“Crazy; this stuff bubbles!”
For many a year, societies, civilizations, people in general, and the IRS have been searching for a single thing. This single thing, made of a single substance at a single temperature and in a single location, releases a singular scent and releases gases in a singular way. Quite inappropriately, the substance has been given a name, highly classified, decentralized, and distributed: The Stuff That Bubbles.
edit When the Search Began:
“I admire a man who's got the guts to wear pants like that. It takes some real courage and heroism... not to mention insanity. No wonder I wear pants like that.”The beginning, like most beginnings, was halfway through the middle of the middle, without significantly interfering with the end. According to the legend, starring in the ironically-named Forgotten Realms (which can be found a hundred feet below a minor city in Wisconsin), a fellow wearing well-tailored pants and a big black cloak entered a bar. The fact that the pants were well-tailored is obscenely important – these were no ordinary slacks. Heavily embroidered, loose-fitting, and smelling slightly of orange juice, the pants were originally crafted, forged, and smelted in Singapore (for the material), Scotland (for the fine fit), and in Cuba (for the orange-juice smell and the Communist flare around the ankles). The fact he was wearing a big black cloak filled with funny smelling herbs, wasp skulls, and Rhode Island is totally insignificant, and is just mentioned because it will be incredibly relevant to the story later.
Anyway, the fellow in fine pants and the black cloak was a bit of a humorous sort and was named Pharaun Mizzrym (most people called him Archduke Harold or jackass, depending on the mood). He was also a wizard with excellent tastes in alcohol, ladies, and cinnamon rolls – truly a fine man. Unfortunately, he had somewhat a sarcastic wit, with the unfortunate habit of pissing off local authority figures, like the Pope, the President, your mom, God, and Chuck Norris. Only quick spell-slinging (see Magic missile) managed to keep him out of trouble and knee-deep in bat dung (why this is relevant has been revealed earlier in the article). So when Pharaun walked into the bar, he did the first thing most people did when entering such a divine establishment: he let out a long sigh, sidestepped the dance floor and explosive-throwing competition, and approached the bartender. Now Pharaun was a bit of a connoisseur, and he was new to this part (having come from the debauched cities of Boston, Toronto, and Baghdad), so he enquired of the bartender of which of the numerous drinks would be best for drinking, chugging, and overall consuming without passing out near-instantaneously.
Unfortunately, the bartender was a tad slow, only having an IQ score of 829 and having a total kill score in Halo equaling six billion. Leaning in close, he whispered the words that would inspire a world-wide quest, one that would span space, time, and the American National Debt:
“Ask for the stuff that bubbles.”
Normally, a typical man would have frowned, scratched his head, defecated, and ordered a beer. But Pharaun was no ordinary man (not to say he was a woman or duck or droid; it was just that his little twinge of madness in the morning made him a bit more extraordinary than that guy), and his eyes lit up with glee – the fanatic, slightly off-balance glee that lit up most conspiracy theorist’s eyes when he discovers that he was right all along – the squirrels, ink-jet printers, and sporks really were trying to take over the universe (which they are, by the way, but they don’t want you to know that). So Pharaun, after imbibing a few liters of beer, a few tons of cheese, and a few large volumes of helium, stood on the bar and yelled out his quest in what can only be described as a prophetic tone (or possibly semi-drunk; they are so similar, after all).
“And therefore the great beings speaking to me inside my throbbing skull have given me, you, and us all in this grand temple a task: we must transverse every inch of this world and FIND THE STUFF THAT BUBBLES BEFORE THE FORCES OF VILLAIN-PEOPLE DO!”
And with that, the mildly inflated and ecstatic well-dressed mage-turned-prophet passed out, and the thunderous collision of his head with a nearby table inspired a bar of drunks, a nation of brilliant men, and sent Nortel’s stock up 0.02% - a true miracle if there was one (which there was, it just happened last Thursday twice removed).
edit The Semi-Coherent Quest:
“Why quest if you're not drunk, anyway?”
“It would be a sin not to search, and it would be a sin to search, so what do I advise? Go ahead and search, I say. If you're going to be with me for a few eternities, then why not have fun in the process?”
And so the all-consuming quest did begin, spanning time, space, and even perhaps a length of string. The sheer inspirational power of Pharaun’s prophecies drove many a lazy drunk, intrepid teenager and moron to action. The quest would take up several thousand volumes to describe in total detail, with the post-notes, end-notes, appendices and assorted curse words, so the ostentatious and dignified writer of this fair text has decided to boil it down to a few words – people did stuff. Which people did stuff and which stuff the people did, as well as where, when and why they did this stuff can be found in the above paragraphs. In the case that it isn’t, please submit all complaints to the Illuminati and that guy, and they’ll process you though the system in five to seven years. In any case, it became a rather interesting search for the legendary ‘stuff that bubbles’. Pharaun, sequestered in the local bar for fear of his enemies (which include the IRS, FBI, CIA, NSA, MI6, CSIS, GOD, MADD, DUCK, and several partially-drunk chickens – no explanation is provided about the chickens). Unfortunately, Pharaun had the unfortunate problem of unfortunately attracting the unfortunate attention of the unfortunate Axis of Evil-Doers. When they heard about the search for the ‘stuff that bubbles’, many immediately decided to abandon their present universe-shattering, stealing, or otherwise dislocating schemes to find the legendary substance. The villains pursuing Pharaun are as follows:
- Satan (bottom contender due to his astonishing witlessness)
- Lord Voldemort (both sword-fish and non sword-fish varieties)
- Venom(currently being set on fire by delinquent emos)
- Hillary Clinton (harnessing her diabolical forces of her demonspawn (see Socialism), she is currently the leading evil-doer in the search)
- Dracula (considering an alliance with Pharaun, because of the fact they both like women and wearing well-tailored pants)
- Dick Cheney (involved accidentally only, due to a few too many hits on the head with a shotgun and Doberman)
- Bert (one of the emos setting Venom on fire)
- The Blue Man Group (unfortunately for them, a large explosive device planted next tomorrow by Harrison Ford caused them to be sent back eight thousand years into the future, where they encountered several assorted Grues and were subsequently eaten)
- Ronald McDonald (Pharaun is, at the moment, most terrified of this figure – he hates clowns, especially the breed that owns their own satanic media empires)
- VIRON (currently rescuing Private Ryan and murdering French folk)
- Several assorted grues (this didn’t go very well, as Pharaun knew how to light a torch, cast Frotz, and use extreme sarcasm, all to good effect)
Another exceptionally important event is that Pharaun ate breakfast this morning, after defecating and applying deodorant. Because he did this, God has allowed him to commit six more acts of blasphemy, heresy, and geology without punishment. The wizard, who was doing the geology part anyway, was rather happy with this development.
A rather less important event was the fact that George Dubya Bush has now officially sanctioned the search for ‘the stuff that bubbles’ in the United States. This promptly caused Pharaun, Al-Qaida, and pizza in general to declare a jihad against the old fart, who promptly hired Kevin Federline as his lawyer. Astonished by the sheer idiocy of the dynamic duo, Al-Qaida backed off. Pizza and Pharaun just cast simultaneous magic missiles and knocked up another six thousand dollars the United States National Debt (well, someone had to fix those windows and refrigerators).
Perhaps the most important development in the quest is that the Flying Spaghetti Monster has imparted Interest on the new alliance of Pizza and Pharaun. His Noodliness has declared that all pirates, ninjas, and eaters of fine sauces must be looking eternally for ‘the stuff that bubbles’. This has inspired a new FSM cult: the Beveragites, who believe that to worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster even better, they must find ‘the stuff that bubbles,’ assuming that it is a drink of some sort (likely alcoholic, but flammable drinks are yet allowed). If it is not entirely consumable – like water, for instance – they will use the ‘stuff that bubbles’ to cover New Jersey, most of Spain, and Bangladesh. No reason has been specified for the covering of Bangladesh.
edit The Question (and perhaps the answer)
“I am NOT involved. Okay, maybe a little, but it's totally not my fault. I'm blaming it on God...hold on, he's out right now.”
“Buy land, they've stopped making it! And if you buy the land with the stuff that bubbles on it... well, they've stopped making that too!”
“I must say, they did deserve it. And it was such a pleasure to watch too.”
So after the initial semi-drunken haze has subsided, a typical searcher asks the question – what the hell is ‘the stuff that bubbles?’ As Pharaun has refused to specify and only immolates those who ask, many have pondered this in both public and private forums, like on Jerry Springer’s blog, Vatican II, and the local Boston Pizza. Many options have been presented, and currently a few things are sure.
- The ‘stuff that bubbles’ may, or may not, be a fluid. This has been disputed, as Swiss cheese has argued that it has bubbles, abet imploded ones. For being argumentative, Swiss cheese was immediately tarred and feathered, exiled from Switzerland, and consumed by Michael Jackson.
- The ‘stuff that bubbles’ is not water. This has been argued, as Paris Hilton has stated that ‘water is wet and bubbly’. Einstein, Aristotle, and Mel Gibson all subsequently denied this claim, stating that although water is bubbly, it cannot be wet. Furthermore, when some guy brought water to Pharaun for presentation, the wizard froze the water, froze the guy’s head, and froze a good chunk of pineapple along with it.
- The ‘stuff that bubbles’ is in the possession of Oscar Wilde. Wilde has fervently denied this fact, stating that ‘he’s searching for the goddamn stuff along with all the rest of the goddamn world – except for the wusses and emos, and they’re just pricks anyhow (besides, a large portion of the emo population is setting Venom on fire).’
- The ‘stuff that bubbles’ is alcoholic. This has been embraced by many happy drunks, but both Starbucks and the NASDAQ (partners in crime) have come out saying that ‘just because a drink is alcoholic, doesn’t mean it is superior to all others.’ Subsequently, to date, thirty-six Starbucks have been burnt in Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and Germany, and the NASDAQ has dropped eighty-nine points out of sheer spite.
- The ‘stuff that bubbles’ can be found either at Wal-Mart or at Starbucks. Subsequently, to date, thirty-six Starbucks have been ransacked and burnt in Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and Germany. Wal-Mart, on the other hand, has offered another thirty percent off sale, causing wide-scale implosions, explosions, and pork rind detonators to go off in the whole-sale department at Zellers.
- The ‘stuff that bubbles’ can only be found by dead people. Subsequently, eight million emos killed themselves last Friday and, to date, thirty-six Starbucks have been ransacked, burnt, and infested by zombies in Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and Germany. This has caused God to declare ‘a national undead alert’, but since he failed to specify the country, the U.S. responded anyway and invaded Timbuktu and Portugal. No explanation is given for the invasion of Portugal.
- The ‘stuff that bubbles’ can be found inside the Holy Grail. Dan Brown has protested this stating that no ‘stuff that bubbles’ can be found inside Mary Magdalene. He subsequently visited a Starbucks in Scotland. Need we say more?
- The ‘stuff that bubbles’ can be found in the possession of Chuck Norris. When a CBS reported asked Norris if this was the case, Norris responded very concisely and appropriately: “No,” and then decapitated the CBS reporter (he was more of a CNN guy anyway).
- The ‘stuff that bubbles’ is in Columbia, under a crate of mashed potatoes and guarded by Fidel Castro’s genius bisexual cousin thrice removed. Of all cases, this is most likely to be correct.
edit How to Become a Searcher:
“If you ain't searching, man, your life just ain't worth living.”
“The quote "search and ye shall find" does not immediately apply here!”
In one of Pharaun’s less drunk moments, he told the press (after discombobulating about 26.9% of them) that there were three basic steps to become a Searcher, one of those beloved souls that is currently roaming the world, likely in a Ford Focus, looking for the ‘stuff that bubbles.’ They are as follows:
- Commit ten million dollars of personal money to the search, and find a ‘buxom wrench’ to travel with. Such wrenches can only be found in Hollywood or Home Depot last Saturday.
- Spontaneously combust up to twelve solids with a cabbage. Pharaun has stated that it would be better if the cabbage was uncooked, slightly orange, and married to Pamela Anderson.
- Purchase a towel in dark blue or black, although mauve is acceptable.
Pharaun then slurred that there are three things that a Searcher must never, ever do, or else they would be imprisoned in a hunk of eggplant which is channeling the souls of David Letterman and Britney Spears, which are as follows (you have been warned):
- Edit Wikipedia (self-explanatory)
- Consort with demons of any sort (almost similar to the first option)
- Be captured by emos and be set on fire (although Venom would like some company, the humiliation would just be too great).
edit So What IS The ‘Stuff That Bubbles?’
We don’t know what it is. The publisher of this article, however, has a fairly decent idea about what it is not, which is included in the list that follows:
- Water (already explained later)
- Coffee (except Tim Hortons', which might still not be a weak contender)
- Tea (just because)
- Sprite (who drinks it anyway?)
- Coke (disproven by Pharaun in a moment of lucid insanity)
- Pepsi (self-explanatory)
- Liquid mercury (doesn't bubble)
- Puke (although viscous, Pharaun has disproven it... blasted wizard...)
- Vomit (denied when Sauron took a sample to Pharaun and was immolated)
- Blood (sorry, vampires, Pharaun says it isn't)
- Acid (sorry, nuclear chemists, Pharaun says it isn't)
- Blood-like substitutes mistaken for acid (damn, they’re good) (sorry, Gwen Stefani, Pharaun says it isn't)
- Insanity (although it is a necessary component, it isn't the necessary component)
- School (need we say more?)
- Michael Jackson (self-explanatory, although his lyrics are strong contenders)
- Holy water (just not good enough)
- Unholy water (just not bad enough)
- Slighly holy water (just slightly not good enough)
- Slighly unholy water (just slightly not bad enough)
- Jennifer Lopez’s ass (although it is okay to search for this)
- Unidentifium (self-explanatory)
- Ralph Lauren (see Puke)
- God (he's just not up to par today)
- Pharaun Mizzrym’s nose (or whatever's inside of it - you don't want that to be it)
- AAAAAA (AAAA AAAAAAAAAA)
- Macintosh computers (self-explanatory (take that, Apple bastards))
- Gels (only the ones found in aerosol cans are still viable)
- Air (it's a myth!)
- Luminous fecal gases (see Kevin Federline)
- Rope (although telephone cables are still a possiblity)
- Duct Tape
- Semi-solid particles
- Jet Li
- Star Wars
- Star Trek
- Stars and Stripes
- Your mom
“We may not be clear on what it is, and we may not be clear on what it isn't, but we know one thing for absolute certain: it's out there, watching us, with its shiny little eyes spying on our every move, and the luckless bastard that finds it... well, may God have mercy on his soul. Actually, finding the stuff might make him God, so... may he have mercy on all our pitiful souls then.”