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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution


 
The Essay
Show #141
Puce 'n' Lanimous
David Gunn
There are, in any relationship involving the abuse of the laws of physics, four known flexibilities: paranoia, plagiarism, upholstery, and earwigs. Although many arcologists claim that the tokamak also deserves to be included in that heady grouping, we will, for this discussion, leave it in the befuddled hands of Aldeau as he searches for a universe devoid of smart alien ants. The first flexibility, paranoia, is well documented, though ultimately way off base. Utopian rats scrounging for cheese in a laboratory maze obey many physical laws, including the law of the inert working class, but their paranoia is contrived. No matter how well-meaning it is, the maze simply is not flexible enough to appreciate all known rat behavioral phenomena and apply appropriately appositivic procedures. Plagiarism, on the other hand, has long abided by the third pluperfect axiom of indeterminacy, playing spatial charades with its mirror image while contradictory flexibilities wander aimlessly about in a gelatinous fog whose lime green tint conjures up horrors of past culinarial torment. As the inexorably flexible fingers of plagiarism wrap around and apply unpleasant pressure to many of the laws of physics' throat, two things happen. Fortunately, they cancel one another out. Upholstery, however, is not so lucky. Having more in common with the sound of a tweezer squeezing through a rift in the space-time continuum than with the previous two flexibilities, the upholsteroid's aberrant behavior coupled with an unhealthy attitude towards reality creates chaos within even the most basic First Law of Motion: "Any object in a state of rest tends to stay at rest until directed not to, QED." The upholstery flexibility takes that truism and literally smacks it upside the proverbial head to such an extent that, even if it wanted to speculate on, say, an infinite number of possible routes to and from Cleveland, it couldn't, not even with help from neighbors. What was A = A has turned discombobulatingly into A doesn't = A. In scholarly circles where erudite chitchat invariably takes precedence over the game of Twister, this is known as a pain in the ear.

Which brings us to the earwig. Long thought to be merely a homely insect of the order Dermaptera having two pincerlike appendages protruding from the rear of the abdomen which are used to chomp through its host's ear to the succulent brain tissue beyond, the earwig's greater purpose in the overall scheme of things in general and the 2nd through 15th laws of physics in particular is to put right what the other three flexibilities have pulled asunder. For example, Coulomb's Law, which implies that unlike charges attract and like charges repel, except for certain Delaware bank cards, becomes so much linguistic mush under the tutelage of plagiarism and paranoia. Add to that a bit of upholsterical uncertainty, and the whole fundamental law goes down in flames. Enter the earwig, fourth known flexibility of the order flambeau oriange. Once thought to exacerbate the deleterious effects of the other three, the earwig has since shown its true colors, puce and vermilion, while proving to be a true guardian of the natural laws of the universe, except for the 29th law, the one which deals with magnetic kelp. So the next time you open a fruitcake mailed from afar and out crawls an earwig altered by rum and you are tempted to squash the interloping insect, remember that without it, A might not always equal A, X and Z might occasionally be common denominators, and this might not be the 141st episode of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar, which it still has every right not to be, and the next vocal ministration you hear may or may not belong to Kalvos.