What is fun about the imaginary book Autonomous Rifle is that it, being imaginary, does not exist. This frees it from having rhyme or reason, narrative arc, timeline coherence, and raison d’être.
So the following scene, which also does not exist, stands and fails on its own:
‘Oh my god, I remembered my name for a minute!’
‘I don’t think so. No, can’t be that. Maybe it will come back to me.’
OBL, Oldest Bishop Living, addressed his dresser. It was his favourite possession, or companion, or may he was its, he thought.
OBL’s dresser had been with him throughout his living memory, and was still with him. He, OBL, remembered, because the dresser told him each morning at reveille, that he, the dresser, sometimes it, was automorphous.
‘Automorphous, what’s that mean?’ OBL asked each morning anew, shaving and dressing while the dresser long-windedly furnished him with the same answer.
‘I was already isomorphous,’ it began, ‘when an accident at BURL twisted neutrinos. The accident won awards and honours for Green Googly’s department, but side effects on furniture within twenty kilometres of BURL wrenched and traumatised my…’
Here, every morning, OBL interrupted to ask, ‘What’s Green Googly?’ causing the dresser to divert into reminding the Oldest Living Bishop that Green Googly was not a thing but the name of a person, a person’s title to be precise. The title of the head of the BURL department of no-objectives BRAIN initiatives, held currently, the dresser continued each morning, by a chap called Grau Anguish.
This information invariably sprouted memories in OBL’s massive stores of accrued impressions, and they, the sprouts, surfaced as commentary on long-ago cricket matches. Eventually they would wither. OBL would ask ‘Automorphous, what’s that mean?’
‘…Wrenched and traumatised,’ the dresser resumed.
‘Wrenched and traumatised?’
‘Twist and shout!’
OBL tired himself with a short shuffle, dried shaving cream dancing with motes as he sang. He, and the motes, subsided. Shaving cream shavings drifted out the open window.
The dresser continued, ‘…Twisted my molecules’ one-to-one correspondence between set elements from being such that the result of an operation on elements of one set corresponds to the result of the analogous operation on their images in the other set…’
“Twist and shout?’
Here, every morning, the dresser cut to the short version. ‘Twist and shunt, more like it. The twisted neutrinos changed me from isomorphous to automorphous, meaning I can self-morph. Shift shape. Within limits of remaining a dresser.’
‘Why didn’t you say so?’
‘I just did.’
OBL liked this part. He always liked this part. He said, ‘Show me.’
The dresser changed from its reveille form, a lowboy, ‘To escape any bonfire of vanities, I say wolfishly,’ it laughed. Ignoring OBL’s nonresponse it morphed into a full-dresser touring motorcycle with panniers.
OBL clapped his hands. He did this every morning.
‘Shall I continue. Be, perhaps, a window dresser, a grinding dresser?’
‘This will do,’ OBL said. He mounted and rode his dresser to the breakfast halls.