Deal 986: Urrrp.

As the purple cone descended, the ambient noise subsided. It was a perfect cone of silence.

Once in place, the real work could begin.


It has long been thought that even fish had language, but it had been missed in all the noise that surrounds us, and which is especially hard to eliminate in such an efficient transmitter of sound as water.

But the new cone of silence would change all that, and I would finally take my place among the great scientists of yore. An honor long expected and long overdue, of course.

And so, I listened.

I heard the fish fins pushing against the side of the tank. I heard a distant rumble, likely from the circulation of the water so that my subjects don’t die.

I heard some of the fish chewing.

I’m pretty sure I heard a fish fart.

Which could be a good sign, in fact. There is some indication that herring intentionally swallow air and pass it to create sounds. There isn’t any clear indication, however, that this is part of a language.

Then the cone of silence lifted and the sounds of my real world lab intruded.

What imbecile interrupted me?

Why can’t I work in peace?


Deal 983: Something may be falling

It really was the best of times. Peace had been the order of the day for as long as anyone could remember. And there was nothing that could change that.


People see things. But they don’t always see the whole of things. And that can lead to trouble.

As it appears we are heading now.

There are many stories of what was seen. Stories that contain some grains of truth, to be sure.

But what do I know really?

I’m just like you, caught up in the rising tide of events, watching the world get stranger.

And that chicken just won’t shut up.

Everywhere she goes, she just has to stick her neck in and peck out another story. Sometimes she even agrees with what she’s said before. Always, she is spreading fear.

Fear of the unknown.

Fear of the sky.

Fear of the fox.

Fear of the wolf.

Even fear of Old Mac.

And because people are afraid, they call for prudent responses just in case she is right.

Or maybe it is just a rain storm.

And like a rain storm, perhaps it will blow over and our peace will return.

I’m not as afraid as most.

What I fear, is the fear itself.

And I fear it won’t end well.


Deal 982: Froggy

It seemed like a good idea at the time. That is my story, and I’m sticking to it.

The frog was handy. The orange was just sitting there. The plot of the trick practically writes itself from there.

How did I do it?

Well, you’ll have to work that part out for yourself. After you give some serious thought to the question: should I do this?

Well, what could possibly go wrong?

The mark seemed eager to participate. He even cooperated in pretending to inspect the frog and sign it to recognize later. Some frogs like being handled, so signing it wasn’t all that hard.

Frogs are easy to vanish. Tree frogs are really easy to palm. So are geckoes. Leeches, of course, are even easier since they will tend to assume you are a buffet table and cling right away and feed. I figure the frog would vanish easily, and we’d advance the plot from there.

Frogs also are ornery little critters that only perform on cue when nobody’s watching. I’ve seen the Chuck Jones short. But I wasn’t expecting it to do anything other than sit still. It couldn’t even do that right.


So I catch the frog, and advance the story a bit further. Of course, now it’s vanish isn’t quite as magical as it could be. But still, it’s gone, and the orange is selected.

Now I’m afraid my mark won’t touch oranges or orange juice for a long long time.

Grenouille a l’orange anyone?