DrChandra's Box of Sand

"You know what? Fuck Faeries. I outta give them a whack with an iron bat if they don't shut up about about being oppressed." - Richard Chappell (Elogee FishTruck)

rating: +19+x

Icky, Manny and Lolly were gathered around Gary Gorham's phone box, each of them growing a little more impatient with every unanswered ring. The call's recipient had attempted to hang up or block them multiple times now, but Gary had succeeded in using his mildly amazing power of telephonesis to keep them on the line. Each ring carried with it a slight memetic agent to answer the phone, the effect compounding each time it went ignored. Gary's previous record for someone ignoring his calls was a mere five rings.

The phone had gone unanswered for several minutes now, and they had all lost count of the rings.

"Boss, I don't think this is going to work," Gary finally admitted, perspiration glistening on his brow. "If he hasn't picked up by now, he must be immune to the effect."

"No one's immune to memetics, just resistant," Manny replied, his hands clasped together anxiously as he perched on the edge of his seat. "He'll crack, just keep it up."

"You're sure he's still in the same room?" Icky asked quietly, leaning in to examine the analogue readout of the mechatronic switchboard.

"He is, I can feel him," Gary assured her. "It doesn't really matter anyway. So long as he knows the phone's ringing he'll be compelled to answer it, even if he can't hear it."

"Argh! I hate this! First the jerk sells us bad drugs, then he rips off our brand, and now he's ignoring us?" Lolly huffed, folding her arms across her chest and stomping her foot. "If he won't deal with us in reality, then we should go after him in his dreams. Even if he's not part of the Collective, there are still Oneiro who can track down and incept sleeping corporeals, plus Iris's Uncle is the King of Nightmares, so -"

She went silent at the sound of someone picking up the receiver on the other end of the line. For a moment there was just soft breathing, followed by a frustrated sigh.

"Hello? Is someone there?" Gary asked hopefully. He was answered by a cheerful yet unenthusiastic voice in a strange and unplaceable accent.

"yes this is dado. owner of many fine dado business like dado speed date and colon detox. what can dado do 4 you?"

"Jesus Murphy, what the hell are you doing?" Icky demanded as she and the others recoiled from the phone at the bizarre sensory assault.

"dado talking to very perspirant customer cuz customer wouldn't stop calling and hamster can't take nap. hamster need beauty sleep. hamster have big present nation tomorrow. u sleep now hamster. dream the sweetest hamster dreams."

"Your voice is inducing synaesthesia or something! It sounds like everything you're saying is rainbow coloured!" Icky shouted.

"ah yes. rainbow theme is for pride month yes? dado sees other businesses putting up rainbow logos to show they are good allies and make money. hamster think this goes 2 far.political corrective surgery run a mock. hamster say make america grate cheese again but dado think this not go far enough. dado make everything rainbow theme 2 show that dado is best ally. or best lgtv barbecue person. dado not care so long as dado make money. dado is all things 2 all people yes."

Lolly opened her mouth to speak, but Icky gently silenced her with a finger to her lips.

"As much as I'd love to get into a shouting match about corporate appropriation of Queer culture with you and your right-wing hamster, we have a more pressing issue to discuss," Icky said into the receiver. "Namely, you're selling unlicensced Herman Fuller merchandise and this phonecall is an official Cease and Desist."

There was an awkward silence, followed by a nervous clearing of the throat.

"with who is dado speaking yes? u no sound like a mister herbicide fulcrum."

"This is Icky, Ringmaster and co-owner of Herman Fuller's Circus of the Disquieting," she replied. "The Man With The Upside-Down Face is here with me. You've heard of The Man With The Upside-Down Face at Herman Fuller's Circus of the Disquieting, haven't you dado?"

There was a pregnant pause as the others waited to see if the infohazardous phrase would give Manny access to the twisted mind of dado.

"no, sorry. dado knows nothing of the upside-down. dado no have netflix. dado watch prime video about high man in castles yes. 4.5 stars. "

Manny shook his head disappointedly and mouthed 'didn't take'. Icky let a frustrated groan but nodded understandingly.

"Listen dado, we saw your video advertising your 'herbie fucker' circus, and you're selling stuff branded with Herman Fuller on your website. We never gave you permission to do that. If you do not cease and desist immediately we will be forced to take legal action," she said firmly.

"what crazy clown lady talking about? clown lady and dado agree to collaboration, yes? dado and hummin ferver have verbal contract. dado promise to make generic clown impulse suppressant and you let dado sell hermando fallview products, yes?"

"dado, the deal was that you could purchase our merchandise for resale at your own locations at a discount, not that you could brand your own crap with our name," Manny explained.

"And that Clown Impulse Suppressant you sold us was crap!" Lolly shouted, leaning in towards the phone. "Eugene tried some and it made him shapeshift into a clownfish! He nearly drowned! And zebras aren't eldritch abominations you lunatic!"

"u say u want pills that make clowns no scary, yes? clownfish no scary. what herfull fluffer mad about? "

"dado, you failed to live up to your end of the agreement by giving us defective medicine, and you violated the terms of our agreement by putting our name on your own merchandise, therefore the entire agreement is null and void!" Manny said adamantly. "Change the name of your circus to something less disparaging to us and dispose of all your knockoff merchandise immediately, or there will be consequences."

"Yeah, like your sorry ass dreamform being abducted by the King of Nightmares because I'm totally friends with his niece!" Lolly screamed.

dado scoffed insolently at the petulant threat.

"dado does not fear the nightmare king. dado does not fear hello darkness my old friend or circus circus las vegas. dado is fine business man and fear only the im birch tree ment of dado's good name. dado admits no wrong! dado will defend himself on tennis court where love means nothing! u will rue day that u did not trust dado!

The call ended with a loud crunching sound, indicative of the phone on the other end being physically destroyed.

"Well that was unproductive," Icky said, flopping back in her chair. "Gary, were you able to trace the call?"

"Ah… I was, actually," he replied somberly. "But boss, something about this guy really seems messed up. Are you sure you want to get into it with him? He could be dangerous."

Icky considered this for a moment, then turned to Manny.

"What do you think?" she asked.

"We tried to be reasonable, and we can't let him just get away with something like this," Manny replied. "I say you, me and Noodles pay him a visit. Just to intimidate him. We don't get anymore violent then we have to. We show him what we're capable of, he'll backdown."

"I'm coming too!" Lolly insisted. "Nobody turns one of my friends into a clownfish and gets away with it!"

"Agreed," Icky growled, her violet eyes beginning to glow in fury. "Dial up the Kaleidoscope, Manny."

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