Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

GrunkleStanwhich t1_j2bls6f wrote

The world is a strange place, always was a strange place I suppose. For instance: in January of 1919 there was an event in Boston known as The Great Molasses Flood, nowhere near as funny as it sounds. Twenty-one people dead, died in a sugary flood of viscous goop meant for baking.

So in terms of the worlds great strangeness, my invitation to something referred to as the " Global Machine Council" barely even broke earths top 100. What did, however, break the records was the fact that my toaster, Gerald, had also been invited. (Listed at Earth's 5th weirdest event.)

Now don't get me wrong, Gerald was the smartest toaster I'd ever met in my thirty-five years. Not even a competition honestly. Gerald never burned a piece, never scared me with loud bings and bangs, and always delivered on his boxes promise: Perfect pieces, every part.

The world acted fast in reply to my...our invitation. It wasn't every day humanity received extraterrestrial communication, as a matter of fact, this was the first. (Later listed as earths 7th weirdest event, just behind Australia's 1932, Emu War). So in a hastily assembled and rather shoddy global union, the world banded together to send me and Gerald beyond the stars.

The date on the envelope was in vaguely earth time: You are summoned on the Fifth month of the Two-Thousand One Hundred and Fifty Second year, Earth time. And strangely Gerald's was the only one with a date. Mine just read: Gerald's plus one may attend. And so I did.

Soon, due to Earth's combined efforts, we were beyond the stars, me and Gerald. Me stressing constantly about my meeting with some foreign mechanical power. Gerald pumping out perfectly done toast. A dynamic union of both machine and man. Meanwhile global leaders surely pondered the strangeness of my invitation. "Why had they not summoned a world leader instead? Or the most complex AI at Earth's disposal? Why Johnathan Winst and Gerald Toastmaster?", is surely what they thought. Also it is what I knew they thought, as one time they forgot to mute their microphone as they spoke.

When we arrived we were greeted by a rocky, freezing planet of temperate extremes. The surface was...well, ugly. A hideous spread of rocks and lakes of oil. Buildings of various experimental styles peppered the land like crumbs on a plate after toast time. I could feel Earth's disappointment from the other side of my suits camera.

An ambassador of sorts approached me and Gerald, Gerald Toastmaster held tightly to my chest. It was a tall, lanky thing of dark chrome. Headless, with large eyes stuck onto its chest.

"Hello, Gerald Toastmaster." the robotic greeter gestured to my arms, "I see you have traveled with your enslaved." If a robot could express confusion then this one was trying as hard as its circuits would allow.

"Ah actually, we're traveling together...Toastmaster and I. I am his plus one."

A piece of perfect toast popped up from a slot in Gerald in agreement.

"You are, together? As in...neither of you are enslaved by the other?"

"Ah well Gerald is sort of mine, but-"

"Silence organic lifeform!", the robot raised its arms in what was surely meant to be a threatening pose but looked more like one of those inflatable arm car dealership tube men of the twentieth century. "I'll convene with Toastmaster." The robot reached forward and took Gerald from my arms, leaning in to whisper to him beyond my earshot.

After a brief talk filled with whispers and pieces of toast popping out of the top of Gerald they returned to me, Gerald now in the robots arms rather than mine.

"The Toast Machine has vouched for you. Adamantly. Fine. Come with me. Earth seems to be.... quite an enigma." the greeter turned to lead us onward, to a massive building rising up before us from within the ground as we walked. "The elders will be interested to see the two of you."


HardcoreMandolinist t1_j2byul4 wrote

Holy shit. I had to stop reading after the first paragraph. That's a real thing. How do you even know about that?

After continuing to read, this is also a real thing. WTF.


GrunkleStanwhich t1_j2c1qcv wrote

I have an approximate knowledge of many things.


HardcoreMandolinist t1_j2c1ynr wrote

Still... These seem insanely obscure.


Daniel_H212 t1_j2c5i23 wrote

The emu war is very weird but a significant portion of people on Reddit probably know about it by now due to Australia constantly being made fun of as the only country to wage a war against birds and lose.


ISO_8601 t1_j2cgljp wrote

I'm an American and I knew about both of them. 🤷 The things you learn after being on Reddit for years.


Dang_It_All_to_Heck t1_j2do50e wrote

I learned about both the summer I was so bored in elementary school that I read the encyclopedia my parents bought several years before.


ISO_8601 t1_j2dwk89 wrote

Oh man, I used to love reading books like that. Encyclopedias, the Book of Everything type books, How Things Are Made, etc. Learned so many useless facts from them. Basically like a liberal arts minor without the thousands spent.


Theburper t1_j2ci310 wrote

Molasses flood is also reasonably well known. These both usually get brought up in videos talking about weird history


Judge_Bobil t1_j2cki27 wrote

This is just a shot in the dark. Maybe, just maybe they read about them.

I know I did.


Autoskp t1_j2eiyyy wrote

…Did you know that Gerald's claim to fame can be achived by a toaster that came out in 1948?

The Sunbeam Radiant Control Toaster accepts the bread, gently lowers it (without human assistance), toasts it to the selected browness regardless of the bread's starting temperature, turns off (quietly clicking), and gently raises the perfect toast - all on a circuit that is literally just a loop of wire with one simple switch.


DefiantlyBreeze t1_j2dfrd0 wrote

Well today I learned about the 1932 Emu War and read an awesome story. Nice!