Chapter 32 – The First Step

*Actual patron’s number may vary, results not typical, ask your store owner if being a millionth customer is right for you, some assembly required.

Florg Stunt Cow 2 hurriedly set out to find the magic 8-ball of correct-but-mostly-useless-answers to ask it how to fix his name. Because he was pressed for time Florg Stunt Cow 2 started looking for the ball in the last place he looked, as one always finds things in the last place you look. Thus he quickly found it and proceeded to ask it the question of how to get his name fixed. Sadly the answer was most certainly mostly useless: “To fix your name you must find the man who was a thing”. Florg Stunt Cow 2 couldn’t understand what the answer even was trying to say, it just left more questions. How could a thing become a person? How would they be able to help? Things can’t do things. Why wasn’t that last one a question? Florg Stunt Cow 2 needed more help, and despite the strict “one vague answer per customer” policy Florg Stunt Cow 2 decided to ask “what is the name of the man who was a thing?” Surprisingly the magic 8-ball of correct-but-mostly-useless-answers responded with “There is one who calls him Fred”. Florg Stunt Cow 2 was surprised that there was an answer and that it seemed straight forward and rather helpful. Florg Stunt Cow 2 knew someone with a name that is probably Fred and thus he went off to find him, eager to get his name fixed a sandwich.

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Joe stumbled towards the city, still confused how a city on fire would help him get home, but with each step towards it the feeling that he must go this way increased. As he neared the city Joe saw the cause of the fires, a large mob of giant flies were buzzing about with feathers and torches, tickling and torching everything in sight. Suddenly Joe saw something absolutely terrifying, In front of the fly mob was a fly yelling frantically what must be orders to the others (Joe had never learned to speak tsetse fly, he had taken gerbil in high school instead). The idea that the fly mob had a leader did not terrify Joe, but this leader had a familiar giant blue afro, the very same afro that had previously plagued Joe until it finally was chased off by the random Joe. Joe was now sure that these flies were a great menace, anything lead by someone willingly wearing the evil afro most certainly was up to no good and needs to be stopped.
“Wait!” cired Cobbler to the mob of flies “Destroying this city is not the way to gain equality for tsetse flies! This will just cause more fear and dislike of the flies, and then nobody will ever buy our pickles again! We must work with people to show them that we are not a threat and that we are valuable and productive members of society. Resorting to barbaric mobs and angry attacks will only further antagonize the populous and keep us or our pickles from ever becoming accepted into society.” Cobbler’s plea despite its wise words and sound economical advice fell deaf on the fly mob and onto the rubble below, where the only person to hear it was Joe who mistook the impassioned plea for an angry call to arms. Joe knew he had no chance against the entire mob and thus he ducked into one of the few buildings that was still standing.
The room Joe had ducked into looked like a standard office, it had a nice front desk with assorted potted plants around to obscure view of the depressing rows of cubicles in the back. This office was unique in that everything was coated in chocolate, except the floor which seemed to have a layer of powered sugar in place of carpeting. Joe was slightly confused by this until he saw the sign:
Welcome to the Universe regional office (and the candy store)
Sugar free service available!
NO FLOWERS!
Upon seeing Joe, the receptionist (and the candy store worker) directed Joe to take a seat (and a free candy sample) and informed him that he would be seen shortly. This bewildered Joe even more than the candy coated chairs, didn’t the receptionist just see him? why can’t they see him now? and how would he become visible again? Joe most certainly didn’t feel invisible but perhaps invisibility isn’t something one can feel, and if Joe was invisible then he could sneak away from the angry fly mob and continue his quest to get home. Before Joe had a chance to get unstuck from the chair and leave, The Ruler of the Universe (and the candy store owner) walked in to see Joe, thus rendering him most certainly visible.
“Greetings brave hero and one millionth* customer!” cried The Ruler of the Universe (and the candy store owner) “Your decision or patronage to this place has earned you a most valuable reward, you will get to save the world from this horrible plague o’ flies that plagues the land so.”
“But I don’t want to do such a thing” whined Joe “that sounds like a time-consuming quest that will be full of problems difficulties, barriers, troubles, obstructions and travails! I’m not even sure what a travail is and I would rather not find out. I need to get home.”
“But you must be the one to save us all, all our other attempts to rid the land of these flies has failed, but surely you, the millionth customer, could save us. Besides you agreed to such an arrangement when you walked into this store” The Ruler of the Universe (and the candy store owner) said while directing Joe towards the sizable fine print next to the sign.
Joe was going to further protest but upon inspecting fine print of the sign it seemed it was surprisingly well worded and legally binding for such a most unusual establishment. Joe had had enough bad experiences with the law in this strange world to know that going against it would probably wind up with him losing a letter, limb or something alliteratively more unpleasant and it most certainly would involve that crazy anti-gravity lawyer Puddenhead. Thus Joe finally gave in and agreed to stop the hoards of radioactive tsetse flies that tickled people to death (or a really bad side ache) perhaps along the way he would happen across a way to escape the back side of the page once and for all. The Ruler of the Universe (and the candy store owner) gave Joe a knapsack filled with supplies (and valuable coupons) for his quest and showed him a tunnel he could use to exit the building undetected. Joe set off down the tunnel, feeling surprisingly excited about the prospects of this new adventure.

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