JUNE 6, 2009 9:22PM

Would Dolphins Be Better Than Elephants?

Rate: 5 Flag
Who Stinks?


Michael: Can we finish this, please?

     (C) That would be nice.

     (A) So are you reading now? Are we in metaland?

Melissa: (A) Yes.

     (A) (reads “We’ve got so many things to finish, it’s scary.”)

     (A) Oh my gosh.

Michael: (A) What, sweetie?

Melissa: (A) I just realized this reminds me of programming, with the curly braces and indents. Maybe that’s how we should format the meta-nesting. Like code.

Michael: (B) What curly braces?

Melissa: (B) This was written before we came up with the parenthetical lettering convention.

Michael: (B) What are you using now?

Melissa: (B) The lettering.

Michael: (B) So you just have this text referring to something that no longer exists? I guess it’s good this meta text is here, because otherwise, that would just be confusing, like it’s coming out of nowhere.

     (A) But we’re already tabbing in the continuations, and so, that might become confusing, and code isn’t really made for casual reading, but for expression of algorithms and data structures.

Melissa: (A) Parsing.

Michael: (A) Parsing? Yes. In other words, it’s much more difficult to parse—

Melissa: (A) It’s made for a computer to parse, not for a person. So how do we make these meta-layers parsable by humans?

Michael: (C) Parsable by humans? Who else would parse this, giraffes?

Melissa: (O) I think “giraffes” was still better.

Michael: (O) Then put “giraffes”!

     (O) What about “iguanas”?

Melissa: (O) Okay, but what do we do about the text below, where we mention it being changed to “elephants”? We can’t go back and change it because that would be altering the flow of time. It’s okay to change “elephants” to “giraffes,” because that’s what you said in the first place. But if we prefer “iguanas”—help us.

     (C) No! We’re making the distinction between text that needs to be parsed by humans versus computers.

Michael: (C) Are we talking right now, or are we saying this then?

Melissa: (C) I’m responding to you in this moment, and you were responding to what we said in Pass (A), which actually happened yesterday.

     (D) You know, I was realizing, we could consider doing these as footnotes.

Michael: (D) But then you’d have to break the flow of the text.

Melissa: (D) That’s exactly what I’m trying to avoid by introducing the footnotes!

Michael: (D) No! No, no, no. Because I want what would be in the footnotes to definitely be read, and I believe that proper footnotes shouldn’t be necessary for a true understanding of the work. If we applied that to what we did, they would be almost nothing. They’re mostly these discussions or comments about earlier things we’ve written. And then comments about those comments. And on and on.

Melissa: (D) Once again, you’re being Mr. Ambiguous.

Michael: (D) Really? I thought I was being really careful.

Melissa: (D) Listen to this out of context and see if you can even figure out what you’re saying, “If we applied that to what we did, they would be almost nothing.”

Michael: (D) (laughs)

     (A) Wait a minute. Didn’t we already have this conversation? This is like déjà-vu.

Melissa: (A) We still haven’t come up with a satisfactory solution, so we’re continuing the conversation until we do.

Michael: (A) I was satisfied with the nested curly braces, bracketing blocks of text.

Melissa: (A) You were? I thought there was still something stinky about that.

     (L) Oh no! I just got through updating all of the letters after “(D)” to make the Mr. Ambiguous tangent “(E)”, but that means I would have to change that “Hey” line below to “(B)” to be consistent with what I just did. Help!

Michael: (N) What “Hey” line?

Melissa: (N) It’s down there.

     (N) Should we add that?

Michael: (N) I don’t know. But look what an Escherian puzzle this has become. And not in a good way. These things are becoming labyrinths.

     (L) I got it! How about these are just sub-tangents, and instead of making them the next letter, they’re like “(AA)”—

Melissa: (L) Or maybe “(A1)”, “(A2)”, etc.

Michael: (L) What would come after “(A1)”? What would a sub-tangent of “(A1)” be? “(A1)”-little a?

     (N) Why didn’t you just add the little ‘a’ there?

Melissa: (N) ’Cuz you said “little a.” And that wouldn’t necessarily come across if I just put “(A1a)”.

     (L) God help us if we ever go there.

     (L) I’m really scared now, though.

Michael: (L) Why? Although I have an idea what it might be.

Melissa: (L) You do?

Michael: (L) Yeah. Is it about the earlier posts? Or even this post?

Melissa: (L) Yeah, sort of. If we adopt this sub-tangent convention, which I think we should . . . although, one of the benefits of the progressive lettering is it does indicate which order the comments were added in. For example, this is technically a sub-tangent of the—

Michael: (L) Something just occurred to me.

Melissa: (L) Mm-hmm?

Michael: (L) I think there’s two different kinds of tangents here. There’s the tangents that occur right when you’re talking, and there’s the tangents that occur when you go back through the text. Maybe they could be called inline tangents and after-the-fact tangents. Those are probably bad. Wordy.

Melissa: (L) But you’re right—you’re expressing something that’s been nagging at me this whole time. It’s because we’re actually trying to represent two different dimensions simultaneously with this lettering. One is the chronological order, while the other is the tangential—

Michael: (L) Umm. I’m using tangent in the usual sense, where we’re beginning to talk about something, and we happen to just talk about, well, in our case, we’re noticing something about what we just said, and we’re commenting on that. But the thing is that—

Melissa: (M) What? This doesn’t make any sense.

Michael: (M) Does any of it?

Melissa: (M) Help.

Michael: (M) Okay. Feck it. Let’s just go back through and convert all of these to this new system and see if we like it or not.

Melissa: (M) But we can’t because we still haven’t resolved the chronological issue.

Michael: (M) Would what you’re talking about be resolved by following all of the “1”s through the document and all of the little “a”s through the document? Is that what you’re talking about? That might be doable. As you can see, I’m not totally sure what you mean.

Melissa: (M) No, no. That wouldn’t resolve the conflict in meaning we’re setting up.

Michael: (M) The conflict of meaning?

Melissa: (M) Okay, I think tangents is a tangent. We need to drop that.

Michael: (M) Is it an aside?

     (M) And then there’s just present asides and later asides?

     (M) And should we distinguish between them?

Melissa: (M) Hold on. Yes, they’re asides, but that’s the same as tangents. In a way, the tangent is self-evident. We don’t need to label it separately. What’s not self-evident is the chronological order in which the asides were added, and that’s what we need to denote with the lettering—or whatever—convention we establish.

     (M) Uh-oh.

Michael: (M) What’s the matter?

Melissa: (M) If we keep this up, it will no longer be Friday, which will eff up our “(F)”s at the bottom—oh no! Is that no longer “(F)”?

Michael: (M) Don’t worry about it right now.

Melissa: (M) I should’ve never messed with the lettering. Maybe I should put it back. That Mr. Ambiguous tangent is just that, a tangent, but it was said immediately after the preceding “(D)”. So, painful as it sounds, I think I need to go back to “(D)”s there. Which would turn this “(N)” into an “(M)”.

Michael: (M) Wait, what? Stop. I agree that it was said right after that and so it was part of that same tangent—

Melissa: (M) All I’m saying is, we have to decide what’s more important to demarcate: the chronology or the tangent. I say it’s the chronology, since that would otherwise be invisible.

Michael: (M) Well, okay, at one point in time, I definitely saw that what was most important, while you were reading it, was knowing whether what was said next happened next chronologically, or next at a later time sometime—

Melissa: (M) Yes. So here I go. Time to re-letter the re-letterings.

Michael: (M) Wait. I don’t like the system as it is. It’s too brittle. . . . The most important thing to me is that you be able to read it and not even care what letter you’re on, but if you read something that surprises you, you can see, “Ah, that was earlier,” or “Ah, that was later.”

Melissa: (M) Right. So let’s just stick with the chronological lettering for now. Which has the fewest repercussions for this post. Especially if you can write a script to automatically re-letter everything after a certain letter, in this case, “(D).”

Michael: (M) Okay, but the thing is, Melissa. The act of writing it will always warrant this, and if every single time this comes up—

Melissa: (M) Oh! I realize we can just use find/replace: all the “(E)”s—

Michael: (M) We’re gonna come up with this. Don’t worry.

Melissa: (M) “Don’d gworry.”

Michael: (M) I’m gonna figure it out. . . . So maybe color is the best—

Melissa: (M) No, it’s not fecking—

Michael: (M) At least it helps me see that it’s a record of the path through the text. But it’s not many paths, it’s just one path. From beginning to end. It’s just when you’re going back and rewriting, it doesn’t feel like one path. It feels like you’re gonna form a new path through it. But the overall path, from the moment we begin writing, is one path. . . . The path to completion.

     (M) Okay, so yes, we do keep the “(A)” “(B)” “(C)” “(D)”, but I definitely have a new appreciation for what that means now.

Melissa: (M) Hooray!

Michael: (M) Which makes me think then, we’ve just simply been doing it correctly, because that’s pretty much what we’ve been doing.

Melissa: (M) Double hooray. Time to fix what wasn’t broken but what I broke when trying to fix it.

Michael: (M) It represents the flow of writing. That’s what we’ll call it. The flow of writing.

Melissa: (M) Yeah! It represents the order in which we wrote them.

Michael: (M) So we do have it! “(A)” “(B)” “(C)” “(D)” “(E)” “(F)” “(G)”.

Melissa: (A) Hey! I know we were gonna save that piece for the Tinkerbell post, but I think we should use it here. You know.

Michael: (A) I do?

Melissa: (A) Yeah! The title of the piece: “Something stinks.” Or is it “Someone”? No, definitely “Something.” Right?

     (A) Oh, I know!

Michael: (A) What stinks?

Melissa: (A) Don’t you remember? The title of the piece? I just realized what it was: “Who Stinks?” The kitty!

     We’ve got so many things to finish, it’s scary.

     “Everything that flows out,” you were saying.

Michael: (raising hand)

     “You have to acknowledge me. So you have to say, “Yes, Michael.”

Melissa: “Yes, Michael.”

Michael: (A) When did this occur?

     I have an objection.

     Melissa wrote down something she wasn’t supposed to write down. Something I said that was private. That was not-metaness. Oh, now I know how to say this! This is not-meta. When we’re writing in metaness, that’s meta. That’s the mode. We’re in meta mode.

     Man, if we could both type, this would be a lot easier.

Melissa: Okay, but the problem is metaness bleeds into real life, and vice versa. So it’s not always clear when we’re switching modes.

Michael: That’s why, to clarify, you just need to say, “Is this meta, or not-meta?”

     (D) How fecking long is this?!

Melissa: (D) It’s almost done!

     But by the time I’m clarifying, there’s already been a misunderstanding about which mode we’re working in. I might respond to you as if we were in meta mode, when you’re actually in non-meta mode, and you to me. You know.

Michael: No, I don’t know.

Melissa: (laughs)

Michael: I do know that you laughed at what you just typed, so it’s probably staying in.

Melissa: (laughs again)

Michael: But I’ve got to admit, my mind was wandering.

Melissa: Okay, we’re getting this heavy—well, no—

Michael: Is this the same post that got so heavy?

Melissa: No, that was another one. What I mean is actually not “heavy,” but it feels heavy because the list of things to do is becoming longer and longer, and the more we work on new stuff, the more other stuff piles up that we need to address.

Michael: You mean, real-life stuff, or metaness stuff?

Melissa: Metaness stuff, of course.

Michael: Oh, okay. I was confused. Which is obvious. So don’t put that.

Melissa: (laughs)

     When I say, “of course,” I say that because we don’t have time for real life, now that we’ve entered metaness.

Michael: Well, isn’t it actually—it’s more than metaness. It’s OSness.

Melissa: OSness!

Michael: Because now that we’ve had more time to read and comment on fellow OSers’ posts—

     Where am I going with this?

Melissa: You’re just talking about the experience of joining a community of creatives—it’s like a playground with all these specially self-selected—

Michael: Wait a minute. What if instead of a playground, it was more like a little festival with little booths where everyone is either showing or selling their wares. And tips are welcome. And everyone at the fair is invited to join in, and sometimes, even outsiders wander in and join.

Melissa: (D) Here’s your “little” “little” thing again.

Michael: (D) There’s only so many words for “little.” We haven’t used “microscopic” yet. We haven’t used “infinitesimal.” We haven’t used “at the atomic level.” Or the phrase “so small it’s invisible.”

     (E) Oh, great. Now that you’ve recorded all those, we can’t use them like I was hoping.

Melissa: (E) You were really going to use “at the atomic level”?

Michael: (E) Well, no, by that time, I’m running out of things to say, but it still feels like the list needs to go on. What is that called, I wonder. Inertia, I guess?

Melissa: (E) Aha, but look! You were making a list! “Can you believe it?”

Michael: (E) What?! No, I can’t. But wait a minute. Okay. Go ahead.

Melissa: A growers’ market!

Michael: Yeah, exactly. But I also think that for it to really work, everyone here has to believe in it, too. I find now that whereas I would normally spend my time reading something at Common Dreams or Salon proper, I wanna spend my time reading the posts here at Open Salon instead.

Melissa: I know, and there are so many to explore! I’ve got like uh—forty or fifty, maybe—tabs of posts open to read? Help! And comments to respond to, which is wonderful, really, so I’m not complaining. But there’s always that balance you need to keep between the creating and the communicating about that creation—not to mention the perhaps even more important reading, rating, and commenting on other people’s creations.

Michael: And don’t forget real life. The fact that you have to go to a full-time job.

Melissa: I know. But that’s tomorrow. That’s years away.

     (pause)

     (F) Darn it!

Michael: (F) What’s the matter?

Melissa: (G) Well, when we first wrote this, it was actually Sunday, so that last line made some sort of sense. But now, it’s Friday, so it’s no longer true.

Michael: (H) What do you mean it made “some sort of sense”? Didn’t it just simply make sense?

Melissa: (H) (typing)

Michael: (H) Are you writing that? Help me. But that’s meta! But does this feel like a tangent to you? I don’t know if it’s a tangent, but it’s . . . something.

     (F) Would it be true if we waited till Sunday again?

Melissa: (F) No, because now this “(F)” tangent exists, and waiting till Sunday would render this part untrue.

Michael: (F) I see. Why did we make this “(F)” tangent?

Melissa: (F) It just happened. “Darn it!” is what popped out after I read the last line. The old last line, that is.

Michael: (F) Oh no. Now we’re gonna have to find a new last line.

Melissa: (F) Do you think this’ll work?

Michael: (F) The one you just said?

Melissa: (F) Darn it!

Michael: (F) That wasn’t a good ending, anyway.

     (G) I don’t wanna end there.

Melissa: (I) You know what’s cool, though? When we first wrote this post, we had the dread of Monday hanging over us. But tonight, we have the hope of Saturday to look forward to.

Michael: (N) Should we point out that it’s now Saturday?

     (I) Yeah, good point. But that still doesn’t give us an ending.

     (I) It’s funny, sometimes the endings just come quite naturally, as this post’s original ending did. It just flowed. But this one, this one is like searching through overstuffed boxes of junk, looking for that one thing you know you saw somewhere around there but can never just seem to find.

Melissa: (I) I found it!

Michael: (I) What box was it in?

Melissa: (I) It wasn’t in any box. It was in the fridge.

Michael: (I) That is a box. An icebox.

     (I) Although the word itself is antiquated—as you know.

     (pause)

     (J) Would dolphins be better than elephants?

Melissa: (J) No.

Michael: (J) If we had included our banter about the elephants, that’s how I would end this. It’s kind of like the part that pops up at the end of a movie, after the orchestra plays. It’s the literal punchline.

Melissa: (J) (typing)

Michael: (J) Where are you at now? You’ve been typing away.

Melissa: (J) (typing)

Michael: (J) Come on, love!

     (K) Okay. Then what’s after that?

     (K) That’s the end?

     (K) This is neverending!

     (K) The neverending post.

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Comments

Type your comment below:
hmmm ... 'Si quieres programar un poquito necesitas darnos un poquito de tiempo. Un poquiito de tiempo que no BAlE already lol.

PeEcE!!!!
dj
Amazing. At first I thought this was some kind of multiple choice, which was scary because I had no idea how to work this multiple choice, which of course says more about me than you.
I read this last night several times trying to understand the itch in the middle of my head as a result; hence the medicated comment previously - sry! :P

So I went to sleep instead.

Speaking of programming, it seems to me that the post is written in 'Human', that is, it is an attempt at illiciting a response from the reading OSer. Its a program we choose to run every time we read this. That is the visible part. At it's heart, there is an overlaying 'fuzzy halo' around these lines that would be considered internal results of which some may coincide with your expected reactions, perhaps. This effravescent halo charges the next layer up and the programming gets proccessed simultaneously and in different directions. Infinitely directional and dimensional as far as the void in the human headspace is concerned. At that point the program exists in all states - my headspace - an infinitely voluminous space in a finite area. Much like the mandelbrot set. The thought process: As we look closer and closer (deeper) into this ordered chaos that you've introduced your string of programming, we note the simularities of thought and idea and are floored by some of the resulting ordered thoughts and ideas that are created by it, as if from nothing.

I wonder what bit of odd code it will take to 'birth' an AI? Surely we have given up on making one out of solid code. Thinking it would be the code itself that made the AI is like making a human out of odds an ends of random meat :P like the "seed moments" described in the comments of the post here and here, the birth of an AI will be heralded by the discovery of its seed. I suppose in a sense we give birth to one every day in every mind or words, our 'code', touches.

You guys kick nalga for making me think.. :)
peece,
dj
@Mrs. Michaels:

Melissa: Mrs. Michaels, how lovely of you to drop by! As I already mentioned in my comment on “Deliver me from futons,” I applaud you for your courageous dive into the meta-waters.

Michael: Yes, sorry about the difficulty level of this particular exam. We’re going to try to be less meta with our metaing in the future.

@DJ:

We started responding to your beautifully thought-provoking comment, but responding to your response “seeded” a new post, so we immediately had to switch into meta mode. This is a quick aside from the conversation in progress just to let you know, first of all, thank you, for the rich and profound comments, and secondly, that we will be getting back to you (with the response already started) as soon as we end up with the tree your seed has planted.

m&m
Sounds great! and the second here link did not work lol here it is again. - i'll be back to enjoy the trees :)
I wandered in looking for dolphins and elephants; no one told me there'd be a test at the end. Made me pat myself on the head at my smartness when I did figure out what was going on.
You come away knowing more about giraffes, porpoises, and lil' P.T. Barnum's sad-circus. But. it is such:`Life is the greatest Shoo on Earth. You write about numerical Pinyon. (K) Life is never ending saga/joys.
Never Ends.
History.
Story.
donkies for sale.
Dinkey dorky.
no. donky do.
i understand?
You do? good!
Ya wears pants.
m&m in britches.
Ya write m&m goo.
Ya drawl in mandarin.
Is it still cool to say "cool"?
@Mrs. Michaels:

You get a metaness smiley sticker to go along with your pat on the head! May take up to four-and-a-half years for shipping.

Sorry we didn’t have more about elephants and dolphins here. But we are very glad you stopped by!

@DJ:

Still working on it. Almost done (we laugh) with the next post. One thing (or rather ten things) at a time.

@Arthur James:

Thank you for improving your algorithm, Artspeak. This one is a bit friendlier.

@scupper:

Melissa: I don’t think it’s cool to be cool anymore, so if saying “cool” is uncool, then that must make it cool.

That said, ’twas cool of you to stop by! We’re looking forward to checking out your work.

m&m
Cool! (but that was sort of a never ending post (but "Really? I thought I was being really careful." made me laugh like hell, so it was completely worth it))
Melissa: (reading hyblaean- Julie’s bio) She’s an INFP/INFJ!

Michael: Who is?

Melissa: Julie! That’s what I am, too. I’m borderline P/J, so I sometimes test one way and sometimes the other. Actually, I’m borderline T/F, too.

@hyblaean- Julie:

You’re using nested parentheses? Are you trying to impress us? Well, you did. Glad we could make you laugh.

m&m
sigh, if only everyone were impressed with my nested parentheses- usually I have to make sure not to use them...
Melissa, I was beginning to think that you and Michael were the same person, now I'm beginning to wonder if you and I aren't the same person *twilight zone music* I test borderline on T/F too, although I believe infinitely more in relative fairness than actual 'draw a line down the middle of it' fairness, so I think I'd put myself in the F category pretty firmly
How 'bout you?
I blame testing J occasionally on working. The molding of my society :p surprised I haven't turned into an E yet? *looks around* Monday morning 2am, I'm socializing on a computer- worried about school tomorrow- yup, I'm an I
overheard at a recent AA meeting;

Hi my name is mark. I'm a nested parenthesis junkie (clap clap clap is heard in the distance, so I'm told)

I came here to battle my adiction and/or diction. Am i in the right place.

Well sorta you are, mark, but we primarily are all reformed alcoholics.

Ooops sorry my mistake - I thought the AA stood for Alienated Asians and spouses, who long suffer those like me, he said.

Hey, before i leave, any y'alls got some spare parentheses. I promise to use 'em springly and return any unused ones.

Yeah, right, mark you strike me as phony as a plug nickel one said.

Bingo says me.

Exit stage left

NEVER right.

The left is the best and where I want to be. If i wasn't so far left, I'd move a little bit further left, and fall off the edge of this freakin' flat earth, some proclaim it to be.

Phew, that was fun. Loking over it for edit, i can seee now that I entered as a certified crazy, and now as I regret to depart, I can see i am crazier than when I first arrived.

Muchos gracias, my amigos.
Dang, I forgot to rate this one - I'm back again - will this be the edge of extinction? methinks not cause I'm in a hurry - there are guys in white coats in the distance getting closer and closer.

rated and out!!!
Julie,

Michael: Feel free to use as many nested parentheses as you wish. Melissa and I are both used to them from working with a programming language that uses parens to structure code.

Melissa: Okay, Michael is going to get mad at me for quoting him, but this applies SO perfectly to the topics being raised in these comments, I must insist.

Michael: You must insist? Well, then I’d better not say anything!

Melissa: Good! So this reminds me of a children’s story Michael wrote called “How LISP became New” (http://www.neglook.com/index.cgi?page=newLISP), which starts:

“Once upon a time, there was an unusual language born called LISP. LISP looked funny, so everyone made fun of her parentheses and weird way of doing maths (+ 2 (× 3 (- 9 4))). They thought LISP was stuck-up because really smart people invented her, and because these same smart people made some silly predictions about something they called ‘artificial intelligence’ and how it was going to change the world.”

Which ties back into DJ’s comment!

Michael: Wow, you’re right!

Julie: “Melissa, I was beginning to think that you and Michael were the same person, now I'm beginning to wonder if you and I aren't the same person *twilight zone music*”

Michael: You *did* enter the “Twilight Zone,” Julie, and you are reading a blog that you wrote from the future called metaness, which is yourself and this person called Michael who appeared one day and began conversing with you. And he, at the end of it, becomes the Witch of the North and grants you all of your meta-wishes. You do have your ruby red slippers, don’t you?

Melissa: Seriously, though, Julie. Before you even brought this up, Michael said your picture reminded him of me (glasses and smile :-)

Julie: “I test borderline on T/F too, although I believe infinitely more in relative fairness than actual 'draw a line down the middle of it' fairness, so I think I'd put myself in the F category pretty firmly.”

Melissa: You’re starting to give me the chills.

Julie: “I blame testing J occasionally on working. The molding of my society :p”

Melissa: Oh my. Are you channeling me, or what? That is exactly the explanation I gave myself as to why I test J sometimes—my creative/heart side is really a P (the inner child, the bubble in those lines from Denise Levertov’s “Evening Train”: "But in the dimension / that moves with us but itself keeps still / like the bubble in a carpenter's level"), but I also have that Type A penchant that enables me to excel as a J in the workplace.

Julie: “surprised I haven't turned into an E yet? *looks around* Monday morning 2am, I'm socializing on a computer- worried about school tomorrow- yup, I'm an I”

Melissa: Oh yeah. 1:44 here. And we still have to reply to Mark’s embarrassing riches.

In closing, we’ll quote a line from Salinger’s “Seymour: An Introduction”:

“Please accept from me this unpretentious bouquet of very early-blooming parentheses: (((()))).”
Michael: Wow, DJ. What a rich and thought-provoking comment. Some wise observations.

Melissa: Yes, we always get most excited when something we do actually sparks someone else’s creativity.

Michael: No need to apologize for comments, medicated or otherwise.

Melissa: Hope that itch in your head doesn’t drive you crazy ;-)

Michael: I especially like the term “solid code.” Did you coin that?

Melissa: DJ, your post deserves a far more thoughtful response than we are capable of giving right now, but we have been metaing and OSing all day and it’s nearly 2 a.m., and we have miles to go, so we’re just going to close by saying thank you, once again, and pointing you to the next post to see the tree your fuzzy headspace seeded.

P.S. BTW, that’s cool about duaneart making that avatar for you. We like it a lot.
Mark: “overheard at a recent AA meeting;” . . .

Melissa: If we ever get tired of making these, we’re gonna call on you to write a guest piece. This little one-act is laugh-out-loud brilliant.

Mark: “Hey, before i leave, any y'alls got some spare parentheses. I promise to use 'em springly and return any unused ones.”

Michael: No problem. We have a parentheses farm, so we lovingly offer you this bouquet: (((())))

Melissa: Here, you can even have another one: (((())))

Mark: “The left is the best and where I want to be. If i wasn't so far left, I'd move a little bit further left, and fall off the edge of this freakin' flat earth, some proclaim it to be.”

Michael: These would make great lyrics!

Mark: “I can see i am crazier than when I first arrived.”

Michael: Thinking more deeply—which will make you crazier—is wholly encouraged here at metaness.

Melissa: But the sort of crazy that makes you sane, as we discuss in “Now, There’s Nothing Wrong with Rainbows.”

Mark: “will this be the edge of extinction? methinks not cause I'm in a hurry - there are guys in white coats in the distance getting closer and closer.”

Michael: Run away! We’ll distract the coat guys. “Hey, coat guys! Look! I can do an awkward dance!”