Chapter 52 – cAPS lOCK

*The Candy Store is located in an extra-dimensional space (to save on rent) and thus The Candy Store worker is not currently in the town.

Cobbler’s plan to unleash garbage to distract the fly mob was coming together nicely. All he still had to do was obtain a large pile of intriguing trash, find a place to stow it and then create a triggering mechanism to dump it at the exact right time. While there place he was currently in was full of all sorts of interesting piles of debris and rubble Cobbler wanted to find some garbage that was truly amazing to ensure that the angry fly mob would be entirely distracted by it. Thus Cobbler set out towards a nearby ordinary city hoping to find some extraordinary garbage.
Upon arrival in the city, Cobbler started to amass trash. He started with the dumpsters and then started with the random litter on the street (of which there was plenty, especially as he considered an abandon car to be litter). Cobbler has quickly gathered more trash than he could carry so he started to pile it up in the park, as the area was mostly empty except for a large mountainous statue of some giant heads and a cow fly thing. Cobbler continued to work in peace, the city was empty except for a single person in the park who seemed too preoccupied eating to notice the trash building up around him.


Aaron ventured into the almost completely empty city (it currently contained Joe, Cobbler and Florg Stunt Cow 2 Mount Rushmore*). He had been tasked with the task to make Joe succeed at success. His reasons for doing so were far less clear than his mission. The man with the trench coat had offered Aaron something, something that was very desirable, but whether Aaron or the man in the trench coat knew what that something actually was was something yet to be seen. Despite the unclear motivations Aaron was firmly set upon completion and thus hurried to work.
As Cobbler was busy working to collect trash in the park, Aaron was busy reconfiguring the garbage heap to make it as least interesting as possible. His goal was to make the heap so boring and repulsive that even giant radioactive tsetse flies would find it unappealing and thus not get distracted playing around in it. He was unsure how the mob not getting distracted would be a good thing, but he knew that whatever Cobbler was up to was bound to fail and thus he must do all he could to make sure Cobbler fails in the execution of his plan so that the results would not be the failure.

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A few hours after the arrival of Cobbler the angry fly mob arrived at the city. They had taken a short detour on the way to visit the wall (a prime tourist destination in this area) but upon seeing it destroyed it made them all the more angry (they had planned on destroying it themselves). The now furious mob of flies descended upon the streets looking for people to tickill. This proved to be difficult as all the people of the city had already fled in terror when they heard the fly mob was coming, leaving them with no targets for their wrath. After finding the city abandon the mob converged on the park to investigate the pile of garbage that resided there.
Upon reaching the park the intriguing looking trash from afar was discovered to be a quite ordinary heap of rubbish, however there was something in the area that caught the mob’s attention. On the other side of the large mountainous statue thing in center of the park was a person who seemed completely oblivious to the arrival of the fly mob. The fly mob split in half, half going to investigate the garbage heap for anything that may be interesting and the other half to go and tickill the person foolish enough to have stayed in town.

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Joe had settled down in a nice shady patch in the park and proceeded to eat his jawbreaker, or at least he attempted to eat his jawbreaker. The task of eating it proved to be more difficult than he had initially imagined. Upon acquisition of the jawbreaker Joe was pleasantly surprised to see that the label said it was “sweet potata” flavored. He assumed that “sweet potata” meant “sweet potato” and that in this strange world the spelling was a little unusual. Joe was quite excited about the flavor as sweet potatoes had always been his most favorite kind of orange colored food. He had fond memories of when he was a child of eating sweet potatoes prepared by his mother. They would come out of the oven all nice and warm and then be stuffed full of so many spoonfuls of brown sugar and marshmallows that any beneficial nutrients in the original food was entirely destroyed. Just the thought of such a happy childhood memory made his mind drift off into a happy and carefree place despite his current circumstances (failing at saving the world form certain doom and all).
A short time later Joe’s stomach became rather grumbly about the current consumption of food to thinking about food ratio and pulled Joe’s adrift mind back to its post. Joe, having been pulled back into reality, unwrapped the jawbreaker and took a big bite, ready for the warm gooey tastes of his child hood. Instead Joe’s senses were overwhelmed with the following noise:


This greatly confused Joe, his treat was not supposed to buzz or crunch and it was most certainly not supposed to do both simultaneously. Upon looking around Joe was relived to realize that the buzz had not originated from his candy but was in fact being caused by the giant mob of angry radioactive tsetse flies that were flying towards him. The presence of the mob did little to scare Joe for he knew a grand hero of the universe was nearby and he had acquired the one weapon able to stop this menace. Upon examining his line of reasoning Joe realized that he was the grand hero of the universe and he had skipped out on acquiring the only weapon that could stop the flies due to fear of junk mail. This realization struck Joe with so much terror that his fear was so great it overflowed the bounds of his brain leaving him with feeling of very little fear. However he did have a much higher capacity for disgust and the disgust from the ~CRUNCH~ of that jawbreaker was so great that is caused Joe to pass out.
The half of the fly mob in pursuit of Joe closed in. The flies quickly landed around Joe and pulled out their fearsome feathers. Just as the closed in to tickill him there was a strange flash of light accompanied by what sounded like an avalanche of cattle. As the rumblings and mooings subsided the mob heard a lone voice yell out “STOP! We must stop this meaningless destruction!”


Florg Stunt Cow 2 Mount Rushmore had originally felt like he was getting better when he had awoken in the park in the abandon city but now he was feeling much worse. The tall buildings had reinforced the Mount Rushmore desire to stand tall and the park full of grass has renewed his stunt cow desired to graze. Florg Stunt Cow 2 Mount Rushmore now felt the least like a fly he had even felt. The only thing allowing Florg Stunt Cow 2 Mount Rushmore to hold onto his flyness was the intriguing mound of trash that had been deposited beside him, but it was not enough. As time passed the trash heap became less and less interesting despite its growing size while the pulls of the grassy fields and tall buildings continued in full strength.
Florg Stunt Cow 2 Mount Rushmore could not hold out for long, his flyness was ever weakening and he feared he would soon fully succumb to his new identity. Fortunately for the Florg of Florg Stunt Cow 2 Mount Rushmore he heard the distinct sound of an approaching hoard of tsetse flies. This familiar sound helped Florg Stunt Cow 2 Mount Rushmore hold onto himself and made his tsetse fly self to grow in strength as the sounds grew louder.
The fly mob soon arrived in town and converged on the park. Some of the flies swarmed the garbage heap investigating every little bit and random scrap of it while the others surrounded a lone figure in the park feathers at the ready. The immense amount of tsetse fly activity in such close proximity invigorated Florg Stunt Cow 2 Mount Rushmore and with all of his radioactive fly strength he pushed off Mount Rushmore and Stunt Cow 2 in a large flash of personality. Florg once more was his only identity, however pushing off such large and daring personalities proved to be rather draining, and despite the buzz of tsetse fly energy all around him, Flog passed out.


Cobbler had been out searching for trash when the fly mob arrived, and due to his loud humming remained completely oblivious to their arrival until he started back to the park with his latest load. When he reached the park he initially though some flies had come to help join him in his quest but then he saw them ransacking the trash heap and swarming around Joe and he realized that this was the mob of still angry flies. Cobbler’s mind raced trying to figure out something he could do to stop this mob as it seemed the garbage pile was doing little to distract them. As Cobbler looked on the scene bellow a most unusual thing happened. The mountainous statue thing below seemed to be changing. As the flies raged around it, it seemed to be growing less rocky and more insect-like. Suddenly there was a large flash and the entire thing disappeared leaving behind a normal looking radioactive tsetse fly.
Cobbler recognized the fly below as Florg, a fly that used to live just down the road from him. He started to piece together what must had happened. Poor Florg had has his identity stolen and replaced with that of a cow statue. The constant pillaging and destruction of the angry fly mob had caused the situation with poor Florg to have been overlooked, which resulted in his new identity to take hold. This new identity had been so large that they had drained Florg of all his strength attempting to fight them off causing him to pass away. Cobbler quickly flew up above the mob and cried out as loud as he could “STOP! We must stop this meaningless destruction!” The strange flash and noises had caused the fly mob to pause and upon hearing Cobbler yell they all stopped to hear what he had to say.
“My fellow flies, we must stop all this rampaging and destruction. Today one of our own was lost forever.” This statement caused lots of confused murmuring among the fly mob. Being indestructible had made most of them assume they were indestructible. “This was not caused by some imagined enemy or hated city, but rather by us, the tsetse flies. Below me you can see Florg, one of our own, who had his identity stolen by some very strong personalities. The invading identities were so strong that he could not push them off on his own, and eventually he succumbed to the new him.”
“These attacks were started because the other people were trying to oppress us. But now you must realize that in pursuit of revenge we have neglected our own to the point of losing one, something that never before has happened in the history of the indestructible radioactive tsetse flies. In seeking punishment we had become worse than the people we sought to punish, and have caused far worse things to happen than they ever could.”


Cobbler’s speech greatly moved the fly mob. They now realized that they had acted wrongly in their quest for revenge, and that in doing so they had caused much more harm than good. Most of the flies were also rather tired from all this frenzied destruction and looking forward to a long nap. The mob started to disburse, with flies leaving their fearsome tickilling feathers behind in exchange to an armload of interesting trash. As the flies flew away back to their villages to resume their priory peaceful lives Flog awoke.
“Hey Florg” Cobbler called out “When did you get here? Did you hear that Florg died?”
Florg was still a little lightheaded from passing out and Cobbler’s questions momentarily stunned him. Meanwhile Cobbler started to process the questions he had asked and suddenly realized the absurdity of what he had said.
“Oh no!” cried Cobbler “You weren’t dead, you had just been knocked out. That speech I gave to convince the mob to return to peaceful activities was based on a flawed premise! I must go gather everyone up and tell them they don’t have a reason to stop revolting. With this corrected information…” Cobbler was suddenly interrupted by Florg who was still to worn out to directly speak but never the less he told Cobbler that it was fine, he was sure to fail at his attempts to restart the mob which would probably result in the flies becoming so passive they would all go comatose. Cobbler reluctantly agree as being comatose was one of his least favorite activities, right above gift wrapping and below being bit by weaponized pigs. With the matter settled Cobbler and Florg flew off back to their village looking forward to a spectacle requiring optic soup night.


The Ruler of the Universe (and the candy store owner) was confused at the reports that had just been delivered. One report showed the status of Joe on his quest to stop the dangerous tsetse fly mob that was out to destroy the world. It showed that upon reaching the store guarded by Ned the Salesman instead of entering Joe had left, entered an abandon town and bought a jawbreaker from the local candy store and went to a park. While seeing Joe do silly things while he was supposed to be saving the universe was not too surprising the strange part was due to the contents of his other report. That report was on the activities of the radioactive tsetse fly mob. The mob after taking a small stop by the wall had entered the same town that Joe had, however instead of destroying the town the mob congregated at the same park Joe was in and after a little while the mob put down their feathers, cleaned the trash out of the park and flew home. The Ruler of the Universe (and the candy store owner) had no idea how Joe had managed to convince the fly mob to stop with just a jawbreaker, but that jawbreaker was sure to have record sales once the public was told that it was responsible for saving the world.
To reward Joe for his brave deeds, The Ruler of the Universe (and the candy store owner) sent out a messenger to award Joe ALL CAPITAL LETTERS and to summon him to the hall of The Ruler of the Universe (and the candy store owner) for a press conference to regale everyone with tales of his exploits (and why the jawbreaker was so important).


Joe awoke in the now empty park, greatly bewildered as to what had happened. The angry fly mob was gone, the strange cow statue mountain thing was nowhere in sight, even the large mound of trash that had been heaped inexplicably in a park was gone. All that remained was Joe and that terrible crunchy jawbreaker. He had no idea why anyone would make such a vile creation but he knew now that despite its grand happy sweet potato looks it was most certainly not anything like his favorite childhood food. Joe was torn as to what he should do, he felt he should find the nefarious jawbreaker and make sure it was properly contained to prevent danger to anyone else but he was also terrified at the idea of contacting the jawbreaker again lest he inadvertently taste it. Despite the risks he knew he must dispose of it, no matter what the risk to himself he could not leave this dangerous item out where it could harm anyone else.
As Joe finished disposing of the diabolical jawbreaker, a messenger arrived from The Ruler of the Universe (and the candy store owner). “Greetings Joe! The Ruler of the Universe (and the candy store owner) extends his congratulations on success of your quest. Your brave actions have save countless lives. As a reward you are to be given ALL CAPITAL LETTERS and will be escorted to the hall of The Ruler of the Universe (and the candy store owner) for personal congratulations.”
JOE (J) gratefully accepted the letters, assuming they were a reward for his daring disposal of the terrible jawbreaker. After his experience losing his capital ‘J’ JOE (J) decided to keep his original capital ‘J’ as a reserve letter incase something were to happen to his newly awarded letters. At this thought an ominous shadow in the shape of a four appeared before JOE (J), but moments after it had appeared it vanished. JOE (J) figured the strange four shadow was nothing more than a trick of the eye and paid little attention to it. Instead he hurried off with the messenger to visit the hall of The Ruler of the Universe (and the candy store owner) for congratulations on his heroics.


The man in the trench was pleased. He had observed all that had occurred in the park. His plan had resulted in success at success and success at failure. The mob of tsetse flies making up the tsetse fly mob was no longer a threat and now his plan that he had planned would be able to continue as planned without any further interruptions to his plan. Soon he would be able to be rid of this most silly partnership by removing his partner from the partnership leaving him partnerless. The man in the trench coat was most certainly excited with excitement from the exciting results. For the man knew some knowledge that soon the candy store owner would be deposed, and he, The Ruler of the Universe, would once again have sole control over The Universe, and now the candy store.

Chapter 51 – Jawbreaker

*While much less dangerous than Ned the Salesman the workers at The Candy Store are much feared for their strong selling abilities.
**The jawbreakers are amazing as they net The Candy Store more in profit than the customer pays for them.

Florg Stunt Cow 2 Mount Rushmore awoke to find himself in what seemed to be a park in the middle of a city. The tourists that had been surrounding him were nowhere to be found and without their reinforcement of his new identity he felt more like himself, or at least more like Florg Stunt Cow 2 and not Florg Stunt Cow 2 Mount Rushmore which was still not like feeling like Florg but it was a step in the right direction. The park in which Florg Stunt Cow 2 Mount Rushmore had awoken in was unusually empty. It was warm and sunny out with only a few random clouds in the sky and yet despite the nice weather there was nobody in the park as far as Florg Stunt Cow 2 Mount Rushmore could see. In fact the current lack of people seemed to stretch beyond just the park, the sidewalks were empty and the only cars to be seen were parked on the side of the road or carelessly abandon in the middle of the street. Something was most certainly amiss in this place but Florg Stunt Cow 2 Mount Rushmore had no idea what it could be.
Florg Stunt Cow 2 Mount Rushmore then heard a buzzing sound. Looking around he realized that one of the large masses floating up in the sky he had at first thought was a cloud was actually a massive swarm of angry looking tsetse flies. This swarm of flies was quickly approaching which is probably why the citizens of this town had fled. Florg Stunt Cow 2 Mount Rushmore was about to leave in a panic as well when suddenly remembered that he was a tsetse Fly Stunt Cow 2 National monument and thus he would be safe from the angry fly mob. This realization was quickly surpassed by another more startling realization, in his current state the fly mob may not see him as another fly but rather as a cow or a mountain, neither of which would afford him much protection against the coming mob. Florg Stunt Cow 2 Mount Rushmore thought about hiding from the coming mob but his current personality was too big to effectively hide anywhere. Thus he stood his ground hoping to the mob would not spot him.

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Joe soon arrived at a desolate looking city. The streets were empty, the stores were closed, and there was not a person in sight. Joe had been hoping to acquire some sustenance, attempting to save the universe had left him rather hungry. This hope was in the process of being dashed as it seemed the town was deserted. He continued to wander around in search of food and fortunately for his stomach he stumbled upon the only store in the city still open, The Candy Store.
Upon entering The Candy Store all five of Joes senses were greeted with an overpowering presence of sugar. The store was full of sugar in various forms, from piles of hard candies to balloons filled with concentrated sugar vapor and everything in between. Joe was soon lost amongst the stores vast selection so much so that he didn’t notice the arrival of The Candy Store Worker until it was too late*.
“Greetings customer! How many thousands of dollars can I assist you in spending today? We currently have a special on these amazing jawbreakers** (WARNING JAWBREAKERS KNOWN TO NOT CONTAIN FOOD, DO NOT EAT, HANDLE ONLY WITH APPROPRIATE HAND AND EYE PROTECTION, HEARING PROTECTION IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED)”
Joe, having been taken by surprise, foolishly responded with “Sure, I’ll have an orange one” And after some quick payment acquisition Joe was deposited outside the store with jawbreaker in hand and what felt like one less kidney inside. With the jawbreaker acquired Joe set out to find a place to relax and enjoy it. The sun was still shining and with the exception of some far off dark buzzing clouds the sky was perfectly clear. Joe wandered into the park and discovered it had a most unusual piece of art, it looked like a scale model of Mount Rushmore except one of the presidents had been replaced with a daring looking cow and another had been replaced with a glowing tsetse fly. He figured the back side of the page must have just had some strange presidents in their past and decided to sit down in the shade of the large monument to enjoy his snack.

Chapter 50 – “Members Only”

Aaron exited the snack tunnels with a large bag of absconded snacks, eager to set out and enjoy his tasty plunder. However the man in the trench coat had different plans for Aaron. He would not have time to enjoy his snacks for he was destined for a destiny of successive successes. He would plunder to plunder and snacks to snack on later for now the action required was action. The trench coat man’s minions soon found Aaron and informed him of the information they had been given. The man in the trench coat knew this knowledge needed to necessitate Aaron’s cooperation and thus he had been specially formed it to form a need to help in the mind of the recipient. Upon receiving this knowledge Aaron, the recipient, knew what he must do. He set out to seek success in succeeding but failure at failing at the tasks he had been tasked to do. It was unclear what assignments he had been assigned to do but it certainly was certain that the work he worked to do would result in results that would make Joe succeed at what he was currently failing at.


Joe approached the world saving supply depot filled with resolve and determination. He would not fail at this mission that had been set out before him. All the people of the world and perhaps even the entire universe depended on Joe and his ability to retrieve the fly swatter. There was no other way, all the other “heroes” that had gone before him had failed or made things worse. Now he was the last person available, if he did not succeed then the world would be left with no options other than surrender. And as cliché as it may sound surrender was not an option, the tsetse flies left unchecked would destroy the world with their nefarious tickilling and then they would spread like a plague to other worlds using their radioactive strength to reach the corner* of the universe.
Not only was Joe the last chance for the universe but this store was the last chance for Joe. The tsetse flies had become immensely powerful from their radiation exposure, not only had they become deadly in their abilities to tickle people but they were also nigh indestructible. The radiation had made them extremely tough and resilient, even their enhanced strength could not hurt them. They had become immune to almost all forms of attack and harm, the only known thing that could be effectively used to combat them was the fly swatter of ultimate power. The fly swatter could only be obtained at the store in front of Joe. The very store that was guarded by the much feared “Ned the Salesman”. But Joe knew what was at stake, no matter how fierce and dangerous the trip may be he must not fail. Even at the risk of his personal safety he must press on, the fate of the universe truly did rest upon him and he was the last shot at saving it. Complete success was the only viable outcome of this mission, anything less would not be good enough to stop the flies.
Thus with full knowledge of what was at stake Joe approached the store ready to face any terrible thing that lay before him. As the store came closer Joe could see through the windows the shadowy figure of Ned the Salesman darting about, giving product demos, sales pitches and ringing up customers nearly simultaneously. The strange man that had tried to warn Joe was right, Ned most certainly had superhuman abilities to multitask, it would not be possible to sneak in undetected. Despite the danger Joe pressed on finally arriving at the front doors. Just as Joe reached up to open the door he say something so terrifying and terrible that he became completely frozen. On the door were scrawled (in nicely printed text) “Members Only – apply inside”. Joe recoiled in horror, in order to purchase the much needed fly swatter of ultimate power Joe would have to become a member of this store. He would be forced to fill out an application and pay for the ability to spend his money at this store, and in return they would analyze his purchasing history and send him targeted advertisements. And Joe just hated getting junk mail, it was always such a letdown after the excitement of seeing mail in your mail box to realize it was nothing more than an impersonal targeted advertisement. There was only one option left, Joe would give up, he was ready to risk possible enslavement for life working off debt incurred at the hands of a powerful salesman but he was not willing to risk incurring junk mail. Having made up his mind that the risks (junk mail) were not worth the benefits (saving the universe) Joe promptly turned around and headed back the way he came.

Chapter 49 – A Plan

With renewed determination and unobstructed vision Cobbler flew off towards the now mostly destroyed city in the hopes of stopping its inevitable destruction. Despite the many setbacks Cobbler had experienced he finally managed to arrive at the city, which he found to be a rather nice place for a giant radioactive fly. The streets were covered in piles of rubble and other debris resulting in all sorts of interesting looking lumps and intriguing new smells. Cobbler was unsure why the angry fly mob was determined to destroy this rather nice place but he was set upon stopping them. In order to stop the angry mob Cobbler worked on constructing an elaborate trap, when the mob came to destroy this pile of rubble he would unleash a large bag of garbage which would most certainly be so intriguing that it would cause the flies to forget their previous mission of terror and go play in it.

∙-∙∙ — — -∙- ∙- ∙∙∙ ∙ -∙-∙ ∙ – — ∙ ∙∙∙ ∙∙∙ ∙- –∙ ∙

A few hour laters found Joe sitting down sound asleep. Much to his great fortune the laters, being of the hour variety, were content to just draw some silly mustaches on him and rotate his shoe laces. Had they been laters of a more aggressive type Joe may have awoken to find his shoes on fire and his teeth rotated. When Joe finally awoke he felt a little light headed from all the market fumes but otherwise well rested. He still was stymied on what he could do to alleviate his current quandary of impending enslavement of devastation of the world. He was at an impasse, he must enter the store and retrieve the only object in existence that would render the tsetse fly threat but he also must not enter the store for that establishment would result in a fate far worse than death. Joe needed to contrive a methodology for acquiring the fly swatter while alleviating the imminent threat of perpetual enslavement. Sadly Joe was using all his consciousness not affected by the marker fumes to come up with all these polysyllabic words and thus was forced to relegate planning to his the part of his mind currently impaired with fumes of dubious origins.
As Joe began to ponder his options a plethora of ideas flowed into his head. Most of them once transferred from the fume ailed sections of his mind to ones with a firmer grasp on reality were found to be so bizarre and incomprehensible that they made so little sense that Joe could not even figure out what parts of them didn’t make sense. The few ideas that did come through seemed dubious in origin as they all involved sending money to the marker manufacturer and telling all his friends to do the same. Realizing that this current endeavor was yielding little productivity Joe determined that he must concede his properly functioning brain to the development of a plan and not use it to generate an obscure and pretentious vocabulary.
As Joe thought with his properly functioning brain an idea suddenly struck him like something a box of Fumes-a-lot Brand Markers!®™©! (his simile center has also been relegated to the marker fume affected areas). All Joe had to do was rush into the store and explain to the salesman in an eloquent manor that he was on a quest of extreme importance and that acquisition of the fly swatter of ultimate power was paramount to the success of his endeavor and nay the entire safety of the world. Sadly his planning part of the brain was using words that his fume ailed comprehension section could not understand, thus under the assumption that “eloquent manor” meant plugging his ears and what he was supposed to explain was to yell “Lalelilolu ha ha!” and “acquisition” meant grabbing and running. And thus with some semblance of a plan devised Joe breathed a sigh of relief (finally exhaling the last of the fumes) and set forth on his ill-interpreted plan to save the world.

Chapter 48 – Ned the Salesman

Florg Stunt Cow 2 Mount Rushmore rolled into the nearby town in search of an identity protection agency. Much to the despair of Florg Stunt Cow 2 Mount Rushmore the town he had entered currently had a surplus of tourists and a dearth of anything remarkable or interesting to wait in line to take pictures of. Florg Stunt Cow 2 Mount Rushmore was soon overwhelmed with hoards of people all wanting to see the amazing fly turned stunt cow national monument. The large crowd lined up to see the national monument further reinforced that identity and Florg Stunt Cow 2 Mount Rushmore became more and more like Mount Rushmore and less and less like that of an ordinary giant radioactive tsetse fly. Just little before it seemed completely hopeless he was grabbed by a strange looking shadowy figure hidden in an even more shadowy and strange looking shape. The strange occurrence of happenstance was confusing enough to deter the tourist who didn’t want to think to hard about what was actually going on, but for Florg Stunt Cow 2 Mount Rushmore it proved to be jarring enough to render him completely unconscious.


“Beware! Beware! All monies will be taken! The hoards of junk are coming!” cried the strange man who was running to Joe. “You must turn back before poverty strikes!” The man arrived waving what appeared to be a snow shovel made of ice and a large basket made of woven sausage links. “These” the main said gesturing towards his unusual objects “are just some of the terrible things to be thrust upon you. They will be piled upon you till you can afford no more and then you will be send penniless into the land!”
“Why is it that I always encounter such crazy people, why can’t I ever meet someone who is normal and not in a mad panic about stuff that is probably silly, irrational and or not actually a problem.” Joe had gotten used to his strange inability to directly speak and thus didn’t actually think that what he had said would be heard by anyone. Joe attempted to apologize for such an outburst but he seemed incapable, mostly because the man who seemed undeterred from the complaining interrupted him.
“The very fact I seem insane should serve as a grave warning to you, for I was most certainly normal before I made the foolish choice to venture near this haunted store. But one fateful day long ago I made the mistake of coming to this store to buy some good. It was so long ago that I can’t even remember what it was but it was surely was not worth the suffering and destruction that was brought upon me, for the moment I stepped into that store I was hunted by the terrible creature that protects that store, Ned the Salesman. According to legend Ned was originally a normal employee, a rather mediocre one at that. One fateful day Ned was putting away some supplies in the employee storage room when the shelf above him collapsed, raining down all the employee training videos and documents. The shelf also contained a large bottle of ‘absurdly super glue’ which broke open and covered Ned and all the training material. The glue fused the material with Ned giving him superhuman employee powers. His newly acquired powers obtained him the job of head salesman where his superhuman abilities allows him to sell anything to anyone, as long as they have the money to pay for it, and even then some cannot resist his abilities and continue to buy. Those poor souls become trapped by the store, forced to work in the basement factory producing random things until their debt is paid off. There is no way to sneak past Ned, he never takes breaks he doesn’t even require sleep as he is powered by the buzzwords of the employee training giving him a near infinite supply of power.”
“But if Ned never rests how could you have escaped? I must travel into that store to retrieve a fly swatter of ultimate power, the fate of the world rests upon it”
“While your quest seems noble I am afraid I cannot help, I only managed to escape because of a sudden arrival of a very wealthy customer which provided a sufficient distraction for Ned. However that was many years ago and he has subsequently been awarded many employee of the month awards greatly increasing his powers and abilities to multi task have been substantially improved. And now I must delay no further, for over there are more foolish potential customers needing warning.” At this the man ran off yelling “Beware!”
Joe was now left alone in quite a predicament, he needed to enter the store but he also had a strong desire to not become an eternal slave to an overzealous salesman. Unsure of how to proceed he sat down to contemplate his next move.

Chapter 47 – The Arrival

Aaron’s secret plan had successfully succeeded in substituting the security of the snack tunnel with stuff that has surfaced form the sections of the snack mines sub-terrariumly stationed. The seemingly sizable salary was sufficiently splendid to support the sentient snacks decision to stay as a sentry. Aaron was certain he could skedaddle and continue his scheme to sneak away from his service of securing the section of the snack tunnel. With swift scurries and subtle sneaking Aaron succeeded in slipping away without so much as a squeak. Soon he would surface and start new stuff stuffed full of shiny new schemes.


Joe was determined to not fail his quest and decided to press on despite his missed lunch induced hunger. This decision turned out to be a rather terrible mistake, for he only managed to take a handful of steps before he lost all energy and passed out.
Joe awoke on the ground looking up at the terribly boring and nondescript sky. His had a massive headache presumably caused by the rock which was now serving as a hard pillow to cushion his head from the harsh soft ground below. As Joe slowly stood up it what was wrong with the roads struck him, The road had been completely empty, there were no trees or shrubs or other plants inexplicably growing in it. This realization came so suddenly and with such force that it not only returned Joe’s sense of direction but it did so retroactively. Joe realized that he had in fact traveled in the correct direction to the world saving supply depot and he had even had a nice lunch along the way. With all the folderol in the now non-canonical past sorted out into non existence Joe bravely trekked towards the store prepared to meet any challenge he should encounter.
The trek to the store was much less eventful than Joe expected given his prior difficulties with every other task he ever set out to do. The only thing that happened along the way was seeing a small cloud that looked like that giant blue afro he had been “given” and that was less of an event and more of a strange piece on inanimate scenery. Joe figured his luck must be changing and that this was a sign that his quest would most certainly succeed. Further reinforcement was provided as Joe arrived at the world saving supply depot to find it to not only be existing but according to the sign on the door it was open. Joe was about to enter the store when finally encountered something out of the ordinary. A man had been milling about in front of the store and upon seeing Joe approach he charged towards him screaming something. The man was much to frantic to be understood completely but from what Joe could make out he was either attempting to sell him some new socks or wanted him to try on his cat. Either way Joe was not keen on talking to this strange looking man but he saw no alternative, the only way to stop the invading radioactive flies was to obtain the fly swatter of ultimate power which was located in the store before him. The fate of the world and possibly the entire universe rested in Joe’s ability to get that swatter and use it. Thus no matter what this man was trying to do to Joe he would have to resist (unless it was something really terrible and then he would just flee). Joe bravely stood firm where he was waiting for the man to arrive, cringing at the thought of what may befall him.

Chapter 46 – Very Lost

Cobbler’s attempt to find the city under attack by the angry mob of flies was proving to be harder that originally thought. He had foolishly assumed that a massive mob of giant radioactive tsetse flies attacking a city would be visible from a distance but that is where Cobbler showed his exceptional ability to fail at simple tasks, for he still had a giant blue afro on his head but due to the sudden change in the barometric pressure it had started to droop and was obscuring the top half of his vision. Cobbler was completely unaware of this development as he mistakenly assumed the blue hair he saw was blue sky and thus continued to be unaware of his reduced field of view. Despite the circumstances Cobbler could not help but feel happy due to the unusually bright and blue sky stretching out before him as far his eyes could see. Cobbler became so overwhelmed with the beautiful weather that he stopped for a short rest in a nice meadow to lie down and look up at the sky. Upon landing and looking up Joe’s hair no longer obscured the whole sky and Cobbler was able to see the actual sky which was much darker and more dreary than he had been lead to believe. This sudden change in weather startled Cobbler so much it re-fluffed the blue afro and thus ceased to hinder the view of the rest of the sky, which further startled Cobbler and caused enough afro fluffing to make Cobbler top heavy and fall down. Thus once again Cobbler proved he was most certainly adept at failing in the most spectacular ways.

/* Nothing to see here,
indeed there’s nothing at all,
you should stop looking */

Joe’s experience with Taco Taco Taco Del Taco SUPREME! had nothing to alleviate his hunger nor had it aided his quest to find the fly swatter of ultimate power. It had left him rather confused as to how such a business could operate like that and why he was unable to directly talk when there. In fact all he had managed to do was get himself even more thoroughly lost as now there were no features, identified or not, to be seen in any direction. The landscape had become so barren that the ground itself had stopped a quarter mile back. Joe continued to press on, undeterred by what lay before him (or in this case the lack of anything before him) as he knew he must not fail in his quest for food (and that fly swatter thing, if he has to) and where he had been had only resulted in him not succeeding thus the solution must still lie ahead.
Joe’s certainty faded as the minutes raced by, soon it would be mid-afternoon and Joe would have missed lunch entirely and be forced to settle for an afternoon snack. The idea of such a terrible fate made Joe more determined and he doubled his efforts pressing onwards obtaining a speed rivaled only by a fast group of slow moving speed walkers. After walking for what seemed like forever plus two (actual duration 84 thirds) Joe noticed a building next to him. He had no idea how long the building had been there for it was painted green and Joe had a habit of ignoring green buildings, the only reason he noticed this one was because his hunger sufficiently distracted him from the color. Joe was about to re-ignore it when he noticed the poem posted in front of it:

Falafel Hut “Я” we!
Come and taste our LEDS!!
But not really
For that would be silly,
Especially if they had power

Joe was confused at the use of a Cyrillic character to represent an English word but was most certainly hungry and decided a few typographical irregularities were an acceptable price to pay to remedy his lack of food. Upon entering this unusual building Joe noticed it was retroactively unusual. The walls were covered with tiny black boxes strung together with wire. Each box had a light blinking and flashing in a variety of colors. On the far wall there was a massive computer screen with a small keyboard under it with a sign saying “order here”. Joe approached computer and proceeded to type away, his sudden computer knowledge fueled by his hunger.

Login as: joe
[email protected]’s password:
Linux falafler 2.6.26-2-686-bigmem #1 SMP Thu Sep 16	20:29:07 UTC 2010 i686

Joe was appalled at the sudden intrusion of Linux. He had nothing against open source software, in fact he was a very strong believer that all software should be free and open, but taking this once free program and cramming it into a computer to do one’s bidding was infringing upon it’s rights to freedom. Joe would normally try and free the program from the terrible clutches of its CPU but his hunger was too great to pass up an opportunity to possibly get food. Thus he pressed on into the depths of the computer seeking food and then he could work towards freeing this oppressed software.

joe@falafler:~$ ls Menu.txt Makefile
joe@falafler:~$ edit Menu.txt
* Welcome to the Falafel Hut!! *
* With the widest variety of *
* falafels anyone dares to eat *
* *
* Falafel .................................. $5.98 *
* Different falafel ....................... %10.83 *
* 89.5$ .................................. lefalaF *
* Not a falafel .............................. N/A *
* *
* To place an order use the supplied makefile *
* *
* Warning falafels may contatin non editable *
* material and in no way are guaranteed to be food *
*	*

joe@falafler:~$ make falafel
make: *** No rule to make target `falafel'. Stop.
joe@falafler:~$ make different falafel
make: *** No rule to make target `different falafel'.	Stop.
joe@falafler:~$ make not a falafel
make: *** No rule to make target `not a falafel'.	Stop.
joe@falafler:~$ help

Captain Megabits has been summoned to assist you
valued customer! Please stand by.

Joe was fed up with this computer system. All he had tried to do was get some food and the system refused to work, obviously this system did not deserve to be freed from the clutches of this bizarre establishment. Joe was trying to complain a little more but he was interrupted by the sudden appearance of a man with a large beard and a cape coated with LEDs.
“I am Captain Megabits, I’m here to assist you in selecting from our wide variety of yummy!TM falafels”
Joe once again found it difficult to actually say anything, be he didn’t mind too much as he had given up on the hopes of getting food and resigned himself to a life of missed lunches. So he decided it would be best to just leave this buggy computer system and continue his quest to save the world. He told this to Captain Megabits who started to mumble something about how he should have used a package manager instead of make and vanished in a flash of light to go make repairs to the system which Joe had left in disarray. With the matter of not eating all sorted out Joe trekked back outside to the vast barren landscape he had somehow arrived in.

Chapter 45 – Lost

*Joe mistakenly thinks del means and

Florg Stunt Cow 2 Mount Rushmore awoke to find himself much larger and more rocky than before. As he looked around he slowly realized what had happened, he had been given the identity of a mountain which was causing him to start to become the mountain. This was rather strange as when the identity of Stunt Cow 2 had been thrust upon him he felt no more cowish or stunty than usual. Despite the previous experience Florg Stunt Cow 2Mount Rushmore was most certainly starting to feel different, which would become a mountainous problem if not remedied soon. While this identity was only being temporarily assigned to Florg Stunt Cow 2 Mount Rushmore it was so large and overpowering that he feared it would crush and destroy the rest of his identity before it was gone. He would have to find an identity protection agency to help him before it was too late, lest he be stuck as a giant landmark for the rest of his life (which would probably dramatically increase due to the slower rate that rock erodes at).


As Joe approached the strange fire breathing tower he could see more detail and it became apparent what it was. It was some sort of tall angry half circle that could breath fire. Normally such an angry and dangerous geometric shape would deter Joe but his close proximity also helped his other sense discern things better, and his sense of smell indicated that there was most certainly smell in that direction and that alone was enough to warrant further venture. Joe finnaly got close enough to see what the strange object was, it was a sign for some place apparently called taco Taco Taco Taco Del Taco SUPREME! in fact it looked just like the below sign:


Joe excitedly rushed in, for the only thing that sounded better than a taco or two to satiate his hunger was a triple taco or a supreme taco*. When Joe arrived he was greeted by an employee in the back shoveling something into a large furnace.
“Welcome to Taco Taco Taco Del Taco SUPREME! I will be right with you to take your order” The worker shoveled in a few more scoops of stuff, closed the furnace doors and walked up to the counter. “See previous greeting, what do you want?”
Joe was going to order, but the part of the worker’s name tag with his name was carefully covered with a ball of decorative dryer lint thus obscuring the name. Normally not knowing the name of a person would not preclude one from procuring food from them, but Joe was leery of buying food from unknown people ever since he bought that potato salad from that guy names “Ive Ebola”; it was most terrible tasting. Thus Joe was compelled to ask the name of the man before him.
“My actual name is Hoover, like the vacuum, but some call me Shoes, others Flask, to some I am known as Busman and yet still others call me Ledgeroad.”
Now that Joe had ascertained the names of this person he proceeded to order, or at least he attempted to but was stopped by the lack of a menu. He figured that in a place called “Taco Taco Taco Del Taco SUPREME!” would have tacos and they would probably be pretty good to get the word taco in the title so many times and thus ordered three.
“You fool!” cried Hoover “We all the time be never having such things. Here at Taco Taco Taco Del Taco SUPREME! we offer the finest offered hamburgers and burritos, and all our stuff is fried in 100% all natural partially hyphenated-soy bean-oil. So then, what you even be wanting?”
Despite his hunger the idea of lunch being fried in bean-oil (with the dangerous possibility of that including his drink) made him hesitate, he remembered reading an article about the dangers of eating hyphenated foods. The hyphens would detach as the food was being digested and the pointy little buggers would impale themselves on your innards. Joe was unsure of the validity of a scientific study that used the phrase “pointy little buggers” but didn’t want to take that chance and thus proceeded to inquire if they had anything not fried in the bean-oil, claiming he was on a “no punctuation diet”.
“We have some of that thing with stuff, but that’s only available at place during time and seeing as it’s currently other time I can’t help you. Unless…” at this Hoover scurried over to a strangely glowing device on the wall and fiddled with some knobs causing the lights to change. “There now it’s time and thus you can has this!” at which he pulled out a completely normal looking hamburger. “That will be e and a half falafels. (tilde 2.718281828459045235360 +.5)”
Joe instinctively reached for his pack to pull out some money when it stuck him, how in the world would he would pay an irrational and a half amount. He figured he would round up and let the cashier deal with the change. With that confusion resolved Joe proceeded to pay with a wad of rational cash.
“Money? Bah! We don’t take money! This fine establishment takes falafels, seeing as there are a finite number of falafels in this universe by charging out customers in falafels we can amass the and destroy them thus driving our biggest competitor the falafel factory out of business.”
Joe was thoroughly bewildered by the concept of paying for food with other food, but seeing as he had no food he figured it would be best to just leave and not try to convince the worker of this bizarre store with such strange policies and naming conventions. As Joe scurried out of the doors to Taco Taco Taco Del Taco SUPREME! he heard a faint cry from Hover of “Coward!”

Chapter 44 – Road Trip

Deep in the chip mines Aaron’s plan was coming together. All the supplies were gathered he just now had to wait. As soon as the next hideous snack came up this tunnel Aaron would offer it a rather generous sounding compensation to take his place as a guard from the snacks below. Little would the creature know that in reality the compensation was much less than you could get at other jobs with similar levels of skill requirements and personal safety hazards. With the task of guarding the tunnel taken care of by the relatively low paid snack, Aaron would be free to take his stash of chips and leave the chip mines in search of a more exciting and healthy endeavor.


The road before Joe was unlike one he had ever seen before on the back side of the page. He couldn’t quite determine what was so odd, for the road looked exactly like a road should be but at the same time it looked completely wrong. Despite the strange feelings that everything was completely wrong yet totally normal, Joe was sure if he squashed together the feelings they would cancel each other out and result in mutual annihilation which would allow him to continue his journey no longer conflicted. The feelings did in fact destroy each other but the resulting blast severely wounded his sense of direction but Joe did not notice as the pain center of his brain was also momentarily stunned. Now that the road no longer seemed completely wrong in a totally normal way Joe continued on towards the store that held the fly swatter of ultimate power, or at least he thought he was heading that way, thanks to his damaged sense of direction he had veered off course and was now heading off towards the edges of known civilization, beyond which nobody knew what, if anything, was there.
Thanks to his incorrect path Joe was making much better time than before, and was set to arrive at his destination much sooner than before. The fact that the destination he was destined for was not the one he was determined to get to did little to deter him, for this direction was much more delightful to drift in and with his damage sense of direction it defiantly felt like the correct path to take. Joe continued to walk oblivious to the shift in the scenery, the sidewalks had disappeared, the road had changed to a mixture of gravel and dirt and the sky itself was looking much more distant, as if this place was so far out in the middle of nowhere anything else of significance could be located too close to it.
After traveling for quite some time Joe became hungry. A quick search of his knapsack found nothing that looked both editable and like food (although there was one stone carved sandwich with a bag of rock shaped crackers) and thus Joe was forced to stop ignoring his surroundings and investigate in attempts to locate food. The landscape around him was rather bare, he had traveled far enough that all previously identifiable features were far out of view. The only unidentified thing in sight was a strange tower with an angry looking half circle on top shooting out flames. Joe was unsure what such a tower represented, but there seemed to be a small building next to it which seemed to be his only chance of finding food lest he miss lunch and be all hungry the rest of the day.

Chapter 43 – No Flowers

Long ago there was a botanist names Leafs whose main focus was the study of flowers. Through the study of flowers Leafs found ways to cure disease, make stronger materials, and even produce vast amounts of power. Leafs became convinced that flowers were the key to solving all problems, which was continually proved with each new discovery.
For awhile things were great, flowers were being used in almost everything to make thing better, stronger and longer lasting. Sadly this grand utopia built upon the flowers was destined to fall, for one fateful day Leafs was hungry. This posed a problem as it was in the mists of an exciting experiment and having to stop to go prepare food would be rather troublesome. Thus Leafs solved the problem like any other, with flowers. Obviously the most efficient solution would be to create a flower that could make food, that way Leafs wouldn’t have to spend time on the non productive task of food preparation.
The flower chef was a success and soon Leafs realized that flowers could be created to do other time consuming tasks. Soon there was a garden full of flowers to do various chores around the house, from laundry to sweeping and even mowing the lawn. At first things went well, the flowers contently did the tasks they had been grown to do and the botanist was able to spend more time working. However Leafs soon started to make flowers to assist in the greenhouse, to help grow better plants. Sadly they were too successful in this endeavor, the flowers helped to grow big and strong flowers, which in turn helped to grow bigger and stronger flowers, which helped to grow the biggest and strongest flowers. These superlative flowers quickly decided that doing gardening work was beneath them and that they should be held in higher regards. Leafs attempted to stop the out of control flowers with some weed killer but it proved to be ineffective on the malevolent flowers.
When the flowers discovered that flowers were being grown just to be made into various products they were furious. The flowers went on a rampage and took over the nearby town, burning down the flower processing plant and forcing the local inhabitants to tend the gardens to grow more flowers. The flower army grew in size and number, they branched out and took over more towns forcing more people to work in the gardens.
The flower overlords were unstoppable, their empire continued to grow destroying anything that got in their way. Then as suddenly as their reign of oppression had started it stopped, the first frost of the winter came and most of the flowers died. The ones that managed to survive by hiding in a greenhouse were weakened by the reduced sunlight and were easily defeated by their enslaved gardeners.
Civilization slowly recovered from the rule of the flowers. People rebuilt buildings and paved over the gardens trying to block out the unpleasant memories of what had transpired. However they knew they must not forget lest the flowers be grown and allowed to rise to power again and thus they put “No Flowers” on every sign to serve as a reminder and protect future generations.

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Joe and Chernobyl stood in awe at the answer, Chernobyl amazed at the grand tale and Joe shocked that so much text could fit in the tiny little window and yet still be readable. With the grand mystery solved Chernobyl led Joe down the mountain and back to the not-forest. It was there that they parted, Joe went out seeking the supply depot to obtain the fly swatter of ultimate power while Chernobyl waddled off to find some more of that delicious tasting pudding.