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“I. Need. Amacackas,” says Sebastian patiently.

“What, sweetie?” asks his mother Fern.


She shakes her head. “I just don’t know–”

“I! Need! AaaaaaNGH.”

“Sebastian!” Fern rushes over to him. “What did you do?”

“Borrowed some time from a potential future self, probably,” says Sebastian, and glances down at his diaper. “What am I, here, about two?”

Fern gapes.

“It’s quantum,” says Sebastian, waving his hand. “Don’t worry about it. Okay, is there an emergency?”

“I,” says Fern, “uh. You wanted something? But I didn’t know what.”

Sebastian furrows his little brow.

“I think it’s animal crackers,” he says at length.


“Hey, F-bomb, you left your Discman on,” says Trudy, and reaches for it.

“Don’t,” says Fern. “I’m starving the batteries.”

“Ah ha. That’ll teach them!”

“Yeah.” Fern grins. “No. I like vinyl better than plastic because it sounds warm instead of sharp. I can’t carry a turntable around, so I work the batteries until the headphones get all fuzzy.”

“That’s not warmth, goofball.” Trudy taps the Discman’s cover. “That’s noise. You can’t tell the difference?”

“There isn’t a difference.” says Fern. “Ask a physicist. Warmth is noise.”

“Then why not just wear crappy headphones?”

“I do,” she says, “I do.”