Oct 28, 2021 9:28 AM
a trickster in amenta
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"There are... many things it might be valuable to know, but I think we have covered what would be more urgent than not being concerningly knowledgeable when cleans come by."

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...he nods slowly. "That makes sense. All right."

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She departs. A mattress is delivered to Nelen's apartment a bit later.

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That's more comfortable than a beanbag! Eden is accordingly appreciative.

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And then he is left alone with Learning Friends on in the background till Nelen gets home from work.

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He will Learn so much from the Friends.

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The Friends teach him about deserts and vegetables and clothes and the four seasons. The yellow cartoon dog sprains her arm and her Friends visit her in the hospital. They are too young to go to school yet but they tour various schools to demystify them for the audience. The Friends sing the alphabet and they sing numbers and they sing months and they sing colors. The Friends go on an airplane. The purple cartoon dog opens a snack stand and the green one wants to help but is gently redirected by adult cartoon dogs into painting a sign for the stand instead. The grey cartoon dog loses at peewee arcball and his friends have to cheer him up.

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It's moderately inane but at the same time kind of fascinating, and it sure does teach him the language. He and his notes can identify so many nouns and describe so many activities and recite so many cartoon animal social interactions.

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Nelen comes home while the cartoon dogs are having a sandwich invention contest judged by their parents. (The purple dog is the favorite to win all around but the yellow dog might score highly in structural composition.)

"Hi," says Nelen.

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"Hi," he says, accented but comprehensible.

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"Where's Tosu?"

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Did no one tell Nelen...? "Samfek said go. Tosu went."

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"Oh. I should - check my messages." He does this. "- okay. That explains the mattress."

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"Yes."

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"Do you want me to leave the show on?"

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There's a phrase for this—he consults his notes— "Yes, if that's okay."

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"It's fine." Nelen makes them dinner.

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Eden Learns from the Friends and eats dinner and is a fairly boring houseguest apart from being an alien.

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He runs out of Learning Friends episodes later that evening and Nelen puts on a different show called Reading With Apna, which has a lime-green puppet who likes to read and tell stories, doing those things; other puppets act out the stories she is reading and then they all talk about how the story made them feel and how else it could have ended and who wrote it. There is still some emphasis on the written word, as most lines from the stories are also printed on the screen while they are being enacted.

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He diligently records vocabulary on the seemingly endless supply of scrap paper he seems to have about his person.

 

It occurs to him to ask Nelen, "What is a hair colour people never have?"

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"Black?" suggests Nelen. "Or brown, or, uh, naturally multicolor except if it's changing when you grow up from one to the other and you have it long."

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He nods thoughtfully and writes this down.

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"Why?"

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He consults some notes and in fairly short order constructs the sentence, "I can change it."

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"Yours? That will work better than the chalk."

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