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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution


 
The Essay
Show #153
The Story So Far
David Gunn
The story so far: A mysterious traveler from ancient Mesopotamia named Aldeau appears at an old mining shack in Klegmore, Northwest Territories. Inside the shack, a dozen members of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Eskimos are gathered, chewing on rubber earthworms and playing extended hands of whiskers six-draw. Aldeau carries the components of a tokamak -- a toroidal magnetic chamber used in Algonquin Hole research -- which the Eskimos expect him to assemble. But he is a few ingredients short, so he sends the men out in search of 70 feet of climbing rope, a roll of duct tape, a medical hibachi, and a dogwood tree. Four Eskimos unearth a 1954 Hudson Wingback and locate the hibachi in its trunk; two others trek to a grocery in Tuktoyatuk for the tree; a long-buried wine cellar adjacent the shack produces the duct tape; and the climbing rope ... well, that item remains a puzzle, both as to its purpose and where it can be found nearby.

Some improbable number of time zones away, Abel Kenhowzer has the Catbox Café under surveillance when the Hudson Wingback pulls into the parking lot. Three women dressed as waitresses get out of the car and enter the eatery, where Emil and Dorodny are constructing a tokamak from a pile of mashed potatoes. A fourth person pushes buttons on a console in the car trunk, and he and the car abruptly disappear, while the potatoes flow into and out of focus.

The car next appears on top of a radio tower beside the mining shack. Aldeau is snapped out of a three-month long trance by the keening of rubber earthworms on the floor of the shack. Caught in the throes of a time-space disturbance, the tower begins to opt out of its present dimension. Aldeau and one of the Eskimoes, who just materialized with the requested dogwood tree, climb the tower and jump in the car as this reality sinks into the ground. He vanishes, only to reappear -- with the Hudson but without the Eskimo and dogwood tree -- in ancient Greece in the hamlet of Klondike. The mythical deities are in a tizzy because Judo, god of martial arts, has gone crackers and is attacking everyone. Aldeau gives him a whiff of the tokamak, discombobulating him, just as Mars, god of war, heaves Neptune -- i.e. the planet, not the god of Sea World -- at them both. Aldeau instinctively aims the tokamak at the onrushing planet and fades from reality again. He revisits a recurring dream about a man, a camel, and some kippered herring in the desert, then pops back on 20th century Earth through a seam in an Algonquin Hole where he is whacked by a heavy sheet of sentient linoleum.

Meanwhile, Bobby Beezer and his friend, Ninkota, are piloting an extraterrestrial transport pod belonging to the Paroleans, an advanced race of antlike creatures who are chasing the youngsters in their own spacecraft. Bobby's father, Robert, director of the Alien Incursion Response Team in Roswell, New Mexico, had been studying the Paroleans for years in several hundred containment facilities, which had once been the prototype for the now popular ant farms. After 40 years of confinement, however, the Paroleans became antsy to move on. But what really triggered the alien anxiety attack was the disappearance of a vial of bug blood. Beezer had extracted it from the queen years ago to study its molecular configuration. In exchange, the Paroleans had extracted from Beezer a promise to never remove it from the laboratory. To the aliens it was a sacred fluid, and they believed it depleted the queen's vitality if it was farther than 200 antfeet from her. But Ninkota had copped it -- we don't yet know why -- and then she and Bobby had vamoosed in the transport pod, with the aliens in hot pursuit. When the scientist had tried to track the absquatulators on the beezerscope, he discovered instead a distortion in the space-time continuum which suggested another extraterrestrial arrival. Two of them, in fact: a large sheet of sentient linoleum, and a transdimensionally unstable earthman clutching a tokamak. The two entities attempt to occupy the same space-time continuum domain and collide. But instead of an ensuing rending of dimensional stability, he hears only the susurrant aftersound of the words "Mesopotamia" and "le flambeau oriange."

Now that we are finally caught up with an adventure that began 42 weeks ago, we may proceed ... to the rest of episode 153 of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar, the penultimate episode before we wrap up this story at last. And here to unwrap the rest of the show likewise at last is Kalvos.