East Pole


They emerged from the drift in front of the famous spool table containing the Minoan Radio. A tinny version of “Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day” by Jethro Tull was playing — nothing really unusual there — but the recording was stuck on the “skating away” lyrics of the chorus, which repeated over and over as in a broken record. Corresponding to this, skateboarding Bart Simpson was himself stuck atop the iris opening implanted in East Pole’s epicenter.

Jack pointed toward the figure. “Look Bendy. Both stuck. Bart is usually darting back and forth and all around this side of the moon when we come here.”

“Yeah, I always half expect to get clobbered by him when I arrive,” adds Bendy. “Skateboarders, pheh.” As they contemplate the meaning of all this, another figure emerges from the drift to their right. It’s Tilie the multi-colored, morally responsible moon maintenance robot. He passes the broken radio without nary a glance and heads straight to Bart. He begins to repeatedly touch the figure with an extended arm. Each time he does, his body changes colors.




He stops when his body only shows 2 colors instead of 3. He mutters a curse. It is only then he sees the still mostly submerged Jack and Bendy on the edge of East Pole. “Oh, beg your pardon sirs,” he says, and then bows in greeting. “I will erase my curse from time and space.”

“It’s no problem, Tilie,” responds Jack, waving the moral mistake off while moving toward the figure and likewise fully emerging from the edge drift. Bendy follows suit. “How is everything? How’s the wife? Ounita isn’t it?”

“Correct,” replies Tilie, wiping his red brow. “She’s fully functional, yes. Recently polished. I can’t even eyeball her in the sun. Blind. How are you fine gents? Bendy, it’s been quite some sidereal time. Maybe since the whale and squid debauchery at West Pole?”

“Yup, I believe that may be it,” Bendy replies, thinking back on that awful day. That’s the last live eating he hoped he would ever witness. And so large and up front!

“The wife Eldwithel didn’t like Jim the Eel whisking him off to Mars on a daggle hunting trip without her consent, ha ha ha. First she sucked his eyeballs away and then took her tongue and… but I can tell from the charged expressions on your face that I’m going too much into fine detail for good senses once more. The woof and warp of a maintenance bot’s lives, eh?”

They all sit around the spool table facing the radio and catchup with each other. All goes well until Tilie attempts to explain what’s wrong with this pole. “It’s the sun and his shiny cache of roman’s numerals, two and seven and seven and two. It’s the lemon, sweeter than normals with pits for eyes that make you jump back and screech ow without complaint. Sky lumber jacks mustard into thin air. The lady sings fatly.”


Jack stares at him. “So that means we can’t stay here for any length of time.”

“No bleeping still life way you can’t! Hamlin Garland realism in a cussword genie bottle. Apologies once more!”

“It’s no problem again, Tilie.” Jack turns to Bendy. “Well, that looks like it.” Jack stands up from the spool table and motions Bendy to do the same. “Tilie, we bid you farewell, then, and wish you luck on your repairs.” Tilie rises and bows in parting without speaking further.

“What was *that* all about?” Bendy queries after they reach a certain distance and begin to enter the drift again. “Mustard,” Jack responds, holding steady to the seam. “Mean and mad.”

Both are safely within the drift and aimed toward South Pole when Bart’s yellow head blows up like a fish.

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