h a l f b a k e r y
The word "How?" springs to mind at this point.
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Stefan and his old friend Gustaf were on
holiday in a remote Indian region.
Against Sefan's better judgement, Gustaf
had cajoled him into entering the dark
interior of a Hindu Mystic's tent, who
the dubious trade of a teller of fortunes.
The sight that greeted them on entering
filled them with a mixture of wonder,
excitement and dread.
Amidst the swirling trails on incense,
strange symbols could be seen crawling
over every surface, their rich, dark
barely illuminated by the gloomy light of
rows of flickering electric candles.
The centre of the room was dominated
an apparatus that looked like the
of a marriage between an ancient
remington typewriter, a valve radio, and
the back of a 1950s television with its
cover removed. "Let's get out of here"
hissed Stefan, but before they could
another inch, their exit was blocked by
presence of a figure silhouetted against
the light creeping in from the half open
Her face portrayed a countenance that
alternated between cunning and ageless
wisdom, simultaneously welcoming and
disdainful in equal measures. Stefan and
Gustaf exchanged nervous glances of
anticipation, whilst they sat down at the
table, placing their hands on the small
mats, as instructed. A bundle of
wires lead away from the mats into the
heart of the apparatus. The mystic took
each of their left hands in turn into her
own and began to drone out an
incantation, her voice taking on a deep
resonance that betrayed her slender
frame. Her hands then moved over to the
keyboard, the rings on her fingers
in harmony with the ancient clacking of
The results of what followed can only be
described, but never seen. As Stefan and
Gustaf gazed in wide-eyed wonder, a
diminutive figurine representing the God
Kali, that was perched nearby, sprang
It was now obvious that
this figure was connected to the rest of
the apparatus and was in fact its printer.
Each of its many arms terminated in a
hand that gripped a pen. As the
parchment scrolled past the figure, the
arms became a choreographed blur, each
one pausing occasionally to dip its nib
one of the many bottles of ink that were
lined up adjacently. Its internal
mechanism was a wonder of perfectly
synchronised tiny spinning cogs, worm
drives, pulsating levers, and motors. A
faint machine oil smell leaked into the
atmosphere. When the printing was
complete the figure swivelled up its arms
and seemed to actually stare out gravely
with its vacant brass eyes at Gustaf and
Stefan, whilst its mechanism slowly
returned to rest.
The mystic presented our two travellers
with their fortunes, now richly inscribed
on separate parchments, and hidden
under sealed protective covers. These
never be shown to anyone, not even each
other The mystics silvery voice
in their ears as they returned home, the
afterimage of the Kaligraphic printers
warning gaze continuing to fill them with
The dread of Kali [xenzag, Aug 17 2006]
The one Eyed Yellow God....
... of Kathmandu [xenzag, Aug 17 2006]
||the autoboner was quick off the mark
this time... come out and fight like the
dirty rat you know you are!
||I'm unable to read this. Does it mean anything? Can you maybe summarize it?
||it seems to be a holographic typewriter or fortune teller
||It's a pun. Calligraphy is fancy handwriting, and Kali is the bloodthirsty goddess who is now angry at [xenzag].
||Nicely written, though. Fishbone withheld.
||//I'm unable to read this// [ids] sending
round my hamster to read it for you.
||[bc] The idea is not a pun, but the
named description of it is. Can't be
bothered going through this old
semantic argument though - so I give
up - don't think I am really such good
fit here after all. Will hang around until
my first year is up, which is in about a
||Will continue with perycombover for
those who are interested. It's been a
sincere sensation. (The Player)
||Maybe that's it--you're about three weeks ahead of everyone else.
||I think it's a fabulous idea and a great bit of writing [+].
||It'd be a sad loss to the HB if you left [xenzag].
||Don't get disheartened - in one year, you've produced more ideas than all the other annoters here put together (...yes, I checked)
||We all occasionally come up with ideas that seem brilliant to us, but go down like a...a...well, you know.
||//I think it's a fabulous idea //
Maybe, but what is it?
||The penultimate paragraph has it. A multi-armed ink brush plotter in the shape of a statue of Kali.
||Okay. I actually like the image. But it's always discouraging to have to wade into a long story with no promise that there's anything in there. Even here, there's not much to discuss.
||do you by any chance work for the product
description writing crew at woot. [xenxag]?
||What is this with *quitting*? I love most of your ideas.
|| I have questioned myself, do I wait to post until I have a brilliant idea, or should I post knowing it's just a so-so idea. I try to fall in between, because, really those brilliant ones don't come around all that often. Not as often as the stupid ones, for me anyway. If you want folks to beg you to stay--
||OK- Please don't go. What esle would you do with all those zany pictures?
||Surya could go, but I enjoy the Vayu convey Soma your ideas and Vishnu vouldn't.
||What [2 fries] said, but in English. I like your work, I like your ideas, I love your illustrations. I like this idea, too. I just assumed that it was driven by the pun. My apologies. Please stick around.
||Sounds good to me, because I certainly don't have enough left arms to write Sanskrit.
||Thank you for all your kind comments, the
wisdom of which thereupon you will now
have time to reflect. "It's hard to get rid of
a bad thing"