If One Dad Joke Is Good…

Quality, much like a misspelled grain-harvesting tool, can be fickle. I thought my article about a new CEO was laughter, like a noun trying to be an adjective, but it has been stalwarting the wooden spoon on this site since it appeared, like a noun trying to be a verb in a mixed metaphor.

On the other hand, this one about a new opera racked up hundreds of views in a single day, like a shelving cliche.

I know today’s article will be terrible in the best sense of the word, like art when it is supposed to be terrible because the author has a veil of irony behind which his eminently kissable face awaits your courageous commitment.

So many similes. Writing a simile is like translating a homonym; eventually you end up with words.

This article takes the idea of a dad joke and amplifies it beyond all reason. Why tell one when you can preposterously link many together into a story?

Our hero, Abacus, tells his tale:

I once knew a guy with a speech impediment. To cure him, I needed to give him a dose of inertia.

I travelled back in time to find some. Once there, I had a great idea. I said, “this is a candle moment.”

A guy named Tonto was standing nearby and said to me, “is that an as-yet-unborn-dad joke?”

I noticed that Tonto was drawing a set of patterns in the ground that spelled the name “Al.” I asked him what it was, and he said “it’s Pattern Al.”

I didn’t like the name Al. I asked if I could call him Queen Bee but he joyously insisted on Al while Tonto performed vigorous African rhythms.

This gave me a friendly, familial sense of de ja vu, as if i had had de ja vu in this exact place once before. It was more like de ja tu.

It started raining. Tonto turned to me and said, “hurry boy, it’s waiting fere for you.” I decided to leave this mofo hobo pronto and go solo for FOMO.

“Where to, Tonto?” I said.

“To To.”

“Is there a place called To?”

“Yes; more than one.”

“Can I go to To for free?”

“You won’t meet free in To, if you’re at fe right one.”

That was when I realised it was Tonto who had the speech impediment. “Fis is wrong,” I said, “in a D minor chord.”

How did this time travel paradox occur? When did I first meet Tonto? When did the paradox occur and how did I meet Tonto? How did I meet the paradox and when did Tonto occur? My thoughts were jumbled like a jigsaw.

I tried to escape from my thoughts but they seemed to be setting me increasingly difficult, murderous traps, as if to teach me a lesson. I was still no closer to finding the inertia. I had hit a brick wall.

I mumbled a garbled jumble of bumbled jargon barbs like a baubled burgler gargling bargain maudlin marble jars. I was pararhymed from the neck up.

This was getting dadaist. I needed to get back to the future before my story spiralled out of control and spawned mediocre sequels.

I realised I was rubbing myself all over. I would never find the inertia with all this friction. That was when I glimpsed a way out of my paradox:

The End.

I was in unchartered territory now, as if good taste and structural conventions would have expected me to finish long ago. I knew I must have inertia now.

I will have travelled forward in time to the future perfectly.

I found my friend Tonto and told him of the cure. “You’ve got the wrong guy,” he said. “I’m Onto, not Tonto.”

“But you resemble him to a tee!” I said.

I remembered that there was more than one To, and this Onto must be the Three that Tonto spoke of, for I, for free, had come into the wrong To. People were counting on me.

I needed to go back to the end and start again.

I was in unchartered territory now, as if good taste and structural conventions would have expected me to finish long ago. I knew I must have inertia now.

I felt a little de ja three but I pressed on.

Eventually my paradox came back to haunt itself like a simile.

I was frightened of this thing that I’d become. I needed to cure what was deep inside. I needed to do what I had, quickly. So I did.

I went to prison.

That was where I met up with Tonto again. He had been charged with stealing logic from Onto.

He pleaded with me. “I want a shot at redemption. I don’t want to end up a cartoon!” He was already wearing suspenders of disbelief.

He continued to speak; for hours he delivered a lengthy Tontologue of the unreal and nonexistent, almost the opposite of what Onto was into. You could say I was entombed into Onto’s untoward antonym.

In fact, he would not stop talking. That was when I realised the speech impediment was gone. It turns out he just needed a dose of stolen logic. That’s what had been missing all along.

My time travel would have never helped. His fear would have been realised: he would have ended up a non-sequitur.

If only I had known that when it would have mattered:

The Start.


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