The Finest Moment in the Life of Spencer Turm

June 24, 2011
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Our dimension is a very, very, very, very big place. Vast, gargantuan, monstrous, and generally the most massive thing that you can possibly conceive. This is expunged upon by countless scientists, physicists, chemists, geologists, florists, and many other people with “ist” at the end of their name. They go on about its endlessness, its sheer incomprehensible size. “You'll never understand it, I'll never understand it, no one will ever understand it, so stop trying!”


Unbeknownst to them, they are totally, totally wrong.


In actuality, the entire expanse of a universe can be contained inside an ordinary lightbulb. Coincidentally, as I'm speaking to you, a boy by the name of Spencer Turm, was about to switch on a small lamp above his desk. He went through life with the name “Turm”, not due to it being carried on through his family, but because the secretary at the hospital had let her pen slip on the N in the intended “Turn”, thus condemning him to eternal awkwardness at family gatherings.


Anyway, the universe. Contrary to what all the “ists” have been telling you, an entire dimension is small enough to fit inside a lightbulb. The lightbulb above Spencer's desk actually contained the entire expanse of the universe known as Narquarl. At that particular moment, it was over 3 trillion and 7 thirds of another years old, and was far more advanced than our own; flying cars and cold fusion were considered passe centuries before that fateful day. Diseases were confined to history books, crime was non existent, and peace was universal. All was in perfect harmony.


That is, until Spencer flicked the switch. In an instant, countless years of progress were wiped from existence as Narquarl vanished in an inferno of electricity.


But that is not the point of this story.


Spencer was having a particularly strange day. Earlier that morning, his 4th father, James, had come home. It had been several years since Spencer had seen James, but he was much looking forward to hearing the reason for his return. Currently, Spencer's 4th father and Uncle David were discussing intensely something in the kitchen; James had banished young Spencer to the attic until they finished.


Which, apparently, was that moment. The door to the cramped attic creaked open as James slid into the room. Spencer turned around to look at him.


“Spencer”, James said softly. “I know I'm only your 4th father, and you probably don't want to hear anything I have to say. But your uncle and I have a preposition for you.” Spencer's ears perked up; James never talked to him beyond the occasional passing acknowledgement of his existence. “The windmill down at the edge of the lake was completed last week. As I'm sure you well know, that means that the grand Naming of the Windmill will be held high noon tomorrow, the Spring Equinox. Your Uncle Justin and I think that perhaps, this year, you can be the one to name the new windmill and thus earn your place in the town's history.”


Now, as I'm sure any of you would be, Spencer was in shock. It was his dream to be allowed to name one of the yearly windmills that were constructed down by the lake. To have his picture next to those of such famous windmill namers like Sir Lacton of Cherrymore, Lady Chillington of Eastfarthing, and John the Laughably Tiny was beyond his wildest dreams. “Yyy...yes! Yes, I'll go!”

The weather was cold and damp as the trio of men headed down to the waterfront for the Naming of the Windmill. It was larger than it had been in past years; the field was packed with over 15 people, 27 dogs, an assortment of insects, and a football (of the English variety). At the mention of the ceremony’s opening, the announcer was drowned out in overwhelming applause, all of which stemmed from the ecstatic little football. After receiving strange looks from nearby onlookers, it fell silent and let out a barely audible sniff of disappointment.


The emcee surveyed the assembled crowd. Why am I here?, he thought to himself. It all seemed so futile. His family had been on the Universe of Narquarl, which had been destroyed by some unwitting child just that morning. He had contemplated not accepting this job when it had been offered to him some sixteen minutes earlier, but then remembered that he enjoyed eating and living in a house, and he had thus accepted. The emcee surveyed the crowd. That's why I'm here, he thought to himself.


Sensing that the perspective of the story seemed to have shifted, Spencer had wandered to the base of the windmill. The naming terminal protruded from the side, humming softly as it awaited the entry of the title that would be assigned to it for all eternity. The keyboard looked very similar to a standard one that you might see one your computer at home, except for the slight variation that the space bar, in large shiny red letters, had “Name Windmill” printed on it. Spencer looked around; would this be his moment? Would the name entered into the terminal be of his choosing?


The emcee had had enough. Staring out at the virtually silent crowd and mourning the loss of all his relatives, he had renounced any belief in God and decided that he needed some time to develop a new philosophy that catered specifically to people who had had their families killed in inter-dimensional electricity storms and, like him, enjoyed vanilla ice cream. Stepping down from the podium, the emcee strolled towards the base of the windmill where a small, red headed boy was staring longingly at the name entry terminal.


Spencer saw the emcee walking towards him from one direction, and his 4th father James jaunting over from another. Both arrived at approximately the same time, give or take a few moments. In fact, that statement was entirely incorrect. James arrived first.


James placed his hand on Spencer's shoulder and looked into his eyes. “Your first three fathers died to prove a point. Today, it's your turn to carry on their legacy. Perhaps you can win the name competition and-” James was cut off by the emcee passing by and throwing a card key at Spencer. “I'm done”, he stated matter-of-factly as he strode into the sunset. “The name is yours.” The emcee went on to found the idea of Atheism, which was later incorrectly attributed to the ancient Greeks. For heaven's sake, none of them even enjoyed vanilla ice cream, as all atheists do.


Spencer inserted the keycard into the terminal. The screen flashed to life with three words: “Enter Windmill Name”. Spencer glanced at his 4th father James, who nodded. Turning back to the terminal, he entered his desired title and pressed enter. Unknowingly, the name he chose was exactly that of the universe he had decimated not two hours ago.


Our dimension is a very, very, very, very small place.





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