The Vanishing Mediator

Having fun on the internet.

show me

DTX, a story of the Machine of Death by Chris/0

I arranged to meet with Dr. Qawi at his Cambridge apartment late the next morning.

“Welcome!” Dr. Qawi said as the door opened. “Won’t you come in? Have you had lunch yet? I could make us some tea and scones.”

Upon entering, it did not look like the kind of place in which I wanted to eat anything, especially food. More like a workshop than a place to live.

some A Very Potter Musical statistics

A chart depicting the fall in views per part over time of A Very Potter Musical.

It’s clear to see that YouTubers tend not to stick around for very long, even for one of the funniest things on the internet. Though the lowest part’s 1.5 million viewers is still an admirable number, it positively pales in comparison to the first part’s 8.5 million.

There are four notable outliers to the general downward trend:

  1. Act 1, Part 11
  2. Act 2, Part 1
  3. Act 2, Part 5
  4. Act 2, Part 9

The last is the easiest to explain, and the relatively close Act 2, Part 8 helps: Viewers tried to skip to the ending. This assumption is not unreasonable, I feel. That Act 2, Part 1 contains “Part 1” could have confused some viewers into thinking it was the beginning, as well.

The remaining two parts may simply have some fan-favorite moments in them. Act 2, Part 5 features a four-part harmony among the main protagonists and a kiss between two of them. Act 1, Part 11 is largely taken up by one song, “Granger Danger“. This does feature one of Draco Malfoy’s few singing instances, so it may be an outlier in that sense… however, Hermione Granger’s strapless ballgown is a more likely reason.

(Personally, Act 1, Part 11 contains one of the best, most memorable lines in the whole piece. “Squirt? Ugh. Never mind – I’ll stay dehydrated!”)

total eclipse

DTX, a story of the Machine of Death by Chris/0

It had been hammered into me by popular media and a certain friend that a man must wait three days – no more, no less – before calling a woman after a successful date. It was as good a guideline as any.

The first day seemed to go by in an heartbeat. The second was considerably slower, due to work. I woke up, took the subway in ate lunch, and went back home. Possibly even in that order. Little made its way into my long-term memory until about 5:30, when the phone rang. I thought it would be Amanda.

the dating game

DTX, a story of the Machine of Death by Chris/0

The call came only a week later. The event was at 7:00, at an Irish pub near the Government Center stop on the Green Line. I was told that being late was not an option.

That gave me just enough time to get home from work and reapply deodorant before heading out again. I arrived at 6:45, but my name badge was the only one remaining on the sign-in table. Number M15, last to arrive. An inauspicious start.

heart-shaped box

DTX, a story of the Machine of Death by Chris/0

The card burned a hole in my pocket for several days. Once I decided to visit modMatching, I did so right after work. They were a short T ride away, at Downtown Crossing on the Red Line.

Inside was a long, crowded waiting room. Terry hadn’t mentioned how popular this service was. I pushed through to the far wall and the reception desk. An interchangeable nameplate announced that the secretary’s name was Navah.

“Hi, Navah,” I said.

first sight

DTX, a story of the Machine of Death by Chris/0

“You’re just a hopelessly romantic idiot, Eric.”

And this treatment from a friend. Terry slammed back another shot of Goldschläger and wiped his mouth with the back of his tie before continuing.

“What you need to do– Are you paying attention? What you need to do is just get out there and grab what you want. Literally. Go to a club, find a hottie in spaghetti straps, and grab… anything, really. Are you going to drink that?”

prologue: the root

DTX, a story of the Machine of Death by Chris/0

One day, while walking to work, I found a small, pink piece of paper decorated with a bright red sticker in the shape of a heart. Written on it in loopy, whimsical cursive was “I love you, honey.”

It struck me as endearingly romantic, so I picked it up.


A Love Letter to Two Mad Friends by Chris/0

“Something’s gotten loose in the lab. I need two volunteers to help me contain and capture it. Who here is a bad enough dude to rescue my research project?”

The doors to the laboratory were heavily scarred with dents and scuffs from the kicks that preceded each one of Marie’s panic-causing pronouncements. Her heavy leather boots showed no mercy to any equipment, furniture, infrastructure, or person that stood in her way, literally and metaphorically alike.

However, where her ears would usually be filled with desperate sobs and cries not to be chosen, she was surprised to hear only a heavy sigh.

If it can be said that there are secret skills to Kyotouryuu (Flow of the Void Sword), those skills number exactly seven.

Secret One: Feeling that which is visible without substance.

Secret Two: Finding the beauty within nature.

Secret Three: Developing a profusion of blooming flowers.

Secret Four: Appreciating the beautiful scenery of a spring day.

Secret Five: Acknowledging the evanescence of worldly things.

Secret Six: Crowning beauty with greater glory.

Secret Seven: Committing violence against others.

刀語 (Sword Story) by 西尾 維新 (NisiOisiN)

wish list

Download / View

Please enjoy another video that I have written in the hope that it will get more people to laugh, and maybe buy my book. What was the word I used last time? Advertising? More like Entertainmentising! Entertizing. Entainmentising… Enterprising…?


It was a heck of a lot of fun to make, and I look forward to many more. You’ll see their names in the video, but I’d nevertheless like to thank Andrew Wilkins, Michael Hyde, Amy Castonguay, and Elena A. I’d also like to thank EJ Massa for being both a camera and a cruel taskmaster. The video was periodically difficult to edit because some idiot kept on shouting “Action!” and “Cut!” at the actors. It appears that idiot’s name is Christopher Osborn.

Furthermore, I announce with a grand “Achievement Unlocked” that Easily-Distracted Tales is now available for sale on the Apple iBookstore. Another way that you can buy it, if you are so inclined.

a rigorous analysis of how the “five-second rule” applies to pudding

There is a common superstition that food which has been dropped onto the floor is still viable (in the sense of “safely edible”) if it is picked up within five seconds. It is common to most western societies, and has traveled to the east through economic globalization, improved electronic communication, and… war. In Japan, for example, such occurrences are judged to be either safe or out, in the fashion of baseball.

Some hold to a three-second rule, but those people are both discredited and wrong.

maintenance release

Version 1.0.1 of Easily-Distracted Tales has been released to the various eBook sites that offer it for sale. Please perform whatever actions are necessary to update your copy. Readers who wish to update their physical copy to the latest version will find instructions for doing so on the Corrigenda page.

Patch Notes

  • New readers will begin with 1 melon in their inventory, instead of the previous 3.
  • Units leaving a vortex produced by “astronomy cat” are now un-targetable and immune to damage for 1.5 seconds.
  • Several typographical errors have been fixed.
  • Cooldown time for “meatlessly alienated” has been increased from 0.3 seconds to 0.4 seconds.
  • A name change has been processed.
  • The Tale “sipid lipid” now holds 6 shots instead of the previous 5. Accordingly, the drop rate of “sipid lipid” ammo has been decreased by 16.6%.
  • Fixed a bug which would fail to enable the perma-ban button under certain circumstances on copies with Chris/0 Anti-Cheat enabled.