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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution

The Essay
Show #474
The Equinians
David Gunn

At the precise moment one Saturday afternoon last July that Lark A. Clobberworm said "I'm so hungry, I could eat a horse!," the fabric that bound together the time-space continuum that included the Earth experienced a hyper-porosity event. An interstice briefly ballooned to three times its normal size. Some leakage occurred. Clobberworm's eight words spilled over into an adjoining universe, a universe that was inhabited by a warlike race called the Equinians. As their name might suggest, they looked a lot like horses. But unlike their Earthbound cousins, the Equinians were smart, they were pugnacious and they were ruthless. The eight words entered the atmosphere of Equinox, the Equinian planet, made friends with the wind currents, and stayed aloft on them for the Earth equivalent of one year. All that time, the phrase innocently repeated itself to whom- or whatever it found that would listen. The Equinians listened a lot and became progressively more annoyed. Cannibalism, even the kinky ritual kind, was strictly proscribed on Equinox, and the Equinians deeply resented any reference to it. A worldwide decree was issued that the perpetrators of the insult "take it back," otherwise--well, the list of available gruesomenesses that the Equinians were prepared to visit upon the affronters was capped at thirty-nine thousand four hundred and twelve.

Until this incident, the Equinians were unaware of any universes conterminous to their own. Their cosmology maintained that (a) theirs was the only intelligent race anywhere, period; (b) all others must be subjugated, period; and (c) the only good punctuation mark was the exclamation point, period. So when those eight impertinent words flashed into the collective consciousnesses of the inhabitants of Equinox, the scientists immediately set to work to (d) find out where they were coming from, and (e) establish a link to the offending party's world. The (f) Equi-Warriors would do the rest, i.e. (b).

Clobberworm's words were captured and analyzed and found to contain traces of aspartame and protactinium, elements known only as components of an archaic form of stately dance music called the palominuet. Equinox's Musical Heritage Society was directed to recreate one of these musics at once. It wasn't easy. Music had not been a part of their culture for a very long time, and the retraining of musicians was labor-intensive, indeed. Eventually, however, the piece was reconstructed, the band was rehearsed, and the Equi-Warriors were champing at their bits. As Clobberworm's words floated by, repeating themselves for the umpteenth time, the band struck up the palominuet. If the rendering was not especially dulcet, its effect was at least instantaneous. The same time-space continuum interstice that trebled in size one year ago did so again, abetted by a voice on the other side that similarly metaphored the extent of his present appetite.

Armed with their most potent laser-like weapon, the Zappaloosa, forty squadrons of Equi-Warrior timeships plunged through the barrier. As the thirty-sixth unit was approaching the interstice, the band's union representative signaled that it was time for the allotted ten-minute break. As they broke, so, too, did the inter-universal link. The last five squadrons, all dressed up with nowhere to go now, took out their pent-up rancor on the band and its union rep. Squadrons one through thirty-five, on the other hand, abruptly found themselves in the alternate universe from which Clobberworm's insolent words originated.

Their first view of The Enemy looked strikingly similar to events back home. They had materialized two hundred and ninety furlongs above Belmont Park in Elmont, New York where a battle among a race of look-alikes was presently raging. But the Equi-Warriors had little time to appreciate the tactics employed by the combatants. Navigational alarms suddenly blared throughout all of the timeships. The new atmosphere contained an abnormally high percentage of flatus, rendering the vessels virtually unmaneuverable. As their ships plunged haplessly towards Earth, the Equi-Warriors trained their mighty weapons on random targets below, determined to wreak whatever havoc they could as a final gesture of defiance. However, this, too, was doomed to failure. As the ground loomed up before them, the Equinians began to appreciate that they had mistakenly gauged the size of The Enemy. The difference in scale was such that when the thirty-five squadrons were a hundred equizods above the surface of the planet, one of the look-alike combatants suddenly appeared before them in full gallop, opened its mouth, and swallowed them all.

We hope that you, our listening audients, are prepared to swallow the rest of this 474th episode of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar. Digestive aids are now available through the munificence of Kalvos.