Stuff that Happened to Thing #5
Part 4: The Symbolism of Cymbals, or Lack Thereof

Last time, Thing #5 and Hwango the Indistinct were caught off guard by a surprise ending. Hwango had been vigorously depopulating Thing's living room of furniture, both in an attempt to cause Thing pain, and to clear room to polish the walls.

"Symbolism?" queried Thing #5.

"No, fresh out. We also need Paprika and a Xylophone if you're going to the store."

"No, Hwango, I was reading the title. It confused me, but then I'm still dizzy from that surprise ending last episode."

"I disagree, Thing, I think you're dizzy because you've been spinning in place for 7 wiggees." suggested Hwango.

"That's almost an aeon!" Thing said in horror.

"Further proof that Tennessee should become its own country."

"This entire story is utterly fruitless." said Thing, shaking his head at Hwango's pointless comment.

"I disagree, Thing. Fruit may play an important part later on in the story." said Hwango.

Thing looked blankly at Hwango for a minute. He thought back to a time when it had been a very real possibility that Hwango would be killed off, and permanently removed from the story. He thought perhaps that alternate timeline would be preferable to the current one.

"I think I'll leave, now, Thing." Hwango said abruptly.

"Why, Hwango? You haven't polished my walls, your supposed reason for coming here. Is it because I've tried to kill you several times?"

"No, because you have tried to kill me several times. If you keep answering your own questions like that, you won't need me anyway. You can keep up the dialog by yourself." Hwango said, bitterly.

"That's not true, Hwango! Yes it is, admit it! Okay, fine, you're right, I don't need you - get out! No, make me! Alright, I will!" Thing screamed, and suddenly grabbed himself by the neck and threw himself towards the door. It exploded, and tapioca rained everywhere.

"That was odd." commented Hwango as he turned into a gnu.

"Hwango, you've turned into a gnu." Thing said, somewhat surprised.

"That's a lie, and you know it!" said the gnu angrily.

"You're right, Hwango, I don't know what I wasn't thinking about, but if I did I wouldn't anyway because then I would have been thinking about it after all, and it would not qualify to be included in the statement." Thing said. He sat back in his chair and began to knit an armadillo.

"Do you have an explanation for what just happened, Thing?" asked the gnu.

"Yes."

"Would you share it with me?"

"No, but you may rent it." offered Thing.

"Thing, do you recall that I attempted to borrow money from you in episode 2?" asked the gnu.

"That's a very painful memory, Hwango-gnu." said Thing, cringing a bit.

"Me asking you for money?" the gnu supplied.

"No," said Thing, "Episode 2."

Suddenly, Hwango changed back from a gnu into whatever it was he had previously been before turning into a gnu. Hwango looked extremely alarmed.

"Thing, I've suddenly turned into a gnu!" Hwango cried. Thing looked up from his knitting at Hwango.

"I think you have that backwards, Hwango."

"Oh, sorry. Gnu, a into turned suddenly I've Thing!"

"No, still wrong."

"Um... Une, a ootni dnrut eelneduss h'vie ngith!" he hazzarded.

"Much better, Hwango."

"I suppose that I can learn to adapt." said Hwango.

"I don't think so." said Thing.

"Why not, Thing?"

"A better question would be, 'Why has this been going on for four episodes?' Don't you agree?" said Thing.

"No, Thing. I think my question is more aesthetically pleasing, and does not include the word 'obfuscate.'"

"Neither does mine." countered Thing.

"Are you certain? I thought I saw it hiding behind the 'e' in 'four.' Tricky word, you know." returned Hwango.

"Please move away from that sidewinder missile." counter-attacked Thing.

"Don't you trust me?" retaliated Hwango.

"It is not a matter of trust. It is a matter of the fact that, although I value our friendship, I value money even more. If you do not return the 800 grains of sand you owe me I shall be forced to skin you alive. And no, I don't trust you." escalated Thing.

"What does that have to do with sidewinder missiles, gnus, trust, or the answer to my question?" Hwango ambushed.

"They all have one thing in common - none of them have anything to do with the story." Thing defended.

"That's because there is no story." struck Hwango.

"I myself have noticed that on more occasions than there are plot developments in this story, or lack thereof, as you pointed out." Thing assaulted.

"There have been no plays on words recently, Thing." surrendered Hwango.

"That's true, Hwango. I am forced to place the blame on you."

"Thanks, but it's the wrong size." Hwango said, handing the blame back to Thing.

"Oh, well." said Thing, and smashed the blame over Hwango's head.

"That hurt, Thing." Hwango complained, picking shards of broken blame out of his head.

"No, that hurt Hwango. I'm feeling no discomfort whatsoever." Thing said, drawing a revolver.

"Is this another one of those playful word things again?" Hwango said, hopefully.

"No." said Thing, pushing aside the non-existant pencil and paper. He pointed the very real and non-playful gun at Hwango, and pulled the trigger. Hwango fell to the ground with blood pouring from a hole in his chest.

"Good thing you missed," said Hwango, "I could have been killed." said Hwango, crawling around on the floor.

"I was attempting to create an explanation for the wound you have." said Thing, tossing the gun into the fish tank.

"I prefer the mysteriousness of the inexplicable."

"Hence your role in this quasi-story."

"Actually, Thing, you'd best do that, since my hencing sucks. I can never keep my grip on the rope." said Hwango.

"Hwango, I am pleased to say that I have no idea what you're talking about."

"I think that's a shame, Thing, because neither do I."

"No, Hwango, shames are smaller and have only two tails. This is clearly an eel."

"How foolish of me." said Hwango.

"You said that already, in the last episode." Thing pointed out.

"Very observant, Thing."

"If there's one thing I am, it's observant."

"Only one thing?"

"No. I'm #5, after all."

"So what are you?" asked Hwango, confused again.

"Exceptionally unintelligible." mumbled Thing.

"I'm sorry, I didn't understand that." said Hwango.

"That's okay, it's not your fault that you're stupid." Thing consoled, and then moved into the kitchen to make breakfast.


Tune in next episode as Thing returns from the kitchen! 1000 elephants!


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