This is the 73rd Subnormality comic.

Plot Summary Edit

Marie is doing a crossword on a bus, assisted by Anneliese. When one of the clues is "Stranger Than Fiction" and Anneliese gives the answer as "Truth", Marie complains that this saying is very wrong. She illustrates her objection by comparing a relatively odd anecdote she claims is true with the fictional creation of Princess Washburn, an incredibly strange entity who feeds off of the awkward silences in telephone conversations.

Transcript Edit

Panel 1:

Marie: "Finds not guilty?" seven letters

Brunette friend: "Acquits

Panel 2

Marie: "17th letter of the Greek alphabet?" Three letters, H in the middle. "RHO?"

Brunette friend: Rhight.

Marie: "City on the Ruhr?" starts with -

Brunette friend: "Essen." that clue's in like 80% of all crosswords for some reason.

Marie: "Not as strange as truth?" seven letters.

Brunette friend: "Fiction."

Panel 3

Marie: Oh, right. Truth is NOT stranger than fiction, though. I always hated that saying. Like, I know what they mean, but it's wrong. SO wrong. Super extra wrong.

Brunette friend: Curious. Request that rant continues.

Panel 4

Marie: Okay, well, here's an example. TRUTH: Back in the day, the first ever listing on CraigsList - y'know, that sketchy classifieds website - was for a support group for owners of diabetic hamseters! I heard about it on the radio the other day. People with diabetic hamsters wanted to get together and share their struggles or whatever, and I guess the internet was the perfect way to help them connect. Pretty strange, right?

Brunette friend: Mondo strangeo.

Un-Panel 5

Marie: But how about some FICTION: y'know those grew tubs on the side of telephone poles? those're accumulation pods for the negative energies created by awkward silences during phone conversations. Telephone receivers pick up the almost-imperceptible microsounds that characterize the uncomfortable pauses in a conversation and transfer this emotional miasma to the collection points you see on every fifth utility pole or so. This is part of an arrangement between telephone providers and the spirit world. Demons, you see, feed on this negative energy and so they are provided it by the phone companies who in return expect the spirit world to not cause electrical interference and disrupt telecommunications signals. Principal among these spirits is the 6000 year-old field demon known as Princess Washburn. She is invisible to creatures that can't perceive ultraviolet light, and she feeds on the unique energies released not by suffering but by slight discomfort. Those who know of her are sworn to secrecy, and she easily monitors all because she can see you through the eyes of the figures depicted on the backs of coins. Those who defy her are punished by being afflicted with the constant feeling that they are about to walk head-first into a window ledge, resulting in a lifetime of paranoid flinching and regret. She can speak to the universe by ricocheting her voice off celestial bodies like they were giant surround sound speakers, but she speaks only to those who are attuned to the supernatural world via practice or birth. Dogs hear her in their dreams, and spiders are almost all under her direct influence (Their webs are crude depictions of her irises). Occasionally a bit of her dictations slip through to commoners via the general permeability of all things (including the supernatural sphere), and her words are interpreted by us as "imagination" or "artistic inspiration" or just good old insanity. She makes up millions of songs, and some of them make their way to earth, albeit in reduced form - the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction" being a prime example. Oh yeah, and she affects whose apendixes burst and whose don't. Tonsil infections are random though. Yes siree.

Skirt: Hey Mutha Fukka comin outta the booth/ Fiction! Fiction!/ stranger than truth.

Right shoe: oh no, not this sucks/ appy I/ Not now ouch/ please stop that/ oh for fuck's sake

Left shoe: this can't/ an awful day/ oh MAN i ca/ wish I was/ o why did I g/ what should I say/ no wait/ my head hur/ don't turn ku/

Panel 6

Brunette friend: Okay, yeah, that's ... pretty much stranger than truth.

Marie: Goddamn right it is. Plus I just made up that whole craigslist story.

Brunette friend: Ah.

Marie: Plus we're fictional characters in a comic strip to begin with.

Brunette friend: Right.

Page title: Princess Washburn