The Absent Quilly

As you’ll recall, gentle readers, the Quill has been a little less in evidence on the blogosphere of late, because she’s actively pursuing her dream of becoming a published author. As often as not these days, she and her computer are having a dialogue (it’s polite, most of the time) about words. Or, as the Hawaiians might say, they’re ‘talking story’ …

“So she’s writin’ about time?”

Well, dude, I guess you could say it’s about time she’s writing, but I don’t know what the story’s about.

“But you said it was a talkin’ story!”


“What’s a talkin’ story if it’s not about time? But I guess it ain’t finished yet.”

Well, since she’s only just started …

“Aha! It is about time, then! It’s not done, so that’s how come she’s lost the tic.”

Dude, most people with tics would rather lose them.

“But not if you’re writin’ ’bout grandfather clocks or somethin’. Like maybe a time-travelin’ grandfather clock. Then you’ll have a tic-tok’in story!”

It’s been done, dude. Are you trying to get us thrown out of the house?

Gnarly! Can we go back to Hawai‘i?”

It’s a long swim, dude.

“No, seriously, OC, we can go back there and tell ’em ’bout Quilly’s story. ‘It’ll be da bomb‘, we’ll say.”

Dude, you say that anywhere near an airport and I really will control-X you. Say goodnight, dude.

“Goodnight, dude.”

Dude and Dude: Ave Gravitas

Uuhnngh … uuhnngh … uUungghh …

“Dude! Either turn off the video or close the do … what are you doin’ now?!?

“Buildin’ (oooOOF!) an altar, dude.”

“A what?

“An altar, dude! Like I said the first time.”

“OK, dude. To what?”

“To gravity, dude. And ’cause it’s to gravity, it’s gotta be (uuuhhHHNn!) heavy.”

“Right, dude. You want gravity? You keep luggin’ those slabs around like that, you’re gonna be a grave man.”

“Very funny, Bill. You could, like, try helpin’?

“Who put you up to this, dude?”

“That Hawking dude, dude. You know, the one who played poker with Data.”

“He did not, dude! They’d throw him outa the Royal Society if …”

“He did so, dude! I saw him! On Star Trek!

“Oh fer cryin’ out …”

“And he just wrote this book that says ‘gravity created the universe’.”

“So you’re buildin’ an altar to gravity.”

“I wonder when I should schedule the sacrifices …”

No, dude! Hawking’s a scientist. Scientists try to explain how the world works by means of natural phenomena. He thinks that by understanding gravity, a natural phenomenon, he can understand how the universe began. He doesn’t want you to worship gravity, ’cause that would make gravity supernatural. Then he couldn’t work on it no more, and he’d have to start all over. He wouldn’t like that.”

“He wouldn’t?”

“Trust me, dude.”

“So I don’t need …”

“No, dude. You don’t.”

Phew!! … But, dude!”

Now what?”

“What about the holidays?

“Oh, dude, can we at least wait ’til Columbus Day?”

“Not if they’re already startin’ the advertisin’, dude. And if gravity created the universe, like you said, how’s it gonna sound? ‘Only 45 shoppin’ days ’til Massmas.’



“Let the lightweights worry about it, willya?”

Dude and Dude: Non Dudi Carborundum

Man, dude, I ain’t laughed so hard in weeks. This picture of a loser in a rowboat thumbin’ his nose at the waves. ‘Maybe his psychiatrist was right‘. Ha! Gnarly, as you’d say, dude. Um, dude? Dude?”


“What the hell are you doin’, dude?”

“Will you be careful what you’re breathin’ on, dude? You’re messin’ me up!

“And you gettin’ messed up is new how?

Look, dude, while some dudes are snortin’ over themselves lookin’ at pictures, I’m tryin’ to do somethin’ useful.”

By cuttin’ up little tiny pieces of sandpaper?!?

“That’s what they’re callin’ for, dude. They obviously want me to grind somethin’ down. Somethin’ really small. Dammed if I know what, but I figured I’d lay out the tools, and they’d tell me what to do on the day.”

“On the day?”

“Yeah, dude. Happens every Monday, I hear. Must be they got a lot of stuff to grind, so they have to make it a group project.”

“Who’s they?

“Well, this Stony River chick, to name one.”

“And what’re they callin’ this project of theirs?”

“Microfriction Monday.”

“[…] Dude?”


“You idiot! Not ‘microfRiction’. MicroFICTION! Tall tales short enough to fit in your iPhone so’s you can read ’em while drivin’. Nothin’ to do with sandpaper!

“I dunno ’bout that, dude.”


You’re a tall tale, and you can get pretty abrasive sometimes …”

Dude and Dude: The Spirit Of The Holiday

“Yeah, I’ll have some of that … where are you goin’, dude?”

“To work, dude.”

“Work? You?? Don’t get me wrong, dude, I’m all for it, but, like, since when?

“It’s what y’r supposed to be doin’, ain’t it?”

“Dude, who are you and what have you done with my dude? Yeah, you’re right. ‘Specially if you want to keep that Xbox fed. But why now?

“‘Cause it’s Labor Day, dude. Labor means work. So ya work on Labor Day, eh?”

“But, dude … oh, never mind. What’re you gettin’ paid for this gig?”

“Paid …?”

Dude and Dude: Communication is Crucial

“Yep, dude, it sure is.”

“What is, dude?”




“You don’t have to yell, dude. Especially about that. It’s so, like, last century.”

“Last century?

“Yeah, dude. Nobody does this commune stuff anymore, not unless they hafta.”

“Dude …”

“We had about twenty of us in an apartment one time, ’cause we were all broke. We sure had a commune-y nation in that place. Especially when the toilet plugged and they hadta shut off the water for four days. No showers or nothin’. Pee-yew. And people used to want to do this kind of thing deliberately?

“Dude …”

“Well, did they?

“Dude, what we have here is a failure to communicate.”

“What, you can’t text me? You lose your cell phone or somethin’?”

No, dudes, that ain’t it.

“[gasp] OC!!”

What we have here is a failure to X-communicate. You should be grateful.

“You don’t mean X as in command-X, um, do you, OC?”

Control-X, du … oops …”