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Planned Neglect

ďDramatic objections donít redeem assent,Ē Dr. Nobody said to his diesel mechanic with a toss of his fleshy head, by which he intended to convey only mild rebuke.

But the mildness was lost on the diesel mechanic, who glared at the good doctor from under a single huge caterpillar eyebrow. He did that special trick where he dilates his pupils then contracts them and repeats in rapid succession, making his eyes look like big flickering black balls. I donít think I need to explain that this immediately hypnotized the good doctor.

ďYou will serve me breakfast in bed for a month,Ē he said in a fancy voice. The diesel mechanic didnít have a lot of imagination when it came to bossing around hypnotized people.

Fortunately the doctor, being good, had murgy-rigged a sparse spectrometer in his brainstem to detect if he entered a hypnotic state, which presently triggered a two point seven terra candle per cubic angstrom light to shine in the diesel mechanic's omnipupils. This naturally knocked out the diesel mechanic, etc.

Date Written: February 27, 2004
Author: Ewan Snow
Average Vote: 4

Comments:
03/3/2004 Phony Millions: This ending with 'etc.' and the like is the new flavor - ironically writing in the author's own self-awareness of the fragmented, offhand quality of his or her short. Is it an effective device?
03/3/2004 Jon Matza (5): I wish I knew how he murgy-rigged it.
03/3/2004 Jon Matza: That was supposed to be 4 stars. Today is your lucky day! You are one lucky duck.
03/3/2004 anonymous: Dramatic objections donít redeem assent, Matza!
03/3/2004 scoop (4): Brad: I think this Etc.-ification style can be devastating when used properly -- but seems clumsy if the author is not in command of the material. Here it is seems a little extraneous, but the flippant suggestion that the reader could fill in the blanks to such an absurd story is preety funny.
03/3/2004 scoop: so is my spelling of pretty.
03/3/2004 Benny Maniacs (5): A perfectly executed connon ball dive.
03/3/2004 Mr. Pony (4): The mechanic's "fancy" voice made me want to go to the bathroom. One star off for including a light requiring more energy than could possibly be generated by a galaxy of suns. I kid. This short deserves exactly four stars.
03/3/2004 Craig Lewis (2): Someone explain to me why this is funny.
03/3/2004 Jon Matza: Incongruous juxtaposition of elements?
03/3/2004 qualcomm (4): i'm on the fence on this one. murgy-rig is nice. bossing around hypnotized people is nice. and the author and i swore we would be BFF*, so four stars.

*Best Friends Forever
03/3/2004 Jimson S. Sorghum (4): I like "He did that special trick...." Yeah, you know the one.
03/3/2004 Craig Lewis: Maybe I'm being dense, or too much of a literalist, but I don't for the life of me understand what the fuck is going on in this short, and I think you all have lost your minds with your nutty overrating. As far as I can discern, the title phrase and opening quotation ("Dramatic objections...") are completely meaningless. Is this funny -- is there some kind of side-splitting surrealist quality to these phrases that is going straight over my head? Other questions: "Dr. Nobody"? Funny? "His diesel mechanic"? A doctor with a diesel mechanic. This makes no sense, of course, and seems like a pretty weak attempt at wacky-surrealist humor. Or am I wrong? Is this short set in an auto body shop? "He did that special trick where he dilates his pupils then contracts them and repeats in rapid succession, making his eyes look like big flickering black balls." This is nicely written: probably my favorite sentence in the short. But then: "I donít think I need to explain that this immediately hypnotized the good doctor." I think the author meant this to be an amusing shift in authorial tone, but I don't find it funny at all. As for all that "murgy-rigged" stuff: fine, but don't you think this kind of science fiction parody that has been done better before?
03/3/2004 qualcomm: i think you are a bit literal-minded there lewis. you seem to favor shorts that make sense. granted, this sucker's a 3.5, but i must disagree with your assertion that the sentence "He did that special trick where he dilates his pupils then contracts them and repeats in rapid succession, making his eyes look like big flickering black balls." is well written. It's the worst-written sentence in the short. it's the worst-written sentence in Faber College history! then you immediately follow that up by criticizing "I donít think I need to explain that this immediately hypnotized the good doctor." That sentence is funny, dammit, not, as you postulate, for its shift in authorial tone, but for the narrator's movie/TV-informed conviction that flickering black balls are enough to render anyone hypnotized. you know?
03/3/2004 Phony Millions: Scoop - yeah I guess. You were right the first time; it's preety funny, not pretty funny. Feldspar - love the way you explain things, brother!...
03/3/2004 Craig Lewis: I appreciate Feldspar's explanatory post (really). But my criticisms stand: I think this short is weak. Feldy's lucid explication of the good mechanic's hypnosis technique does nothing to make the passage more funny for me. And yes, naturally I "prefer shorts that make sense." Don't you? Nonsense is only really amusing when it appears against a larger backdrop of sense, doncha think? If you know what's going on in the first place, then the odd burst of gibberish can be funny; otherwise, it's just gibberish. Anyhow, to me, this thing reads like a pastiche of Acmeshorts cliches (especially the last graf, with the omnipupils and the etc.), the writing is mannered, and I smell cronyism in those four star ratings.
03/3/2004 Craig Lewis: Mulp.
03/3/2004 qualcomm: what does cronyism smell like? jarlsberg?
03/4/2004 scoop: No Feldy I think your confusing that with the smell of one of Danko's meaningful conversations.
03/4/2004 Craig Lewis: No, no: cronyism smells like roquefort. And ass.
03/4/2004 Mr. Pony: Yes. Well. I think it's pretty funny to read about people acting out poorly thought out cartoons. It's not really pure surrealism--there's a precedent. I like hearing stories that the author is obviously making up on the spur of the moment, but is logical and reasonable (and considerate) enough to justify and maintain the fantasy with cold hard facts. I like very much the agility seen here, but I don't think the joke is in the details.
03/4/2004 Dylan Danko: Not quite sure what Scoop is refering to unless he's talking about that convo we had about his feelings and needs.