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Chap 1.3 - Page 3frangles: Skip book 1: Writer's Bricks

            The first bartender of the first caferestaurant of any kind to ever exist seemed bothered about something as he watched a man and three pigeons wander into it.  Rather than greet them, he started obsessively surveying his inventory for some reason.  At one of the diner booths was a young couple who were too involved in each other to be sure whether they had eaten or whether they had already paid and left if they had.
            "Ooo!  Pigeon feed!"
        
 
 "Where, Todd?  Oh!  Hey Skip, dive in!"
            The pigeons clumsily flittered upward toward the bar table at a small bread crumb that had been left behind, but only Todd made it.  After he quickly downed it, the others resolved to settle on top of the caferesaurant's dining booth rather than risk humiliating themselves at a second failed attempt to fly up four and a half feet.  The bartender stared at Todd for a moment, then glanced back at his bottles and glasses.  Then he stared at the other pigeons for a moment.  Then back at his bottles and glasses.  Then he stared at Skip, then the spot where Todd had pecked the bread crumb, then Todd, then back at his bottles and glasses.
            Pigeons.
            Glasses.
            Todd.
            Table.
            Skip.
            Bottles.
            Todd.
            The male youth gave a crafted, rhetorical glance over at the bottles of beer on the wall, then turned back to the girl as he began repetitively whistling a thirty-something-note four-measured melody.  While Skip didn't recognize it, he was pretty sure by the expressions in the room that it was done tauntingly at the barkeep.  The scene seemed as awkward as his deja vu that it had seemed so before, so he trusted his gut and did something he figured was as normal and harmless to do in a bar, and ordered a Rum and Coke.  The bartender simply stared at him awhile longer, then slowly reached under the bar table and lifted out a wonderfully shiny, new-looking, and exceptionally sturdy-looking metal cup.  He stared at Skip while he thwucked it hard on the edge of the table a few times to display it's sturdiness, and placed it down and poured the drink.  Skip nodded a confused thank you, then frowned and turned to Todd.
            "Do you ever get the feeling you just popped into existence a moment ago?"
            "Oo!  Oo!  Ask me!  Ask me!"  One of the pigeons at the diner booth had spoken up.  He had managed to flutter up on the seat and was still trying to reach the table where his friend was pecking at something.
            "Okay."  Skip waited.  So did the bird.  It kept trying to fling itself up on the table as if it was waiting for the conversation to progress as Skip had agreed it would.
            "Okay, do you ever get the feeling you just--"
            "Yes!  All the time."
            "Yeah, I think we all know that feeling," the other one agreed.  "Actually, come to think of it... I can't remember ever feeing much of anything else."
            "Me neither."
            "Then that makes two of us."
            "I can count to two, dufus.  I wasn't born--err, in the last minute, anyway.  Or at least not since Skip asked if I just popped into existence a moment ago."
            "No, I was being rhetorical.  Like poetic, y'know?"
            "I certainly do not."
            "Then ask the lobotomized beatnik.  He'll know."  The diner booth pigeons blinked at Skip while Todd carefully surveyed the breakable items in the bar.
            "Skip?"
            "Sorry, know what?"
            "Rhetorical poetic irony."
            "(He doesn't know, stupid, he lost his mind, remember?)."
            "(Yah, but not everything.  Shh, I bet he knows)."
            "Oh, that's easy.  Though I don't quite think the comment was quite verbal irony; it's not the reversal of anything you'd otherwise be expected to say, but rather something that doesn't need saying at all, which of course does make it quite rhetorical, you're right.  As to poetic, I'd argue rhetorical comments in general have a certain poetic quality to one extent or another--that is, what better medium than poetry to excuse anything colloquially odd than to claim the deviation was an intentional artistic expression that's just not being appreciated at the moment--but I'd say your line doesn't contain any particularly poetic tones above and beyond what's already intrinsic to all rhetorical claims, so there's no need to actually be redundant and label it as poetic."
            The pigeon who'd asked took a careful melodramatic pause before delivering, "Unless I'm being rhetorical in calling it poetic!"  Skip offered a slight chuckle.
            "Not much poetry in that, is there, J-- er, T-- er, Vvwuuuuhh--....  Peacocks of Purgatory, I must be losing it!  I can't even remember my best friend's name.  Do pigeons cry?  I think it's time to shed a depressed tear or two at some tragic aspect of my situation right now."
            "I don't have a name, idiot."
            " 'Idiot'?  Is that my name?  Wait, what's yours again?"
            "Idiot; it's--never mind."
            "Wait, we're both named 'Idiot'?  That, well... that makes two of us!  Uh?  Ehh?  Hunh?  Come on, that was the best rhetorical poetic irony joke I can ever remember making in my entire life.  You should be cracking up, Idiot!"
            "Idiots!"  Todd had broken his gaze from the beer bottles and glasses back to his two friends.  He tried to shake his head back and forth in shame, but could only manage to bob it up and down a bit.  At this, the bartender drifted over to see if there were any crumbs on the table, or why some had suddenly materialized if Todd had found any.  Upon finding none, he raised an eyebrow at Todd before he walked back as if at a magician who had played a dirty trick and was going to get caught one of these days.
            "How am I an idiot?  Idiot here is the one who doesn't know what the word means.  I just called him one to his face is all I did."
            "The pointless bickering about it makes you both idiots, especially since we just got here and a lot of our ideas clash about what life is all about.  So I doubt we're going to master the finer points of grammar, vocabulary, usage, name calling, and sarcasm, any time soon..."
            "Well I think Idiot here is doing pretty good on the sarcasm end."
            "Pretty well, idiot, not 'good'.  You need an adverb to modify an action."
            "Shut up, Idiot."
            "...And, for all you two know, there's no such word as 'idiot' whatsoever and Idiot over here just made it up.  You can't possibly know for sure, and so it's narcissistic to call someone else an idiot when you just be being an idiot yourself.  That's why you're both idiots!"
             "But if he made up a false term, then he's the idiot, not me.  How can we both be idiots at the same time?"
            "I think our idiot friend Turd over here is too stupid to know about exclusive disjunction alternation."
            "Oh!  'P' or 'q' but not both or neither!  Right?  See, I bet Todd didn' t know!"
            "Where in duck crumb dumb struck hell did you pull that from?"
            "Intuition."
            "I bet you just turd that out of nowhere.  I bet it's not even the correct definition."
            "I think we need a philosopher.  Is that a word Skip?"  This caused Skip to lower his eyebrows in a dizzying attempt to concentrate.  The word had reminded him of something and sparked a second strange bout of deja vu.  He shook his head a bit in frustration--an action Todd seemed jealous of--then spoke up.  " 'Phylor.'  I think you're talking about a phylor."
            "A what?"
            "A what?"
            "A what?"
            The bartender gave a quick look at the pigeons, frused for a quick moment, made a decision, then looked back.
            "(Did we just infringe Spaceballs?)"
            "(Not even close)."
            "I have this vague memory of meeting someone called a 'phylor' once, long ago.  Maybe it was an old dream, but something about the way he talked makes me think he was a very logical person that could explain a few things about your current dilemma."
            "There's our purpose in life, then!  The philosopher will know how to help us corporealize our vague lack of sense of our tangible existence.  Do you remember where you thought him up?"
            "I thought he said 'phylor', not 'philosopher' ?"
            "I dunno, Idiot, I just have this weird feeling like one of the words is some big frwoa's absurd condensed term for the other, though I'm not sure which is which."
            "What the hell's a--wait, Skip, do you really remember something from before?  I thought you said you couldn't remember anything before getting off the train."
          
 "He never said anything of the sort."
            "I don't know, Todd, the word just triggered it.  Maybe something's coming back to me."
            "I know!  I know!  If we take this opportunity to figure out the method that Skip's memories come back rather than just hoping for the specific information, we can use them on ourselves, since whatever he did before meeting us probably won't matter to us a damned bit."
            "How... phylical.  Alright, we should find somewhere else that might trigger Skip's memories.  Why don't we walk around a bit and see if you recognize something, Skip."
            "Yah, Skip, I don't think this whole bar place has done us any good.  You haven't described anything yet.  I still don't know what I look like!"
            "You're a pigeon."
            "But what is a pigeon exactly?  Am I tall?  Short?  Blonde?  Am I cute pigeon?"
            Todd tried to shake his head again but just got plain dizzy at the further head bobbing.  "Come on, Skip, let's go, we gotta hurry!  You have to write your book before the end of the day or somethin' horrible's gonna happen!"
            "What in Nonbeing are you babbling about, Idiot?"
            "Uh, I dunno, it's just this feeling I got...  Like I just knew."
            "Looks like you guys might be able to remember something, too.  I think we're starting to make some progress.  Good work, Id."
             " 'Id?' "
            "He means 'Idiot', Idiot.  It's short."
            "Skip's calling me stupid too?  That's so mean.  I think Idiot here should be named Id, not me, I mean he's the one who thought the thing."
            "Done," offered Todd hastily, not quite sure if he was really the leader in the group or had the authority to stamp names on his friends if he was.  The now-named 'Id' brought Todd's credentials for leadership further into question by correcting the other's faulty assumption and hence proving Todd wrong indirectly as well.
          
 "No, stupid!  Skip's not calling you an idiot.  It's reverse condescending poetic irony!  Haven't you learned anything in the last minute?  He's suggesting you turn around the insulting nature of the name and nullify its harm by adopting it rather than acting offended and fueling me on.  Then I can't bother calling you an idiot, because it would be rhetorical, and I wouldn't bother being poetically rhetorical to insult you every other sentence, because that would get just plain redundant.  And now I'm stuck with the name 'Id' because you and Turd here seem to outnumber me in stupidity and are too idiot to tell when people are telling you you're not one!"
          
 "Isn't it i-ronic?" the unnamed pigeon jumped in with a musical coo.
            "Docha think?"  Id jumped in, ejecting any chance at furthering bickering in favor of a friendly pop sing-along.  They continued coo-singing in a tolerable attempt at harmony.
            "It's like raaaiiin... on your wedding day!  It's a free ride, when--"  All three pigeons scattered upward at the loud thump and the sound of breaking glass as the bartender punched the metal cup he'd been cleaning behind him at the wall of beers.  The young man in the corner climatically whistled the last ten notes of his melody, as if the entire period since he'd trailed off had been a crafted, suspenseful pause.
            "What was all that about?"
            "I think you guys quoted something he didn't like.  And I get the feeling it's not the first time it's happened around here."
            "But we were just making that up!  What about coincidence?  Don't I have the defense of happenstance?  I've never even heard of Alanis Moristte!"
            Id nodded in agreement.  "Yah, me neither."
            Todd spoke up.  "In any case, guys, I think it's time for us all to bounce."
            "We can bounce, too?  Why bother bouncing if we can fly?  How does it work anyway?"
            "No, I meant--metaphorically.  It was a poetic metaphor for the obvious observation that now would be a good time to leave.  Especially since the bartender's distracted and we haven't payed for the bread crumbs we ate."
            "Then why bother stating it?"
            "It was rhetorical!"
            "Hey, what's my name?  We still never got to my name!"
            "If I have to be named Id, dufus, then you should probably stay unnamed, as your idiocy knows no boundaries."
            "Touche, Id, touche."

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