"Thank heavens somebody else doesn't get it!" exclaim several other people in the room.

"No, no, no," says Ed-B, "not the theory of time travel you explained, that makes perfect sense. What made it be this universe that you appeared in, out of all of totality? The chances against you guys spontaneously appearing here must be something like--"

"--of the order of a googolplex to one. Yes. This is a very, very unusual universe, to say the least, but everything's gotta happen somewhere, you were just the unlucky ones," replies Ed-A.

"There's something else I don't get," says Ed-B. "If you and Sam-A knew all this, why did you agree to come back in time at all? We have friends, family, lives. It's impossible for you to ever, ever return to timeline A, because there is no time travel in timeline A. You've left a massive gap - it'll be as if you mysteriously disappeared one day and never came back. Can you imagine how Mum and Dad are going to react? How could you do that? Both of you!"

Ed-A blinks. "Good question there. Right. Let me explain a little further and come back to you. What we now have here in timeline B is something of a problemo."

"Yeah, like, there's two of us," says Sam. That's Sam-A, not me, I'm Sam-B. This is getting confusing.

"Right," says Ed-A. "There are two of each of us, genetically identical, having precisely the same past up until two days ago, same house, parents, birth certificates, same identities. 'Long lost twins' isn't going to cut it here. Also, Sam and I aren't thrilled with the idea of setting up new identities elsewhere in the world and pretending to be different people. Especially not considering the media attention I've drawn in the past and am likely to draw in the, hah, future - somebody's relatives are bound to notice something sometime, while watching the news."

"So, basically, we want you two to go back in time," says Sam-A. "You go back in time to just before midnight two days ago. You'll never return to this timeline again, leaving just one Sam and one Ed here, and no problem. We'll go back home and pick up where our lives left off, and the status quo in this timeline is happily restored."

"What about us?" I ask. "Won't we end up in timeline... uh, C?"

"Sure, but when you get there, just do exactly as we did here in timeline B. Switch places with Ed-C and Sam-C and pick up your lives where you left off, and everything is hunky-dory."

"Except for Ed-C and Sam-C," I say.

"...Who then go on to displace Ed- and Sam-D, and so on down an infinite chain of alternate Eds and Sams. Do you see how it works? Each pair of us sends the next pair back in time and takes over from them. It's like adding another visitor to an infinite, full, hotel. Just shift everyone down a room. Eventually, it works out fine for everybody."

"Ahhhh, and now I get it," says Ed-B. Now I see why you came back and left everyone behind in your old universe."

"I thought you might," says Ed-A.

"You're not actually the original Ed and Sam," says Ed-B.

"No. That was what you and I both think of as a helpful lie, as I'm sure - well, I know you understand. Our timeline and this timeline and the next one all actually occur somewhere a long way down the infinite chain - so far, in fact, that neither of us are entirely sure why it started in the first place... or, more importantly, when."

"So which iteration are you?"

"Something of the order of four hundred and fifty billion," says Ed-A. He throws a 3.5 inch floppy disk on the table. "The exact figure is on this disk. We hereby present it to you and charge you with increasing the number stored on it by one, and taking it with you on the next journey."

There is another shocked pause.

"Four hundred and fifty billion," I say.

"The chain goes on forever, Sam," says Ed-A. "Somewhere in the universe, during the infinite repetitions of this same two-day cycle, that number's gonna reach a trillion, then a quadrillion, then a quintillion. Then it's gonna be so big there won't be enough room on the floppy disk to store all the digits. When you think about it, we're actually not as far down the chain as we could be."

"If this disk has survived four hundred and fifty billion iterations of the same two days, that would make it over two billion years old," says the head scientist, a wide, bearded Norwegian.

"It hasn't," says Ed-A, "and it isn't. We replace it with a new one every thousand iterations. What you might find interesting - and if you need any more proof of our story, which I doubt - is that there's another disk in this facility which looks exactly like it, same label and everything. That's the disk that the Ed and Sam six hundred iterations ago decided to use."

Silence.

"Sam and I need to speak alone," says Ed-B, suddenly.


previous | Ed stories | next

Audio captured from a very interesting taping of one of America's favorite game shows:

Oh, that Bob, he's at it again.

"Hello everybody! I'm Richard Karn and welcome to another edition of Family Feud! Over here we have the Caseys and over there we have the Dovers! Let's play! Heads of the family approach the podium!"

"Hi Richard!"

"Hi, Karnhole!"

"Uhhh...um, OK. Let's meet you first. So you're Bob Casey. Tell us where you and your family are from, Bob."

"We're from St. Louis, Missouri, Dick."

"Well, uh, you can just call me Richard, Bob. Uh, so what do you do for a living?"

"I am a business man, Karnhole."

"Uh, Richard, please, Bob. Uh, what kind of business do you do?"

"I sell stuff."

"Um. OK. All right. Over here we have Ben Dover...Bob...Bob? We're doing Ben now, please be qu--- stop laughing Bob, please. OK, so, Ben, where are you and your family from?"

"We're from Battlefield, Michigan, Richard."

"And what do you do for a living?"

"I run a computer business out of my home...no, it's not selling porn, Bob."

"Uh, yeah. OK, nice to meet you both. Let's see what the first survey is today: 'Things you do around the house.' Give me something that you like to do around the house. Yes, Bob, your quicker on the buzzer! Give me something that you--"

"Ass-fucking, Richard!"

"-- do around...the...house. Um, Bob, now, you can't...that...that answer won't air, Bob. You, uh, even though you might do that around the, uh, house, I'm afraid that I'm gonna need another answer."

"All right, then. How about cleaning?"

"Good, good, that one might work for ya Bob. Is it cleaning?!?"

DING!

"YES! And it's the #1 answer! Looks like we're starting with the Caseys today!
"All right, now, Bob, quite an interesting family you've got here. They, uh, all look like nice-looking young ladies."

"Well, they're my bitches, Karnhole, they're like family to me."

"Your wha--?"

"This here is Skank, and here's Bitch Slap, and these two over here, I like to refer to both of them as one name: Ho Sandwich."

"Uhhh. Rather, uh, interesting names, there."

"You wanna make out with them, Karnhole? They're nice pieces of ass. Richard Dawson used to do that, didn't he?"

"No. And, well, uh, yes he did. But this is a different time now, Bob. And, please, stop calling me Karnhole."

"OK, Dick."

"Or that. OK, let's see what we can, uh, do with this survey..."

"Did you know I have a 14 inch dick, Richard?"

"Uhh, no. Uh, hm. That's, uh, nice. What else, uh, Skank, do you do around the house?"

"Fellate!"

"Ummm...uh, OK. Do we have fellate?!"

EEEEHHHHH!

"No, sorry, Bob, Skank, no, uh, fella--no, it's not there. Try again. Let's let, uh, Bitch Slap--"

"Suck Bob's dick!"

"Now, uh, come on, please, try something else. We just can't--"

"All right, make movies!"

"Hey, OK, that one works! Do we have 'make movies?!'"

EEEEHHHHH!

"Oh, I'm so sorry. That's two strikes. If we don't get a better answer here, it goes over to the Dovers."

"How about put dildos up Ho Sandwich's asses?!"

"Now, Bob, do you really do that?!"

"Yesssir! Almost every night! They like it."

"Uhhh...let's just...this might work: Let's just try sexual play. I think we can do that."

EEEEHHHHH!

"Sorry, Bob, that's three strikes, and..."

"What a bunch of motherfucking shit! Sex has to be on there somewhere! What the fuck else is there to do around the fucking house?!"

"Now, Bob, please, for the last time, watch that language. Don't be a sore loser. Maybe you'll get it next round."

"No, we're doin' this round right fuckin' now, you bitch! We're gettin' a major FUCKJOB here..."

"No you are not! Now, let's move over to the Dovers for the steal!"

"Watching TV!"

"Video games!"

"Paying bills!"

"All right, Ben, those are good answers by your family. You get final say."

"Hey, BEN, why dontcha bend over for Karnhole there and let him fuck ya like he did US!"

"Bob, its not your turn! Now be quiet!"

"Uhhh, I think I'll go with watching TV, uh, Richard."

"All right, FOR THE STEAL! Is it 'watching TV?!'"

DING!

"Yes, there ya go, you got the--!"

" BULL SHIT!"

"BOB, PLEASE---!"

"Fuck you and the horse you rode in on, Karnhole! You robbed me and my bitches! We won fair and fucking square!"

"Let's go to commercial break...QUICKLY...we'll be back right after these--"

"Hey, Ben, why dontcha bend over and let me shove Karnhole's head up your ass?! It's been up his too long!"

"Security! Can we get security to remove this man...and his, uh, 'bitches.' Good..."

"Get off of me! You should be worshipping my 14 inch cock, y'know! Worship it, Karnh--- Yeaaaggghh!"

"Worship his cock!!"

"Yeah, you tell him, Ho Sandwich! Let go! Let gooooooo!"

"Now, Dovers, I deeply apologize for--"

"Cooooooock!"

I didn’t realize that you would be so hard to thaw out.

When I first saw your wrapper, I was drawn to you right away, bright and perky, just screaming for attention. And give it to you I did, paying for you with deep conversations and rides home, talks with parents and late night phone calls. Eagerly I took you home, and unwrapped the burrito of our relationship.

I was anxious to dive in, enticed by your warm and fluffy tortilla of friendship and kindness, I could only imagine what else you had in store. Carefully I took a bite, and the sensation of what you could give me exploded across my taste buds. With sexy dashes of spice, a little gooey cheese of caring and beans and beef of true feeling and care, you gave me everything you had, and a little more. I was so surprised, I only wanted maybe a microwaved burrito of lovin, not a some meal of emotion.

So I panicked, I covered you in the Saran Wrap of unreturned phone calls and missed connections and I threw you as quickly as I could in the freezer of my heart. Forgotten back there behind the Chocolate ice creams of current crushes but brushing aside the Vanillas of past heart breakers. And so there you stayed……and what a fool I was. All this time, if only I had realized the hunger I had wasn’t for some simple treat, but something that would satisfy me.

Someone said that way to a man's heart "is through his stomach." If this be the case, then you will have my heart soon enough. Hungry as I am, I'll know when I've had too much. Maybe I'll pick up something new next time I'm out, who knows what i'll find....

On this date in history I attended my first noder wedding. It was a beautiful, if a bit warm, day for it too. I woke up in the comforts of a child's bed with all the benefits of doll house and stuffed animals courtesy Witchiepoo and thefez and accompanied BrooksMarlin to the affair. It was lovely. What better setting for a wedding than a winery? Stone walls and arching ceilings lit by candlelight and sprinkled with rose petals. Karma Debt was dazzling in her elegant dress and ccunning dapper in his tux.

Dann performed his third wedding followed by his first baptism and did a really good job of it despite being flustered by the screaming baby. And he overcame his urge to baptise by dunking, as is customary in his religion, and only sprinkled the tiny forehead.

After the wedding we walked a few feet and BAM we were at the reception. Karma Debt had her own special pitchers of her favorite drink while the rest of us sampled endless glasses of various wines. Tandex gave a nice speech as the best man and the cake was cut. In the middle of all of this I mingled with the other noder guests and met a few from various distances.

For me the weekend will be memorable for several things:
  • zot-fot-piq looking like a wallstreet tycoon in his tux and red vest
  • brassmule in his overalls at Dave and Buster's trying to pick up a nice looking blonde in evening wear then showing off his sugar-packet -pickup-line..you gotta see it to believe it
  • everyone excitedly talking about the rumoured (and true!) arrival of Walter but not wanting to talk too much of it lest that jinx it
  • brassmule scaling the outer wall of zot-fot-piq's house in pure jurph style
  • the "gaynormous" duo of splunge and randir....really...just them. Very funny boston noders.
  • the Sienfeld-like moment when BrooksMarlin and I showed up at the airport to pick up panamaus and ran into Witchiepoo who was also there to pick him up
  • the moment when Walter and panamaus embraced in greeting then Walter exclaimed "you've got long hair too!"
  • everyone bursting out in techno beats followed by unison singing of "the system is down" throughout the weekend
  • sitting on thefez and witchiepoo's porch and talking with Borgo about life and finances
  • and accidentally stepping on the bride's train as she ascended the aisle causing her to jerk back and give me "the look". Thankfully she wasn't angry and thought I'd done it on purpose as a joke.


  • Overall a very memorable weekend. I was left with only one question....when is Hot Damn 4 going to be planned???

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