Tag Archives: Dawson Filter

Dawson Filter as He Relates to the Elderly

Dawson Filter looked around the room that he’d just entered. The first place he looked was at a calendar, since he’d come to the room by time machine, and had an imperfect biological clock.

“October 14, 1932,” the calendar said. Dawson Filter initially thought it was lying; talking calendar technology was only invented in 2021, after all. Then he remembered time travel, and it made sense for the calendar to be then.

The second place he looked was at the person in the room, whom he identified as his friend Felipe, an intern of sorts.

“Hello,” he said to the aforementioned person, “where are we?”

“On the Earth Moon, Dawson,” Felipe replied, “on the Earth Moon.”

Felipe had aged. Grey hair grew from his scalp, and his nose had turned downward slightly. Seeing Dawson Filter’s eyes move along the edge of his hairline, Felipe decided to answer as many of the questions in Dawson’s head as possible.

“Do you remember the apocalypse, Dawson? When that arsonist Makayla Pundit burned down that forest and every single fire hazard in the world burst into flames as a result? I saved everyone. Did it in four seconds, by some counts. I counted twelve years. That’s still over 400 people a second, so it was a productive twelve years. Then I went on a series of adventures for thirty-five. I set up this place as my base. As a result of these things, I am old.”

Dawson Filter thought about what Felipe said. He thought about his own mission, to discover the True Meaning of Feelings. He’d given Felipe the time machine as part of an internship program; so Felipe could help out around the quest. Felipe had shown great initiative, and Dawson Filter would be more than willing to offer him a full-time position. But Felipe was over qualified.

“I was thinking that maybe we could work together on the feelings quest,” Felipe continued, cutting off Dawson mid-thought, “You and the rest of the Quest Committee can stay at my base. The Luna programme doesn’t start until 1959, so no one’s going to find us. It’ll be just like the good old days, but I’ll have a few more quests under my belt this time. I told some people in the future about your quest, too. And how to build time machines. Theirs aren’t as nice as ours, though; and they haven’t made much progress with the quest, either, except to establish that it has something to do with the way people feel. I can bring your troop here now if you like. It’ll be even easier if they like.”

Dawson Filter nodded, and saw Felipe come back with Sylvester Denny, Twelve-Anne, and Babe Listowel a few seconds before Felipe left.

“Hello, all,” he said.

“Hello, one,” they replied in unison.

“What can I do for you?”

“Not much, what can we do for you?”

“Equally little. Let’s do the quest things.”

Babe Listowel set down a table he’d been carrying to lay out everything the group had gathered. The crossword puzzle, the IFTB’s Guide to Being, Twelve-Anne’s memoirs. Dawson Filter suddenly realized why Felipe had brought them 1932: because 1932 is a leap year, and it’s symbolic of all the leaps the Quest Committee was sure to make. Felipe sure was good at symbolism.


Dawson Filter as He Relates to Prison

It was Tuesday, they say, when the Quest Committee came to Rower’s Pokey. Or Sunday, if you trust Mac Dallas. Don’t. They seemed like any other gang when they were booked, tougher than a fresh lander; but this couldn’t have been any more than their second circus. Babe Listowel looked like the ringleader at first, had the hat to pass for one; but they all looked at Dawson “the Marble” Filter when anyone asked them a question. There were two others; Twelve-Anne Stradivari and Sylvester Denny. They both looked like the accountant type.

“What are you in for?” Martin asked.

“Just doing what we needed to to survive,” the Marble said. That was good enough for most everyone.

Sylvester was whitling next to Mac when the ‘nmates started to think they might be different.

“We’re going to (unintelligible) out of here,” Mac said he said.

There was genius in talking to Mac. Every single person in Rower’s Pokey was going to “break out.” But no one else would have said that kind of thing to Mac Dallas. Mac’d tell anyone. Sure, everyone knew about the Quest Committee’s plan; but given that Mac spread it, any of the Marble’s gaggle could deny the plan to the guards.

Rower’s Pokey was built in the base of a freighter; in holds 4-6. The freighter was in the Pacific, which contains too much water. There’s something you need to keep in mind about D. Marble F., though: he happened to have extensive knowledge of oil pipelines in the Pacific. Twelve-Anne’s good with the ears and the hearing, and heard one of the guards, Pike Hammer, say that the slammer’d be passing into British Columbian waters in about a month.

One day, while the ‘nmates were on wall-dusting duty, Babe Listowel (Babel, as Pope called him) slid a note under the captain’s quarters. Apparently there was going to be a glorious flock of fulvous whistling ducks at some cove around the time the freighter was in the B.C. Maybe Babe was telling the truth, but honestly, he’d earned enough of a reputation as a fabulist that I’d bet against it if anyone was willing to take bets against the author that controls truth in this story.

The Marble convinced a guard to give him a shovel. Said it was for his back pain, but everyone knew he had other plans for it.

And they dug. Babe Listowel did most of the grunt work, probably because of his rippling biceps; but Twelve-Anne kept watch and Sylvester hid the hole every night by sleeping over it. Many prisoners were confused about the exact purpose of the hole, but it felt important, and people respected it. Jackel even arranged for some of the other prisoners to dig down through the rest of the hold’s floor to make the hole’s indent less obvious, and to help Sylvester rest better.

Two weeks before Rower’s Pokey was due to be in the duck place, the Marble tapped the bottom of the hole with his fist. The sound resonated through the hold, and he said that was enough digging for now.

And they waited. Until one day, everyone agreed it was Thursday, the Marble said to hit the hole one more time. Babe did, and the Marble told him to hit it ’till it leaked. About five strikes later, and having gained an audience in just about all the guards, the hole sprung. The Quest Committee and everyone else who could swim dove into the opening that day. Swam into an oil pipeline. Through 20 kilometres of oil they swam, and came out the other side, they say. Most of the escapees were found, and brought back to ol’ Rower’s. The four who started the thing thing, though, they were never found. They were legends, they were.

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Generally Positive Events

Flames curled up around Dawson Filter as the world burned. Fortunately, Felipe, an intern of sorts, arrived in a time and space machine. Another thing of fortune: Felipe was nice, and saved Dawson Filter’s life.

A cloud of black sand, much like that produced by slaying dragons, swirled around Felipe’s time and space machine, thereby slooshing it through time and space. When the sand settled around the cube, it settled in Murderville, Nevada, 2026. Felipe explained that the fire problem had worked itself out and that he would be bringing some other quality people soon, and taking the boring people to 1821.

Sylvester Denny, Babe Listowel, and Twelve-Anne Stradivari appeared shortly thereafter.

“Hello, individuals,” Twelve-Anne said, “how are all of you?”

“I’m fast,” Babe Listowel said, “and Dawson is feeling fine. Sylvester is taller, though.”

Looking out into the wasteland, the quartet decided to continue in their search for the True Meaning of Feelings. They thought back to personal experiences they’d had with feelings in the past few years.

Six months before the quest started, Babe Listowel bought a boat. He polished it daily for six weeks. When he’d finally got the boat to a sufficiently shiny level, he put it in the water. Water caressed the side of the boat, and Babe Listowel noticed that the paint was gleaming brighter than ever. He felt a pang of something rip through his chest. What was this feeling? What did it truly mean?

After telling this story to the others, they determined that Babe Listowel had felt pride. The meaning of this seemed to be that he had done something, and it worked. He tried to recreate the feeling by breaking a nearby twig, but was unable to feel anything at all.

Once, Twelve-Anne Stradivari had a dog. She enjoyed the dog. Then, the dog died. Twelve-Anne was sad. What could it mean?

The Quest Committee agreed that Twelve-Anne must have wanted the dog not to die; and when it did, her disappointment made her sad.

It seemed that sometimes, when things happened, people had feelings. Feelings truly meant that something had happened.

However, it was established in the first chapter of our quest that the True Meaning of Feelings was 241 letters long. ‘Something had happened,’ on the other hand, had 20 letters.  Dawson Filter, a rocket scientist, said that these were different numbers.

Mary Taubert, a counting linguist, arrived to confirm this state of affairs.

She set up shop in downtown Murderville, selling numerical and linguistic consultations.

As others arrived, they too set up shops; ranging from quantum mechanic information shops to tribal drum warehouses. Because of a lack of resources and a lack of training in practical fields, most people’s shops remained largely information-based. Seeds were imported from the past, and the community decided to take turns tilling and harvesting. With the average person carrying $16.50 in his pocket, in a diverse range of currency, money was deemed worthless; and information became free. Surrounding communities operated in largely the same way, except for those in areas rich in natural resources, which set to work accumulating enough raw materials to make the largescale manufacturing of goods a vyable industry.

People still made things (case in point, paragraph 15, “tribal drum warehouses”); but mostly just gave them away in order to amass popularity, and pursued other studies on the side. Quite a lot of research projects were underway in the community, some practical, individuals trying to find the best way to filter Murderville’s water supply; but many were simply people’s attempts to solve the greatest standing problems of mathematics, physics, and whatnot. People generally tried to be helpful when they learned of these projects, and no one’s projects were secret. Dawson Filter’s semantic quest fit well in this world.

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 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 Starfish

Dawson Filter awoke from his slumber in Pahrump, Nevada. He was glad to have woken. He wouldn’t have traded waking up for the world. He wouldn’t have made a particularly fantastic world-owner in his sleep, anyway; so I suppose we should all be glad he woke up. Dawson was not in the habit of waking up in Pahrump; but was attending a conference with the other members of the Quest Committee there to decide how to escape a sizable steel orb that Wayne Rubblefish recently placed around the universe. They selected Pahrump as the location for the adventure-planning conference for its proximity to the universe and its slogan.


At the conference they decided that the best way to break out of the universe would be the classic method of surrounding the edge of the universe with starfish, which would use their ability to extend their stomachs out of their mouths to dissolve and digest the steel encasement. Reaching the steel barrier would prove to be a more challenging task; but fortunately I used artistic license and your (hopefully) suspended disbelief to place the Earth the distance of a three-week-by-shuttle flight from the edge of the universe, which was fortunately not receding at an ever-increasing rate.

Dawson Filter rolled out of bed and built a spaceship before waking up Sylvester Denny, whom he suspected knew a great deal more about acquiring starfish than he let on.

“Sylvester,” said Dawson Filter, “I command you to be awake.”

“Yes?” asked Sylvester Denny, for it was too early in the morning for him to know that ‘Yes’ is intended to be used as an answer, rather than a question.

“Ah, so you are awake. Good obedience. What do you know of acquiring starfish?”

“Certainly no more than I let on.”

“Oh, come now; surely you know a thing or two you haven’t told us.”

“Fine. One time, Babe Listowel was showing me a magic trick. He made it look like starfish were raining down from the sky; but as he walked away, I saw his satchel open. That Autumn Tradesman has more starfish stashed in there than a mime! Up to this day, I have told no one.”

“Thank you, Sylvester. You have been ever so very helpful.”

The two waited for Babe Listowel to wake up; and when he did walked to Twelve-Anne’s room to knock their hands against the door. Once she had emerged, the four members of the Quest Committee enjoyed a complimentary breakfast, worked on a crossword puzzle from the future, and left the Earth’s atmosphere. The following three weeks were quite funny; because the rule of three states that three things are funny.

The craft landed on the steel with a thunderous bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonn-thunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk, the sound resonating across the surface area of the universe. Babe Listowel pulled a quartet of space suits from behind Sylvester Denny’s ear. Dawson Filter and company slid them on and exited the rocket. It was, in fact, their plan from the very beginning to leave the rocket at some point, from the moment they decided to use a rocket to that time I told you they left it. I just withheld that piece of information from you for dramatic effect.

Babe Listowel tossed the starfish to the edge of things, smiling at the thought of starring in the story of his life as he fished for answers with starfish in the stars where fishy things had started to selfishly startle his wolfish mind; but he soon stopped smiling, because the second part of that thought was sort of sad.