Year In Review

I’ve been writing weekly stories for a year now on my website, so I thought now would be a good time to stop and examine what I’ve accomplished over the past year. To achieve this goal, I’ve chosen the standard “situation comedy flashback” idiom. Let the dog out, grab a soda, and get comfortable before the show starts.

The scene: Omar is sitting on the couch of the living room wrapped up in a warm blanket drinking hot chocolate. Behind the couch is a fake window with large quantities of fake snow falling. The television set it tuned to the weather channel.

Television Set: A cold front has moved in and stalled over the state of Colorado. They have already received 6 inches of snow, and the satellite images indicate the situation is only going to get worse. Schools, businesses, and taco stands across the state have all shut down until further notice. The best advise is to stay home and wait for the snow to stop falling. Preferably with a warm beverage.

Omar: Wow, that really sucks. I guess I can’t look for a job today.

Kathleen enters through the front door to mild applause.

Omar: I thought you were going skiing. How come you are back so soon?

Kathleen: They closed the highway because of the blizzard. We had to turn back and… hey, what’s going on here? First of all, we don’t live together. And this doesn’t look anything like your apartment. In fact, it reminds me of a bad UPN sit-com. And where is that clapping sound coming from?

Omar: Yeah, that darned snow. I guess we are stuck here for the night. Sit down on the couch—I’ll go make some more hot chocolate before I start rambling on endlessly about my web site.

Kathleen: What? I don’t want to hear about your stupid web site. I don’t know how I got here, but I want to leave.

Kathleen gets up and tries to open the front door. It won’t budge. She pulls frantically to get it open. Omar looks over from the couch and smiles.

Omar: Of course I’ll put extra marshmallows in your hot chocolate.

Omar walks into the kitchen and Kathleen reluctantly sits on the couch. Omar comes back out with another cup of hot chocolate.

Omar: This should warm you up. You know, this reminds me of the time I wrote about you entering the Kinetics race in the spring. Ah, those were the days.

Kathleen: Umm.. I suppose so. Look Omar, the only time we ever talk to each other is in the parking lot. You make it seem like we are best friends. I think its pretty creepy that you write about me so much on your stupid little web site.

Omar: Actually, its just the powder mix. I’m glad you like it though.

Kathleen: Are you even listening to what I’m saying?

Omar: Hopefully by tomorrow morning, according to the weather channel.

Ertok the Evil Alien Overlord comes walking in through the kitchen door covered in snow and quite irritated.

Omar: What’s the matter Ertok? Did you get snow in your ship’s plasma couplings?

Ertok: Be quiet little Earth mammal. Unless you know anything about cleaning plasma couplings I would suggest you… Wait a minute—how did you know what is wrong with my ship?

Omar: It’s been so long since we have sat down and just talked about things…. Like my web site. By the way, Ertok, this is Kathleen. Kathleen, meet Ertok.

Kathleen: So Ertok, does Omar follow you around writing strange stories about you too? Aren’t there laws against doing stuff like that?

Ertok: If that is all he did I would be damned lucky. Omar made me travel half way across the galaxy for some poorly thought out scheme where I take over the world. As if there is any logical reason for me to take over such a pitiful little planet in the first place. And if that wasn’t bad enough, he hasn’t written about me for the better part of a planetary rotation cycle. So instead of going home to my family back on Barrius 5, I am forced to endlessly orbit the planet waiting for Omar to make up his mind.

Omar: You are right Kathleen—Ertok is one wacky alien overlord. I just never know when he is going to next. It reminds me of the time he tried to take over the world. Ha ha ha.

Ertok: You idiot! You never got around to writing that episode!

Kathleen: Well, Ertok, I’m sorry to hear that Omar dragged you here from so far away. But it is good to know I’m not the only one who is suffering here. Can we do anything to stop all this?

Ertok: For reasons I don’t quite understand, I can only access objects he has written about on his web site. Omar stopped writing about me before he got to anything useful.

Omar: That’s a good question, Ertok. Investigating obscure but unsolved mathematical problems has always been a hobby of mine. I guess I figure one day I’ll wake up and magically come up with a polynomial time solution to the NP-complete set of algorithms. When I go to bed each night I try and convince myself to dream about them.

Ertok: Wait a minute, that gives me an idea.

Kathleen: What, about the “Traveling Salesman” problem?

Ertok: You amuse me, Earth female. That math problem is a trivial homework assignment for young offspring on my home planet. I was actually thinking about the XR-2300 neural interface.

Kathleen: Isn’t that muffler bracket for a 79 pinto?

Ertok: Silence! This is no time to steal jokes from “Airplane 2.” Besides, it wasn’t even very funny the first time around. If I remember correctly, I might be able to make Omar’s head explode.

Omar: I have to agree with you there Kathleen—a lot of people think I am just too funny. But the “toofunny.com” domain name was already registered. How can I make so many jokes when millions of children in the world don’t even know how to make a simple “Three’s Company” joke about Chrissy being pregnant, much less understand the political and sociological ramifications? Which reminds me of episode 49 of “The A Team” where Murdoch and Face go on about….

Kathleen: The sooner Omar’s head explodes, the better.

Ertok: I found the remote detonation device. Lets see if it works.

Ertok presses the button. Omar’s head blows up leaving blood and brain matter all over the room. The lights slowly fade out and polite clapping can be heard along with the theme music.

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