SPANDEX's Return

(part the fourth)

I slowed down to a stop. There must be some way to talk myself out of this . I looked into the booth to see the collector, only to discover that it was the SPHINX. As I rolled down my window, he boomed, "You must answer my riddle or pay my toll. How does a dog with no nose smell?"

At this point I relaxed . Of course my liberal arts education made a point of teaching me the answer to the riddle of the SPHINX. I gave him an ear to ear grin and said, "Man."

He was dumbfounded. "Mortal, many have passed this way, but you are the only one to give me the right answer. Only you have truly understood the deeper implications of my query. Is there any favour I can do for you?"

"Well," I asked, "can I have a map please?" He reached behind him and grabbed the top map off of the stack. By far it was the best toll booth map I have ever received. The cover, rather than being a flat picture of the toll road, was a hologram of the SPHINX. Looking carefully, I noticed that the ZZYZXmobile was in the background of the shot. (I wondered for a second how he knew I was going to pass this way; I just decided to blame it on the general interconnectiveness of the universe.) On the inside of the map, the entire world was represented Getting out my magnifying glass, I realised that this map had much more detail than I would have ever thought possible. In fact, with the aid of a microscope you could see any street in the country. If the ZZYZXdrive works, this would be a most valuable tool.

I thanked the SPHINX and drove off into the sunrise. The sunrise?!?! It was 3 in the afternoon. I quickly checked the ZZYZXcomputer. The earth had apparently done its last rotation in 7 hours and 47 minutes (margin of error 3 minutes). I looked in THE GOOD BOOK and read, "When days are as nights, and nights are as days, a sacrifice must be laid down in a green field lest all be lost." I now had a new goal; I just hoped I could make it in time.


"This story is copyright 1995 by David Steinberg and may be distributed freely as long as this cute little note is attached.

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