Contents

Birkensnake 1 cover

Birkensnake 1

A Day Out, with Stereoscopes

Tina Connolly

This is the first stereoscope in the park. Seventy-two percent of unattended humans stop to view the pictures in this stereoscope first. We suggest this is because they naturally need direction and not because they are interested in this brief selection of historical jokes from Betty L. Duncan’s 23rd century joke factory. Please press the blue button to continue.

Here is the first joke of Betty L. Duncan. Why do the three-eyed aliens bank on the moon? Because there is not enough sun to go around. Press the blue button when you have finished laughing.

Here is the second joke of Betty L. Duncan. Why is a three-eyed alien like an iceberg dictator? The answer has been eradicated to meet contemporary decency standards. Press the blue button when you have finished laughing. If you do not wish to stop laughing, press the pink button to discover what happened to Betty L. Duncan on the final day of her life.

You have pressed the pink button. On the final day of her life, Betty L. Duncan screamed for fifteen hours. Would you want to be an ungrateful companion like her? It is unlikely. This interaction is finished. Please deposit another coin to replay the jokes of Betty L. Duncan, or continue to the next stereoscope.

*

This stereoscope is out of service. Thumb your patron’s coin from the slot and step to the next.

*

This stereoscope contains instructions on building a bicycle machine so you can keep up with your swift six-footed patron. First attach your wings to the banana seat. Press any key to continue. Press any key. Press the red button if you did not bring your bicycle machine parts to the park today, despite the urgings of your patron. You are recalcitrant.

*

This stereoscope contains the legend of Eiderwide. Eiderwide was found in a green cloth coronary at the seat of a crime. Two three-eyed aliens adopted her and raised her as their own larva. Here is a picture of Eiderwide dressed as the Queen of Nebraska. Here is a picture of Eiderwide graduating from culinary thrombosis. Here is a picture of Eiderwide when she elected a three-eyed alien named Zoom President of the Eastern Seaboard. Here is a picture of Eiderwide, dead at age 297. She died by attack by motorcar and not by humans screaming “Traitor.”

If you wish to see pictures of her death, please confirm that you are legally sane. You have chosen insane. For you the legend of Eiderwide ends with a picture of her thirteenth child, the Bishop of a green fleece. You may step down now. That yellow stuff beneath you is sand.

*

In this stereoscope, you may try to shoot the flying pie plates. Though similar in appearance, the flying pie plates are not flying saucers. You need not fear reprisal. We would never suggest that you shoot at your patrons from the sky, praise be to them. Please press the pink button when you wish to fire on a digital representation of a pie plate. You have exploded one pie plate. Two pie plates. Three pie plates. One alien bystander. Four pie plates. Two alien bystanders. Three alien bystanders. Four alien bystanders. Your game is being terminated for your own protection. Please do not try to access this terminal again.

*

In this audioscope, we listen to you. This is an attempt to be a psychic machine. You will find it interesting. Think of what you want to see and we will display it. You are thinking of “exploding alien bystander.” Press the yellow button if this is correct. You are thinking of “exploding spaceships.” We warn you that you must not think of exploding spaceships. If you do not cease thinking of exploding spaceships we will have to summon your patron. Past records from our linked termini suggest that you are willing to identify yourself as insane. Think of a pink elephant if this is so. You are thinking of a blue rhinoceros. We suggest you have an inability to focus. Please summon your patron.

*

In this dentoscope, we examine your teeth. Your teeth are in need of brushing and deep plaque removal. We will put a request in to your patron to sedate you and deplaque your teeth. In the meantime, chomp on the nobbly bristle to begin the brushing process.

You have chosen not to chomp. Past records from our linked termini suggest you are easily distracted, violent, and unhygienic. Proceed to the next terminal where you will be put down. Do not have concern for the distress of your patron. You will be replaced with a pedigreed model capable of walking, talking, and playing catch. It will have its papers and will be capable of brushing its own teeth. You will not regret this change. Please, step along, or mechanical arms will move you.

You may consider the final joke of Betty L. Duncan as you proceed to the next stereoscope: Do you think a three-eyed alien is a kind, rational being, capable of displaying great love to all her adopted companions?

*

The corrected answer is yes. While the medication takes effect, enjoy a classic dirge that your patron would wish to have sung to you, were she here.

Fifteen men sat in solemn dockets,
Their shirts neatly pressed.
Too late, the crashing bottle rockets!
The patrons are kind and just.

Do you see how the kindness of patrons is greener than the sea? It is suspected you do not. In time you will understand.

Do not think of an exploding stereoscope.