender picked up the penguin and covered the portion that read “guin.”

“Look, Babe, we both have pens; both of us do. We don’t need to fight or something! We can just do something else.”

Dawson Filter let out a clap of agreement.

“See, that one gets it,” North continued, “if we co-operate, we can do something else! Co-can! Co-can! Co-can! Co-can!”

Others joined the chant. Dawson Filter smiled as Babe Listowel threw his highlighter onto the ice. This was what feelings were all about.

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Bridges

A band of merry travellers were walking to Antarctica for purposes of invasion one windy Wednesday afternoon. Included in this group was the Quest Committee, who were not accustomed to embarking on missions with such questionable political goals; but tagged along anyway to support their friend Babe Listowel.

But what was this? An obstacle? An ocean appeared to be between the travellers and their goal. Babe Listowel consulted his map again. After staring at it for several minutes, he turned it over. This revealed the side of the paper that wasn’t blank. Seeing his error, he apologised to the group for his mistake and the ensuing inconvenience,

Twelve-Anne Stradivari, always the optimist of the group, suggested they use the rope bridge that conveniently stood before them. No sooner, and not all that much later, had she made this suggestion than the group accepted it.

“Can it support our weight and (unintelligible)?” Sylvester Denny asked.

Estimating that the group weighed about 2060 kg, Alasdair Braveheart dropped a lead pipe of comparable weight onto the bridge. It did not sway. Sylvester Denny was still unsure of the bridge’s integrity.

“Dawson and Babe, can you ply one of the planks with that crowbar in your hands to make sure they’re nailed in right?”

Dawson Filter and Babe Listowel complied, and the plank stayed firmly in place.

“How many times did you ply it?”

“Twice,” Dawson Filter replied.

Sylvester Denny joined them on the bridge, and was followed by all other parties present.

After a brief stroll, the adventurers saw the sky darken. A dragon approached them.

“(unintelligible),” the dragon roared in its native tongue. It descended onto the bridge. The bridge supported its weight.

Babe Listowel, whose time spent in Norway had taught him a number of basic phrases in the dragish language, attempted communication with the beast.

“Let us go. We cannot through; you are too existent.”

The dragon snorted.

“I hunger. (unintelligible). Meat is my desire. Guide me to fish, or let me feast upon your bones in the future. Or kill me in the future.”

Babe Listowel translated the interaction for the group, mistranslating the word for fish as “a silver needle in a seven-tonne titanium haystack.” Of the options presented, the group agreed that the one with the highest reward relative to the amount of work involved would be to kill the dragon.

“We opt to kill you!” Babe Listowel cried. The Scottish Heritage Foundation of Murderville gathered its weapons. In total, they had twelve longbows, a quarter-dozen bo staffs, a car bomb, and a battering ram. The Quest Committee supplied a sword from the future.

Several of the SHFoM attempted to sneak up in front of the beast with the battering ram, but the dragon had seen them with his eyes. It used its fire prowess to shoot flames from its western edge, temporarily blinding the battering group and igniting the bridge.

Aggie Oliver took out some of her own fire to attempt back burn the bridge. She set the fire behind the group, blocking off with flames the section of the bridge on which they stood.

The difference in temperature between the fire and not fire spun the nearby air into a whirlwind, which posed a bother for the dragon. The dragon, who disliked annoyances, flew away over the horizon. The fires burned through their respective portions of the bridge, creating a raft.

Fortunately, it was windy what with the tornado and the wind mentioned in the first sentence so the people got to survive and also be in Antarctica.

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Tents

Dawson Filter woke up one morning to discover that he’d slept in for a week. He looked at his potted plant.

“Not so alive anymore, now are you,” he said to the daisy.

He stood up to look out of his window and saw a cluster of tents on his lawn. The Scottish Heritage Foundation of Murderville had apparently grown in numbers since he’d fallen fell asleep the previous Tuesday. After baking some scones and calling Babe Listowel, the most intimidating fellow with a listed number in the phone book, he went outside to confront the foundation.

“You are in a tent,” he said to Aggie Oliver, the chair of the Scottish Heritage Foundation of Murderville. In his brief time meeting her, he’d gathered very little information about her, although she did seem to like puns. Dawson Filter thought he’d shoot her an easy one.

“That was ‘in tent’-ional,” she said with her usual mouth.

Behind her tent on the street, Babe Listowel arrived, guided by the scent of Dawson Filter’s fresh scones. He came around to join the confrontation. Dawson Filter told him the situation, and Babe Listowel understood every word.

“You know, Aggie,” he said, “I’m the king of Murderville, and I disapprove of malfeasance. Now, I’m not telling you to leave just yet; but I can tell you right now: What you’re doing sure isn’t benfeasance, and I can assure you that you do not want to see me when I disapprove of someone’s actions.”

“Show me yer badge, king,” Aggie Oliver spat at Babe, “or awa’ an bile yer heid.”

Dawson Filter took the potpourri he’d made from his dead flower out of his pocket to lighten the mood via aromatherapy.

Aggie Oliver sighed and threw a punch at Dawson Filter.

“Oi!” she exclaimed, “What’re ya thinking soothing me with yer scent sorcery! My blood must be boiling, b’y!

Dawson Filter offered her a scone, which she set on fire with some other fire that she’d bought from Makayla Pundit, who, after the fire escapade of 2016, had decided to go into the business of fire sale rather than arson. Aggie Oliver, hearing Makayla Pundit shout “fire sale,” had believed that the items she was selling would have discounts, and was lured into inspecting Makayla’s product by this belief for just long enough to see that the product was in fact fire, and decide that she absolutely needed some. Makayla Pundit’s business model ran largely off of people with similar misunderstandings.

Dawson Filter fell over in shock and broke his right femur.

“Hold your fire!” Babe Listowel said, “There’s no need to break Dawson over here. I’ve found a way for us all to be angry without hurting one another: All we need is a common enemy. I have reason to believe that it would be in the best interest of both Murderville and the Scottish Heritage Foundation thereof to invade Antarctica. Just look at the word.”

Babe Listowel held up a sheet of bristol board with the word ‘Antarctica’ written across it.

“Don’t you see what word you get when cross out the c’s and the last ‘a’ and move the first two letters to the back? Tartan. And don’t you see the first three letters and also the third last one? Anti. Anti-tartan. Tell me that doesn’t fill your heart with rage.”

Aggie Oliver didn’t, for she was no liar.

“And as for my personal interest, look at the three letters following the ‘n’. Tar. And the fourth, fifth, and seventh letters. Art. And the third, fourth, sixth, and seventh letters. Tact. And the last eight letters. tarctica.ca. Of all the things, I consider those to be some of the best. And I will have no rest until that foul continent stops being anti-those things. Join me, Aggie; let’s bring the freeze to its knees.”

Aggie Oliver nodded and shook Babe Listowel’s hand.

“A war it shall be.”

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Lawnmowers

One day, Dawson Filter set out for outside. He opened the door, letting in light; and walked out, finding that this resulted in even more brightness. After taking a few steps, he realized that he’d forgotten his lawnmower. He reopened the door, walked inside, found a lawnmower, and turned around to walk out again. As he turned around, it occurred to him that he hadn’t remembered to close the door as he came inside, and a burglar stood before him.

“You just stole my train of thought,” Dawson Filter said, “Oh, yes: lawnmowing.”

Dawson Filter turned the lawnmower sideways to fit it through the doorway. The burglar, who didn’t think he’d ever seen a lawn before, followed Dawson into the yard.

Watching Dawson Filter push the lawnmower across the yard, the burglar called out to offer his help.

“If you like, I can do some of the mowing. We can divide up the work into rows and columns, and then you can start off doing every other row and every other column, and I can fill in the squares that are left over from that.”

Nodding, Dawson Filter continued to mow the lawn. When he was finished his portion of the rows, he began work on his columns, forming crosses with every row he passed over. Just as he finished the pattern, the burglar came outside with a tray of lemonade.

Sylvester Denny arrived carrying a small pigeon.

“Nice yard,” Sylvester said, eying the tartan Dawson Filter had mowed into the grass, “is that Scottish?”

The Scottish Heritage Foundation of Murderville, who had been stalking Sylvester Denny, overheard him and ran to inspect the lawn. They muttered some things in a huddle, then faced Dawson Filter to tell him that his yard bore some resemblance to the Graham tartan.

Graham Tartan

“Such a fact!” Dawson Filter exclaimed.

“We’ve actually been looking for a place to meet,” said Aggie Oliver, chair of the SHFoM, “and your yard has a nice, post-simple, Lee Perfect kind of feel. We’d fancy taking as the new home of our group.”

Dawson Filter opened his mouth to object.

“It’s not actually for sale,” he said.

Alasdair Braveheart, the member of the group with the broadest shoulders and the only one wearing a nametag, stuck a sign in the ground.

Forced Sale

The group laughed a chilling, trilling laugh; and Sylvester Denny released his pigeon as a metaphor for losing control. Babe Listowel, King of Murderville, had neglected to establish any police force to speak of, let alone a police force that would care about theft. The burglar shuddered at the thought of what the heritage group was doing.

“Sorry lads,” Aggie Oliver said, “this is the Scotland Yard now.”

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Spaghetti

Babe Listowel laid a world map over a table in the only corner of a room. He stuck a pin through Northern Antarctica. Hearing a series of knocks on the door, he turned around.

“Who?” he asked.

“Dawson Filter,” a voice answered.

Babe Listowel thought for a moment. Yes, he decided, the timbre of the voice did match the intensity of the knocks. There was no foul play at this door.

“Come in.”

The door opened to reveal Dawson Filter.

“Dawson Filter!” Babe Listowel exclaimed, “I didn’t expect you this early.”

Dawson Filter struck a match. “And I didn’t expect your mind to be corrupted this soon. We’re all full of surprises.”

“Well here’s a surprise for you-”

Babe Listowel thought for a moment to find something surprising about the current state of affairs. Finding nothing, he made a sound and threw up his arms.

“Do you even remember our quest,” Dawson Filter asked, “or did you store that bit of information in your mind, the mind that I previously said was corrupt?”

“The quest to find the True Meaning of Feelings? I sent some of my footmen East to see what they could find.”

“The Quest Committee’s holding a luncheon at lunch today. Be at the luncheon.”

.  .  .

Sylvester Denny passed a pot of spaghetti to Snake Levine, a former lawyer. Dawson Filter laughed, because the letters in the sign for the luncheon were formed out of rocks (lunch from eons ago). Only he and Snake had picked up on the pun, and she cared more for observational comedy, leaving everyone to wonder what he was laughing at, although no one chose to wonder for a particularly long time .

Babe Listowel opened the door to the dining hall, and sat down between Dawson Filter and Twelve-Anne Stradivari.

“Say, it’s Babe Listowel,” Twelve-Anne observed.

Snake Levine released a brief chuckle. She passed the spaghetti pot to Babe Listowel.

“Hello,” he said.

“Hello,” someone else replied.

On the table with the food was a piece of paper. It had ink markings on it that seemed to form words, arranged into a list by the look of things.

Ideas for Things Pertaining to the True Meaning of Feelings

  • another survey
  • search documents for references to the Meaning
  • divnetbl  no smoking
  • offer an improbably valuable reward to the person to identify the True Meaning stove Feelings

Sylvester Denny said something with a lot of syllables, and Babe Listowel began to hum to the tune of the inflection at the end of Sylvester’s sentence. Taking a guitar out of his pocket, he strummed the only four chords he knew how to play to accompany his self-described smooth, foxy voice. A small crowd barged through the door to get closer to the magic of Babe’s notes. He nodded to the rhythm of his thoughts, which were Fancy that, it seems feeble Sylvester’s provided me with a bit of sweet, sweet material. I suppose it would be prudent to stay with this group a while longer to suckle off of their talents while I can. Perhaps if I offer them unlimited resources, they’ll let me rock with them. I should probably create a loud noise to get their attention.

Babe Listowel grabbed the table and pulled up, felling it with a single swoop of his mighty hand.

“My, oh, my, do you ever have my attention now,” Dawson Filter observed to Snake Levine’s amusement.

“And you have all of the resources at my disposal as Official Rockstar and king of Murderville, Nevada,” replied Babe Listowel.

“Now that’s the correct spirit,” Twelve-Anne said, “you’re mind’s not so corrupt after all, now is it now?”

“No,” said Babe Listowel, “certainly not half as corrupt as you’d be able to imagine.”

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Music

“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.

The life and times of Dawson Filter.

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