The next thing I know I'm standing face to face with a mortician's-wax mockup of Rod Serling. Rod is the official metaphor of the HyperSphere. He's its first cliche--he and Hitler. Rod's trying to suck cigarette smoke into his cancer-riddled, blue-cheese lungs but he isn't getting much satisfaction. Despite his advanced state of decay he still manages to fire off a couple of staccato bursts of words that, when interpreted in a sequential stream, seem to imply that I have somehow crossed the frontier into a vast wasteland where contradictions cease to contradict--where dream and reality meet and take an instant dislike to one another--where truth is a lie, and lies, dammed lies, and statistics are only a distraction away.
Just as I'm about to tweak the irony control and activate the turgid-prose filter (not easy when you can't move your left arm) Rod vanishes like a too-long cigarette ash that falls just before reaching the ashtray.