Cults and Flowers: [Something just doesn’t add up here, people. I need to take a break from TS-13. I don’t know who to trust.]
Cults and Flowers, otherwise known as Sassafrass, shook the online community known as TS-13 with her sudden, unexpected desire to quit the group. On a site away from Fox News, certain fans of Todd Starnes had taken to collaborating about Fox News articles and discussing what Starnes parody stories they might write for Murican Dispatch. This organically grown group of friends couldn’t collapse. Could it?
Fifth Dentist: [Hold on, sass. Don’t go. What happened?]
Bear [What’s going on, Sass? Do you need a bear hug?]
Fifth Dentist: [Sassatrass is talking about quitting. I’m confused. she seems to think one of us is playing games with her.]
Bear [But, who?]
Fifth Dentist: [I don’t know. I mean, we are all just anonymous avatars. I wish she wouldn’t quit.]
Valannin: [Hey. We are all Todd Starnes anyway, right?]
Fifth Dentist: [Too soon, as usual, bro.]
The group spent the remainder of the day trying to figure out what happened. Fifth Dentist, obviously shaken by the departure of Sassafrass, posted a series of ridiculously emotional songs about break-ups, departures and loss. He thought that such an over the top display would mask the sincere feelings of confusion and missing a personality he had grown to consider a friend.
Others questioned themselves and what might have prompted Sassafrass’ departure, but a consensus was reached within a few days that she simply left for her own reasons. If one person was posting as multiple avatars, did it really matter, after all? What harm if one enjoys the company of two presented anonymous personalities, regardless who is behind them?
Valannin: [So, where is the good outrage today?]
Jack Straw: [Florida Man strikes again.]
Jack posted a link to the latest Fox News Florida Man article, and the gang quickly descended on the comment section.
Brilliant, witty comments about Florida Man from Mary Jane and Political Money. Name games between Valannin, Gamer and JM. Perfectly timed callbacks to older articles from JW and Ozy. Lamentations and conspiracy theories about the lack of
Starnes articles from Fifth Dentist, Billiam and Want2Believe. Not to mention shrewd, sincere and thought provoking commentary from Colonel Milanoit and Chet Donnelly. The utmost levels of comedic genius and sociological observations were once again bestowed upon Fox News by the TS-13 gang
As usual, the non-TS-13 Fox News posters complained and tried to keep up. Some bashed TS-13 as a bunch of libbies, while others accused them all of being the same person. But TS-13 was gone as quickly as they arrived. Back at the clubhouse…
Fifth Dentist: [That was a classic. Another great day, gang.]
Bear: [Bye Gang I’m off to see about a cruise on the Love Boat.]
Mary Jane: [Bye everybody. Have a nice bowl of soup and I will see you tomorrow.]
Valannin [I have a bottle of 350 year old scotch found in a sunken pirate ship that I will be tasting tonight. Adios.]
The TS-13 board went quiet and Fox News comments reverted to the usual collection of rants from angry, old diabeetus sufferers, and recycled jokes which rarely rose to the level of meriting even a slight smile. Except, after about an hour, Fifth Dentist returned to harass various posters and extol the virtues of Todd Starnes.
Gamer turned up on a particular article about immigrant outrage and joined in. An amusing session of general hilarity passed an hour for the two before both wrapped up their posting day. Nothing new showed up on the TS-13 board until early the following morning.
JW: [Hi everyone. Did you see the immigration article?]
Fifth Dentist: [Last night. Yeah. Gamer and I had fun.]
JW: [No, Fifth. This morning. Go look.]
Fifth Dentist went back to the immigration article and saw a series of accusations from various colornouns. The usual. “Fifth Dentist and Gamer are the same person. Blah blah blah.”
Fifth Dentist: [Haha. Same old stuff.]
JW: [Is it, Fifth?]
Fifth Dentist: [Uh. . .what? Are you saying I am also Gamer?]
JW: [I didn’t have to. You just did.]
Valannin: [Whoa. What? Hey, Fifth? What’s the deal?]
Gamer: [I am not Fifth, guys. You can tell. I am smart and good looking.]
Fifth Dentist: [LOL.]
JW: [Hmm. Convenient you would show up, Gamer.]
Fifth Dentist: [There is no way Gamer could be me. Do you want to know why?]
Valannin: [Sure. Why?]
JW: [Yes, Fifth. Why?]
Fifth Dentist: [I am Todd.]
JW: [Yeah, right Fifth.]
Fifth Dentist posted a selfie to TS-13 from his Brooklyn apartment. Todd Starnes, holding up a bottle of Ranch and a post-it note which said, “Hi TS-13.”
Valannin: [Wait. ..no. . .]
Gamer [How did you do that, Fifth?]
JW: [That must be fake, Fifth. It must.]
Todd Starnes was relieved, excited and nervous to finally reveal himself to the group. All this time, he knew as well as the rest of the posters what a ridiculous bunch of nonsense his show and articles are.
Even after Fox stopped running his stories; basically transcript versions of parts of his radio show; Todd still had to do his radio show and enjoyed cutting loose afterward with the old TS-13 gang. He continued typing to the TS-13 board as Fifth Dentist…
Fifth Dentist: [Sorry guys. It was always me. I hope we can continue having fun here. It is a nice escape for me to take on the character of Fifth Dentist and joke around about my dumb act on Fox.]
Gamer: [Get. . .the. . .fuck out of town. ]
JW: [Well, hard to top that conspiracy. Sorry Gamer .]
Gamer: [No problem, JW. We all wonder the same thing sometimes.]
Fifth Dentist: [I have to go, guys. Hope we are still cool.]
Todd shut down the browser window on the dining room computer he used as Fifth Dentist. He wondered how the group would react to what he had just told them.
Maybe they would go back to not believing it. That might be ideal, actually. As he thought this over, his cell phone rang to the
tune of “In the Still of the Night”, by Whitesnake. “Ah”, thought Todd. That would be the custom ringtone for Ainsley.
Todd answered the phone, “Yeah Babe. What’s up?”
Ainsley replied, “I am getting off the train outside your building now. And I am wearing my raincoat.”
Todd realized that he needed to prepare quickly, but asked, “Oh yeah? What else?”
Ainsley said, “Nothing”…then the line went dead.
Todd immediately dropped the phone and rushed to the Dining Room computer. He grabbed the beanie baby totem in the shape of a tooth from the top of the monitor, then rushed into the bedroom.
Todd then placed the totem on a high shelf before grabbing other totems from the computer table below the shelf.
JW in the bowler hat. Gamer the “Fallout” avatar. Valannin the phoenix. JM the troll doll. MaryJane the princess in tiny Jimmy Choos. Bear the. ..well.. .bear. Obviously.
And all the others. Thirteen avatars up on the shelf, nice and tidy. Some people might think it odd that a radio personality argues and jokes with himself under thirteen different personalities. Or the fact that he was already feeling a little emotional (as Gamer, JW and Valannin) about the news he had just learned. The shock at finding out about Fifth Dentist was genuine, in a way. He was all of these characters, but he lost himself in them.
That was the whole point, anyway. He would probably have “MaryJane” calm the group down in the morning as she always did so well.
TS-13 would be quiet tonight because he would be very busy in a minute. Todd was not so deluded to think otherwise.
Ainsley was knocking gently on the door and Todd was already aroused. He rushed to the door and paid no mind to the orange (New Activity) icon on TS-13.
An hour passed as Todd and Ainsley worked their way through the apartment; and each other. From the kitchen counter, then onto the dining room table.
Ainsley held onto the edge of the table as it rocked and the dishes and silverware fell to the floor. Finally Todd carried Ainsley into the bedroom. They fell into the bed and drifted off to sleep just as the screen on the bedroom computer auto-refreshed the TS-13 board and showed a new message.
Holly: [Guys. It’s me! Where is everybody?]