Literature: Funny Business
"Can you pull in the leviathan with a fishhook or tie down his tongue with a rope? Can you put a cord through his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook? Will he keep begging you for mercy? Will he speak to you with gentle words? Will he make an agreement with you for you to take him as your slave for life? Can you make a pet of him like a bird or put him on a leash for your girls? Will traders barter for him? Will they divide him up among the merchants? Can you fill his hide with harpoons or his head with fishing spears? If you lay a hand on him, you will remember the struggle and never do it again! Any hope of subduing him is false; the mere sight of him is overpowering."Funny Business is Brendan Rizzo's first attempt at writing a Deconstructor Fleet. It can be read here.Jeanette Swanson is a new student at Maude Wilkins Elementary School. After an event involving untied shoelaces, she accidentally reveals to her fellow classmates that she can do anything, without regards to physics or logic. Hilarity Ensues, for a while... but things turn out to be not as nice as they seem.
— Job 41:1-9 note
Provides Examples Of:
- Alpha Bitch: Isabella. Sharon and her friends are a minor example.
- Cerebus Syndrome: Before and during the baseball game, the story is rather light-hearted. After the baseball game, the main character is revealed to suffer from major neuroses.
- Cheerful Child: The main cast. Though in Jeanette's case, this is just a facade so that nobody worries about her mental health.
- Deconstructor Fleet: While writing, the author tried to deconstruct as many tropes as possible.
- Depower: At the very end, Jeanette does this to herself, for good.
- Despair Event Horizon: Jeanette has lived on the wrong side of this trope for more than seven years.
- Doing In the Wizard: The reason Jeanette is a Reality Warper is because she is actually a Boltzmann brain simulating the setting.
- Eidetic Memory: A Required Secondary Power of Jeanette. If she forgets anything, the time in which the forgotten event happened, as well as all later times, would cease to exist.
- Enfant Terrible: Deconstructed. As a toddler, Jeanette was like this, because toddlers don't comprehend that other people have feelings and can be hurt. Once she grows out of it, she suffers a major Heroic BSOD which continues to the time of the main story.
- Evil Old Folks: Well, he's more schizophrenic than evil, really.
- Flashback: Which takes up about half the story.
- Former Friend of Alpha Bitch: The extended flashback reveals that Isabella used to be an Expy of Lucy until Jeanette made her more social.
- Goo Goo Godlike: Jeanette as a toddler.
- Hard Light: Jeanette makes this happen once. The effects are more widespread than she anticipates.
- Heroic BSOD: Jeanette entered one as a young child after seeing the consequences of frivolous use of her powers and remains in such a state until the very end of the book. She just hides it really well.
- Inexplicably Awesome: Subverted. Jeanette's powers are eventually explained.
- Joisey: The story is set in Maple Shade and the flashback is in Marlton; both are real townships in the state.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Frederick and Coco are hit with this twice, because Jeanette thinks that they'd hate her if they knew what really happened.
- Little Miss Almighty
- Locked Out of the Loop: Jeanette's parents are locked out of the knowledge that her powers even exist. She believed that if they knew, they would never forgive her for all the trouble her powers of caused. Of course, when they inevitably do find out, they shrug it off.
- Logic Bomb: Jeanette accidentally creates one after changing the rules on arithmetic to do well on a math test.
- Mouse World: The scale model of Maple Shade that Jeanette shrinks herself and her friends into.
- Mythology Gag: Frederick and Coco were originally characters in a completely unrelated short story by the same author.
- Next Sunday A.D.: The main story is set in the year 2026, but the only indication of future technology is Kylie's mention of quantum computers. The long flashback is, of course, even closer to the present, but still in the future from the time the story was written.
- No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: The originally planned reason for why Jeanette doesn't like her powers, but by the time the story was actually written, Jeanette's motivation was changed, and this trope only shows up in one scene.
- The Omnipotent: Lewis lampshades the extent of Jeanette's powers when he has her demonstrate the omnipotence paradox.
- Pals with Jesus: Lucy and Lewis don't care much that their friend has the powers of a god. It's deconstructed when it turns out that Lucy does view Jeanette as God, and so follows her without question.
- Parents as People: Frederick and Coco. They may be focused on their own lives and oblivious to their child's situationnote , but they still care about her, as proved when The Masquerade gets broken.
- Random Events Plot: There really isn't much connecting the various situations together.
- Reality Warper: The main character, of course.
- Science Is Wrong: Played With. Atoms do not exist, but the reason for this isn't that atomic theory is wrong, but that the world is essentially a computer simulation. Even so, a Break the Scientist situation still happens.
- Stepford Smiler: Jeanette is a Type A.
- That Cloud Looks Like: Jeanette and Lucy get bored and start watching the clouds to pass the time. Eventually, Jeannette starts to make the shapes real.
- There Are No Therapists: Deconstructed. The character who desperately needs psychological help is actively preventing anyone else from learning of her problems, so they don't go away and only get worse.
- Troubled Child: Jeanette