An Entirely Pointless Story About Dib
by Sarah Tilson
Within the recesses of
Dibs house, the phone rang.
And rang. And rang. Finally, after the caller had waited five rings and not hung up yet, the houses lone occupant picked up the receiver.
What? Gaz snapped, her customary method of greeting anyone who interrupted her life via telephone.
Hi, Gaz, is Dib there? answered the cheerful voice of Zana, Dibs girlfriend of two weeks. Gaz despised her, even above her usual misanthropy. Zana had two strikes against her: being associated with Dib and being so damned chipper all the time.
No. Hes out, she hissed.
He said hed be home...where is he?
Fifteen minutes earlier, Gaz had caught Dib clambering out of his window, dressed in that ridiculous ninja-espionage outfit and packing more gadgets than James Bond. There was only one thing her brother could be doing dressed like that, and it wasnt running out for last minute flowers.
He snuck out. To go see Zim.
Zim? came Zanas surprised reply. Whos Zim?
His obsession, Gaz stated, and closed the conversation by slamming down the receiver and stalking away to her room for a few precious hours of uninterrupted gaming.
Dib returned at four in the morning, somewhat singed and smelling distinctly of sulfur but looking strangely triumphant. He was carrying a broken piece of magenta equipment that periodically emitted a shower of blue sparks and beeped feebly. Gaz found him checking to make sure the back door was locked as tight as possible.
What is that? Gaz asked, pointing at the battered object that Dib was cradling as if it might break if looked at too hard.
Its a very important...um... Dib looked the thing in his arms, and gave up. ...item. Im going to analyze it, find out what its made of. Its most definitely Not Of This Earth. I was going to leave him a challenge letter, but I cant find it...must have left it in my other coat.
And this would accomplish exactly what? Besides pissing off your girlfriend, I mean.
Dont you see -- it will increase my knowledge of Zims nature, which in turn will...wait, what did you say about my girlfriend? You did tell her that I was suddenly overcome with leprosy and had to be rushed to the hospital, right?
But lying is wrong, Big Brother, Gaz drawled in mock innocence. And you cant be suddenly overcome with leprosy, you pathetic loser.
Gaz! Dib cried, horrified. This mission was supposed to be secret! No one must know my plans! You might have jeopardized the survival of the human race!
Dib, you stand out like a severed thumb, and you make twice as much noise as usual when youre trying to sneak around. I dont think you could be covert if your life depended on it, which it might if you keep bringing me into this. Zim is your creepy fixation, not mine.
Zana will understand that the fate of the world is at stake, Dib declaimed as Gaz marched into her room and slammed the door in his face.
Two days later, Dib waited patiently for Zana at their appointed rendezvous spot in the local ice-cream parlor, sucking on a strawberry milkshake and glancing over his shoulder occasionally. He had taken the liberty of purchasing Zana a sundae as a makeshift apology, but she was thirty minutes late already and it was beginning to melt.
Finally, she arrived. And she did not look happy.
Whats wrong? Dib asked, as Zana stomped over to his table and made a point of refusing to sit down.
Dib -- theres someone else, isnt there? she snapped at him. Dib looked shocked.
Of course not -- what are you --
Look, I know youve been thinking about someone quite a lot. Let me ask one more time -- is there someone else?
No, of course... the image of Zim rose unbidden into his mind, as it often did. Dib glanced around nervously; a small crowd of gawkers had gathered. In a manner of speaking...
In a manner of speaking, huh? What do you call this? She tossed a crumpled and highly lint-covered piece of paper on the table. And this? On top of the paper she dumped a box of shaky Polaroids. Every single one of these is of the same person, Dib! Fifty-two pictures of this guy!
Dib stared dumbly at the pile of unsuccessful attempts to catch Zim unmasked. Picture after picture of Zim, sleeping in class; Zim, lying on the concrete after being tripped; Zim, screaming at small green dog; Zim, poking with a sharp implement at what appeared to be a sewer rat. Zana, I can explain --
Yeah, explain why I found this in the pocket of that coat you left at my house. She snatched up the piece of paper and read it aloud. Zim: Tonight was only the beginning. I wont let you get away from me. Wherever you go, Ill be there -- Ill follow you to the edge of the solar system if thats where you choose to run! Resistance is futile! My resolve will never waver until nothing stands between us and you are finally MINE! Thats pretty passionate. And its in your handwriting, Dib. Explain away. Im dying to hear this.
You-you dont understand! stammered Dib, who couldnt believe what he was hearing. Zim is an alien invader posing as a human being -- he goes to my school and hes a serious threat to the safety of the planet! Thats a challenge note! Really! I was going to leave it in his house a few nights ago --
AHA! So you admit that you were at this Zim persons house that night I called you! And seriously, Dib, youre going to have to come up with a better lie than that. I mean, really.
But you said you believed in aliens! Dib sputtered, aghast.
Aliens in UFOs are one thing. Aliens in geography class are quite another. Look, if youd just stop lying about it and give up on this Zim, Ill forgive you...
I cant stop now! Im so close -- within the week Ill have him for sure --
Dib had a split second to truly regret that statement before receiving a bowl of slightly melted Rocky Road with whipped cream and fudge directly in his face.
And youre never getting your trenchcoat back either, you two-timing punk! Zana yelled as she stormed out the door, slamming behind her so hard she almost knocked the cheery bell off the door frame.
Dib glared at the now quite substantial congregation of gawkers, snatched up his milkshake, and exited with as much dignity as it is possible to muster with maraschino cherry embedded in ones hair.
Zim held the telephone receiver a foot away from his head, listening in bemusement to Dibs furious tirade. When Dib started claiming he would redecorate his bedroom with Zims framed internal organs, Zim decided that this was getting a little ridiculous and hung up.
Yaaayyyyyyyy! GIR yelled, preemptively celebrating.
I dont know what that was all about, the Irkan remarked to his robot, but Im counting it as a success.