skulls across america

music, this and that, etc.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Voicemail from Kenny, received Sunday, May 26, 2013 - three minutes

Voicemail from Kenny, received Sunday, May 26, 2013 - three minutes

Hey Sam.  It’s me man, it’s Kenny.  I’ve been holding out on this call, just hoping that things worked out.  But it hit me today like a bolt of lightning, and I wanted to say that I get it now.  You fooled me!  I know you didn’t go back in time.  There’s just no way.  Come on, Sam!

Look, I knew all along that you weren’t going back to fix that land deal that got your grandpa shot.  It was obvious that you wanted to go back for Ann.  That’s why you set the target year for ninety-six.  Thirty-five year-old you was going to creep it up and try to pick up eighteen year-old her, that first year in college.  Or maybe you were going to risk destroying the space-time continuum by trying to talk eighteen year-old you into driving cross country for her.  Either way, I’ve been watching her Facebook for ripples, and there’s nothing.  You’re still not one of her friends, and she’s still married to that real estate guy from San Mateo.

So I started to get suspicious, especially of how you picked an impossible dead drop for passing messages.  Like I’m going to drive to Ohio to hunt through a copy of The Stand at your high school library?  You know my car overheats on the highway!  But still, everything in the field was so convincing that I nearly bought that Greyhound ticket, until I realized I could keep tabs on the Ann situation online.

It was crazy in the field when you and the machine just vanished.  No wobbling around, no time field distortion, just there one second and gone the next.  When I realized I was duped, I thought that maybe you pulled a Copperfield with smoke and mirrors.  But I looked all over the field that day and didn’t see any pieces of the machine, or any smoke or mirrors.  Then I thought that you might have shrunk yourself and the machine down and hid in the grass.  Except you knew that I’d walk all over the field to look for any parts of you or the machine, and I’d probably step on you.  And then it hit me - you teleported!  I don’t know if you found a quick mod to convert the machine, or if all this time you were building a teleporter and lying to me about the time machine.  Either way, I should have been kept apprised of that sort of thing, since it was my disability money and my parents’ savings that funded everything.

I really hope you’re someplace where you can check your voicemail.  I understand that the machine wasn’t a sure thing, but if it wasn’t going to work you should’ve told me.  I just hope we can sell off the more expensive computer parts, and the fifty-two Prius batteries, because that second mortgage I talked my folks into has a balloon payment coming up real quick.  I figured that was no big deal, because you’d be making serious cash on the races if the machine had worked.

Anyway, please come clean and call me back soon.  I tried to email, but my messages all bounced back.  And I was going to leave you a letter, but your mailbox has somebody else’s name on it already, so I’m assuming you didn’t take my advice and pre-pay your rent for the next few months.

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Sunday, April 06, 2014

Thank you for your purchase of the MyStar Multi-wave Device

Thank you for your purchase of the MyStar Multi-wave Device.

Dear consumer,

We sincerely thank you for your purchase.  Before you continue, please take note that by opening the packaging on your new MyStar home cell tower / Wi-Fi / My-Fi / restaurant grade microwave unit, you assume all risks and indemnities herein, and acknowledge that any text on said package touting the product as “100% effective,” “Fully safe for pregnant women, infants, and livestock,” or “Energy Star rated at just cents per day” were the result of poor translation at a Toledo printing plant.

(This page intentionally left blank.)

The text originally intended for the product packaging included the following statements, which per the introductory paragraph, you have conceded to regardless of whether or not you have read these warnings or have already skipped ahead to the quick setup guide:
“At times up to 32% functional!”
“Moderately safe for pregnant women.”
“Infants within 400 feet should be wrapped in 3 layers of tinfoil.”
“Livestock, alive or dead, that are exposed to the MyStar must be immediately incinerated.”
“Energy star banned due to electric costs upward of four thousand dollars per minute, or even more when unit is switched from stand-by to warm-up mode.”

(This page intentionally left blank.
Please consider your hopes and dreams before continuing.)

This page left mostly blank, but not left completely intentionally blank.  Please place this page within a 7 foot radius of the MyStar before operating the device.  After the MyStar is placed in stand-by mode, you must closely monitor the status of this page.  Should this page catch fire, you must:
1. Immediately flee the MyStar device.
2. Contact your power company.  If the automated menu prompts you to enter an extension, press 666.  If the automated menu prompts you to say why you are calling, calmly state “MyStar device has initiated phased hyper-volt mode.”
3. If your locality is serviced by a nuclear power plant, you must call the Department of Homeland Security.  When prompted to state why you are calling, calmly state “MyStar supernova.”  Wait seven seconds.  Then yell “Red dwarf!  Red dwarf!”  They will know what this means.

(This page filled with heart-warming photographs 
of small children holding butterflies.)

Please note that when wrapping children under the age of 5 in tinfoil, special care must be taken to ensure that the child’s airways are kept clear.  We recommend that you only wrap the child’s trunk and legs with tinfoil, and purchase the protective titanium child’s sized helmet from the MyStar e-store for approved, fully-ventilated cranial protection.  Alternatively, simply send the child to its grandparents before operating the MyStar, provided they live no closer than 3 miles from the MyStar installation site.

(This page intentionally left blank.
If nothing else, think of your loved ones.  
While the MyStar may be non-refundable,
can you really place a price tag on the rest of your life?

MyStar Quick Setup Guide
1. Remove all packaging.
2. Do ensure that you have removed the outer layer of molded HDPE, as there is a layer of bubble-wrap between it and the inner molded layer of HDPE that will catch fire and emit toxic fumes if not removed.  Due to a printing error, the outer layer is labeled “Non-removable HDPE shell.”
3. Remove the layer of bubble wrap in between the two layers of molded HDPE plastic.
4. Take care not to remove the inner layer of molded HDPE plastic from the MyStar.  This layer is labeled “Non removable HDPE shell.”  Removal of this layer will result in your being placed on any number of watch lists, none of which will bode well for your future employment.
5. Open the 6 power-cable hatches which circle the bottom ring of the MyStar.  Extend each retractable 220-volt plug from its hatch and connect to its own isolated 220-volt outlet.
6. Once you have donned protective gear and followed all applicable warnings from page 3 of these instructions, you may place the MyStar into stand-by mode.
7. When the status indicator light at the top of the MyStar begins flashing bright red pulses exactly .6 seconds apart, you may place the MyStar into warm-up mode.  Placing the MyStar into warm-up mode too early will void all warranties and absolve MyStar of all liability.
8. If the status indicator light flashes red .7 seconds apart or slower, you must not place the MyStar into warm-up mode.  You must wait for the MyStar to cycle through the remainder of it’s standby mode; the status indicator will reach .6 second intervals again in 10 to 28 hours.  Placing the MyStar into warm-up mode after the status indicator light has begun flashing .7 seconds apart or slower will void your fertility and may have an adverse affect upon your genetic makeup.
9. Once the MyStar has been placed into warm-up mode, it will cycle through internal operations until it is able to be activated.  When ready, it will emit a tone, the F above middle C, at 240 decibels.  Hearing protection is strongly encouraged.
10. If not mentioned earlier, please ensure that the MyStar is not operated within 25 miles of any airport or heliport.

(For the love of all that is holy, are you not even reading these filler pages or what?  
We left them mostly blank to give you time to contemplate your impending doom.  

Well have it your way.  

Don’t order the protective lead operator’s overcoat and titanium helmet, 
don’t wait the 4 to 12 days for the safety capsule 
to ship halfway around the world from our warehouse, 
and don’t arrange with your local codes inspector, 
fire marshal, and FBI regional bureau chief 
for the federally mandated installation review 
and buyer’s remorse counseling.

Just plug the damn thing in already.  

You are clearly as oblivious to reason 
as our engineering, product testing, and legal departments.)

Congratulations again on becoming a proud owner of a MyStar home cell tower / Wi-Fi / My-Fi / restaurant grade microwave unit!  Should your MyStar provide you with all four of those capabilities without causing you permanent injury or genetic mutation, you will have joined a very elite group of people!  Friend them on Facebook at

(This page intentionally filled with blank lines

on which the authorities shall record the names of the dead.)

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