Written and produced by Richard R Penner. Featuring the voices of Richard Penner, Dan Manning, Chris Bollinger, Iri Alexander, Alexander Danner, and Hari Rai Khalsa.

Music for this episode is by Psychic Mold, Dr Quandary, and Aliceffekt. Find more of their music at:

Psychic Mold www.psychicmold.bandcamp.com

Dr Quandary www.DoctorQuandary.com

Aliceffekt www.aliceffekt.bandcamp.com

Transcript for 1x16 WHISKEY BARRELS

The following is an annotated transcript of episode #1680232 of The Infinite Now. Originally broadcast from outside of space-time to Earth, June 30th 2015. Despite the recurring "accidents" that destroyed a majority of the intercepted Infinite Now recordings, this recording still survives. Listen to it here.

CRYSTAL: Incoming transmission from The Timescanner.

(Temporal static.)

CRYSTAL: Entertaining Fellow Time Agents stationed in the field working in secret to maintain the integrity of the Spacetime Continuum, broadcasting to you from Time Crystal Omega at the heat death of the universe, This is your host The Timescanner and this is The Infinite Now.

(Theme music.)

(The sounds of a gigantic farmer's market on a spacestation)

MARKET CLERK #1: What am I selling? Today we have a Worcestershire Sauce. It's a brand new take on the classic all purpose seasoning. Made with non-euclidean Moebius Eels instead of the traditional anchovies. AND aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels. Would you like a taste?

(Unscrewing the lid of a mason jar)

TIME AGENT XRAY: Mmm. You can really taste the barrel.

MARKET CLERK #1: It really makes a difference, doesn't it? It costs a bit more than your store bought Worcestershire, but well worth it in my opinion.

(More sounds of the market.)

TIME AGENT XRAY: And what are you selling?

MARKET CLERK #2: Small batch brewed India Pale Ale. Brewed with the hops of Pandoria 9 so bitter they're actually venomous. It also takes on the smokey flavor of the Tennessee Whiskey Barrels it's aged in.

Pours a sampler cup.

TIME AGENT XRAY: Mmm. That is tasty. I may come back. There are lots of booths. I'll be back.

(The hum of Time Crystal Omega.)

TIMESCANNER: I sent Infinite Now correspondent Time Agent Vulture Tugboat Hitch Xray to the farmers market on the Spidercrab Space Outpost circa 2176. It's a toroidal disc with artificial gravity and life support. Where venders show up to trade their goods.

TIME AGENT XRAY: So whatya got here?

MARKET CLERK #3: Vanilla Extract from blue vanilla orchids of the Horsehead Nebula. Aging the vanilla in whiskey barrels gives it a sorta custardy twist. Rich and sweet. Drizzle it on our barrel fresh yogurt to give your breakfast a special kick.

TIME AGENT XRAY: So the yogurt is made in whiskey barrels too?

MARKET CLERK #3: That's right.

TIME AGENT XRAY: There must be 8000 booths at this farmers market. Do you think I'm likely to find anything that ISN'T aged in whiskey barrels?

MARKET CLERK #3: Oh. I doubt it. This market is known for only having the highest quality of everything. You can't have quality without whiskey barrels.

(The hum of the Time Crystal.)

TIMESCANNER: In the late 21st century everything sold in the city was marked "ged for X many of months" in whiskey barrels. The barrels were everywhere. Barrels outnumbered citizens. Whiskey became simply a byproduct of whiskey barrel production.

"Please, just drink this whiskey!" business owners would say as you walked down the street. "I need to fill these barrels with artisinal organic sriracha."

Placing food in a whiskey barrel and then removing it was the 21st century occult ritual which willed people to pay quadruple for any old thing that you put in them.

To meet whiskey barrel demands designer universes were created that were nothing byt recursive nesting wooden dolls. Matryoskas of whiskey barrels within whiskey barrels within whiskey barrels within whiskey barrels...within whiskey barrels within whiskey barrels...

...Ad infinitum. Within the Whiskey Barrel Universe intelligent life evolved from the remnants of yeast in the woodgrain. The Yeast Philosophers pondered the nature of their existence.

"The universe is a whiskey barrel within a whiskey barrel," the elder said to his student.

"And what's outside of that barrel?" the student asked.

"Baby, it's whiskey barrels all the way down. down. down. down. down..."

You and I, we are not yeast. We do not live within a recursive whiskey barrel universe, but look around you and you'll find patterns everywhere. shapes and experiences repeat endlessly withi the reality that we know, Over time we will find everything repeated. Elements of faces of people that you love. curves in the road to your new apartment that seem to miic exactly the contours of roads you've driven on before. You're seeing the clues as to the endless nature of our existence. Our universe is not barrel shaped. It is coincidence shaped. Stare deep into every coincidence. Trace the outlines of the repeated experiences of your life. This is the shape of your existence. Sketch these sheet on a piece of butcher paper and place the same shape within it and within that and within that and within that... Repeat until the paper is black with the graphite of you pencil. Now you can't even see the shape at all. All you can see is chaos. All you see is chaos made out of endless perfect repetition. Find yourself within the chaos. It's easy to find yourself within chaos because you are everywhere. You are every point. You are every plane. You are every space within this chaos. You are the endless chaos in which you find yourself. You are the endless order that makes up this chaos. You make the same mistake over and over and over and over and over again. You forget a loved one's birthday because of a selfish act. You miss a party you genuinely wanted to attend because of social anxiety...for the hundredth time.

That's you all over again. You want to change this core aspect of yourself. You want to escape you. What's even outside of you to escape to? Walk right up to the edge of you. During occasional moments of clarity or altered states of consciousness you may peer through the slats that divide you from non-you. What do you see on the other side? It's just more you. There is no escaping you. Baby, it's you all the way down. You can only escape yourself through imagination. By listening to others carefully and creating mental simulations of what their reality must be like. empathizing. empathy requires imagination. Hone your imagination. What would it be like to live in a universe of endlessly nesting gin barrels instead? Our realities each have their own unique flavor. Not being able to escape that is our own special torture. But we can listen to each other and imagine what it must be like to be trapped in someone else's mind. To empathize with them. Take a bit of their barrel's flavor and recreate it and incorporate it into your own universe. Enrich your own universe so that you can marinate yourself in existences beyond your own. I'll do this too. And we'll all be more valuable for it.


(Market sounds.)

MARKET CLERK #2: We also have gin. We put our whiskey in gin barrels and our gin in whiskey barrels.

MARKET CLERK #1: Yes. Invisible ketchup made from the invisible nightshade plant native to earth's secret moon. Our ketchup spends eleven months in a medium-char American Oak barrel, then gets transferred to a French cask where it is aged for another 3 months. Finally we top this off by shippoing it in a third barrel, the details of which are top secret.

Yes. It's another whiskey barrel.

CRYSTAL: This has been and will always be The Infinite Now

(Temporal static.)

CRYSTAL: Transmission complete.