“MWFR (Many-Worlds Frequency Receiver, or, as you may know it, The Everett, is an exciting new piece of technology sure to change the entertainment medium as a whole. With this device, you open a window to, quite literally, unlimited possibilities of amusement. And, that’s not an exaggeration. The box in front of you is an audio gateway to other realities existing around you simultaneously. We chose the name The Everett as a nod of recognition to the pioneer of the Many-Worlds Interpretation Hugh Everett III. Though we make no claim to know the extent of his theory, we are grateful for Mr. Everett’s views for they sparked a curiosity and thirst for information in the scientists and engineers who worked so hard to bring this device to market for you.”
“How does it work? We couldn’t possibly put it out before you in layman’s terms, but just know that thousands of hours of blood, sweat, and tears went into this device’s creation. What you need to understand is that with this magical receiver, you can tune into frequencies beaming throughout the dimensional rifts. Maybe you’ll hear about a recipe involving chocolate and lava. Perhaps you might stumble across commercials from a reality that uses sniffing as their main form of communication. Every once in a while, in the hundreds of hours we put into testing, beautiful otherworldly music has drifted through the speaker that my own voice is coming through now. You just never know.”
“Once you get the device up and running you have the freedom to turn that tuning dial and find a program, interview, commercial, or whatever you want to hear. Due to the chaotic nature of listening into infinite realities, we can’t guarantee what you may come across. Foul language and explicit sexual content could possibly pop up here and there so we definitely recommend parental supervision for anyone under the age of eighteen. There are no options to select the type of program you want to listen to, but with an infinite amount of possibilities it shouldn’t take long to find something as exciting as a game blorflip. What’s blorflip? Trust us, if you find it, you’re going to love it.”
“Now that the introductions are out of the way, let’s get started.”
“You’ve obviously found the on/off switch, so let’s move on to the other features of your Everette. You might have noticed the runes and symbols lining the faceplate of your device. Don’t even worry about that. Yes, they glow and pulse a blue otherworldly light and maybe sometimes you may or may not see flickering shapes pass over the symbols. Just…just don’t even worry about that. Let’s just say it’s part of the process. That large dial in the middle of your device is for tuning into the infinite frequencies at your disposal. If you find a frequency you enjoy you only need to leave the dial alone and your Everette will stay locked onto that signal. Do be aware if you turn the device off you will lose the connection your device has made to the alternate realities. That small hole to the right of the dial large enough for a finger is for your finger. Without going into too much detail, you will need to be slightly pricked and a drop of blood, merely a single tiny drop, given as the final piece of the multi-world puzzle. A little disclaimer…if there is more than one person present, each of you needs to have your finger pricked.
How do you adjust the volume? Well, there really isn’t a way to do that. Believe me when I say we pushed our engineers hard on that. What we can say is that through thousands of hours of testing it would seem the Everette just knows what the volume should be for the listener. Which works out perfectly considering a volume feature was only causing nosebleeds and occasional seizures.”
“Let’s move on, shall we? I think the best way to get an idea of what you can expect is to just give The Everette a test spin. If you wouldn’t mind donating that drop of blood we can get this going.”
A wave of excitement rushes over you. With a trembling hand, you push your finger into the small hole as instructed. A sharp pinch and machine purrs to life as if the drop of blood satisfies some ancient hunger. The runes flash blue in a hauntingly rhythmic pattern and the smell of sulfur wafts from the box. You remove your finger to the sound of static coming from the speakers. Your fingers slowly grip the tuning dial and begin turning it in a clockwise direction. It takes seconds for your first broadcast.
“What do you think about that prize, Mrs. Turner?”
The sound of applause follows the chuckling of what must be a sweet old lady. “They look wonderful John…absolutely wonderful.” Was that a lip smacking sound?
More applause. “Well, you only have one question between you and those wicker baskets full of severed limbs. Are you ready?”
“Okay…the question is what United States President was the first to publicly eviscerate a serial potty-mouth? Was it A…Thomas Jefferson, B…Woodrow Wilson, or C…Kang the Destroyer? You have 10 seconds.”
The sound of a ticking clock can be heard and the ho-hums of Mrs. Turner as she thought the answers through. Just before the buzzer, she blurts out,”B! B! Woodrow Wilson!”
There is silence and then the host screams, “THAT IS CORRECT!”
An excited shout can be heard and the sound of crunching bones and meat.
“Well, that’s all the time we have for today, but tune in tomorrow for more Trivia For Starving Elders!”
You feel a tad nauseous, but beyond curious.
The next transmission sounds like clapping. There is no sense of rhythm or signs of stopping. You linger on the channel for what seems to be 10 minutes but the clapping does not cease or change pace.
Another turn of the dial…
A sound that could be best described as wet pasta being thrown against a wall slaps forth from the speaker. There is no sign that this is a recording of someone physically doing this. It’s too fast and continuous with brief pauses followed by even more but at a different tone. As time passes there is a brief moment of clarity that this is speech. In some twisted alternate reality this is what it sounds like for something to communicate. A higher pitched smacking sound tries to interrupt the first and second wet pasta speech but is drowned out.
Feeling a slight headache beginning to throb you turn the dial once more…
“Ugosh, my-duoque,” a guttural voice bellows.
“That is fascinating,” a perky female replies. “What would you say is the most challenging aspect of your job as a sewer monster?”
The sound of fast clicking, a brief pause, and,” Tuuduush myuogro eas mi’liika.”
“Mm-hmm…I can only imagine what the hours do to your love life,” the woman replied empathetically.
More clicking. “Yuoof swuvba maelark to’quabish.”
“Words to live by. Well, we at channel seven want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions for this week’s Who are the Monsters in Your Neighborhood.”
The broadcast ends there, but you are no longer in control of the tuning device. The runes fade to black and the familiar voice of the box returns.
“Wasn’t that something? We couldn’t begin to imagine what you just experienced but we could guess it sounded a bit confusing, fantastical, and strange. We thank you so much for your purchase and hope you enjoy your time with The Everette. Please direct any and all troubleshooting queries to our IT department. To reach them insert your finger into the Blood Donation hole and shout “Please Help!” into the speaker. Your device will require a full ounce of blood in order to tune your Everette specifically to our IT department. Due to the possibility of tuning into an alternate world you may be connected to a specialist who does not speak your native tongue. If you don’t understand what is being said, just start the process over.”
Now, go have fun!