Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Ruinous Chevrons

"Fire!" the gunner barked. The glare of the main gun lit the tank. The
gunner watched for its effect. The flaring, ruinous chevrons reached
out, striking the span just where the cyclists rode.
--pg. 95

Don't you hate it when you're out for a lovely bike ride, just pedalin' away through the spring-time breezes when suddenly the bridge you're riding on is hit by ruinous chevrons? Well, now with new "Ruinous-Chevron-Away" your ruinous chevron problem is a thing of the past! With new "Ruinous-Chevron-Away" you get No More Ruinous Chevrons! Just flip the handy flip-top and spray. It's just that easy!

Dorothy looked over at her husband Lester. Her eyes narrowed. Outside beside the azaleas was a smoking crater. "You used all the Ruinous-Chevron-Away again."

Lester doesn't look up from his scrambled eggs. "I'll buy some more tomorrow."

"Tomorrow! Tomorrow doesn't cut it, mister! Just look at that crater out there. That could have been me!"

Lester flips to the classifieds. "Oh, look, dear! There's a trampoline for
sale. We could finally fulfill our dreams of bringing our "Bouncing Cat" act to Broadway!"

Dorothy smiles. "Lester, you're a mad crazy dreamer and that's why I married you." Dorothy puts her fingers to her lips and whistles. Three men and three women all dressed in identical black coveralls run into the house and begin assembling a gigantic abacus.

"Let's see, now..." Dorothy wets her fingertip with her tongue. "Carry the one... yep, it looks like we can afford both the Ruinous-Chevron-Away spray and the cat-bouncing trampoline. Of course, we're going to have to make a few teensy-tiny sacrifices." Dorothy yanks away Lester's plate of eggs. "No more scrambled eggs! From now on, we'll be eating raw eggs Rocky Balboa-style, slurpin' em down straight from a water glass. You got a problem with that?"

Lester frowns. "Yeah, I got a problem with that. I don't even like eggs and now you're saying I've got to drink them raw?" Lester leaps onto the table and misses by inches karanging his head off the chandelier. "Nuts to that! No more eggs! I want to be FREEEEE!"

Flaring,ruinous chevrons reach out and strike the table just where Dorothy's husband Lester stands. The gunner ducks his head through the freshly blasted hole in the house's wall to watch for the effect.

Dorothy cradles her husband's body in her arms. "Lester! LESTER!" Dorothy breaks down sobbing.

Lester's eyelids flutter.
"Lester! You're alive!" Dorothy's sobs choke into grateful, joyous laughter.

"Lester, you dang fool. If you didn't like eggs so much, why didn't you just say so?"

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Unutterable Gladness

"The window abruptly snapped shut in the guards' cowled faces. Yori's expression held unutterable gladness.

'Who is your user, Program?' Dumont intoned, in the formalized procedure they all knew so well."
pg. 121

Spring is here, yes, Spring is here at last. Big thunderous rains biting
through those nasty-ass stubborn snowbanks, full of cigarette butts and
dog crap. Splashing happy through puddles, flowers blooming, air so
fresh, so clean.

"Psst! Hey, guys! Isn't that Yori?" Joe slicked back his forelock and adjusted his cummerbund.
Chad swayed and slurred. "Yeah! That's Yori, all right. G'wan, ask her to dance!"
Joe gulped nervously and tugged at his tuxedo collar.
Chad points. "Hey, she's coming over!"

Yori, resplendent in pink and purple to match the streamers hanging from the gymnasium ceiling, bounced over to the boys.

"Howdy, boys! Gosh, what a swell night! I sure feel glad!"
Joe flinched. "Ssh, Yori! Don't utter about it! You know that here in The Land of Permanent Midnight gladness is prohibited."

Yori wrinkled her nose. "'The Land of Permanent Midnight'-- who picked that stupid prom theme anyway?"

Chad burped and pointed. "They did."
Yori followed Chad's finger up to the two hunched shadows on the gymnasium catwalk.
Joe stamped his foot. "God Dammit! I hate those Robotic Overseers! I'm going to find out who programmed those things."

Chad,swaying, stepped in front of Joe. "Don't do it, Homes. Those robot
guards are ferocious. They've got carefully filed steel teeth that can
bite your leg right off."

Yori shook her head. "But then how do we find out who programmed the Robotic Overseers?"

Mr. Ellis The Gym Teacher (face like a purple eggplant as he struggled to
breathe in a too-tight suit) stepped forward and intoned, "All Who
Question The Robotic Overseers Are To Be Considered Traitors To The
Realm And Must Therefore Be Put to Death."

"Put to death! Well, that's just great. Thanks a lot, Yori."
"Yeah. Good one, Yori."

Friday, February 23, 2007

Tron & The Abyss (pg. 95)

Face contorted in grief, Tron looked into The Abyss.

For Ram and Flynn to have survived the Game Grid, won their freedom, and come so close to the Input/Output Tower only to fall--

Tron could make no sense of it.

He let out a cry that was mourning, indictment, and plea, "NO-oo!"

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Hey! It's The Selections From Tron Happy Anniversary Show!

FADE IN. A murkily-lit stage covered with guitars, keyboards, cellos, vibraphones, glass harmonicas, tin-whistles, double-belled euphoniums, zithers, amplifiers and miles of black cords. Eerie blue spotlight snaps onto a bare spot on the stage: dust motes bob and circle.

DUSTMOTE BOB: Well, it's been a hellofa first year here at 'Selections From Tron.' Lotta ins, lotta outs. But, as The Book says, "The Carrier must bear the major part of the responsiblity for search and apprehension; Recos were too slow and short-range to be of much use."


DUSTMOTE BOB: We've got a lot of people we'd like to thank, and some of them aren't even people. Like Geko The Wonder Pooch our new lovable mascot! Say 'Hi' to the people, Geko!


DUSTMOTE BOB: Aww! Don't that just melt your heart?


CUT TO: Slim Hobo kicking a can along a concrete culvert. Hobo looks up and smiles.

HOBO SLIM: Yep, even us Hobos got some lovin.

CUT TO: grainy 1970s home movie quality footage of Hobo Slim swiping pies offa Mrs. Fitzhenry's curtained windowsill

HOBO SLIM VOICE OVER: Readin' that 'Selections From Tron' entry about Hobos was about the best damn time I ever had.

CUT TO: Olde-Tymey Fiddle Music and Scratchy Black & White 1920s style animation: Hobo Slim with a big fat belly sittin' on a hilltop muzzling moonshine from a gallon jug marked 'XXX' and chowin' down on a giant platter of fried chicken.

CUT TO: grainy 1970s home movie footage of Hobo Slim standing in Mrs. Fitzhenry's garden, rubbing his chin.

CUT TO: The stage and the instruments. DUSTMOTE CIRCLE pushes past DUSTMOTE BOB.

DUSTMOTE CIRCLE: You know, I'm really feeling marginalized here. I mean, I don't know what your policy is toward dustmites but I feel I have to tell you we have a really powerful union.

AGP (stepping from behind the black velevt stage curtain): I'm sorry, Dustmote Circle. What can I do personally as a human being to make you feel 10,000% better?

DUSTMOTE CIRCLE: I... you think... would it be okay if The Selections From Tron Band played a song I wrote?

AGP: You got it, Pal. Hit it!

On stage all the instruments start playing by themselves. First, a single guitar string plucks, sending up clouds of dust. Then a piano note. The instruments play slowly and quietly at first and then build, Orchestral Sweeping strings and delicate burbling melody, building, dust flying, dust clouds everywhere, massive bass drum and cymbols, alpine horn, gong.

Must Be Allergies

"They entered the division and descended a long downgrade, moving slowly in the murk."
pg. 89

Man, my eyes hurt. I mean my eyes sting! Your eyes too? My eyes sting too!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Memory Guards

"He'd meant the doors at the far end of the gigantic corridor, but when he turned that way, Tron noticed that the huge innermost door was now closed, the Memory Guards shut out for the time being."
pg. 120

Memory Guards shut out-- Memories come rushing back. Smell of Lake: sandy seaweed and fish. Dogs frolicking in dead fish. Same as putting on hair conditioner, I guess.

Memory Guards protect your mind from The Memory Pirates. Stealing your thoughts, sucking them straight from your brain as you lay sleeping. No, wait-- that's the Memory Vampires.

Memories locked in a reinforced brain vault protected by The Memory Guards in steam-pressed blue uniforms. Pants with one black stripe along the leg. Peaked 1950s-milkman style caps.

Roscoe The Memory Guard tosses his peaked cap onto the floor of the brain vault. "Milk-Man style! Dagnabit, I ain't no milk-man!" It's true. Roscoe only guards and steps aside when The Chief wants to milk the lobes for memories.

The Chief pushes up his peaked milk-man style cap. "Hey Roscoe! Remember that time The Memory Vampire tried to sneak into the vault dressed up like me?" The Chief chuckles and shakes his head. "Whatever happened to that Memory Vampire?"

"Uh..." Roscoe looks down at the ground. "He got away clean, Chief. Sucked down a week's worth of memories and then vanished in a swirling black vortex."

The Chief closes his eyes and counts to ten. "Roscoe, we've discussed this. You're going to have to start doing a better job guarding those Memories."

"I know, Chief, but it's tough! We need reinforcements! And also, better hats."

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Standard Substandard

"The chilling voice boomed from the sky again. 'Those of you who continue to profess a belief in the Users will receive the standard substandard training. This will result in your eventual elimination."
--pg. 67

Ah yes-- The Standard Substandard. So much better than The Nonstandard Substandard. "Wow-- this training sets a new standard in substandard standards!" There are Standard Standards and there are Substandard Standards and there are Standard Substandards. We must make sure your substandard training meets our substandard standards. "His training is deviating from our standards. Quick, lower the bar. Ah, that's better. Now that's substandard! Substandard enough to meet our standards."

Saturday, November 11, 2006


"The walls were marked with giant numerals, strange ciphers, and symbols unintelligible to Flynn, in varieties and combinations of gleaming colors."
--pg. 83

Walking dizzy down the alley, dried blood on the lapel of your suit jacket-- yours? You press your hands against your throbbing head. Blood roaring in your ears. A man walks by hand in hand with a young child. The man reaches out, concern in his eyes, and plucks your head from your shoulders. Your hands pat the air around your now-absent head. Your body flails its arms in the air.

In the man's arms, you blink. You are staring up at the face of the child. A young boy, you decide, or a girl in a baseball cap. The kid has coal-smeared cheeks and a green crust of snot in the right nostril. Behind you your body crashes blindly into a row of garbage cans. Stay down, you think. Duck and Cover. Stop Drop and Roll.

The man holds your head up to the child's ear. "See, Jenny?" The man smiles. "You can hear the ocean." Jenny nods, solemn and wide-eyed. Her baseball cap says 'Elb.' You don't understand. You open your mouth to speak. No sound escapes your mouth. A massive headache explodes behind your eyes like a starburst.

You close your eyes.

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