[You have to hang on till the end! Here is a shortened version of yesterday’s post…to get you to the punch line more quickly.]
by: RS Jacobs
He sat there ensconced in polished brown safety; he stared straight ahead. There before him, glowing in brilliant light, was everything he cared to know about, and so much more. Looking ahead as he did, he took on the power of the Fates themselves. He could peer into the past, study the present world, and even discover the future. He could observe, in a distant fashion, the private lives of his fellow man. Struggles, victories, sorrows; all were laid bare to his all-seeing eye. In mere moments, he could journey from forest, to desert, to the depths of space. This was his telescope and grabbing claw to every universe — all in one.
At his left hand sat a sampling of the fountain of youth, seemingly seething with the energies of life itself. At his right, manna from Heaven. With the world before him, and life on either side, this was no man who graced this place with his presence, but a king.
Without diverting his gaze from the wonders that darted about his eyes, this king closed a meaty hand around the weapon of his choice: black in color, smoother than river stones, and studded with glory, but no larger than a wizard’s wand. Despite the size of the thing, the incalculable power of this weapon could end whole worlds, then bring them back as if they had never left. This rod of power could seize the reins of time, and seize them it did.
Taking on a countenance most pensive, he stroked his grizzled chin and sat in deep thought. Reactions to what he had seen raced through his head like hunting falcons. But this pondering only brought him to realize the gravity of his findings, and his hand rose to his face, as if to keep it from falling off. He contemplated the power of the black rod, and when he could take no more, the black rod was brought up again. The flashing lights and echoing sounds were dismissed. He closed his eyes, exhaled a slow, deep breath, and said,
“Five hundred channels, and nothing on.”
(Now that you know the punch line, go back and read Tiresome Visions for the full story.)