AT AN EARLY GONGSTROKE BRETT WEIR (aka the Lyrical Prankster) was finally brought up for judgment in the bowels of the Hooters International Parliament. In accordance with the venomous scheme of the reptilian Jackie Tung, the Master of the Multiverse, the trial was being held closed-camera, all justice-loving persons excluded from the court (save the properly elected representatives of the Hooters Parliament, who embodied all the justice you could ever need.) This is kind of how it happened. The Prankster was led in by a single guard into the cavernous bowels of the Hooters International Parliament, somewhere deep below the ground. Brett Weir had proposed that the time was not a two-dimensional line, but curved like a conch. Such a heresy had not been heard by the Reptiles since the days of the Ancient Greeks! Add to that, Weir had been convicted of tampering with the underwear of some Hooters personnel (but it was only in self defiance!)

「Committer of every infamy and inceptor of nameless crimes」 Jackie Tung's five-star lawyer intoned in a steady monotone, eery in the cavern-like bowel of the Guangzhou court: 「in the past, by the variety of discreditable subterfuges, you have parried the stroke of a just retribution, offended the meek, and sullied the reputations of earnest men. On this occasion, however, your admitted powers of evasion will avail you nothing. By a special form of administration, designed to meet such cases, your guilt will be taken as proved. The technicalities of passing sentence and seeing it carried out will follow automatically. To be frank, there is no way you can win. We will string you up with fucking piano wire, and then you will die -- in the name of freedom and democracy, may be the buzzards of just vengeance pluck out your eyes.」

Reptiliam hisses around the chamber, cries of "here! here!" (but rendered into Cantonese) -- the bloodlust of the masses (that is, the reptilian masses who actually run the Earth.) Rotund fellows and grim spectres chuckling in the darkness, fingers and fists shaking. 「In spite of the urgency of the case」 remarked the Mandarin 「in spite of the urgency of the case there is one detail which must not be ignored -- especially as our ruling will doubtless become a lantern to the feet of later ones, in this age of terror and disintegration. You appear, malefactor, to have committed crimes -- and of all these you have been proved guilty by the ingenious arrangement invoked by the learned recorder of my spoken word -- which render you liable to hanging, slicing, pressing, boiling, roasting, grilling, freezing, vatting, racking, twisting, drawing, compressing, inflating, rending, blasting into space, spiking, gouging, limb-tying, piecemeal-pruning and a variety of less tersely describable discomforts with which the time of this court need not be taken up. We could even throw you into a volcano and let you fucking fry there, if we really wanted to. The important consideration is, in what order are we to proceed and when, if ever, are we to stop? Speak now, fool, or I will personally cut the tongue from your disgusting little mouth!」

This, incredibly, so ghastly but yet so true, is really how it happened! Mark my word, it was true!

「Under your benumbing eye, Excellence」 the Prankster said 「I have just one thing to say: time does not exist. It is an illusion. They used to say that time travel was not possible, they proved it by a paradox: imagine you invented a time machine and went back into the past and you murdered your earlier self. You would therefore cease to exist -- but if you ceased to exist, how could you have invented the time machine at a later time, and then how could you have survived to murder yourself? Therefore you would suddenly come back into existence -- a vicous cycle, an impossible loop. But I say the past is not set in stone. It rearranges itself to fit the present and the future. Life itself is a paradox, and impossible loop nobody can solve. In fact, there is no such thing as time. Or rather, time is three-dimensional, the same way as space. Welcome to the sixth dimension. That's all I can say at this point.」

「Magnificence, the commanding quality of your enduring voice would draw the inner matter from a marrow-bone」 replied one member of the delegation (profile: Kai Lung, bloodtype B, Year of the Horse), a lonely interlocuter. 「I agree with every word you say, and would follow you to the grave. Just one question: what about the underwear removing allegations?」

「Heck, I was just having sex」 Brett Weir said.

「Omnipotence」 Kai Lung spreading out his hands to indicate the full extent of his submission: 「not even a piece of the finest Ping-hi silk could be inserted between the deepest secret of this person's heart and Heaven's all-extracting gaze...」

the queen of sheen -- "The Warrior Magi".
special thanks to Carolyn Golledge.
email alure@catcha.com for all your compliments and insults.