Deal 1304: Hidden

Everyone lies. But I was the first to be caught by a hidden recorder. I think this will usher in an era where it is impossible to lie without being caught.

Faced with a recording of your very own voice to prove you false, how could you ever draw?

The gramophone was well hidden, and it clearly picked me stating my intent to lie.

Now this is causing troubles with my show. My rivals are spreading rumors, and then playing the recording they have with the not-so-subtle hint that there could be more!


Deal 1297: Vampirecord

For centuries he had un-lived without any sense of his own self. Mirrors did not work for him, of course. And minions were always too eager to please, lest they become a source of his next meal.

Then technology caught up with the invention of the gramophone. The image of Nipper, ear cocked, listening to his master’s voice was the first hint that things might change.

He had to have one of these new machines.

But to get one, he needed to interact with businesses impractically far away, and stay out of daylight while he was at it.

Getting a gramophone became an obsession.

The new sources became available, some even nearby.

Finally, the big night arrived. A crate was waiting in the castle courtyard.

He set it up, set the wax cylinder spinning, and dropped a needle on the fresh wax.

At that moment, his mind went blank. What was he going to say?

“Tonight is the beginning of a new age. I am ready to take a bold step forward,” he declaimed.

With some trepidation, he moved the playback head into position and gave the spring drive a few cranks.


He heard nothing.


Deal 1244: Empty

The room was dark, except for the corner. There, a fluke of lighting picked out the empty birdcage.

The empty birdcage.

The empty gilded cage, whose door was standing open, and whose occupant had fled.

Or had been eaten.

Either way, the empty cage was in the spotlight in the dark room.

It took a while to notice, but more than just the bird was missing. The prince, whose palace this is, is missing too. At that, the general alarm was raised.

And here we are now.


Deal 1236: Press conference

Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I stand before you here today to state clearly for the record that I have been falsely accused. As you know, my enemies are many, and some of them are probably in this room. Their current attack takes the form of quiet whispers questioning my sanity, claiming that I am paranoid. All the while they refuse to stand up and face me in public.

These are not the actions of people with evidence.

I am indeed sane.

Furthermore, I shouldn’t have to point out that whisperers claiming I am paranoid, distributed through anonymous channels and leaked recordings of unproven provenance and veracity actually support the idea that a healthy dose of skepticism is a good idea.

I do not go about armed. I do frequently carry a butter knife. In my day to day activity, I frequently have a slice of toast. That requires butter, and a knife to spread it. I am not armed. I am prepared.

I do not wear body armor. I do frequently wear thick sweaters. In case you haven’t noticed the obvious, it is cold recently. Sweaters are good insulation. The one I am wearing today was a gift from my mother, crocheted from the last of the wool gathered from her flock. Would they deny me a memento of my dear old mum?

I do not meet secretly with aliens. I assure you that if visited by beings from another world, the matter would not be a poorly kept secret. It would either be an extremely well kept secret, or entirely open and transparent. At least as transparent as the hulls of their supposed spacecraft. Which do not, of course, exist.

Finally, I do not consort with clowns. Let me say that I have no objection to people choosing of their own free will to wear the white face and red nose. It is not a life I would choose for myself or wish upon a close friend.

Thank you for your patience and I look forward to many future conferences to come.