Sunday, May 22, 2016

Reprint Heaven Forever: The Unspeakable

Packaging The Crazy
 (From July, 2010)




Yes, Virginia; there are sandwiches in a can -- joining the noble canned ham, the Schlitz and Rolling Rock and Budweiser; the deviled ham, and even the little Sardine as items sealed with a shelf life for future generations to wonder at, and bring to Antiques Roadshow.


EXPERT: Well, what you've got here is, obviously, an item known as a 'Candwich', manufactured at the beginning of the century and is -- well, it's a sandwich, in a can. What can you tell me about it?

WOMAN: My father received this in exchange for some work he did during, you know -- 'The Unpleasantness' -- right before the aliens and all that. I don't remember it very well, but when the government came through during the mutant roundups, my father was taken away and we kept his belongings but never looked through them.

EXPERT: So you've had it all this time?

WOMAN: Yes. And we don't do anything with it except sniff it a little.

EXPERT: Okay. Well, this is really quite an item -- I was showing this to some of my Roadshow colleagues, and we were all quite excited. Most material manufactured prior to the alien incursion and the mutant wars either didn't survive, or was heavily contaminated and had to be destroyed. But this one stayed in your family's possession, and we have to presume you were in a Federal shelter? And it was scanned, of course.

WOMAN: Oh, yes.

EXPERT: So this one is quite safe to bring to the Roadshow. And in almost pristine condition -- a little oxidation there around the top, but that's normal; it doesn't affect the value, and we wouldn't recommend cleaning it. The colors are bright and clear; a few, small dents on the rear near the bottom -- but, again, for something this unusual, that's not an issue. We were shaking it a little while ago, weren't we, and --

WOMAN: -- We could hear the sandwich inside!

EXPERT: Yes, we could! (Laughs) I wouldn't want to eat it, though. So, do you have any idea of its value? Have you ever had it appraised?

WOMAN: No, not really. My sister thought we should have it placed in one of the memorial ships that are fired into the Sun, but we never did.

EXPERT: Probably a good idea that you didn't. Now, I know of only three Candwich cans in existence -- and only one of them still has the sandwich inside! Another thing is that this appears to be the only Peanut-Butter-And-Strawberry Jelly Candwich anyone has ever seen.

WOMAN: My Beck! For fun, now; no; really?

EXPERT: Really really. Two of the three sandwiches in a can are in museums in Paris and Jerusalem, and the third was sold at auction just after the 25th of Cunegonda this breeding period -- for six point eight Trillion Quatloos!

WOMAN: Oh! Oh! Oh!

EXPERT: Yes; and I would estimate this, in a retail setting, if it were sold, to be worth at least that much, probably closer to nine or even ten Trillion. I would use that figure for insurance purposes, and it easily qualifies for Class Two security coverage as a cultural relic.

WOMAN: I'm just so thrilled. I had no idea.

EXPERT: Yes. Not every day you find out you could buy yourself whaling rights in the Sea Of Japan, eh? Well, we're just so happy you brought this to the Roadshow. We'll provide you with an armored 'bot to take this back to your breeding compound.

WOMAN: Thank you; now I can buy my sister back. All praise to the Leader!

EXPERT: All praise to the Leader.