Brenternet (The World as seen by Brent Moore)

Trying to appeal to the highest common denominator. I can't give you 110% effort, but I will give you 107.4% effort. If you're a spammer and leave me a comment, I will make fun of you. I use twice as many semicolons compared to most other bloggers

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Location: Smyrna, Tennessee, United States

As the title implies, I am Brent K. Moore. I married MariLynn Simons on Sept. 25, 1999. we attend Stewart's Creek Church of Christ. We have five pets, a dachshund, Slinkie, a malamute, Juno, and three rabbits, Ebunny and Ifurry, and now Houdini.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Nephraim's Box part 3

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If you haven't done so yet, read part 1
and then part 2.


Darp made more and more trips into the various worlds that the Nephraim’s box had to offer. Unlike his earliest experiences, not all of his trips were unpleasant. In fact, most were wonderful.

After his first three journeys, he noticed that something from the other side had come with him: A walnut, some mercury and the silver ornament. Part of the fun from this box, in his mind, was making a game out of this. In every destination, he decided to take one item and add it to his collection. From his next ten trips, he was able to acquire: a blue apple, a pyramid-shaped egg, a used shell from a nuclear fishtank warhead, a six-inch long fossil, digital socks, a matchbook from Buckingham Palace, a dinosaur bone, a smurf, a piece of the Great Wall of China, and an ordinary rock. When he got the rock, he was on a planet made entirely of gravel; he didn’t have much to choose from.

Much time had passed. Darp was enjoying this box so much that he started to shirk from his daily responsibilities. It started with his job. First, he couldn’t wait to get off work daily so he could travel somewhere new. Then, he didn’t want to go to work at all and he used up his vacation time. Next, he used up his sick leave. Finally, he didn’t bother to call in at all. When he was fired from his job, he didn’t even notice, nor would he have cared.

*     *     *

Nephraim hasn’t bothered to visit the future for a couple of months. He finds the current society a much more pleasant place to live. It just so happens that the future doesn’t want him either.

When Nephraim sold the TRS-80 to the eccentric multizillionaire Maxim Marsh, there was only one other known TRS-80 in existence. That remaining awful machine was, of course, at a public library. At the library, computer rights activists broke in to steal it and set it free. In the wild, the TRS-80 will not survive very long living on nuts and wild berries; it had a sheltered life and does not know how to fend for itself among the world of super-mega-corporite-computers. In the furure, robbing a library constitues a felony, even if you only want to put a computer out of its misery. The computer rights activists avoided getting caught. Instead, the cops visited the eccentric multizillionaire Maxim Marsh. Mr. Marsh truthfully told the cops that his computer was purchased from Nephraim.

Instantly, Nephraim became a wanted criminal. Nephraim does not find out because he doesn’t go to the future anymore. By now, that is good thing. Why bother? He is living in the 80’s listening to the Bangles and he still has his own box.

*      *      *

Mr. Darp did devise a temporary money-making scheme. It just so happened that the box appeared 20 seconds in the past. He hopped into his box and was still inside of his room, now seeing himself getting into the box. For a breif period of time, he was in two places at once. He exchanged pleasantries with himself as his other self stepped into the box.

Then, Darp remembered he had a fifty-dollar bill in his pocket. He stepped through the box again and saw his old self again. This time, he gave his old self the fifty dollars. Of course, the old self still had a fifty in his pocket, giving him one-hundred dollars. The self with the one-hundred dollars went through the box and handed the money to another old self, who had fifty dollars in his pocket. Now, the current old self had one hundred and fifty dollars, which became two-hundred, which became two-fifty. Each time he passed money through the loop, he became fifty dollars richer. By the time he quit, the only thing he remembered was being given two thousand dollars going into the loop. The only disadvantage was that all the fifty’s had matching serial numbers. He had to spend each one at a different location. To this day, having 40 different non-counterfeit bills with the same serial number baffles the US Department of Treasury. This is the joy of temporal paradoxes!

*      *      *

It is now present day. Nephraim woke up this morning and did what he has done for the past 1,348 mornings: turned on the television and watched a stupid television program. This was entirely possible because he had access to a satellite dish. This morning, he witnessed, “Spencer Euglena - Microbe Cop. It’s one full hour of Deoxi-Ribonucleic Action!” However, this program was better than yesterday’s selection “Nanny Noodle’s Nature and Noise.”

These television shows provide another reason why Nephraim hates life. Music wasn’t good anymore. The technology was very antiquated. He was a fugitive from his own time. He had no friends, even though he had money. Using his box to travel to new places got old.

He sold his smaller twenty-inch box to Freidman’s Theoretical Physics store several months ago. The gang at Freidman’s wrote a user manual for the box and put the box on the shelf between the Tesla coil and the x-ray glasses. A week passed until Darp’s friends bought the box and a limited service agreement. The friends gave it to Darp and he has been using it ever since.

On this afternoon, Darp pressed the magic new location button. The box made a low-piched humming noise and Darp consulted the user’s manual. It read, ”If strange noises are emitted from the box, discontinue usage. Failure to do so relieves the Freidman Corporation of any and all liabilities.” How could Darp live without using the box? Without hesitation, he rushed the box to Freidman’s service desk. He was already showing some withdrawal symptoms.

Nephraim’s phone rang. It was a Freidman’s customer service representative calling because the staff had no idea how to fix the box. He was surprised that anyone was interested. He rushed over to the store to help the technicians. Then, he was escorted past a trembling Darp over to the humming box. Nephraim looked at the box for a minute then kicked it. Darp passed out. The humming stopped. Unfortunately, an even more annoying screeching started. Nephraim studied the box for another minute then kicked it again. All noises stopped. “Good as new,” he proclaimed.

When Darp revived, he was relieved that his box was working again. He invited Nephraim over to dinner to thank him and discuss life with the box. Nephraim was impressed that any individual could be this excited about all the possibilities the box had to offer. He accepted the invitation. They had a lot to talk about.
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