“I like washing my hands with soap ’cause I’m paranoid o’ catching diseases from my neighbor; but soap always leaves my hands feeling sticky, which reminds me o’ sad nights masturbating ’lone. ¿Why hasn’t someone invented a way for me to get everything I want?” the ordinary human in a white upper-body-covering cloth says straight to the camera as if he were aware he was being filmed, despite the fact that he was s’posed to be a part o’ an ordinary human conversation, which are usually not filmed.
In enters a man in a cape & shiny suit, with blond hair perfectly parted & a jaw bigger than half his body & the rest o’ his head. Said jaw was full o’ diamond teeth that emitted their own light. He wraps an arm tightly round the ordinary human, pulling the ordinary humans’ rather flabby body tightly to the caped man’s consummately crafted body.
With an optimal mix o’ vocal force & high pitch catered toward warm emotions, the caped man says, “Well, want no longer, Sir. I have the perfect product for you.”
The caped man turns his face toward the screen. This is clearly not just a discussion ’tween the caped man & this specific ordinary man, but 1 that includes whatever other humans that might be watching.
“That’s right, for only 3 payments o’ 1,400₧1, you can get ‘No-Stick Soap,’ a special liquid soap that eliminates your heartbreaking hand-stickiness problem.”
“¿Does it truly work?” asks the ordinary man.
Suddenly, the caped man’s face tilts low & sorrowful, his bright teeth hidden by a frown.
“O…” The ordinary man is both surprised & disappointed.
But then the caped man’s face suddenly tilts back up, his mouth opening back into a toothy grin, pats the ordinary man’s shoulder, & says, “I was just fucking with you, my good man. ’Course it works.”
The caped man turns to face the audience ’gain, holding his hand out to them.
“Look @ what these people have said ’bout ’No-Stick Soap.’”
A slightly-sexier-than-average woman stares straight @ the audience blankly, variously tapping her hands together or wringing them together. Strung full o’ “ums,” “uhs,” & pauses, she says without any variation in cadence, “When I 1st used ‘No-Stick Soap’… I couldn’t e’en tell I was using soap. I just felt just like using water. It came off just like that. It was amazing.”
The audience’s view is returned to the caped man & the ordinary man just before the caped man hands the ordinary man a li’l clear bottle o’ what is presumably the product he is advertising.
“Here, you try it.”
The ordinary man squirts far more o’ it onto his hand than any rational human would naturally do—presumably to encourage o’eruse o’ said product, & thus excess purchasing o’ said product.
The ordinary human rubs his hands together & smiles with bright, wide eyes. The audience knows ’fore he e’en speaks that the customer is satisfied.
“You’re right. It works like a charm.”
The caped man laughs slowly, accentuating each “ha” in a perfectly symmetric way jarringly divergent from the sloppy, uneven laughter all smashed together that ordinary humans habitually do.
“Remember, that’s only 3 payments o’ 1,400₧, & you can get your very own bottle o’ ‘No-Stick Soap’—but only if you call 1-100-2915 within the next 30 seconds. That’s 1-100-2915, folks.”
& that’s the end. The last vision the audience gets o’ this mysterious caped man is his smiling face poking through a hole in an otherwise business-bland blue screen covered in plain white text full o’ #s, only to see him act out the same 50-second play o’er & o’er ’gain.
¿What goes through the mind o’ this caped man in the other multithousand seconds o’ his limited life? Does he oft think o’ this commercial? ¿What does he think o’ it? ¿Does he truly like this product? ¿Is he proud o’ his acting? ¿Or did he just do it for the check & wishes to think li’l mo’ ’bout it?
This question necessitates further research.
The audience clicked their pincers together, which Dawn hoped was the Jupiterian method o’ applause. Though e’en she couldn’t ignore the dire consequences if this show went sour, she still hoped it’d go well regardless o’ consequences. She always thought, if you were gonna do something, well, you ought to do it well, or else do something else well. After all, ¿why waste time making cardboard cookies when you could be making cardboard boxes? & if you gotta make cookies, you ought to take as many steps as you can to not make them crummy—like not using cardboard as your main ingredient, for starters.
The only problem was, she wasn’t sure she was any good @ running a talk show for a large group o’ people from an unfamiliar, intergalactic species.
If you think like that, things are bound to go bad & we’ll be bound to have our organs ripped out & boiled into crummy cookies, she told herself. You just have to focus on doing your best for each work so the doubts don’t have time to catch up & you ne’er notice they exist.
She only hoped the creatures, with their extrasensitive vision, couldn’t notice the rubies o’ sweat banging down gainst her forehead or the way her legs wobbled as she walked on stage.
She raised a hand & said, “We hope to have a good show for you tonight, just to be original.”
The audience stared @ her with sparse blinks while some o’ their antennae twitched here & there.
¿Is that how they laugh? ¿Or is that anger or annoyance?
I can’t e’en tell if I’m doing well or not.…
Well, that’s good then. That means you can’t be doing badly, if you can’t tell.
Yeah, but you can’t just automatically be biased in favor o’ the positive side. Autumn had a point when she said, if you always ignore the negative, you’ll ne’er improve.
¿But how can I do that if I honestly don’t know which side to believe?
Every nerve in her body itched like screams compelling her to run ’way from this radioactive stage. The putrid yellow light from the gaudy rusted stage lights ’bove burned her eyes till she could imagine them blackening into crisps. The white fuzz in the corner o’ her eye didn’t make her feel mo’ secure.
There’s nothing to do but to roll the dice & hope I don’t learn later that I should’ve used a spinner ’stead.
But something happened after that. The white fuzz seemed to grow, & absorb all attention, till she noticed minutes later her mouth automatically emitting jokes she could no longer remember telling, only for the new 1s to slip ’way just as quickly.
I must confess the irrationality o’ my life’s actions. I cannot feign ignorance in regards to the implications o’ my intense scrutiny o’ all Dawn & her partners’ work—o’ them themselves, their thoughts, feelings, & life. I believe Earth English calls this “not having a life.”
¿Why the obsession? I’m certain some psychoanalyst would insist that it is due to a feeling o’ disconnection with my fellow Jupiterians & an attempt to rectify that chasm through the closest Earthling that could pass as familiar—e’en if these “Earthlings” are merely idealizations carefully crafted to cover up the true imperfections o’ their flesh &/or bones.
I would argue that ’twas mere obsessed curiosity: no different from archaeologists who dedicate their lives to digging round for any remnants o’ fossils they could use to give possible hints in a huge world o’ perfect uncertainty. I always had to have mo’. When I watched every episode o’ the regular Early Midnight with Dawn Summers, I moved on to her sketch comedy, The Dawn Summers Show, as well as the spinoffs surrounding her partners—most notably the rare hour-long Autumn & Edgar Adventures with a guest star—such as famous rock star o’ the 2010s, PK Starman; Pac-Man; the resurrected ghosts o’ 30s actors, like Jimmy Stewart; & the Globetrotters—for every episode.
Every warm memory remaining within me revolves round the late midnights squandered watching these, every scene or sketch burning into my brain cells—cells that probably could’ve been better used researching chemistry or computer science.
¿Did you know Dawn was a chemist before she & her partners were captured & compelled to act for her Jupiterian masters? & I contribute to this slavery by watching these programs. Don’t think I’ve just realized this; for years I’d wonder what she thought o’ these shows—whether she still liked them or secretly despised them for the way they possibly ruined a promising career as a chemist.
I like to imagine that she in her e’er-cheery mood would be happy with it, but the always-surly Autumn Springer surely wouldn’t be.
But then I remember that these “personalities” are only what I’ve seen on my monitor, & not necessarily who they truly are. I have no idea who they truly are. Every indication I could’ve possibly gotten from them could be nothing but lies.
But, to be fair, the same applies to my fellow Jupiterians, too.
None o’ these thoughts have stopped my mind from filling with warm nostalgia @ watching any o’ their shows, no matter how many dozen times I’ve watched them all.
If they did e’er lose their charm for me, I don’t know what I’d do, since they’re the only thing I have.
Then, I s’pose, I’d be like Bad-Luck Bella, the always-morose character played by Autumn, who wanted nothing mo’ than to be able to finally kill herself & rid the world o’ her horribleness, only for the universe to conspire gainst her, causing her suicide attempts to always fail in ludicrous ways that severely inconvenience her friends—usually played by Dawn & Edgar. They may be some o’ my favorite sketches—’specially the Marxmas 1—though the news segments & the sketches where Professor Putty—played by Dawn—tries to cure psychologically-ill characters played by Autumn, Edgar, & sometimes a guest—oft Heloise Solstice or Felix Spero & Violet Ajambo—only to give them new disorders with each “cure” are close contenders.
White male with shiny white teeth & sexy white shorts turns to the flesh creature next to him. He practically bounces with energy.
“Hey, pal, how’s it going.”
His associate’s face is long, his eye lids limp. His hands push up gainst his cheeks in an exaggerative fashion.
“Hey, man, you’re looking pretty down.”
“You should try Ideology™.”
His associate sits up with quick motion. His brows are tilted in a fashion that exhibits surprise, curiosity, & incredulity.
“¿Ideology™?” he says, his voice rising @ the end, further indicating his confusion.
“Why yes. I find it’s the best way to distract my mind from the futility that is our existence. I try it myself.”
His associate turns ’way. “I dunno…”
“Come on. It comes in many flavors: Christian, Muslim, Atheist, Scientologist, Marxist, Libertarian, Ruby on Rails, Heavenly Republican, Magical Socialist, Moony, Cthulhuian, Mezunian…”
“Wow,” the associate says, his mouth opening wide. “¿That many?”
He nods. “& many mo’, too. Each comes with its own scripture to fill the lonely hole where your understanding o’ your place in reality should reside.”
The associate looks down into space. “I was looking for a way to fill that hole…”
“It also comes with people who talk to you cheerfully like those people in horror movies & come up real close to you, leading you for a split second to believe there might be someone who loves you as a person & not as a tool to fulfill themselves.”
He sits right next to the associate, leans in, & puts an arm round the associate’s. The associate’s eyes widen as his smile grows. “I’m a Mezunian, by the way.”
He takes a knife out his pocket & begins cutting his palm. As blood begins to leak, he raises his hand & opens his mouth ’neath so that the blood falls into his mouth.
“See, before Mezunianism, I thought I was worthless. It taught me that I could build myself with my own self. That’s why we cut ourselves & drink our own blood. Can’t be useless if we’re so nourishing.”
His associate looks ’way. “I dunno…”
“It’s no big commitment, ol’ buddy ol’ pal. Just take a look @ our scripture.” In 1 swift gesture, he puts his hand in his jacket pocket & pulls out a thin book, holding it toward his associate. “If after trying you’ve decided you don’t like it, quit.”
“¿Just like that?” his associate says, hesitantly taking the book.
“Just like that.” He pats the associate ’hind the shoulder.
The associate opens the book—in the middle, for some reason. He scoffs. Suddenly brightened, the associate says, “Well, in that case, I s’pose I’d be an idiot not to try Ideology™.”
An invisible voice croons in a cheery voice, “That’s ¡I-dee-o-lo-geee!” while an off-key piano jingle fills the air.
“Our guest for tonight is Heloise Solstice, creator o’ the YouTube series Legend o’ the Ace o’ Spades. Heloise, come on o’er.”
Dawn waved her hand toward herself while the audience clacked their pincers together vigorously. The spotlights swung toward the door to the right, where a bent-o’er old woman in a white robe & red-orange avian mask slowly hobbled o’er to the table. After sitting in her seat opposite Dawn, her hands jerked here & there o’er the table surface, her bracelet constantly clacking gainst it. Her face was turned far ’way from the audience & the cameras.
“I thank you for inviting me onto your show,” she said quietly.
“O, ’twas no problem,” Dawn said with a short laugh. “’Sides, it gets me 7 minutes o’ not having to be on, ¿so why should I complain?”
A floating glove—which were not attached to any body, but merely gradually faded into nothingness from the wrist—floated out on-stage, holding a can o’ “laughems.” ’Nother hand entered from the other side with a manual can opener & carefully cut open the steel top, causing paper ferrets with the words “¡HA! ¡HA! ¡HA!” printed on their bellies to spring out.
Many a Jupiterian stomach boiled @ this controversial statement—which later resulted in the hands being banned from Early Midnights with Dawn Summers till the sun becomes a red giant.
Nobody on the network e’er spoke o’ the event ’gain.
That didn’t ruin the interview itself, however.
“So, tell us how you made this video series,” said Dawn. “¿Did you truly just use regular ol’ playing cards & took shots o’ them moving centimer-by-centimeter to make it look as if they moved on their own?”
Heloise nodded. “Yes, though I sometimes used other types o’ cards, such as the guest appearance o’ ‘Pumprincess the Princess o’ Ghosts.’ & ‘Potty Scotty.’”
“O. Those must have been some o’ the highest rated episodes then,” said Dawn.
Heloise shook her head.
“We couldn’t allow something like that to happen.”
Dawn laughed. “I don’t get it.”
“If we let those episodes get the highest ratings just ’cause o’ celebrity guests, it’ll only tempt us to focus on getting celebrity guests o’er the story; so when we post an episode with celebrity guests, we send out people with metal crowbars to random viewers & smash their computers to handicap views for those episodes, evening it with the noncelebrity episodes.”
Dawn nodded. “That makes sense.”
“It can be expensive, affording all o’ the crowbars & computer repairs,” said Heloise; “but cost is no option when it comes to maintaining content quality.”
Dawn lifted ’nother card. What the cards said, she wasn’t sure; working on this show for as many decades as she had simply left her with inexplicable urges, such as the need to lift & set down cards or drink from her glass o’ sterilized water every so oft.
“1 mo’ question & we’ll let you go, ¿’K?” said Dawn.
“No problem, moussie.”
“¿Who’s ‘we’? ¿Don’t you do your show by yourself?”
Dawn looked ’way from her card to stare @ Heloise.
Heloise said nothing. Nor did she move. She merely sat there like a statue for an eternity, forcing Dawn to have her subsequent guests perch on Heloise’s head like buzzards, which had the unfortunate side effect o’ giving them vertigo, but made up for this by giving her guests excellent vantage points for catching prey.
Heloise still sits there to this day, e’en now as the sun becomes a red giant & the rest o’ the earth melts into nacho chocolate—as the scientists had always predicted it would.
Madame Autumn Springer was ’nother 1 o’ those stars that was on top o’ the world in the zirconium age o’ web sketch comedy literature, when the industry was still run by people who melted upon leaving their homes, but became a shooting star once the dreaded user-generaties became the walrus’s pajamas & nobody wanted to read author-written stories anymo’.
Autumn leans on a streetlamp @ the end o’ a corner with a gloved hand, staring glazed-eyed @ the rest o’ the city. She’s in her iconic black & red striped boater & matching striped jacket & sweats.
As she stands there, Lance Chamsby in his black top hat & cloak rushes o’er to her.
“¡Ooo! ¡You have some nerve hanging round these parts after you took my rightful property, you ol’ rascal, you!” shouts Lance, hopping mad gainst the sidewalk.
Autumn takes a coin out o’ her pocket & begins flipping it up & down on her thumb.
“I take it you want your property back, now, ¿don’t you?”
“¡You rot-gobbing right I want my property back!” Lance said with a finger pointed @ her. “¡Now give it back right now or I’ll call Welsh Yard on you!”
Autumn reached into her jacket & pulls out a steaming mug o’ tea.
She says, “Eh, ¿is this tea proper ’nough for you?” just ’fore yanking open Lance’s cloak & spilling it o’er his crotch, causing his eyes to bulge & him to shout random punctuation marks.
Meanwhile, Autumn slaps her knee & says, “¡Yuck yuck gross!”
Springer’s routines simply weren’t compatible with the new format—probably ’cause none o’ the generating users had any idea what they were s’posed to mean.
What you need to understand is that, despite the inaccurate popular conception o’ Springer’s s’posed mainstream, lowest-common-denominator work, she in truth fashioned herself o’ an artiste o’ sorts. She always tried to add obscure, literary flourishes that went o’er critics heads—which always made her works controversial, since one can imagine the fear most people would have knowing that so many heavy jokes were rushing by their heads without their knowledge. Surely 1 would eventually fall & bonk them on the head—probably with some zany sound effect.
Lance storms into his hotel room, slamming the door ’hind him so strongly it caused a puff cloud to come out it.
“I tell you, there’s no good workers in Boskeopolis anymo’,” he says. “It takes hours for them to finally give me simpl—”
Lance’s eyes suddenly grow bigger than his head & his mouth hangs down to the ground.
He rushes forward to Autumn, sitting criss-crossed on a bed, typing on a laptop.
“¿& who said you could hang round my room, filling it with your looter germs?”
“’Fraid we gotta share this room, prof—& you’re actually the one breaking into my property.”
Lance puts his hands on his hips & puffs his chest up.
“Hmmph. ¿& who says this? 1 o’ those socialist workers down there, ¿right?”
Autumn shakes her head. She points diagonally forward & then moves that finger backward.
“¿See those lines there?”
“¿What lines?” Lance says as he turns to follow Autumn’s finger.
“Those lines on the corners o’ the room there & there,” Autumn says as she moves her finger side-to-side.
“Yeah. ¿What ’bout them?”
“Those show which side is whose; & as you can see, this side’s mine & that side’s yours.” Autumn points ’hind Lance.
“Hmmph. Well, I don’t care for what they say—though I’m not surprised you do.”
“¿& why shouldn’t you follow what they say, prof?” Autumn asked.
“’Cause only a commie fool listens to marks & angles.”
’Course, like many comedians under the diamond grip o’ the United Jupiterian Republic, though Springer appeared to be an off-kilter, if oft dark, clown, ’hind that veil lurked depression & constant feelings o’ inadequacy. This was exacerbated after the failure o’ what she had so-oft said in the few interviews she agreed to take would be magnum opus, Dat Uppercase, a parody o’ Das Kapital whose OTD was hand-programmed, byte-by-byte—or, a’least, it would’ve been if she hadn’t run out o’ funding early, causing the project to be taken o’er by Walrus Books, who hastily cobbled together the rest & added #’d chapter divisions—the original only had space breaks—& an irrelevant love triangle ’mong Carl Marxger, Mrs. Mises, & Maynard James Keens, leading Springer to despise it & refuse to discuss it in public.
However, her doubt in the project already happened years earlier ’pon the release o’ Ignoromics, a multilayered, chronological parody o’ the whole field o’ economics, from Aristotle’s Economics to econophysics. ’Twas Springer’s doubts o’er e’er being able to match such a critically-acclaimed work that led to the writer’s block that caused her project to go o’er-budget in the 1st place.
After that, M Springer completely disappeared from the lemon light, spending the rest o’ her life in her li’l home in the hot metal caves o’ Bluckshicha—a’least she would’ve if the Council o’ Recreation hadn’t pressured her to return to work. This was likely the inspiration for her subsequent suicide by asphyxiation—though there are still many hushed voices in the colder corners accusing the Jupiterian government o’ secretly murdering her.
1 drop o’ rain from the otherwise drought surrounding Springer was that her suicide created a renewed interest in her work just in time for many to create mirror sites for her work ’fore her original websites closed, allowing most o’ her work to still be round, while many o’ her contemporaries’ older works were lost to the online ether.
The outlook began to gray for Dawn Summers & her crew as ratings began to plummet after season 9, which was when many in the blogosphere—most notably Cout’ta TV, or “Speak o’ TV”—said they thought the show had fried the HeroHero, which ne’er tastes good without a li’l garland.
Early Midnight with Dawn Summers ne’er had a li’l garland.
This went beyond the threat o’ cancellation: Dawn, Autumn, & Edgar all knew that if ratings didn’t pick up, not only would their show be canceled, but so would the functioning o’ their internal organs once they’ve been extracted & poached for a Jupiterian feast.
This, unluckily, led Early Midnight to experiment with many gimmicks that only turned off e’en mo’ viewers. Their attempts to parody contemporary pop culture—the dearth o’ which had previously set them apart from their rivals—was particularly controversial, ’specially when ’twas centuries ’hind, such as their sketch parodying “splashers,” a phenomenon that had largely died out since the 4200s.
E’en worse, Early Midnight’s iconic cast began to dissipate, starting with Autumn Springer’s nervous breakdown that would ’ventually lead to her suicide, as well as Lance Chamsby’s leaving to focus on movies & Thursday O’Beefe, everyone’s favorite slimy-voiced cad, moving on to politics. They were replaced by largely forgettable cast members literally culled @ random from Earth—most o’ whom were too busy soiling their trousers in fear @ their new Jupiterian o’erlords to be able to act with any quality.
This only worsened as years went on, ’specially as their low ratings caused executives to lower their budget, which only lowered the production quality o’ the show, leading them to rely on many cost-cutting techniques. Sound was the greatest victim: as many critics noted, there was hardly any “music” to be heard; mainly just strange ambient noise with sound effects that sounded nothing like what they were s’posed to represent.
This was complemented by the new staff’s writing taking a nosedive into incredulousness, too. Quirky but satirical sketches were replaced by what most could only describe as truly uncreative fever dreams: utterly irrelevant stories ’bout “King Butcher the Henry,” a cardboard cutout who eat the heads o’ everybody named Henry—which apparently included many people, as tradition mandated that sons o’ deceased Henries be named after them to honor their deaths. 1 infamous sketch was nothing but a cast member sitting in a dark room staring @ the audience with bug eyes for 7 straight minutes, with no sound but the unnerving static round him.2
In the dimly-lit kitchen, Edgar cringes as he watches the timer on the toaster oven go down.
He whispers to himself, “O… I forgot how loud this can be when it fi—”
“¡YOUR TOAST IS TOASTED! ¡HEY-O!” shouts the toaster.
Autumn walks in, rubbing her side. Her bangs are splayed all o’er her face & she is still in her nightshirt.
“Sorry,” Edgar says as he shrinks into himself.
“It’s all right,” mumbles Autumn.
“I always forget this thing’s so loud,” Edgar says as he turns back to the toaster. “I wish there was a way to stop it from doing it. It’s not needed or anything.”
“We should get Tracy’s® ‘Toaster Muffler.’”
“¿‘Tracy’s® Toaster Muffler’?” repeats Edgar.
“Mmm hmm. You just set it up here”—Autumn puts a palm on the toaster—“& plug it in to the back o’ the toaster & it’ll automatically mute its obnoxious shouts.”
“¿That easy?” asks Edgar.
“You don’t think it’s expensive, ¿do you?” asks Edgar.
“I didn’t say we should buy it: we should try pilfering 1 when we rob that mall this Green Saturday.”
“O, OK,” replies Edgar.
That’s right, folks: you can get this amazing technology FREE if you just sneak out the store without paying—no strings attached.* But if you want strings, you can steal those, too.
Autumn & Edgar sneak out o’ the mall @ night, dressed in all-covering black rubber suits.
“You’re right: this is easy,” whispers Edgar.
* Note: we are not responsible if you’re caught stealing & sent to jail & forced to watch Frasier reruns ’cause your cell mate wants to & you’re too averse to conflict to argue.
Madame Summers leans back in her chair with 1 knee crossed o’er the other. Despite the years, it’s clear she still has plenty o’ energy by the way her ankle bobs up & down. However, I was surprised by her tepid, almost-shaky movements, as well as her rather quiet voice, considering the bombastic way she acted on-stage.
She guarded her tongue whenever qualitative questions came to her, ’course, still wary o’ the ire that might be unleashed ’pon her by her Jupiterian executives.
& yet she still carried on a polite & cheerful demeanor, laughing constantly.
¿So what convinced the Ministry o’ Recreation to choose you in particular?
O, I don’t know. They ne’er said.
¿You don’t have your own personal guess? Maybe they thought you were the funniest Earthling.
(Laughs & shakes head). No. No, I don’t think so.
¿You sure? You’re show is so beloved all o’er Jupiter. It’s a cultural phenomenon.
Yeah… I just can’t believe it.
¿You ne’er expected it?
No, I didn’t. To be honest, I thought it’d be a big plop on the 1st season & we’d… well, you know.
¿How much o’ your show was the executives’ ideas & how much were yours?
O, I dunno. They didn’t participate much in the writing itself.
¿Was the format their idea?
O. yeah: that was. I remember they basically just told us to have a talk show with skits & stuff. So that’s what we did (laughs).
¿Was most o’ it written all by you or did your co-stars help?
’Twas definitely a group effort. A whole 4th was done by Autumn & Edgar each; & reoccurring guests would oft chip in ideas, too—Heloise & Lance wrote plenty o’ skits themselves.
(Laughs). The ratings themselves attest to this: all I e’er hear is how worse the show has become since Autumn, Lance, & Heloise left3.
I wanted to ask ’bout that. ¿Are you still satisfied with Early Midnight?
(Shrugs.) It still entertains people, & that’s all that matters. I realize that a lot o’ the complaints are o’erreactions & nostalgia. I can understand: I remember I ne’er forgave the makers o’ a show I used to watch on earth—the Static Show—when they “improved” it by replacing the black & gray pixels with blue. Talk ’bout a boring character.
I dunno, I don’t think it’s that bad. Obviously, it’s not the same without Autumn; but you can’t blame the newbies for that.
So, ¿you’re satisfied with the new cast?
O yeah. They’re all good kids. ’Course, I do still have Edgar, Felix, & Violet, & they’ve always been great.
¿You don’t think the newer members have… caused imbalances in the chemicals?
I don’t think so.
¿You sure? ¿Not a li’l bubbling?
I’ve been checking quite oft.
There are other symptoms…
¿Why? ¿Have you seen any o’ them?
No. It’s just… People have been feeling a li’l mo’ heat is all.
I hadn’t realized that.
You know, it could have something to do with ’nother department.
We don’t think it is.
O. Well, I’m sorry to hear that. I’ll be a li’l mo’ careful in the future.
Your show has had quite the reputation for edginess.
(Laughs.) Not anymo’, judging by what people on the internet say. No, we’ve ne’er tried to be “edgy” or not: we’ve always just been kind o’ spinning & grinning. We actually don’t think that much ’bout what the audience might think o’ this or that, but just try to do whatever we think might be funny or interesting—e’en for Autumn, who’s ’course quite famous for being a perfectionist. She e’en told me once how glad she was that my show let her use it as a… ¿What did she call it? Like a testing board or something. Just a way to try things out without worrying whether it’s good or not.
But you’d ne’er do anything that’d harm the audience, ¿right?
O, no. ’Course not. We’ve always been aware o’ the audience’s safety, which was why we ne’er went through with that joke involving the guy complaining ’bout the dog in the cage ’cause his howls for ’scape were too loud. E’en if the dog was locked up, we still didn’t want to risk it getting out & something happening to it or an audience member.
Well, that’s good to hear.
The cycle ne’er ends
’Cause the cycle ne’er began—
A’least no one knows when it commenced.
It just devours itself o’er & o’er ’gain.
Edgar flips through the pages o’er & o’er ’gain—so many times that the words just blur through his vision.
Or maybe his vision’s just blurry by itself—blurry, stinging, & damp.
It creates everything created,
& yet also destroys everything destroyed.
It is everything;
& thus everything it rejects can ne’er be anything but nothing.
Edgar stands waiting for what must be hours. The time rushes by so quickly. How things change so quickly.
His hand shakes. The papers prod him constantly. “Stop stalling. Decide.
¿Is it better to watch your baby die?
¿Or is it better that it’s ne’er given life?
Edgar slides the papers back under his bed,
Ne’er to be seen till after his death.
It happened ’gain—it happened many times: the average-looking man shouts his personal neuroses regarding the average soap to every TV viewer, the caped man enters to tell him ’bout “No-Stick Soap,” they show the woman stutter her praise, & then the caped man asks viewers to buy.
O’er & o’er it plays—not consecutively, but broken by other ads played o’er & o’er ’gain, as well as TV shows & movies, many o’ which would be played o’er & o’er ’gain. ’Twas all like a river splashing up & down round each other, the same energy repeating, just in different patterns.
But then the ad disappears, replaced by new blood. They all are ’ventually—not @ the same time, but gradually, piece by piece. They vanish without warning. You’d ne’er know when’s the last time you see 1, or whether ’twas the last time ’twas shown or if the last time was snuck through a crack when you weren’t looking, somewhere in the ne’er-ending cycle o’ programming that rushes by @ all times—when you sleep, when you work, when you go to your nephew’s birthday party, hundreds o’ cycles in hundreds o’ countries in dozens o’ planets, all running perpetually & concurrently.
Some ads may be saved: those that were particularly weird or particularly funny or particularly memorable, or were ’bout notable products, or those that starred now-famous actors might be uploaded, kept ’live by the imaginations o’ thousands o’ computers round the universe as magic is kept ’live by the imagination o’ humans. Some may e’en be commented o’er or mocked by some young punks.
But some will expire. They’ll fall apart as ol’ age causes us all to fall apart; 1st their whole being will disappear, their tapes or files likely disposed or replaced by fresh content, leaving just remnants in the isolated corners in various subconsciouses, as snuffed out lights leave spots in one’s eyes for minutes after. & like them, those remnants will ’ventually die out, 1-by-1, till none remain.
’Course, one might argue that everything in the world will ’ventually vanish: every ad & show forgotten, every statue & painting worn down to nothing—till the sun finally blinks out for good & all o’ humanity is forgotten, too.
¡You can cure that depression you’re feeling right now with Le Désespoir! ¡No wine tastes as much as bitter tears, none fills that empty hole in your stomach better!