1. Life, the magazine 1 2. Life, the cereal n 3. Life, the game 1/x 4. Life, the motion picture x**2 5. Life, origins thereof round(Pi*R) Appendix A Still near to my colon Appendix B Look in rec.arts.sf-lovers
Research into the origins of talk.bazaar have stirred up several hornets nests with the local Moped Majority. There are still many unanswered questions, and so far noone has proven conclusively whether talk.brazier devolved naturally from comp.sys.big.blue, proves scientific penguinism beyond a shadow of a doubt, spontaneously sprang (whole) from the forehead of MIT's project Zeus, or is simply a very cruel hoax on its posters, and does not exist at all, even in their psyches.
There is now, however, new evidence that at least points the way to where the sheep got off to while the stupid shepherdess was posting nasty notes to talk.sheep.counting.
It was a stark and dormitory night, and aging pianist and icon-eater Tom Lehrer was visiting the adobe of long-time fiend and sometime friend Berkely Breathed 4.2, who was working on his fledgling, and already nearly dead, comic strip about a lawyer friend of his who eats penguin entrails while hacking out CIA passwords on his home computer to hide his real sleazeball occupation from his family, who was too busy trying to act as if they werent from Cleveland to notice what he was doing anyway, as long as it didnt involve exposing the family's roots, which by now were bleached.
TL noticed that BB had received some new software from JP (an author of SF stories and BM articles) which had the phrase "Poisoning Lawyers in the Park" scratched on it in velcro green ink. He asked BB about it, who responded that JP often sent AI programs over to try out on the PC to help make BB's comics more marketable.
"Dont bother with it", BB snarled, "it usually erases my storyboard and puts up pictures of some stupid beagle on a doghouse and tries to tell me thats marketable!"
TL, suspecting that BB was actually trafficing in stolen song copyrights, waited until BB left the room to get some more Coke (TM) (Pepsi eats snail quiche!) and syruptishushly placed the disk, which smelled vaguely of either herring entrails on Bagels, or dog liver (he wasnt sure) into the A: drive (cleverly disguised as a toaster oven, he noted admiringly, so as to discourage BB's hacker friends from running off with it) and closed the drive door with the handle marked (Stale...Burnt). The drive gave off a putrid smell, and ejected the disk into a slot he had not noticed, which, whatever it was, was disguised as a floppy drive next to the PC. Just then, BB returned with the snack, handed TL a Coke (TM) (Pepsi sucks pterodactyl eggs!), and dropped a Bagel nonchalantly into the drive, and moved the door latch to the Burnt position. TL noted that BB had obviously been drinking too much Coke(TM) (Pepsi drinks New Coke!), which also explained why all the silver was missing (soft drink addiction is expensive!) but not why BB was rebooting the PC, which TL now noticed was linked via a wide, flat, multicoloured cable (like a rainbow that has died but not hit rigor mortis, he thought) to the toaster containing the JP diskette.
A sudden flickering of the lights was responded to by obscene noises from BB and a "BEEP" from the PC, which TL noted bore the logo "Sinclair/ Timex 1000000". The PC began to rotate the disk in the toaster, which TL finally realized was actually a Suzy Homemaker washing machine on Spin Dry cycle.
The PC screen flashed a few times, and displayed a picture of a decrepit old manor house in a state of chaos, with computer gear and geeks falling out all the windows. The logo on the screen proudly proclaimed its name, "Bite Mah Magazine Mushwear - Comic Stripper III".
BB began to writhe as if in agony. "How did that get in there?"
TL didnt bother to say, as he held a low opinion of anyone dumb enough to confuse a disk drive with a toaster, much less a toy washing machine.
BB began to foam at the mouth. "I just finished this great plot outline and some of the artwork, for when the lawyer puts Mary Worth away..."
He gasped, as did TL. The screen was covered with the ugliest, yet most charming comic character either had ever seen.
"Its...its...what is it?", puzzled TL?
"The data at the bottom of the screen proclaims this to be the software's magnum opus", whimpered BB.
"I can believe that.", TL whispered in awe. "Lets call him Magnum."
"Been used", sneered BB. "Anyway, Ill do the thinnin around here, and I have, in my infinite creativity, decided to call him Opus. What is he, anyway? Looks like a cross between Madonna, George Will, and a puffin."
"How do you know it's a he???"
Suddenly, a power surge caused by an astronomer sand-blasting the vegetable oil in his Austin-Healy with an overworked wind-tunnel electric motor blew 7 main breakers in downtown Beantown. The resulting back-EMF was revectored by the power company into the main feeders of a large CIA-sponsered UFO detection project, with corresponding arcs taking out several main power buses, including the Crosstown A, driven by a young mackerel-snapper named Milo. Milo was totally destroyed in the electrodynamic whirlwind which resulted, but the magnetohydrorambolic forces of his brain caused a small modulation along the arc to travel back through the high tension lines, only to be shunted into a side ground circuit, where they ended up over- writing some data on a floppy bagel in a rundown former paint store which was now the residence of our Gyro, BB. As the bagel spun back up after the power fluctuation, the beady eyes of Milo stared out upon an empty room from a now-nearly defunct Timex, which murmured its soothing "tick tick tick" to the shoes formerly occupied by TL and BB, who were now cringing behind the sofa.
"I dont know what it is," said TL, "but Ill bet you could sell it!"
"Naw, no way, Tom." With that Mr. Breathed jumped across the room and frantically redirected all output from the program to his hacked- together News posting program. His fingers shaking so badly he could barely type the newsgroup name, he mistyped the newsgroup name. Instead of rec.arts.comics, he missed a couple of keys and came up with talk.bizarre. Unheeding now, frantic only to save his reading public (all 6 papers that carried his strip), BB hit a series of carriage returns, never seeing the query, "talk.bizarre does not exist. Create now [y]?", and hence becoming the world's only unwed father to spawn the moral equivalent of a sold-out Wayne Newton concert all by himself.
Last updated: 7 Oct 1994
Copyright 1988,1994 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.
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