January 30, 2002

I think I have a new hero.

I do what I can to describe 'reality' within the confines of the fictional universe I've created, and that often means speculating on the technological direction of civilization. It's called Science Fiction, and I think I do okay within the genre, considering I'm just creating a comic strip.

Previous heroes of mine have been the men and women who work in the longer forms, novelizing these speculations and building universes much grander than I think my humble little Schlockiverse can ever become. I won't name any names: you can find my thoughts on these authors enumerated in much greater detail here.

Just last night, however, I found a page dedicated to someone who has taken SF and comedy a step further. In his efforts to breach our reality with his universe, he's actually filed patents. Some of them detail conversations he has had with his cat. The frightening thing is that I'm not sure whether or not this man knows that he is entertaining us. His works are presented with the seriousness of the impassioned inventor, but I can't help looking at these patent applications and thinking "mad scientist."

Arthur Pedrick is infamous among patent clerks for his contributions to their sanity. The job of patent clerk is a tiring, thankless one (as the Schlocker patent clerk who clued me in to Pedrick can attest), and Pedrick's applications were certainly a welcome diversion. Follow the link, and enjoy. If you REALLY want a treat, click here and start reading. KEEP reading. If you're in a hurry to get to the good bits, search for the word "Hillfield" on the page, and start reading from the second occurance of that word. This is the patent application for "PHOTON PUSH-PULL RADIATION DETECTOR FOR USEIN CHROMATICALLY SELECTIVE CAT FLAP CONTROL AND 1,000 MEGATON, EARTH-ORBITAL, PEACE-KEEPING BOMB," and it's a doozy.

This reminds me of that old movie Night Shift in which Michael Keaton talks to a tape recorder about how the mayo should be in the can with the tuna... no, scratch that! FEED MAYO TO THE FISH!.

That in turn reminds me how much I like nova-style smoked salmon slices wrapped around a mixture of cream cheese, chopped onion, and capers. God must have had a really compelling reason to not create salmon already wrapped around that stuff. I expect it had to do with the fact that they'd not survive long in the wild. Bears love cream cheese.

The bit about bears is no help at all in reminding me that there's another auction on--it's a picture of Ennesby, done on some nifty new marker paper I got.Right here, if you want to go look.