Play 12


C: Don’t mind me, I’ll be busy all day.
D: Mmhmm.
C: ALL by myself.
D: Sounds fine to me. Hey, what are you doing with that cardboard box?
C: Nothing. And this isn’t a box at all.
D: Looks up Okay then, what is it?
C: Points the other side of the box towards D with its name written on the side It’s my transmogrifier!
D: Oh boy. Returns to his paper.
Scene: C and his box. C has a big marker and is drawing dials on the box.
C: Right, now I just need to get this thing calibrated and I’ll be in business. Let’s see what happens.
C tentatively activates the box. A large sound and a flash and E appears. C is tossed back from the box.
C: Whoa!
E: Whoa!
Two more sounds and flashes in quick succession. F and G appear.
C: Racing back repeatedly smashes the buttons. The box falls apart. Abort! ABORT!
H: Strolling in What happened here?
E: Yawn. Who can say? I’m good for a nap all day, you guys take care of business.
G: What? No! You have to get back in all of you!
C: What are you talking about? I’m real! It is you who needs to get back in while I figure out how to de-transmogrify you!
F: Pencil and paper working furiously If my calculations are correct we can have an army of untold proportions ready in no time.
H: This should be interesting.
C: Army?
G: Tries to shove C back into the wounded box In! In you go!
E: Snoring.
C: To H You’ve GOT to help me! Tell them I’m the real one and help me shove the rest of them back in!
G: Stop lying and get in there you snaggly-toothed duplicate!
F: Paper has a sketch of a Godzilla like snowman crushing houses and cars I figure we start with this one and go from there. At some size snowmen must generate their own consciousness right? Then HE’ll just start creating more and marshal our troops to conquer everyone!
H: Gosh me! There do seem to be an awful lot of you. However did you get yourself into this awful mess?
C: Manages to pull the box up around G. To H There’s no time for small talk. Quick! Push the button on the side! ‘De’ has been added to the front of ‘transmogrifier’ on the box.
H: I guess one fewer problem is one step closer to a solution. Pushes the side of the box. G vanishes amidst a loud sound and a flash.
C: Phew! Thanks! Now let’s clean up the rest of this mess.
H: I’m still not sure I picked the right one, but I’ve hitched myself to your wagon so I may as well follow it through. Who’s next?
C: Pointing to F Him. We’ll pull the old switcheroo.
C procures a second identical box.
C: See this box? It’s another transmogrifier.
F: Sure. You’re probably just…
C: No, I swear. Tell him!
H: I’m not getting in the middle of any of this.
C: Just get in. You can double yourself and have even more military geniuses. Combined you’ll be a regular Napoleon. Now, just GET IN!
F: Well, if you say so.
F enters the box, C quickly scribbles ‘de-‘ on the outside.
F: What wa…
C pushes the button, a loud sound and a flash of light, and F is gone.
C: Phew, that was close!
H: Examines F‘s papers I’ll say.
C: Two down, one to go. I’ve got it! Races to his bed and puts blankets and pillows in the box. Look how comfortable this is.
H: Rolls eyes.
E: Continues snoring.
C: I SAID, look how COMFORTABLE this is!!
H: Gives F a slight nudge with his foot.
F: Awakes with a yawn. What’s going on? Where is everyone?
C: Just get in there.
H: It’s soooo comfortable.
C: To the side Hey big mouth, keep it cool.
F gets in and lays down. C pushes the button, loud sound, flash of light, and F vanishes.
C: Phew! I’m exhausted. This was the worst idea ever! The world can’t handle more than one of me. It’s just not ready yet.
H: I’m not sure it’ll ever be ready. What was the problem?
C: Calibration errors.
H: Huh?
C: THAT box turned my calibration errors unleashed.


Composed November 26, 2013.
Inspiration: Calibration errors unleashed: effects on cosmological parameters and requirements for large-scale structure surveys


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