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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution


 
The Essay
Show #113
A Klegmore Redux
David Gunn
The Uniform Sequence of Cleveland-Doubling, an abstruse mathematical formula that permits a theoretically infinite number of duplications to that eponymous city by the lake, is by all accounts an oddity. The reason why some clocks and all sugar-free gelatins are unaffected by the Third Pluperfect Law of Gravity is another oddity. The occurrence of the so-called Calcutta Whimper in atmospheres of pure hydrocarbon, linking menthol to the anagrammatic antithesis of itself, is odder still. But nowhere is oddness given more of a run for its money than at the Foodies Grocery Emporium in Tuktoyatuk, itself an odd little village in northwesternmost Northwest Territories. Foodies, you see, is the only supermarket above the Arctic Circle whose goods are arranged alphabetically. Rock 'n roll memorabilia are indexed along the back wall between rocket science lab coats and Rocco's rodentine lip gloss; books on metaphysic equational arcology theory sit neatly stacked next to Cosgrove's Guaranteed Metamorphosis Kits; hundreds of marshmallows infused with hummus oil are arranged in a confectionarial Mobius strip alongside absentee voting certificates from the Marshall Islands. Regular Foodies shoppers receive monthly notices which tell of special numeric shelvings and locations of hard-to-find items, but even they are frequently perplexed by the seemingly chaotic layout of merchandise, especially given the store proprietor's penchant for illogical alphabetization. Golub's Good Peanut Butter, for example, occupies the space next to Tasmanian Devil Faux Fur Car Mats simply because the owner thought the former was "quot;tasty."quot; But Foodies' eclectic arrangement and downright bizarre pricings of wares had long been accepted because there was nowhere else to shop in a 450 kilomile radius. And its reputation for carrying the oddest assortment of merchandise was what drove two Eskimos to make the ten hour trudge from Klegmore in search of a dogwood tree. One might expect such an item so far removed from its natural habitat to stand out, but the 21 store aisles were so jammed with unusual items -- some even appropriated from a NASA space probe -- that commodities more suited to an Arctic environment were the ones which caught peoples' eyes. The dogwood tree, if it was here -- and a grizzled old clerk with a tattoo of New York City on his right arm swore it was, though he couldn't recall where he'd seen it -- was not of its own volition going to leap off of the shelf into their arms.

Meanwhile, back in Klegmore, two Eskimos emerge from the wine cellar holding a roll of duct tape between them. They rush back to the mining shack and place it exultantly in front of the tokamak-assembling stranger. The man looks puzzled, plucks at his jerkin, then suddenly realizes his gesticulatory blunder. By crossing his hands in front of his nose, wiggling an index finger, and pointing in the general direction of Cleveland, he had made the Athabaskan sign for duck; had he pointed towards Santa Monica, he would have made the sign for duchess, which is what he meant. Specifically, he wanted the Duchess of Fantoccini, the mystical head of an imaginary cooperative of craftsmen that supply the world with automatonic workers. But the duchess was not likely to be found hanging around a Klegmore wine cellar, and the Eskimos didn't really have any idea where to find her. The stranger does, however, and he makes the Athabaskan sign for Tarnhelm. As he does so, a shaft of especially bright blue-black light streams into the room, illuminating a map on the wall. The map is not of Mercator orientation and is of no land familiar to the men in the room. A red-tipped pin is stuck in the center of the map. It is labeled "quot;Le Flambeau Oriange

-- the entrance to "Tarnhelm"quot; and pulses slightly in and out of focus precisely out of time with the tokamak pieces on the table.

Well, what of it? And what of the Eskimos searching Foodies for a dogwood tree? Are they on a wild theoretical goose chase? For that matter, what happened to the men who last week drove off in the Hudson with the hibachi? Or the Eskimo atop the radio tower -- did he ever find the climbing rope he was apparently seeking? And finally, what of this, the 113th episode of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar? Is it really worth the effort our listening audients must put into it week after week?

These questions may not be answered any time soon, but at least one of them will be addressed, if show time permits, following the succeeding rebuttal by Kalvos.




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