Arnie Leadbetter

Tekening van Carlo Boszhard als Arnie in Pitti...
Tekening van Carlo Boszhard als Arnie in Pittige Tijden pen en inkt door Jan Olijve (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When men dreamed of reaching the stars, they looked to great rockets to hurl complex chunks of metal and gizmos far into the space beyond our atmosphere.  But the space missions never got farther than our solar system.  We never created a strong enough fuel or a strong enough astronaut to survive the intense pressures needed to breach our own little star.

What no one expected was that Arnie Leadbetter would find a better way.  Arnie was more interested in -well- cultivating herbs than in space travel. But he had a passion.

Arnie’s passion was music, and he voiced that passion with a lifelong obsession with speakers.  Arnie had collected speakers from the time he was barely crawling and had wretched his first speaker free from the stereo, scratching his father’s favorite vintage vinyl.

By the time Arnie reached college, he could fill his dented Uhaul hover full of old speakers.  He paved the floor of his college dorm room with subwoofers that could beat like a huge heart.  His walls were stacked with speakers in decreasing sizes, and his ceiling was glued full of tiny, iPod compatible mini-speakers.  Arnie even had speakers left over, and dumped them on his bed in a random pile and plugged them into the vast array.  It was a random arrangement, and it took follow-up experimenters several years to get the array right.

Arnie plugged an iPod mini into the middle of the room and sat down for a perfect sound experience.  He was never seen again.  The entire college’s electric grid, including the mini-nuclear power plant under the physics building, was entirely drained.  When they traced it to Arnie’s room, he had created a rift in space and time that whistled and breathed like a living thing.

If you looked through the rift, you could see stars. But the rift itself was on a planet with a similar atmosphere.  Otherwise, the building and possibly the earth would have been emptied of atmosphere.

When the findings were declassified a few years ago conspiracy theorists thought Arnie was being held by the government.  But he was living happily on the other side of the portal, sitting on the palm beach, eating the marshmallow coconuts, and listening to the sound of the stars as their light pinging through the rarefied atmosphere of the new world.  Arnie had found the perfect sound system, and he was happy.


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