SKWA-BWOOSH! That was the sound of Xapno Mapcase sliding through the window (the SKWA) and falling heavily onto the museum tile (the BWOOSH!) Already, the museum’s security system had been compromised, as if it decided to make pancakes instead of waffles. You know, because someone else wanted waffles. Look, if you have a better example of a compromise, then by all means, replace this one! Huh? What’s that? Didn’t think so. Maybe you can just stick to the reading and let the writers do the writing.


“Too late,” Xapno Mapcase thought aloud. His thought echoed through the vast, shadowy museum. It was quiet in there. Overly quiet. Shouldn’t there be a tender rustling of exhibits, the soft snore of congested statuary, the sweet buzz of facts as they float, suspending themselves in the air like hummingbirds? But no. In its place was the overly quietude of the sound of nothing making a sound. Something was amiss. Something was amissing.

The museum in question was the Aaron Space Museum, named after the wealthy astro-philanthropist Aaron Space. There had been a tip-off that the famed Crosby Diamond would be yoinked from this very museum on this very night on or around this very time. This very Xapno Mapcase had been tasked by the local federal government officials with beards and bowler hats to ensure this would not happen anytime, anywhere. Lots of head nods and handshakes ensued, along with a promise to be on time and to wear something nice for a change. But he had been late. And he wore tie-dyed overalls and a ratty t-shirt. Confounded by an ice cream sandwich, he arrived just in time to find the Crosby Diamond gone and what appeared to be a Buh-Buh-Buh Boom Bomb in its place.

The Buh-Buh-Buh Boom Bomb was well known in the 1930’s, causing mellifluous explosions popular amongst the bobbysoxers and the tommysandalsers. It was still a destructive bomb, which led to its eventual downfall, only to be replaced by the Baby Boom Bomb in the 1950’s, which somehow caused life instead of ending it, and was the subject of a thought-provoking docu-drama starring Diane Keaton. Xapno Mapcase knew all of these things, and little to nothing else, as he was a bomb enthusiast and secretary of the Diane Keaton Fan Club. Being a bomb enthusiast, he set to defusing the Buh-Buh-Buh Boom Bomb.

Carefully, he removed the lid to the bomb, negotiating the child-proof cap and fingerally tweezing out the cotton ball inside. To Xapno Mapcase’s dismay, there was only one cord, a thick black one labeled, “Do Not Cut. Or Do. See If I Care. Because I Don’t.” This was going to be trickier than he thought. Placing a hand under his chin and a toe in his ear, Xapno Mapcase began to think.

He thought of boyhood summers riding horses on his uncle’s farm. He thought girlhood winters riding taun taun on his aunt’s ice planet. He thought of that confounding ice cream sandwich, I mean, how do they get that little rectangle of vanilla betwixt the cookie layers like that? Do they have a rectangle-inserting machine or-


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