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The Essay
Show #128
Mesopotamian Physics
David Gunn
More than three months have elapsed since nine Eskimos departed the mining shack in Klegmore, Northwest Territories, in search of a medical hibachi, a roll of duct tape, 70 feet of climbing rope, and a dogwood tree. Inside the shack, however, only ten hours have passed, due to the tremendous influence the partially assembled tokamak exerts over the laws of physics. Aldeau stares at the window in a transcendental trance, his breathing reduced to exhalations only. The blue-black light filtering through the window creates inverse shadows on the floor that resemble a frieze of frozen fogdogs. A deep, eerie growl below the range of conscious human hearing emanates from one of the wispish canines. In conditioned response, Aldeau stands up, opens the door, and peers out of the shack. Jerkinless, his limeade-saturated mustache instantly freezes in the 13 weeks' worth of accumulated cold. As he absentmindedly forms the Athabaskan word for "Mesopotamia" with his lips, several mouth whiskers crack and break off. Although the upper two-thirds of the nearby radio tower appear normal, notwithstanding the 1954 Hudson Wingback parked perpendicular to the pinnacle, the base ripples in gravitational defiance of the rest of the structure, clearly demarking the range of the dismantle-mak. The onset of Celsian Winter has turned the pallor of the landscape from burnt sienna to astrolabe white, and a series of circular tracks surrounding the shack suggests visitors of extraterrestrial origin. The wine cellar entrance is now buried beneath a snow savings and loan, but Aldeau can still hear a ghostly keening of parallel fifths. Upon closer scrutiny, he discerns that the sound comes not from subterranean Eskimos, but from the rubber earthworms on the floor of the shack behind him. Caught in a temporal rift by the Theory of Disputational Distortion, they seem to writhe precisely out of phase with the suddenly active fogdogs, creating a macabre pas de vingt-deux whose path along the floor, when viewed from below, resembles the outline of a smoldering tweezer.

Glancing north, Aldeau is shocked to discover the crystalline shore of the Beaufort Sea a mere kilomile away, a geographical improbability of insultingly huge proportion. The attendant crop circles, too, had been dragged to within yodeling distance of the shack. Could this topologic anomaly be attributed to the disassembled fusion energy device, or had the limeade concentrate come from critus fruit imbued with psychotropic properties?

A single Eskimo materializes beside the radio tower two-thirds in focus and holding a large Foodies Grocery Emporium bag. As he approaches Aldeau, his focal point wavers wildly, but at last he is close enough to share the same time-space configuration. The two exchange gesticulatory greetings and small cheeses, then the Eskimo withdraws from the bag a dwarf dogwood tree. Instantly the mining shack-bound fogdogs commence howling in long forgotten and forbidden keys that causes the earth around them to convulse. Grabbing his jerkin and adobe hat, Aldeau makes the Athabaskan sign for skedaddle, which they do. The Eskimo leads the way to the radio tower, which they hurriedly climb. Caught between two argumentative realities, the mining shack begins to slowly ooze into another dimension. The keening from the worms grows louder, more dangerous, and the parallel fifths evolve into minor sixths, tenths, and tritones. At the top of the tower, the two absquatulators jump in the Hudson, lock the doors, and hunker down. Beneath them, the world as they know it ceases to make sense, although the door to the shack manages to maintain a kind of proud rationality about itself.

As the bottom third of the radio tower follows the mining shack and surrounding terra infirma into The Unknown, the Eskimo instinctively starts the car and turns on the radio. The only signal he can raise is, oddly enough, a subset of this 128th episode of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar which had bounced off a distant supernova and now exists in that Klegmore time-space configuration. If only we knew this ahead of time, perhaps we could offer tokamakic advice, refrain from uttering le flambeau oriange, or at least play a request before really untoward events occur, events which may hopefully be assuaged somewhat by the imminently calming throat tones of Kalvos.

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