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Something Will Turn Up   By:

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Transcriber note: This etext was produced from Analog February 1963. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.

Something Will Turn Up

by David Mason

Err ... maybe it had to do with this being a non Parity universe, perhaps? Some things can't be simply inverted, after all....

Illustrated by Brotman


"You, Mr. Rapp?"

Stanley Rapp blinked, considering the matter. He always thought over everything very carefully. Of course, some questions were easier to answer than others. This one, for instance. He had very few doubts about his name.

"Uh," Stanley Rapp said. "Yes. Yes."

He stared at the bearded young man. Living in the Village, even on the better side of it, one saw beards every day, all shapes and sizes of beard. This one was not a psychoanalyst beard, or a folk singer beard; not even an actor beard. This was the scraggly variety, almost certainly a poet beard. Mr. Rapp, while holding no particular prejudice against poets, had not sent for one, he was sure of that.

Then he noticed the toolcase in the bearded young man's hand, lettered large LIGHTNING SERVICE, TV, HI FI.

"Oh," Stanley said, nodding. "You're the man to fix the TV set."

"You know it, Dad," the young man said, coming in. He shut the door behind him, and stared around the apartment. "What a wild pad. Where the idiot box, hey?"

The pleasantly furnished, neat little apartment was not what Mr. Rapp had ever thought of as a "wild pad." But the Village had odd standards, Mr. Rapp knew. Chacun a son gout, he had said, on moving into the apartment ten years ago. Not aloud, of course, because he had only taken one year of French, and would never have trusted his accent. But chacun a son gout, anyway.

"The television set," Mr. Rapp said, translating. "Oh, yes." He went to the closet door and opened it. Reaching inside, he brought out an imposingly large TV set, mounted on a wheeled table. The bearded repairman whistled.

"In the closet," the repairman said, admiringly. "Crazy. You go in there to watch it, or you let it talk to itself?"

"Oh. Well, I don't exactly watch it at all," Mr. Rapp said, a little sadly. "I mean, I can't. That's why I called you."

"Lightning's here, have no fear," the bearded one said, approaching the set with a professional air. "Like, in the closet, hey." He bent over the set, appraisingly. "I thought you were a square, Pops, but I can see you're.... Hey, this is like too much. Man, I don't want to pry, but why is this box upside down?"

"I wish I knew," Mr. Rapp said. He sat down, and leaned back, sighing. This was going to be difficult, he knew. He had already had to explain it to the last three repairmen, and he was getting tired of explaining. Although he thought, somehow, that this young man might understand it a little more quickly than the others had.

"I've had a couple of other repairmen look it over," Mr. Rapp told the bearded one. "They ... well, they gave up."

"Dilettantes," commented the beard.

"Oh, no," Mr. Rapp said. "One of them was from the company that made it. But they couldn't do anything."

"Let's try it," the repairman said, plugging the cord into a wall socket. He returned to the set, and switched it on, without changing its upside down position. The big screen lit almost at once; a pained face appeared, with a large silhouetted hammer striking the image's forehead in a rhythmic beat.

"... Immediate relief from headache," a bland voice said, as the pictured face broke into a broad smile. The repairman shuddered, and turned down the sound, staring at the image with widened eyes as he did so.

"Dad, I don't want to bug you," the repairman said, his eyes still on the screen, "only, look. The set is upside down, right?"

"Right," said Mr... Continue reading book >>

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