Title: Goldberg Variations
Summary: Love is a chain reaction… which sometimes involves a chicken.
Disclaimer: Standard disclaimer thingee. Not mine, hers.
"What did you say this thing's called?"
"It's a Rube Goldberg Device. I've actually designed a few of these, with minor modifications between each- but I have to say this particular plan is my personal favorite. I call it 'Billina's Ballista.' Though technically incorrect, it's nicely alliterative, don't you think?"
Like any of that told him anything. Kenren stretched over the desk, squinting at the huge page of undecipherable lines partly hidden under Tenpou's butt. He had to admit that the squinting didn't help much, either. Tenpou let out a slow puff of smoke as he leaned in and pointed out an arbitrary blob on the blueprint. OK, not so arbitrary; now that he bothered to look he could see it was labeled 'No.1: Start Here.'
"To start, you place two slices of toast in the toaster, here. When the toast is finished, the jarring motion of the handle popping up pulls the string attached to it, moving this hinged metal arm with the lit Bunsen burner glued to the end into position underneath the rope."
Kenren frowned and leaned back into the chair. What the… a toaster? Ignoring the puzzled expression, Tenpou's finger quickly swept along to the next spot.
"It will take approximately 1 minute 30 seconds for the flame to burn through the rope, at which point the hammer tied to the end drops and breaks the bell jar, allowing the captured moths to escape… that's right there."
At the tip of Tenpou's finger, Kenren could definitely see a bell-shaped whatzit, complete with a 'No. 3: Hungry Moths' scribbled next to it, so he was at least able to follow along visually. Mentally? Not so much.
"Suuuure. Moths. Makes perfect sense. And then what?"
"Ah, well, as you can see, the moths will immediately gravitate to the wool underwear hanging… there, and as they eat away at the cloth, the weight of it will lessen, which due to the counterbalance raises the boot hanging beneath the moth-eaten garment, kicking closed the switch and completing the electrical current which heats the electric iron conveniently set to 'linen' so that it burns a hole through the rayon shirt on the ironing board. The resulting smoke will set off the fire alarm, frightening the overfed chicken and causing her to flee her nest, which is…. there. Since obese chickens can't fly any great distance, she will instead plummet into the hanging basket."
Kenren looked up at Tenpou. Then looked back down at the finger pointing out 'Plummeting Poultry' on the blueprint. "A fat chicken."
"A fat hen, specifically. Orange one, preferably. Talking one if possible but the point is that her weight will send the basket sinking to the floor, at which point the fox in the oversized hamster wheel will see the potential basket lunch and begin running towards it. The turning of the wheel will wind this spring, swinging the ladle holding the golf ball up to the waiting Habitrail. The ball will then enter the Habitrail, roll down and drop into the neck of the tea kettle, effectively sealing it and allowing for a build up of steam, which will upon detonation of the lid knock the catch on the preset trebuchet, where, as you can plainly see, I am waiting in the sling. It's a perfectly simple mechanism."
Kenren stared down dumbly at the stick figure of Tenpou, lovingly rendered with stick glasses and a stick bad haircut. There was a tiny trajectory of dotted lines arcing away from it, along with directional arrows to a big red heart that had 'No. 13: Perfection Achieved' written beside it. He looked back up at Tenpou, and waited. Gave him the and then? gesture a few times, which got him nothing but an amused smile and a few more puffs of smoke. He finally gave up and asked.
"Ok, smartass. And what does the trebuchet do?"
"Well. It catapults me into your arms, of course."
It took a second, but it had the intended result. Kenren started laughing. Hard. After a minute he settled down to a point where he could speak again. Still wiping away his tears, he nodded a 'come hither' and slapped his thigh in an invitation to his favorite Mad Scientist of Tenkai. Had to love the guy for trying, but the man was absolutely certifiable.
"Well, why don't you just come on over and fling your pretty little lab-coated ass down on my lap right now, instead of waiting for some pudgy, moth-eaten talking chicken to do it for you?"
Tenpou took another puff and smiled wider. His butt slid off the end of the desk as he reached over to put out his cigarette.
"I thought you'd never ask."