September 11, 2008

Talisman of Power to Wichita Kansas

Guy 2 started college this fall. Between a more than full load of freshman classes, a phone-a-thon job asking alumni for money and listening to their sob stories, a graphic design job figuring out how to make the college newspaper look way cooler than last year, midnight till 4am games of Texas hold'em, and microwaving frozen lumps of spaghetti sent by Grandma, he rarely calls. That's why we're glad he writes... so we'll know what he's thinking.

John Brown University is home to a talisman of great power. Three times a day, hundreds, if not thousands of students and faculty make the pilgrimage through the café to catch a glimpse of its marvelous power. The conveyor belt may be small and unassuming, but it has a unique characteristic. Plates, cups, chicken bones, power aid, half finished mostly melted ice-cream sundaes with two spoonfuls of chocolate topped with nuts and cherries all slathered in ketchup; all these and more are loaded on and sent chugging down the belt and into a portal. Where the portal goes is a mystery. Does it open into the cold of deep space? Does it warp to the clammy depths of the ocean? Antarctica? Midway? Wichita Kansas? Some say that there are a hundred gnomes that stand up on tiptoe to grab the load, wash it all, and carry it back to the café, listening to rock music and shining it with their beards as they go. The next day, clean plates, cups, and utensils show up in the café and a thousand souls make the pilgrimage once more.

I have always been curious; how does a material-dimensional portal transmit sound? Maybe you should try sometime: say thank you through the portal and listen for the gnomes.

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