MS Found in a Spiral Groove

Alan P. Scott - Fictions


The cryptic and fragmentary sequence of messages reproduced herein was accidentally discovered by experimental pattern-matching software when it was given an image scanned at inappropriately high resolution. The messages appear as minute fluctuations spelling out a sequence in Morse code, hidden in the bottom of the groove on side B of the phonograph album "Want Fries With That?" by Draining the Juju {(c)1986, Anaphylaxis Records - now a part of the Emesis Recording Group}.

It is not known by what method the code was inserted, but it seems clear that it was pressed into the vinyl at some point during the discs' manufacture - the Morse sequence does not appear on the master tapes, but it does show up on both extant copies of the album itself.

Nor is it clear whether any of the members of Draining the Juju or the staff at Anaphylaxis even knew about the appearance of this information on their record, much less had a hand in it. If anyone did; several of the researchers from the team that discovered the messages believe them to be chance occurrences arising from quantum fluctuation, and not intentional communications at all. The still-unexplained disappearance of the band, their producers, and several other key figures from the label during a tour of Tierra del Fuego in 1988 would seem to make it impossible at this late date to find out more.

Although the audible portion of the record consists of a single 22:30 minute song - the epic industrial polka "Roll Out the Barrel of a Gun," a minor hit in Czechoslovakian nightclubs just prior to the disintegration of that region - the discreetly hidden signals fade in and out, and hence are divided into twelve discrete Morse sequences, rendered here below as readably as possible:

[Track 1]

so-called Y2K was such a bust, man. I can't believe the fuckers
ever fell for it. The Apocalypse didn't make it here until Hey--
is this thing on? Shut the

[Track 2]

Fore skin and several years ago we cauterized the wound, cut off 
the haemorrhage to the motherland and declared ourselves 
independent, only to find ourselves stuck in another hole at this 
late date not nearly late enough. Thumpers say we're in the end 
times but they're just bunnies to our wolves - there's no end but 
makes a new beginning. Is this thing on? Now hear this. If you 
take away our star we'll just make another. And another. And 
another, new novae never before seen. That's our heritage. That's 
our plan. That's our revelation

[Track 3]


[Track 4]

Only one of these things is true. What I tell you three times 
is true. What I tell you once is a lie. What I tell you twice is a 
lie. What I tell you four times, though? Eight? Twelve? What I 
told you before is true, is a lie, is both and neither, is a 
revelation without cause and without issue, a circle black as 
night with emptiness at the center

[Track 5]


[Track 6]

In the first year of the 21st century there will come a great 
beast whose name shall be called G

[Track 7]

is this thing on, Jack? Jack? It's Mac. It's a flak attack and 
no time to pack. You're sharp as a tack, Jack, no need to smack 
you with the blackjack. I've been too long at the back of the 
stack to give you the slack you lack, Jack. Jack? I can't hack it, 
I'm on the rack, off the track, out of whack, lost the knack hey, 
Jack, is this thing on?

[Track 8]

the fall of the Wall was all we'd hoped, though it cast a pall 
over the western slopes. I wish it would snow

[Track 9]

is this thing on? Okay. Um. This is an urgent message for Sam 
Kinison. Sam. Kinison. You'll remember him as a comedian, if you 
remember him at all. If you hear this in time get this message to 
Sam. Tell him not to get into the car when

[Track 10]

kept it in his back yard at Skywalker Ranch as a pet, and 
nobody ever found out

[Track 11]

sh in 1988. Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton in 1992. Clinton 
again in 1996, but he'll be too involved in the Lewinsky thing to 
pay much attention. G

[Track 12]

Is this thing on? OK. Make sure you get us rooms next to each 
other at the Hyatt, Cindy; I may need to have you take some extra 
dictation during the conference. What else? Umm remind me to look 
into this thing called the Inter-whatsit. Internet. I think it 
could be big

©2000, 2001 Alan P. Scott. All rights reserved.

This document was last updated February 14, 2001.

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