Some links to see to before we get started today. Norma writes about spoilers today. At Two Little Fur Peeps and A Writer, Shelly's dogs SPAL and Hairball pointed out yours truly here and here. Eve had some poetry this week. Cheryl has a look at a lighthouse. And AngryParsnip has another Square Dog Friday at hand.
Now then, for those who might be new in these parts.... yes, this is going to confuse you.
"Neo, there is a theory that some of us subscribe to. Others believe it is impossible. We know the Matrix is a false reality. We live here in the Real World, struggling to free all of humanity. The theory, however, suggests that even this Real World is a fiction, that there is a Fourth Wall out there, and everything we do is being watched by others beyond that Fourth Wall. Yes, Neo. Especially when you and Trinity are having sex. Yes, Neo, they can see that tattoo of the Mona Lisa on your butt." ~ Morpheus
"Mr. Kendall, tear down this Fourth Wall." ~ Zombie Reagan
"How dare this Kendall insult the beloved memory of our Glorious Saint Ronald Reagan, the greatest President in the history of the universe, by suggesting he's a zombie. When we find you, Mr. Kendall, we will have you hung, drawn, and quartered, I promise you." ~ Senator Ted Cruz
"Senator, you're a wanker." ~ William Kendall
A computer lab. Evening. A man sits working at a computer. Someone approaches. He is clad in the red serge of the RCMP dress uniform. He also looks angry. He often is angry, after all. Particularly when he's around entertainment reporters. For this is Inspector Lars Ulrich, legendary Mountie and scourge of entertainment reporters. He strides up towards the man, grabbing him by the shoulder, turning him roughly around in the chair.
"Whoa! I was working here!" the man says.
"William Kendall?" Ulrich demands.
"Yes, that's me," Kendall replies.
"I've been looking for you. You're the author of my misfortunes," Ulrich says in a way that suggests he's thinking of how to separate his head from his shoulders.
"Wait a minute... wait... this isn't possible," Kendall says, staring up at the angry Mountie. He looks around, and finally whispers, "Lars?"
"Yes, Lars," Ulrich confirms with an angry growl. "I've broken through that Fourth Wall and found you at last. Were you expecting another Mountie?"
Kendall shrugs. "Well, considering how much I make fun of Darth Harper The Vile, yes. How's this possible? You're a character. One I created."
"So they tell me," Ulrich mutters. "You're the Creator."
"Well, um, yes... in a manner of speaking... though that's sounding vaguely blasphemous. The Sisters Of Little Or No Mercy wouldn't appreciate the comparison. I'm your Author. You're a figment of my imagination, Lars."
"And do you always subject your creations to being tortured by the presence of despicable stupid idiots?" Lars demands.
"You mean the entertainment reporters?"
"Yes! They keep mistaking me for that drummer from Metallica! I mean, come on! He's ugly, and a whole lot older. How old I can't tell, because years of booze and hard living can take their toll. My point is, how stupid can these reporters be to keep thinking I'm him when I'm not?"
"I know, I know, they're pesky, Lars... can I call you Lars? Listen, how about you let me go and we talk this over like civilized people?" Ulrich finally lets Kendall go. "Look, in my defense, when I first created you in your earliest version, I was just looking for a vaguely German sounding name. Lars and Ulrich sounded good together. I had no idea about the guy from Metallica, Lars, seriously. I mean, that's not my kind of music. It's so loud and hostile. So I could have cared less about the names of the band. And then someone told me that Lars Ulrich was the drummer. So ever since I played around with it when I'd write about you."
Ulrich shakes his head. "You put them in my way all the time."
"True, but don't you enjoy the chance to beat them up?"
"Well, yes, but that's beside the point..."
"Look, it's all part of the plan, Lars. Think long term. Would it help if I said you've got a lot of fans out here in the real world?"
Ulrich looks around. "Really?"
"Yes, really. See, over there's Norma. And there's Shelly, and Eve, and Deb, and Krisztina... come to think of it, a lot of them are women. They like your attitude, Lars. They like the no nonsense take no prisoners kick ass and take names thing you do. Even the anonymous lurkers who never leave comments. Wave to everyone, Lars."
Ulrich shakes his head. "Are you drunk?"
"Um, no, not that I know of. If I were, I might tell you of the alternate theory that here in my world, it's not the real world either, that none of this is actually happening and there's another Fourth Wall over there where I'm simply the figment of someone else's imagination, but that might be getting too metaphysical and philosophical."
Ulrich rolls his eyes. "Okay, fine. So you say that I have to put up with the entertainment reporters."
"Yes, it keeps the readers amused."
"I can think of another option, Kendall," Ulrich says, grabbing Kendall by the throat, squeezing hard. "I can end your existence. Right here, right now. I can throw you through those windows to your death. Give me one reason why I shouldn't."
Kendall manages to gasp, "Yes, I have no doubt that you could, but I am your Creator. If you kill me, you destroy yourself."
Ulrich stares at him for a long moment, and lets go. "Damn it. I hate when you're right."
Kendall takes a moment to catch his breath and massage his sore throat. "Look, I really am sorry about the sending endless entertainment reporters after you, really, I truly am. I know it's made you cranky, but that grumpiness has won you a lot of fans. But look at what else I've done for you. You've solved big crimes, stood up to vile threats without fear, and hey, you've even saved the world! And seriously, in the long run, I've got plans for you. Big plans, and yes, you'll like them. Here. Let me whisper it to you."
"Why whisper?" Ulrich asks, confused.
"Well, I don't want to give anything away to them."
"Exactly. It's called stringing them along, only letting them know what you want them to know and no more. It's a writer's perogative, you know." Kendall stands and whispers a few things to Ulrich, out of earshot of the readers. Ulrich nods a few times... and his eyes widen.
"You have got to be joking," Ulrich tells him.
"Wow. I didn't realize..."
"Doesn't it just blow your mind?"
"That's one way to put it." Ulrich takes a deep breath. "Okay then. At least now I know this isn't just you torturing me for no reason. There's a purpose to it all. Thank you."
"Thank you. Aside from writing cat and dog blogs, you're my biggest source of readership. The fans love you, big guy."
"I'd better be getting back to the other side of the Fourth Wall."
"Yes, you've got things to do. I, on the other hand, have to bring this to a conclusion."
Ulrich looks curious. "How are you going to do that?"
Kendall shrugs. "The same way I always do. With a funny picture."