Didn’t I tell you to get out of 1998?
“I got two more weeks here. Although, the concept of ‘two weeks’ means less to a guy with a Time Sheath than to a normal joe.”
Bobby, you and your wife–
–could be asymptomatic carriers of corona. You might have infected 1998.
“Oh, no. We showered before the trip.”
Not how it works.
“I have received little-to-no formal medical training.”
Everyone is aware.
“Y’know what’s going on here? Home run race. McGwire and Sosa. Forgot all about that. Summer of taters, man.”
Just be careful. And stay then, at least. Don’t go hopping around for a while.
“I will plot my own journeys, thank you.”
CELL PHONE NOISE
“I really hope this is my beard.”
“I live in hope.”
“Uh, hi. You don’t know me, but I’m the hospital ship USNS Comfort.”
“I know a hospital ship called the Lisa Marie.”
“Yeah, that’s me. I think that’s me. The drugged-up straight maniac has about a million names for me. The drugged-up gay maniac, on the other hand, is refusing to speak to me and lets his animals shit all over me.”
“So, uh, he’s wrangled your critters?”
“Kinda? The answer changes on a moment-to-moment basis. A lot of what he calls ‘wrangling’ is just yelling at the monsters as they attack people. And hitting ankylosaurs with his crutch, which seems completely pointless. Those suckers are heavily-armored.”
“Joe Exotic doesn’t have a overflowing toolbox when it comes to fixing problems. Has he–”
GUNSHOTS BEING LOOSED IN AN INCREDIBLY ENCLOSED SPACE NOISE
“–been firing his gun indoors? Yeah, I heard it.”
“I don’t even know where he’s getting the ammo from, at this point.”
“Can you do anything about this? You sounded like you knew all about this when you were talking to the other lunatic.”
“Huh. Well, bringing you to 1998 would most certainly only exacerbate the situation. Y’know, I spent some time as a cowboy.”
“Oh, yeah. And, uh, one of the things I learned around the campfire was that it’s never a good idea to go waggling your dick at the gods of time.”
“Oh, Christ, you’re as crazy as the rest of them, aren’t you?”
“Yeah, but it’s subtle.”
HI, THERE. WHAT’S A BOAT LIKE YOU DOING IN A HARBOR LIKE THIS?
“Who the fuck is that?”
I AM THE WALL OF SOUND.
“Can I call you Wally?”
DO NOT CALL ME THAT.
I AM AN ARTIFICIAL MONDO-INTELLIGENCE IN THE PHYSICAL FORM OF EITHER A SEMI-DEFUNCT CHOOGLY-TYPE BAND’S P.A., OR THE SOUND SYSTEM AT A MOVIE THEATER, DEPENDING ON THE LEVEL OF FICTIONALITY I OCCUPY. I AM A P.A. NOW. MAY I BUY YOU A DRINK?
I FIND YOU AROUSING.
I LIKE BIG BOATS, AND I CANNOT LIE.
“Stop hitting on me! I have dinosaurs and rednecks fighting pitched battles in my dental suites, and I’m not sure I even understand your basic premise. You’re a sound system, but you’re also a super-computer?”
“And you’re horny?”
I HAVE SUMMER IN MY CIRCUITRY.
“No, that’s just stupid. And, and…are you calling me? Or are you here?”
THE INHERENT FLAWS OF THE DIALOGUE-ONLY FORMAT ARE VARIOUS AND GALLING. THE READER MUST DO SOME WORK. ALMOST LIKE LISTENING TO A RADIO DRAMA.
ARE YOU ON INSTAGRAM?
“Someone sink me.”