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The "Has Left The Chat" Thread

Posted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:29 am
by pinback
I dunno, he said he wanted to talk about it in a different thread.

<i>Pinback has left the chat.</i>

Re: The "Has Left The Chat" Thread

Posted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:29 am
by pinback
I can't edit that. I hate this place.

Re: The "Has Left The Chat" Thread

Posted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:36 am
by Ice Cream Jonsey
pinback wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:29 am
I can't edit that. I hate this place.
You asked me to take off editing! I did it for you!

Re: The "Has Left The Chat" Thread

Posted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:39 pm
by pinback
Please re-enable editing. Thank you.

I have left the chat.

Re: The "Has Left The Chat" Thread

Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:07 am
by Tdarcos
pinback wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:39 pm
Please re-enable editing. Thank you.
I second the motion. I'll sometimes read a post, think it's OK, then after I save I notice an error I missed, but I can't fix it. Even a "five minute amnesty" allowing editing up to 5 minutes after saving would really help.
pinback wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:39 pm
I have left the chat.
"Elvis has left the building."

Re: The "Has Left The Chat" Thread

Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:03 am
by AArdvark

Re: The "Has Left The Chat" Thread

Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:03 am
by AArdvark
Almost exactly five years earlier, An event not unrelated had occurred in Dinkburg, a small town in Montana near the Wyoming border.
A stranger had arrived in Dinkburg a few days before. He had registered in the most expensive hotel in town, The Dinkburg Arms. Since there were only two hotels and the other was actually Mrs. Wilson's boarding house, it was an easy choice for him.
People are curious animals and strangers were rare in the little hamlet, (population 280). Dinkburg was located near the entrance of Yellowstone National Park but it was off the main highway and received little tourism. There were better places to stay if one wanted to visit the park. So it was only natural that the clutch of four or five old men gathered around the entrance to the local general store were curious about the stranger.
One had heard from the clerk at the hotel that the stranger's name was Benny Molto or Molto Benny or something and that he claimed to be a naturalist by profession. This Moltobenny was not a tall man, perhaps five ten in the heavy hiking boots he always wore. He was almost as wide as he was tall however, and this gave him a curious silhouette. His head was somewhat strangely shaped, with a wide balding forehead with only sparse tufts of white fluff at the temples. His chin was almost pointed and gave his whole head a curious pear shaped look. He usually offset this by wearing a green Tyrolean hat. His deep-set sunken eyes led to the plausible conclusion that he had spent too many years in some dusty library. The tweed suits with leather patches at the elbows he habitually wore contributed to this assumption.
Anyone seeing him in profile however, could not swear to a past assignation of a human and a particular piece of sporting equipment, but one could not rule out such an event either.
In the local general store vernacular: "His pa musta got drunk and boinked himself a bowlin' pin."
Moltobenny ignored these, and other remarks as he waddled up and down the main street plank sidewalks. Dinkburg consisted mostly of one long main street, lined on both sides with one-story houses and false art-deco storefronts of the old west variety. There were hardly any side streets. It seemed to make little sense that the stranger kept roaming up and down Main Street two and three times every day. This led to the rumor that Moltobenny was waiting for someone. He certainly wasn't doing any kind of naturalist work. One of the old timers speculated that he just liked the feel of solid maple under his boots. This only reinforced the assignation rumors, much to the amusement of the other members of the chorus. Moltobenny did not fail to notice the curious attention he received from all sides. The shopkeepers sweeping off the sidewalks in the mornings hailed him and he would talk without saying much and would never give away any information about himself. He seemed to be a very private individual.
Finally, on the 23rd of July, an incident occurred that changed all that.
It was in the late afternoon. Moltobenny was sitting on the bench outside of the hardware, reading the county newspaper and ignoring the bowling jokes emanating from the other side of the street. Suddenly a custom hotrod groundcar pulled into the diagonal parking space in front of him, atomic exhaust smoking. The groundcar was all black plywood fins and chrome. A youth of about nineteen, wearing a leather jacket over a silver jumpsuit, leapt out over the side of the car and headed into the hardware store.
Moltobenny watched the young man enter the hardware store over the top of his paper. he got up and went down the three steps to the hotrod and stood waiting in front of the groundcar, one foot hiked on the front bumper. An odd smile on his face. All the old timers across the street shut up and watched intently.
Five minutes later the young man came out again with a paper sack in his hand. He stopped at the top step and frowned at the fat man in a funny hat standing with one foot on the front of his car.
"Hey, point zero! Back off the machine!"
Moltobenny took his foot off the bumper and addressed him: "Pardon me, could I have a word with you?"
The youngster came down the steps, glancing at his bumper, looking for any damage, marks. He looked back at Moltobenny "The fuck you want, pops?"
Moltobenny smiled somewhat embarrassed. "It's something I'd rather not discuss here in the street. I'm staying at the Dinkburg Arms, would you mind accompanying me there?"
"You want me to go back to your hotel room with you, space ace? You think I'm a ten-pin maggot? That what you think!"
This last started the old timers to gabbing quietly amongst themselves, sounding just like a distant flock of turkeys. The youth dropped the paper sack on the passenger seat and reached into his leather jacket, pulling out an atomic pocket switchblade. He thumbed the button and it flicked open, revealing a blade that was all chrome and radiation honed sharpness. "Why don't you get your fat bowling ass the fuck out of here. Radar maggot!" He spat these last words in Moltobenny's face.
Moltobenny was nonplussed. "Maybe you could drive me to my hotel in your nice groundcar?"
This was of course utterly ridiculous, as the hotel was just a half block away from where they were standing. The youth's face turned purple with apoplexy. He looked at Moltobenny through squinty eyes. "You got about two seconds to blast off outta my face, tenpin, or Im'a cut you a new breathing hole!"
The threat made Moltobenny smile. He seemed pleased to have raised the youth's temper.
"I'll make it worth your while, I promise you," added Moltobenny. One hand drifted into his jacket pocket and he clenched his fist slightly. His eyes bored into the youth's.
The young man was still glaring at Moltobenny, then slowly his eyes became unfocused. His face went slack and the knife went down.
"You want to give me a ride," said Moltobenny in a soothing tone
"I want to give you a ride." The boy repeated in a dull voice. The anger had gone out of him.
"These aren't the droids you're looking for."
"These aren't the droids we ---What's a droid?" Ted's brow creased slightly.
"Never mind. You will give me a ride to my hotel." In his coat pocket Moltobenny's fist clenched tightly.
Suddenly the boy's whole attitude changed. He even grinned. "Sure, mister, hop in." Ted dropped the knife casually, without even thinking about it, and opened the door for the stranger.
They drove to the Dinkburg Arms and went in. The desk clerk looked up from his True Atomic Radar Confession magazine. His eyes widened as he saw that wild McMurray kid and the Moltobenny fellow walking silently side by side across the lobby and up the stairs. The clerk forgot all about his magazine and grabbed for the phone. Here at last was something interesting. In broad daylight too! This was better than any magazine story. The clerk talked for a long time.

Ted McMurray and Moltobenny entered the hotel room.
"Sit down," Moltobenny said, pointing to a chair.
The young man took the seat and Moltobenny sat on the edge of the bed. He stared intently at the young fellow. For a while the boy looked back in Moltobenny's eyes, his head was wavering slightly.
"Have you ever seen me before?"
The young fellow was puzzled and replied: "No. I've been away for two weeks. I was with some friends in ..."
"Proton Falls." interrupted Moltobenny with a dismissive wave of his hand.
Ted studied Moltobenny for a long moment. His head was starting to clear. "Yes, that's right. How did you know that? You ask my parents?"
Moltobenny shook his head. "No. I've never even seen your parents. Your name is Ted McMurray and your friends call you 'Tiger' because you are fast with girls and like to wear striped underwear. You have friends in Proton Falls because you used to live there with your parents. Your father was an atomic radar reactor technician who was accidentally exposed to a massive amount of radiation twenty years ago, but the company covered up the accident. He was later diagnosed with gonad cancer and quietly pensioned off. The atomic power company settled out of court. You were born about one year after that nuclear accident.
"Two days ago when you were in Proton Falls you met two girls, Betty and Madge. You can't make up your mind which one screws the best. That's correct, isn't it?"
McMurray shook his head to clear it and got to his feet. How did this stranger know all these things? He had just met the two girls the day before yesterday and that the threesome they had had wasn't known to a living soul - the girls certainly wouldn't ever talk about it.
"How come . . . How do you . . . ?" stammered Ted.
"I know a lot more about you," said Moltobenny. "To be exact: I know as much about you as you yourself. And in particular I know of something you have never discussed with anybody. You have a special gift which is unique in the world."
Ted turned pale and fell back into his chair. His eyes held a dangerous glitter as his hand crept to his jacket pocket to find it empty. He had forgotten about dropping the atomic knife. "What do you want?"
Moltobenny paid no attention to his question. "You need only close your eyes and wish you were again in Proton Falls and pop! You'd be there, correct? The phenomenon is known as teleportation. What's the farthest you've ever gone?"
"Two hundred ..." answered Ted impulsively but clammed up again at once.
"Miles?" completed Moltobenny with a smile. "That's very good, for an untrained beginner. We can improve on that by quite a bit."
Moltobenny stood up and began pacing the room, his hands folded behind his back. `Ever since you realized you have this special talent, you've been dreaming that some day you'll become a rich man. I can provide that opportunity. You will work for me. I'll pay you two hundred a month plus an expense account. If you progress the way I imagine you can, the sky's the limit. Agreed?' He turned around and gazed at Ted.
The boy stood up. 'What is this? This whole thing sounds fishy.' His anger had burned through his confusion. `I don't need your two hundred bucks, I don't want your expense account! And what's more, I don't need you!'
With this Ted turned on his heel and walked out. He gave a backhand pull at the door and it slammed closed. Moltobenny looked at the door with a wry look on his face.
"Fine," he sighed to himself. "We'll do it the hard way."
He shut his eyes and began to concentrate.

Ted stormed down the hotel stairs two at a time and practically ran through the lobby, past the desk clerk who was muttering rapidly on the telephone. The clerk's eyes followed the youth as he stalked out and he talked even faster. Ted ran across the porch and down the steps, his head filled with anger and loathing. He vaulted into his groundcar, started it up and stomped the pile pedal. He backed out of the diagonal parking space, threw it into forward and started up Main street, atomic sparks spitting angrily.
At this moment Ted's eyes became unfocused again. His foot fell off the pile and the groundcar coasted to a stop in the middle of the street. His anger slipped away again like a fog bank on a sunny day. The turmoil faded from his brain, leaving him with only one thought: Return to the hotel.
He slowly made a U-turn, barely aware that he was driving. He drove dreamily back to the Dinkburg Arms and parked across two spaces. He went up the front steps again and back through the hotel entrance like an automaton. The desk clerk actually did a double take and was almost salivating as he pounced for the desk phone. There would be a lot of talk around town tonight.

The door to Moltobenny's room opened and Ted entered without knocking.
Moltobenny simply looked up. "sit" he said. Ted sat down.
He carefully studied Ted for several moments. The boy's eyes were as blank as an unpowered elecrovision unit.
"Listen to me, boy," said Moltobenny in a measured tone. "I control your mind. I am your master, do you understand?"
Ted nodded silently.
"I have an assignment for you. In 20 days from now, on the first day of the month, you will teleport to Pepper Lake City. Do you know the big Moron Monument there?"
Ted nodded again, his glazed eyes never blinking.
"In twenty days you will teleport there. I'll be waiting for you."
Ted nodded again.
Moltobenny waved towards the door. "Now you will leave me. You will go home," he commanded. "You will not remember ever coming here today. For the next twenty days you'll keep living normally, no changes. I will see you again in twenty days. You will not forget. Now go."

Twenty days later, Teddy McMurray disappeared from Dinkburg. His groundcar was parked in the driveway at home but he failed to show for dinner that night or the next day or the next.
The police made an investigation but nothing came of it. The case file was officially marked as a runaway. The general consensus was that Ted, who had always been something of a delinquent, had become tired of being the butt of homosexual bowling jokes and had killed himself. Or he was assumed to be 'on the road' as the police termed it. Three days after the police closed the case, Ted's father died.
The rumors in Dinkburg said that McMurray had been heartbroken and died of grief over his boy's disappearance. His last words croaked out while he was lying in his bed were: 'I hope my dead gay son rolls a three hundred in heaven.'