Cathy Cramer, 1st Place
I Have A Story to Tell

I have a story to tell you about me and my friend Bernstein.

Bernstein is an Arkansan (now) and an aesthete, which is rather remarkable in itself. He is also a basso in the Badlands Barbershop Quartet, a motley crew consisting of Bernstein, the baldy originally from Bonn; Lindbert, the gnome from Zagreb; Watkins (that's me - I'm from Trapani Birgi, though I have American parents); and Metzger, the deacon who likes to say that he prefers charity over philanthropy.

I'm the scientist. When I was in the army, after an all-night marijuana binge, I had a brief nightmare about a boxy extra-terrestrial that squatted on a motorcycle, then turned into a serpent. The illusion introduced me to asymmetry and I consequently pursued a career in science. I studied anthracnose and dogfish (even animism!) before settling on physics. There is nothing like the fluency of an electret to make me coruscate! I'm no blackbody metal! But I must contain my effusion; it detracts from my story. I forswear my need to multiply this story's length by ten!

The story is about when the Badlands were in the bathroom of Madame Ova's House of Sin. It used to be Madame Ovary's, but of course got changed after the lawsuit. Bernstein had trotted down the hall saying his crotch was killing him. We all followed (naturally), even though I was famished, because his slurry cries could have deafened the dead. Once in the bathroom, he removed his pants, and we all saw the stoppage. It was effectual, if not pleasant. Nothing was getting through. Lindbert started stammering about the Cochrane Collection's stance on STD's, but I excoriated him to stay focused! We made a truce, and after that happened, the answer suddenly came to me. I was pegging away at my formula and came up with a divisor of 27. I hollered it out, and the stoppage disintegrated! I swear this formula is so useful it's biddable! Bernstein felt instantly better, yelling "I am Heraclites!" It was the best day of my entire life. Bernstein's, too, I think.

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