Gurgi’s Tissue Box
This is what appears to be a normal tissue box. Aside from the fact that it’s made of wood, not cardboard. It’s the kind with the tissue popping up out of a hole in the top of the box. You pull out a tissue, and another pops out and is all grabbable and shit. Two things about Gurgi’s Tissue Box: 1) it never runs out of tissue, and 2) the tissue delivery mechanism never fails. So you never have to reach into the tissue box to try to restart the thing.
When you cast this spell, a small rift appears through which facial tissues are endlessly dispensed as needed. The rift can appear wherever you specify when casting. Could be on an object or a terrain feature, or it could just be in midair. When no tissue has been pulled for a minute, the rift closes up, leaving no trace. But it can always be cast again. You can only ever have one active tissue rift.
This is a quill pen. It is all blinged as fuck, sparkling as it is turned this way and that. What you do is, you put all the materials needed to do your homework on a table or flat(ish) surface of some kind. Then you put the quill down on the table, utter the incantation, and the quill does the homework in your handwriting. Books, papers, the quill itself, all move magically to get the shit done. Put on your best Harry Potter glasses. That’s the vibe we’re going for.
It takes the quill the same amount of time it would take you to do the homework yourself. So you need to allow for that when you determine when you’re going to have the quill do the homework. Also, you get the benefits of doing the homework. That is, any improvements that would happen if you did the homework still pass to you if you use the quill.
You do not need to be present for the quill to do its thing. So you can set it to work and come back later when it’s all done.
I can instantaneously disappear and reappear in a new location of my choosing. My personal effects like clothing and things I’m carrying (such as luggage) go with me. People and animals who are touching me go with me. There are no fuck-ups, so I won’t ever get teleported into solid rock or another person or something. It just works.
I or a target can move around in all directions with perfect maneuverability, as fast as they can run. This movement is effortless. Effect lasts until dismissed by the target, or until the target dies, whichever comes first.
Here is an alphabetical listing of all the songs in my playlist. Currently there are 2,260 songs. Give me the list back with a check mark next to each song you want removed. Also at that time, you will give me a list of the songs you want to add to the playlist, and I will mark off those songs I don’t want to add.
That will give us two lists of songs. Songs to be removed, and songs to be added. We will sit down together, on multiple occasions as needed, and go through the lists. For each song, there will be a verbal debate. If at the end there is still no consensus, each of us will write a paragraph about their desires for the current song, whether it be urging it to stay in or be removed. These paragraphs will be judged by a three-person panel of our friends and family, who will discuss them and then issue a verdict.
The rules for issuing verdicts are as follows: each of these judges will be given two stones, a red and a green. A red stone indicates the song should not be on the playlist, and a green stone indicates it should. You indicate your readiness to vote by placing the appropriate stone in your closed fist and holding it out in front of you. Once all three judges are ready, the hands are opened simultaneously, and the votes are revealed. If there are more red stones than green, the song is eliminated, and if there are more green stones than red, the song is included.
Does the song stay or go? We will go through this process for each song on each list.
This is how this shit works in real life, isn’t it?
My favorite song from a-ha’s debut, Hunting High and Low (1985), has jumped around a lot over the years. At different times, my favorite song has been “Take On Me”, “Train of Thought”, “Hunting High and Low”, and “The Blue Sky”. Right now my favorite is “Living a Boy’s Adventure Tale”. What can I say? That first side is dynamite. So in honor of it being my favorite song on the album lately, here it is. If you listen to it, I’d love to know what you think about it.
Introductory paragraph that acknowledges that the name of this website, Ethan Abides, is a Lebowski reference, since somebody asked.
For the record, I am similar to the Dude in four respects.* First, we’re both unemployed. Second, we both smoke weed. Third, we both don’t like the Eagles. Fourth, we both abide. There, I’m afraid, the similarities end.
* I mean, beyond the fact that we’re both cis-het white middle class American men, and the raft of similarities that come with those designations.
Mug of Reconciliation
A sturdy stainless steel mug with two handles, one on either side. It has a sort of scuffed and dinged-up look to it. Two people grasp the handles, each of them says “Share.” These utterances don’t have to be said at exactly the same time, but they must be said while both people are willingly holding the mug. Anyway, at some point, the “Shares” will be uttered, and at that moment, each person holding the mug instantaneously knows and understands the other’s point of view. It’s like a point of view gun*, except no aiming, and consent required.
*The point of view gun is a gun that shoots your point of view at others, who are forced to see things from it. It’s a plot device from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie with Martin Freeman.
Oh, and nobody gets embarrassed by revealing personal shit accidentally. It’s magic. It just works.
Turntable of Elegant Sufficiency
This is a magical turntable. It is similar to most modern automatic turntables, except it is a very bare bones design. Few bells and whistles, as none are needed. No wires go in or out of it. It requires no electricity, amp, or speakers; you can simply put on a record, hit the button, and the turntable engages, producing sound that pleasantly fills the room. (Volume may be adjusted by a knob on the unit.) It never skips, and even records that are dirty or damaged (scratches, wear and tear, cracks, etc.) play flawlessly, as though it were their first play. The turntable automatically adjusts the speed of the rotation appropriately for 45, 78, and 33 1/3 RPM records. Unlike a mundane turntable, the Turntable of Elegant Sufficiency does not degrade the quality of the records over time. It requires no maintenance and won’t break down in any way.
This is a round slab about an inch thick and six inches in diameter. Any rechargeable device that is set on the slab and left for a minute will be 100% charged, and the battery will be optimized for maximum lifespan. Nothing bad happens if you leave the device on the charger for longer than a minute.
“Me and Susie, we’re just celebrating the joys of sleeping in.”
— Cowboy Junkies, “Oregon Hill”
What I want to know is, how exactly are they celebrating? The way I see it, there’s two options. Either they’re sleeping, or they’re fucking. I’m sure it says something about you, whichever one you pick. For my part, I pick sleeping. That’s what I assumed the first time I heard the song, and consequently it just seems like the right answer. Who knows what the songwriter intended.