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Vicissitudes brought them together – not the thing so much as the word itself. But also the thing, too, kind of. It was hunched over a dictionary in their university’s archives that the two collided skulls while looking up the word their professor had used repeatedly in class [vicissitudes – ed.], and it was in that encephalic impact that they became a hive mind. Which is a cute way of saying they had one brain between them. Which is a cute way of saying they suffered massive brain trauma. In the infirmary, after awakening from the worst dream he had ever had in his life (it involved a seven course meal, stodgy dinner guests, a feeling of dread, and a rather wicked pun on the word “malaise” that made little sense when he woke up), Matthew recognized that he recognized the man who had helped put him in his hospital bed. Inquiring whether he and B.J. knew each other from late night sessions at the forge, Matthew found that yes, that was the case. In the ensuing conversation, it was revealed that B.J. was searching for the perfect metal for the construction of trumpets, and that was the very reason why he spent so much sweat and energy refining metal, hammering it with powerful blows – bare-chested – well into the night, in the heat and dim red glow of the forge. B.J. was shocked to find that Matthew was the school’s bugler. Their paths linked, and the two bonded over their pursuit of trumpet excellence. When their work was done, and the alloy buguloo electricus was established as a fine thing, the team was invited to demonstrate their work over the University’s radio station. Lightning struck that day – specifically, it struck the studio they broadcast from. The searing electricity repaired the damage to their brains suffered during the accident over the dictionary, but erased all knowledge of metallurgy. The two crawled out of the wreckage, and based on a miscalculation of what had just happened in relation to the lightning strike as a metaphor, pursued a career in radio. For the last 200 years, the two have tag-teamed the airwaves, playing music, sharing news, making up words, and participating in banter with what some have described as “flair” and others have occasionally described as “with food in their mouths.” Their primary bond has shifted from metallurgy to a shared love of puppies. (You can hear the show Radio Free Radio by going to http://buedgeradio.com/ and click "Listen to the Stream" Tuesdays at 9 pm Central Std Time, USA.) Written by BJ Ullom 9/27/2010