We wish you continued inspiration and healing for this dear community.
Melissa: (waking) What time is it, love?
Michael: (E) 12:46.
Melissa: (E) Hahaha.
(E) No, I was just starting to read the script.
Michael: (E) Ohhh.
(E) (sings) Ruin it, ruin it, ruin it, ruin the banana splits y’all!
(E) You put the bananas in. You put the ice-cream in. Then you put the whipped cream. Then you put the sprinkles.
(E) Then you put the boogers, the boogers, the boogers, the boogers.
Melissa: (E) (laughs)
Michael: (E) Does anybody want banana splits?
Melissa: (E) Okay, I’ll take it out.
Michael: (E) Thank you.
Melissa: No it’s not.
Michael: You’re right. It’s 8:31.
Melissa: (checks phone to confirm)
Michael: It’s 8:06!
Melissa: You scared me.
Michael: See? That’s time-gifting through deception.
Melissa: (jumps up, starts typing)
Michael: (over bird monitor) Superboys!
(B) Have we ever publicly mentioned that we mistook the birds for girls?
Melissa: (B) Not yet—and that’s exactly what I was starting to say up here, when I asked, “You know what?”
Michael: (F) “Up here”?
Melissa: (F) Yeah, I originally said it right after you said, “Superboys!”
(B) And then we got derailed by this spider story. And then the whoopdedoos. And our reader’s probably wondering what—
Michael: (B) Not “readers”—
Melissa: (B) It’s singular!
Michael: (B) Oh, “our reader is” probably.
Melissa: (B) Yes!
Michael: (B) I didn’t say “probably.”
Melissa: (B) Yes, you did!
Michael: (B) I said “sorry” after “probably”! While your attention was already turned away from me to begin typing.
Melissa: (B) You heard “sorry” in your mind, but you didn’t vocalize it. If you had, I, the Recorder, would have heard it.
Michael: (B) I said it much lower than what I said before.
Melissa: (B) Help! We’re never gonna get around to saying what we wanted to about the birdies’ gender identity crisis!
Michael: (B) They didn’t have a crisis. And why won’t you let me say “sorry”?
Melissa: (B) (laughs)
(B) Stop, stop, stop. We’ve got to get this out or we’ll never finish.
Michael: (B) Mm-kay.
Melissa: (B) You know what?
Michael: (B) What?
Melissa: (B) We actually made a recording of me telling you about this discovery. Maybe this should be inserted as a transcript. Our first insert.
Michael: (B) That might be interesting.
Melissa: (B) So what was intended to be original text will actually become a meta!
Michael: (B) A “meta”?
Melissa: (B) Yeah, the next one. “(C)” I suppose.
Michael: (B) Stop. This will save you a lot of time. Do splat-return.
Melissa: (B) Ooh, yeah. Woohoo! Positiveness!
Michael: (B) Hahaha.
(B) Now what?
(B) Okay, Franny and Zooey—
Melissa: (B) Wait! Stop! You don’t need to explain this now. That’s what the transcript is for. We just need to make it. Right now.
(C) Guess what?
Michael: (C) What?
Melissa: (C) Franny and Zooey are males!
Michael: (C) How do you know?
Melissa: (C) Remember how we noticed they started getting a bluish tinge to their beaks?
(C) I looked it up—and this is at Starling Talk—and it says, “Male starlings in breeding season have a blue cast to the beak and females have pink.”
(C) And then I read a little bit more, and it says, “The male finds a nest site and then uses his song to attract a mate. It is also the male who builds the nest and includes things such as fresh flowers, green leaves, and herbs. The male also engages in wing-waving in which he half extends his wings and rotates them while singing.”
Both: (C) Hahaha!
Melissa: (C) “This seems to be a way of attracting a mate. In breeding season the female is dominate, perhaps because there are two males for every female starling.”
Michael: (C) Mmm, what about Franny’s eye?
(C1) Can you go back and see if I said “eye” instead of “eyes”?
Melissa: (C1) (checks) You’re right!
Michael: (C1) You know why I said “eye”?
Melissa: (C1) Why?
Michael: (C1) Because when they look at you, they look at you with one eye.
Melissa: (C1) Oh, right!
Michael: (C2) I suspect something!
Melissa: (C2) You think we’re not gonna finish, but we are!
Michael: (K) But we didn’t.
Melissa: (K) We almost did.
Michael: (K) (over bird monitor) Supergir—I mean, superboys!
Melissa: (K) Haha. I know. It’s gonna take forever to get used to that.
Michael: (K) I know.
(C2) Oh no. No. But I don’t think we should record it.
(C2) I suspect that maybe Lutz is going to . . .
Melissa: (C2) What? “Maybe Lutz is going to” what?
Michael: (C2) Never mind. We’ll see.
Melissa: (C2) “We’ll see” what?
Michael: (C2) What? What? What?
(C2) Wouldn’t I have to say that, “Whuuu-t? Whuuu-t? Whuuu-t?”
Melissa: (C2) What?
(C2) Okay. Let’s stop there.
Michael: (C2) Okay, but can we say that the “Whuuu-t”s are all rising?
Melissa: (C3) I’m hungry!
Michael: (C3) Me, too!
(G) Did we ever eat?
Melissa: (G) Yeah, don’t you remember? The co—
Michael: (G) Oh, the corn!
Melissa: (C3) (from kitchen) I’m gonna use one of these hot dog buns to butter the corn.
Michael: (C3) Okay.
(C3) (taking plate) Is this salted?
Melissa: (C3) No, it’s salted butter. I tried it, and it tasted fine. Try it.
Michael: (C3) (tries it)
(C3) Where’s the salt?
Melissa: (C3) Do you want the sea salt?
Michael: (C3) No, I want my little shaker of salt.
(C3) Thank you!
Melissa: (C3) “More salt?”
Michael: (C3) How did that bun work out?
Melissa: (C3) Well! It worked great.
(C3) Now I’m having it as a roll with my corn.
Michael: (C3) (finishes corn)
(C3) Thank you, sweetie.
Melissa: (C3) You’re welcome.
Michael: (C4) What’re you doing?
Melissa: (C3) Trying to keep the light on.
Michael: (C3) After that.
Melissa: (C3) Finishing this post.
Michael: (C4) Yeah, right.
Melissa: (C) Well, I went to their specific page about identifying starling gender, and the iris test, as they say, is not 100% accurate. And, they also say that between 3 and 7% of starlings have conflicting iris and beak indicators. So, it’s almost impossible to tell for certain, unless you test their DNA to see what gender they are. But I’m pretty sure . . . maybe, I don’t know if both of them are, or maybe just one of them, ’cuz that’s why we always thought Zooey was a male—
(C5) Oh, did you hear that?
Michael: (C5) What?
Melissa: (C5) (rewinds)
(L) Is it correct to say “rewinds” when it’s digital?
Michael: (C5) Oh, I bet I know what you’re talking about. Is it the sound of the sodey being opened? Whssh.
Melissa: (C5) Yeah! How’d you know?
Michael: (C5) ’Cuz I noticed it earlier.
Melissa: (C) . . . but Franny’s eyes were more like a female’s, and then we thought that because they were the same gender, ’cuz they didn’t breed, they must both be girls. But we went the wrong direction. It was that they must both be males! So now we’re gonna have to get used to calling them boys!
Michael: (C) Well, if they are.
Melissa: (C) Brothers!
Michael: (C6) I wanna finish my feckin’ spider story!
Melissa: (A) You know what?
Michael: (A) What?
Melissa: (A) There’s a spider crawling on me!
Michael: (A) Where? How big? I don’t see him. Did you fling him on me? He’s probably glad you did. He said, “Thank you, Jesus!”
Melissa: (A) Why is the spider thanking Jesus? Because you’re the patron saint of insects?
(H) I was going to say that spiders aren’t insects. So are you the patron saint of arachnids, too?
Michael: (H) I’m the patron saint of bugs.
Melissa: (H) Right. Insects. Spiders aren’t “bugs”.
Michael: (H) I thought “bugs” was more inclusive. How ’bout this, then? Creepy crawly things.
(H) I’m the patron saint of creepy crawly things.
Melissa: (H) That’s it!
Michael: (A) Partly. It’s also because he needed to get over here by the computer.
Melissa: (A) Oh, he did?
Michael: (A) Yeah. Didn’t you see him?
Melissa: (A) I thought we couldn’t see him. That’s the problem.
Michael: (A) Well, once I realized where he went, I noticed him crawling along my arm, and then he hopped onto the table—
Melissa: (A) Wait. “Hopped”?
Michael: (A) Literally.
Melissa: (A) Ah, a jumping spider, perhaps.
Michael: (A) I’m ready to go back to what the spider did.
Melissa: (A) Okay. Go for it.
Michael: (A) . . . approached the keyboard, scaled its face—
Melissa: (A) “Scaled its face”?
Michael: (A) Uh-huh.
Melissa: (A) Go ahead.
Michael: (A) I have to try to think of what this thing is called. The bumps in a moto-cross course.
Melissa: (A) “in a moto-cross course”?
Michael: (A) Not “a moto-cross course”! “A motorcross course.” One word.
(A) Now I’m not sure. Let’s look it up.
Melissa: (A) “Motocross”! “Motocross”!
Michael: (A) It’s without the dash.
(A) (googles “motocross tracks”)
(A) Track designs.
(A) “Whoopdedoos”! I bet that’s what they’re called.
Melissa: (A) Are you serious? That’s a real-life term? I thought—
(I) Do you wanna know what I was gonna say here?
Michael: (A) No, we’re supposed to post this, and it’s 1:40 in the morning. But our reader probably does, so go ahead.
Melissa: (A) It won’t take long. It won’t be that interesting, either, though.
Michael: (A) Then why say it?
Melissa: (A) Verisimilitude.
(A) All I was gonna say is that I thought “whoopdedoo” was just some nonsense interjection like “la-di-da.” I didn’t realize it referred to a concrete object.
Michael: (A) Actually, it’s made out of dirt.
Melissa: (I) Haha.
Michael: (A) Well, I haven’t finished looking yet.
(A) Oh, they call them “whoops” now, probably.
Melissa: (A) (reads) “‘Those are pretty large whoopdedoos, aren’t they?’ Frank asked.”
(M) Help. We’re sending them to some crappy teen fiction book.
Michael: (M) Why are we doing that?
Melissa: (M) ’Cuz it’s a way of referencing our source without having to include a citation.
Michael: (M) Oh. Mm-kay.
(N) It’s Hardy Boys!
Melissa: (N) Is it really? I didn’t even notice.
(N) Haha! It’s called Motocross Madness.
Michael: (A1) You’ve got too many ‘o’s. And I don’t know about using the term “googles.” Just use “searches.”
(D) (chants) Take those aspirin. Take those aspirin. Take those aspirin.
Teacher: (D) “You don’t wanna be a naughty little boy, do you?”
(D) “Well, then you get up here and say this poem.”
Student: (D) “Nu-uh, I am not saying that poem.”
Teacher: (D) “Okay then, your punishment is that you cannot come back to school until you learn that poem.”
Student: (D) “What’s that?! You say I have to leave school and can’t come back until I learn that poem?”
(D) “See ya, Crabby!”
Melissa: (D) Is that all a direct quote?
Michael: (D) Oh, it’s not a direct quote. It’s my best memory of it. And then he begins to be hounded by that repetitious and kind of ominous chant “Learn that poem,” “Learn that poem.”
Melissa: (D) You gotta finish your spider story!
Michael: (D) I’m trying to.
(D) He whoopdedoed over the keys, disappeared over the top—
Melissa: (D) The top of what?
Michael: (D) The only reason you’re saying that is we’re out of context now. In the context of the story, you would’ve known that he was crawling over the keyboard. You even had a clue when I said “whoopdedooed over the keys”.
Melissa: (D) Yes, but it seems strange to think of the “top” of a keyboard. That’s why I was asking. I thought you might’ve meant something else.
Michael: (D) Well, while the top of the keyboard is the side with the keys, I didn’t also think it sounded right to say “disappeared over the back of the keyboard” because I kept using the climbing metaphor, as though what he was doing was climbing some sort of mountain. Or to keep with the motocross metaphor, over the top of the jump. But you wouldn’t say “the back of the jump.” “Disappeared over the back of the jump.” You’d say “the top of the jump.”
(D) Anyway, he made his way through a couple of pens, some dividers—
Melissa: (D) What kind of dividers?
Michael: (D) Drafting. It’s to capture distances between two points in order to transfer them.
Melissa: (D) Oh. Those are called “dividers”?
Michael: (D) Yes. You can also use it to divide up spaces.
(D) Walking with the points. Between points.
(D) Back and forth, back and forth. Pshhpt. Pshhpt. Pshhpt.
(D) I did four of them.
Melissa: (D) No, you did three.
Michael: (D) Really?
(D) The spider then scrunched under a Q-tip and, for some reason, took the long way over a bottlecap.
Melissa: (D) (laughs)
(D) Then what happened?
Michael: (D) He scaled the final obstacle—the backing of the table.
Melissa: (D) The “backing”?
Michael: (D) Yes. A monumentous—
Melissa: (D) (laughs)
Michael: (D) . . . quarter of an inch barrier erected at the back of the table to prevent your keyboard from sliding off. And once over the top, he slid off, and that is the last I have seen of our little friend.
Melissa: (D) Bye little spidey!
Michael: (J) (sings)
(J) The itsy-bitsy spider went up the CPU
(J) Once at the top, he searched it through and through
(J) Picking out a spot, he starts to build his web
(J) And the itsy-bitsy spider feels at home once again
L E G E N D
letters = sequential meta conversations
(C occurred after B, B after A, etc.)
numbers = mini-meta tangents within meta conversations