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Dawson Filter as He Relates to Omelets

Returning from Antarctica, Dawson Filter walked into a bank. It was a nice bank, plenty of walls, a flower pot on the windowsill. Not every person in the bank was so nice, though. There was a nanny with a “Support Arson” button yelling at her dog, a gold-plated man robbing the bank, a butler who was a real grouch, and a teller in the habit of beating her ferrets. It was the robber who caught Dawson Filter’s attention first.

“You can’t rob in here! You’ll only bring in an atmosphere of negativity,” Dawson Filter objected.

As the man turned around, it became apparent that he was Wayne Rubblefish, Dawson Filter’s long-standing archenemy.

“I was wondering when I’d get your attention,” Mr. Rubblefish said, “this is the fifth bank I’ve robbed, and the first time you bothered to show up.”

Dawson Filter invited Wayne to a nearby gazebo, where they could talk matters out with fewer shady characters watching. They arrived not long after, wet because of the unaforementioned rain.

“You know, Filter,” Wayne Rubblefish said, “the thing about gazebos is they have to be built to exist. But you can’t build an omelette without breaking some eggs. I had a friend in Reno, Greasy-Palmed Paul, he once tried to built a gazebo without hurting anyone’s feelings. But then there was the guy whose house he wanted to build it on, and then there was the police; and in the end, that gazebo never did get built, became ol’ Paul was afraid of making the pig who owned the house and the pigs who owned the city feel a little sadness. You know what I’m saying?”

Dawson Filter shook his head, as Wayne had mispronounced the word ‘sadness’ as ‘pancreas.’

“I’m sayin’ you’re a pig, D. And your quest is an egg. And I’m going to fry myself up a nice bacon omelet.”

Dawson Filter had set out on a quest some time ago to discover the True Meaning of Feelings. It was the clue to a crossword puzzle. The true meaning of feelings. 241 letters. 132nd was A. The newspaper that would have published the answer was destroyed along with a decent portion of North America before Dawson could read it. He tried to think back to the name of the crossword author. Plaid Stevens? No, that wasn’t it. Oh yes, Sherlock Dracula. This would be a good name to investigate as Wayne Rubblefish opposed the quest.

“Of what omelet do you speak?” Dawson Filter asked.

“I have a list of things I intend to do before I die. Ending your quest is next on the list. This is, of course, a dull item, and one with which I’d like very much to get over. After that I plan to establish a new world order, which I shall call ‘the Official Government.’ But alas, I am a man of rigid schedule. I’d like to skip the item that involves interacting with you directly to make your life worse, and get to the stuff with the government and the fun; but that is not the manner in which I roll.”

Wayne Rubblefish took a chain out of his satchel, tied Dawson Filter to the gazebo, and left.

Felipe, an intern of sorts, arrived in the time machine that the Quest Committee had decided to use when any member was in a real jam.

“What are you doing, Felipe?” asked Dawson Filter, “This is hardly a real jam; I could probably break these chains with my bare hands, if not with my mind.”

“No,” Felipe said, “Wayne leaves you to die if I don’t save you.”

Dawson Filter stepped into the machine, and stepped out with a slight headache into a mostly-white room.


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 Rowboats

They* say that justice is a verb.

Bah, this was supposed to be written in the past tense.

“Justice is a verb.” They said, over the prison intercom to mark the hour.

“This could wind up being downright bad.” Dawson Filter remarked, never stopping to take his feet off of the ground.

“We’ll probably get you out of here.” Twelve-Anne assured. “It’s probably pretty hard to find a person guilty of tax evasion committed by someone with a different face.”

“We cannot leave matters of things that matter to the system!” Babe Listowel pointed out, raising his fist to the sky, which was visible through the prison’s sunroof. “We sail out of here tonight.”

He pulled a rowboat from his real pocket, and watched Sylvester Denny grin, as sunlight stolen by the Earth moon shone down upon a grinning Sylvester Denny. Dawson offered a bout of applause, and Twelve-Anne feigned a cheer; but the frenzy was cut short by the mighty scissors of fate.

“Blasts!” Babe exclaimed, turning. “I’ve forgotten the oars.”

“We could call a lawyer,” Twelve-Anne suggested, “or ask someone good what happened.”

Sylvester Denny snapped one of his fingers to signal a guard. One such guard came to his side, saying “Yes?”, although not expecting a yes or no answer.

“I was just wondering if you could legally tell us what happened to force the officers of the system to write this fine, young anti-villain into their book of un-good things.” Said Sylvester.

“Well,” The man responded, wasting a full four letters, “this fellow was seen evading some taxes out by the deli; and we can’t have that, so my comrade Odysseus W. Packard fired some warning shots at him. Odysseus told me ran the man ran off; but not before dropping this.” The guard reached over to the evidence coffee table and picked up a birth certificate.

Birth certificuit

“May I please have a lawyer?” Dawson asked, well.

“If you can find one in the next fourteen hours.”

“The trial is in fourteen hours!” Dawson exclaimed with an exclamation mark.

“I’d understand your alarm if you had anything to prepare,” Said the guard, “but I can tell from the look in your eyes that to say such a thing as this would be to say such a thing as a lie.”

The guard turned about, and trotted off to attend to the desires of another prisoner. Sylvester and Dawson sighed in unison, and were about to do it again when Twelve-Anne said: “I could try to lawyer for you, Dawson. I had to take a course in law to qualify for the art school I went to, so I know some laws; and I watched Matlock.”

“Thanks.” Said Dawson, gratefully; because he knew it was better to be grateful than hateful.

“Also, I think I know enough conspiracy theories to convince the jury that time travel is a thing, so we might even be able to tell the truth.”

The Quest Committee set to work, writing down defenses, and thinking of cardless solitaire variations for Dawson to play in jail when those defenses would inevitable collapse. After several hours, the group separated by gender and degree of incarceration to sleep.

Six hours after that, they awoke to the sound of a gavel resonating through the courtroom which they had silently carried them to.

*They written in brown refers to indistinct members of The Official Government.

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Plywood

After blinking for the 76159442nd time in his his life, Dawson Filter decided that it would be at least a borderline-good idea to introduce himself to the Phineas Gage-esq woman who’d just agreed to join his quest through time and space to find the answer to 56 down in a crossword puzzle which had yet to be printed for another eight months.

“Dawson Filter,” He began, flourishing his allegedly securely attached arms, “(insert colon here) the name of every man, woman, and child whose mother shares mine’s tastes.”

“Ah. Personally, my mother’s thing has always been more Twelve-Anne Stradivari, but let’s let our parents fight their own wars,” Twelve-Anne Stradivari replied, staring at a spot of mustard on Sylvester Denny’s life.

“I’m the Sylvester Denny of our clan.” Said the waiter, shoulders akimbo, but with his heart in exactly the right place.

“And I,” Babe Listowel proclaimed, calculating exactly how loudly he was able to speak before repercussions began, “am Babe Listowel.”

“Does the group own a name?” Twelve-Anne asked, promptly after wondering that very question.

“No.’ Dawson Filter replied, hoping that the apostrophe would trick you into thinking the quotation was over.” Sylvester said, grinning.

“What about ‘The Georgian Harrisons’?” Babe Listowel suggested, wishing to relive his days in his high school band of the same name.

“Or ‘the True-Meaning-of-Feelings-ists’. Our author calls us that, so it’s all neat ‘n’ stuff.” Sylvester offered, hoping to defer attention away from ‘The Georgian Harrisons’.

“Or,”~ Twelve-Anne Stradivari, 1 January, 2016. She would go on to say such things as “since we all know what plywood is, we could emphasise this common ground by, when it seems like an appropriate time to call ourselves a thing, we could call ourselves ‘Plywoodn’t Give Up On Our Dreams’.”

This was generally regarded as an overall poor idea, but Twelve-Anne was new, and Babe Listowel looked as if he was about to speak again, so Dawson and Sylvester nodded each other’s heads, and didn’t speak for another twelve minutes. During this time Babe produced ‘The IFTB’s Guide to Being’ from his waistcoat pocket, which he’d found at the bottom of a casserole in the Illuminati for The Blind Headquarters. If you found the previous sentence unclear as to whether he’d found the book or his pocket at the bottom of the casserole, know that it was both. As he leafed through its pages, he notices that they appeared to be growing progressively brighter. He concluded that this was likely the result of the Sun’s rising relative to the book, but was surprised that he’d never noticed how acutely sensitive to light he was.

The time of Dawson and Sylvester’s silence ended when Sylvester remarked that they were currently going nowhere (relative to the Earth), rather than toward the Amazon Basin, as they’d planned. This was especially troubling, because it seemed to be the only plan they had, save for a commitment to oppose the system whenever convenient.

“This tumour which we call our own relocates to a different place for each year we travel to, yes?” Babe asked, secretly using his last word to double as the answer. “So we need only find a time which places us near said Basin. We could ever so very easily travel back to eight hours ago, when we were in close proximity to our future selves, and ask them when such a time starts to exist.”

Dawson Filter placed his cool, bone-filled hand upon the tumour’s dial, and prepared to turn it to 2016, until he became aware that to do so could hardly be called turning, and so, he kicked the machine, to find that this was indeed a good idea, just as it is a good idea to end a piece of writing with a comparison that sounds more meaningful when you don’t think about it.

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Barbershops

The pseudo-yaks slowed to a halt. Benedict Oakley stepped out the only one to display a police siren and bicycle rack on its roof panel; incidentally also the only one to be parked directly facing Sylvester Denny’s face. Benedict drew out a clipboard from his satchel, and checked off a box marked “eye contact”; holding the paper at an angle which forced Sylvester to conjure far worse images of things boxes could be marked. “Orphan puppies relocated to lower intestines with malice in my heart” came to his mind, though was dismissed after it became a more pressing issue that Benedict had taken a mallet from beneath his waistcoat, and had begun to say “Those are quite the kneecaps you’ve gotten, sad-lips-Sylvester. It’d be a shame not to-“, after which he paused for a few seconds to contemplate how he could make his sentence worthwhile, before continuing “donate them to a more deserving candidate.”

“No one deserves to have kneecaps; they just happen. You of all of the people ought to know that, Wayne.” Sylvester retorted, gazing at a lump on the inner portion of Benedict’s left wrist. Benedict blinked, knowing that he had already won the bet he had made with Pontius Smith that would have him do otherwise, and crossed his arms, calling over a stout man who seemed to be perpetually combing his hair in order to keep the part on the Easternmost side. He ordered the man to direct Sylvester and company to a barbershop for further questioning.

The man, who’s official name was Lance, though as they taught us at the academy: “Documents are only as official as they are rabbits”, brought Dawson, Sylvester, and Babe to a railed track. The track appeared remarkably similar to that of a standard railway, but with small shops and average-sized bed and breakfast inns rather than train cars. Dawson asked the gent, who shall be referred to as “Lance”, for the sake of simplicity, and to stick it to my tutors, where they happened to be going.

“Here.” Lance replied, pointing to the the opposite side of Ganymede, and meaning the place upon which the humans about whom I’ve tended to write lately stood. “We’ll be taking the long way around, though. Energy conservation isn’t really a thing on Ganymede.” He showed a guard a plastic lanyard hanging about his throat; spurring the guard to congratulate him on his promotion, and admit the four into the barbershop.

Dawson Filter sat in a chair toward the rear of the establishment, taking a moment to continue the crossword puzzle he had started twenty-four years prior. “Eckart Witzigmann’s drug of choice” √41 down read. Recalling The Eckart Witzigmann Project from his youth, Dawson wrote “cocaine” in the squares, getting a small rush of adrenaline from finding this to fit perfectly, without any of the additional underscores he typically had to write in order to complete crosswords. He thought more of The Eckart Witzigmann Project, and how closely the other contents of its website reflected his life. The parallels seemed endless.

Later in life, Dawson Filter would come to decide that he must have misremembered all of the happenings of the years of his quest. Things like that don’t quite happen, he knew. He would assume he was simply a bank teller or some such, had had remarkably vivid daydreams, and a boring enough life to forget about. Until that time, however, his journey was as real to him as the day is long, only its completion beginning to seem like a fantasy.




Dawson Filter as He Relates to Yaks

Dawson Filter tightened his belt to the fourth notch, and thought several words, many with the letter “w”. After 0.21 seconds o’ deliberation, he decided to raise his left arm, to spite his critics and everyone along the way who ever doubted that he could, doing so just in time to wave the arm’s accompanying hand at the Sylvester Denny who had seemed to arrive in the room.

“Hello Sylvester,” Babe Listowel said, in order to compete with Dawson’s welcoming gesture, “and how are you on this here fine day?”

“I am well, thank you,” Sylvester replied, shuffling a deck of working cards, “and you?”

“Oh, well I do declare: I am well as well can be. Have you come to free yourself from the burdens of the stuff in this world that doesn’t involve questing for the true meaning of feelings?”

Sylvester nodded his head on purpose, and used its mouth to say “Yes, yes, mainly the burdens caused by running about with a man who reminds me that I am his property every four to seventy minutes. It’s like when my great-uncle Barack was trying to make me inherit his blood-money; but I feel like with this one he knows I don’t like it. It’s almost gotten to the point were I dislike it, man.”

Babe Listowel knew from his time as rocker that when someone, say, Norman, has gotten some problems, it is best to pat him on his most convenient shoulder, and talk him through the DOORKNOB cycle:


Other negativity


willful and deliberate misKoNduct


Better stuff than the other parts

In doing so, Norman feels okay to be Norman, and Norman`s problems feel dead. Babe began to sing:

“Denial, hmmmm, denial (X4)

(refrain): Don’t you wish some other things/but it’s all DOORKNOBS everywhere

Other negativity, hmmmm, other negat-” but was fortunately cut short when a gaggle of blind human beings riding golf carts painted to look like yaks came riding o’r the plains to downgrade the Spandex Room’s Easternmost wall to a pile of rubble.

“Raise your hands until they’re up.” Ordered the first. He paused for a few seconds, guessed that the company had put up its hands, and snarled, as he had so many times before: “Sorry, I didn’t see you there.”

The golf cart-men weaved through Dawson, Sylvester and Babe, chanting that the Illuminati for The Blind is generally better than the general public. They were absolutely correct, assuming that the Javan Rhino Mafia is included in the general public, which Norman and I have both decided they ought to be, so it’s two to one, “James”. Dawson Filter leaned his trembling body in Sylvester’s general direction. “Do you recognize anyone in this people collection?” He asked, fully expecting an answer.

“Do I ever!” Sylvester replied, patting down his ever chapping lips with his tongue. “There’s Wayne Rubblefish by the post, and Twelve-Anne behind the eye patch. I don’t think that Wayne’s all that blind, by the by. The ridiculously tall one’s Pontius Smith, and the one wearing too much green for his own good’s name is Luther. If you see anyone here, there’s about a one-in-eight chance that his name’s Luther, unless you already know it’s something else, then it’s probably not. Take Stanford Wynter; I know his name’s Stanford, right? Watch this: Hey, Stanford!” Sylvester called, flailing his arms, “Your name doesn’t happen to be Luther, does it?” Arnold shook his head. “See. I’ve gotten this system pretty well worked out.”

Dawson Filter as He Relates to November

Morning came to the Illuminati for The Blind headquarters at 12:00 am, partially out of habit, and partially out of spite for 1:26 pm, who had hosted Harry Houdini’s death, despite Morning’s protests. As she came, Life-Choices-Luther strut into the Spandex Room, a lit match between his lips and a Norwegian casserole between his left hand and the air seven inches above said hand. Seeing that Dawson Filter’s eyes had been pointing at the flame, as much as spheres can point, Luther explained that his physician had recommended matches as a healthy-ish alternative to kerosene soaked Cuban cigars; assuring him that they were an order of magnitude hipper, anyway.

“Ah.” Dawson mouthed, complemented by his voice. “Thank you again for the food you’ve brought out of the kindness of your heart into the hollow recesses of ours. It’s quite neat how you give us stuff. Case in point: it’s neat now, and you’re giving us stuff.”  Feeling a need to justify Dawson’s sentiments, Life-Choices handed him the casserole most convenient to hand, which happened to be the one discussed in more detail in the previous paragraph.

After an unspecified time of things, said casserole became eaten, largely due to the efforts of Dawson Filter and Babe Listowel. As Babe set what I have decided to call the last piece, out of my obsession with the practice of recreational lie-telling, into his mouth-parts, he noted the existence of a thick, beige-spined book lying at the top of the bottom of the dish which once housed, at assorted points in its time as a thing: a stew, forty-nine forks, four litres of lithium, countless broken dreams, and a casserole. The volume was barely moist, with “The IFTB’s Guide to Being” printed, presumably to act as a title, in golden 34-point Times New Roman letters.

“Rule and/or regulation #1” Babe read, “Double the negative, double the fun.”

“That’s quite the sort of thing that is.” Dawson commented, startling himself with his voice’s temperature, which he had briefly forgotten to expect as non-existent. He leaned far enough to see the parts of the text which were meant to be seen, wondering why a book which seemed to have likely been published independently by and for an organization with “for The Blind” in its favourite name. The book seemed to yield very few answers, containing instead a boatload more rules and/or regulations (many of which were simply more general tips on maximizing fun-levels); as well as various conspiracy-outlines and a diagram of November marked “of a fair amount o’ importance”, which Babe took as an invitation to tear the sheet from its special place, sliding it into the satchel you didn’t know about (these are just some more words to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition, pay them no mind).

The diagram consisted mainly of an empty space approximating the size of the paper sheet, with several arrows pointing to assorted sections of the expanse, all labeled with coordinates corresponding to locations on the moon Io, save one, which was marked “The Amazonian Basin” in fresher ink than the others, and the only one yet to be stroked through in panda venom.

Babe Listowel offered a weak smile, far weaker than one would expect from someone with his jawline; and suggested to Dawson that they finish lining their stomachs with the casserole, forcing me to reveal that they still had four casserole-units left to eat, and the rest of society to come to terms with the loss of the lack of existence of this sentence.