Wednesday, May 25, 2005


      Quiet is exactly what no one was around to be missing in the universe of the missing Earth. They would have been, had they been, if they had been fluent in any of a billion galactic languages, which they weren't, because they weren't, so they weren't. But a billion is a good rough estimate which almost entirely fails to account for the incredible number of galactic languages into which "The Sound and the Light" has been rhymed.

         Here and there, the Sound and the Light.
         One day the Sound declared a fight.
         "I do not like the way you are.
         I'll prove that I'm better, by far.
         I bounce through air, water, and things.
         I am the note each atom sings.
         But you are neither particle nor wave.
         It makes no sense how you behave."
         "I'm me. For me that's sense enough,"
         Replied the Light, who knew his stuff,
         "But if you like we'll have a race.
         We'll race to get to Outer Space."
         The Sound smiled, "No, I've seen you fly.
         This race will be to see how high."
         (For Sound knew Space was dark as Night.)
         "As you wish," replied the Light.
         So off they went, and very soon,
         They parted clouds and saw a moon.
         But the Sound would lose - it shone clear.
         He could not leave the atmosphere.
         "Wait up," said Sound, "That's not fair!
         There are no things, water, or air."
         "You see," Light called, "I'm self-reliant,
         But you need others who'll be pliant.
         The greater truth your loudness bars -
         We can see, but not hear, stars."

      And so, anyone floating at this particular point in space would have probably objected to

         1) a strangely audible woo sound
         2) the lack of breathable elements

Though perhaps not in that order. This being would probably also want to move.
      The offending woo was not actually breaking any rules, it simply did not yet belong to this Universe. It instead belonged to the inhabitants of a bubble, which suddenly appeared there.
      "Quiet!" snapped Josef.
      "Sorry," said Douglas and 1. But it was no good.
      "That was groovy!" exclaimed Douglas.
      "That," replied Josef sourly, "was a boring, unremarkable Universe hop."
      "Boring?!" cried 1 incredulously.
      "And this," Josef continued, "is a particularly boring and unremarkable Univerrr..." He trailed off, distracted by invisible controls.
      "Josef?" asked Douglas.
      "My apologies," replied Josef, "Had an incoming transmission."
      "What was it?"
      "Oh, nothing. A distress signal or some such. Shall we be getting back?"
      Douglas looked at 1.
      "What frequency are they using?" 1 asked.
      "Government channel," Josef answered apathetically, "Let the government deal with the government, I say."
      "A government ship all the way out here?" 1 was worried, "Gotta be a Wardship."
      "Or," sneered Josef, "pirates pretending to be a Wardship."
      "Space pirates?!" hoped Douglas. Josef turned to him.
      "Douglas," the mouse condescended, "we are in space. You need not put 'space' before everything. Do you think they call it 'chinese food' in China?"
      "Of course not," replied Douglas, in his most innocent voice, "They speak Chinese there."
      "Great," whined Josef, "Now I'm hungry."
      "Either way," 1 chuckled, "Let's try not to be too valuable... or too tasty."