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Arlie

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Josh MulderAdam Voith
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Artist Biography

It all started one ordinary day in the mines.

The year was 1816, and times were tough in small-town Arlia. As The Whistler left for work that morning, he wasn't sure how he would afford to feed his standard poodle and his three beautiful slimy piglets that night if he didn't strike gold. Nonetheless, he turned the key, started up his mammoth, and rode off into the rising sun.

By late afternoon The Whistler had been chipping away at the underground rock walls for 7 sweltering hours, praying to the rock gods he would hear the resonant "cling" of a shiny new bitcoin, with each heave of his selfy stick-- when all of the sudden, as if straight from Donald Almighty himself, a catchy little earworm wriggled its way into The Whistler's temporal lobe.

He began whistling the tune aloud so that he would not forget it. As he went on whistling and hacking away, he found himself smiling, overcome with a feeling that there was hope for the human race. He knew he must preserve this melody and share it with the world above ground, so that all might join in this bright hope.

Those around him in the mineshaft took note of The Whistler's cheerfulness; it greatly irritated them, for there was certainly nothing to be cheerful about in 1816. They muttered to one another in disapproval, and one of the men asked The Whistler to stop whistling. But The Whistler did not notice, for he was so intently focused on his tune-one distraction and the melody might be lost forever.

The other miners, growing increasingly irritated, began to grumble and toss insults at him. One pebble-sized insult hit The Whistler on the shoulder, but he did not even flinch. Aggravated by The Whistler's continued composure, the miners gathered around, throwing heavier and larger insults, some leaving bruises and even breaking the skin. Yet, The Whistler kept whistling away, now more determined than ever.

The Whistler knew they would go on throwing whatever libels and taunts they could find on the filthy cavern floor until they ran out or got tired. So he doubled down and maintained his focus, knowing the pain would be over soon. He was still faced away from the mob, whistling, and all the while chiseling at the groovy rock wall.

Just then, up from the back of the crowd came the biggest, strongest, and meanest of them all, who was called Fork. Fork was not actually a miner himself, but he took it upon himself to tell the other miners what to do, and they all listened to his sharp words with trembling trepidation.

Fork approached menacingly, carrying a 375-pound Judgment in his massive meathooks. The others wanted to stop him, but they were afraid of Fork, for he was bigger and stronger than any three of them combined. Besides, they thought, even such a giant as Fork would surely not be able to pitch such a tremendous stone. But Fork stepped closer and closer to The Whistler, lifting the great Ad Hominem higher and higher with each stride. When he was only two paces from The Whistler, he heaved the great Normative Boulder over his head, as if to bring it down upon The Whistler by surprise.

However, there were four brave and noble souls among the miners, who were known as The Squad. The Squad knew that only as a foursome could they overpower the mighty Fork.

With not a moment to spare, they rushed at Fork, each grabbing a limb, and they tackled the giant to the ground with a heavy THUD.

At that very instant, as if triggered by the impact, a deep rumbling rose up from beneath the mine, along with a low-pitched roar emanating from the surrounding walls in all directions. The ominous sound grew louder and louder, the quaking stronger and stronger, until,

BUURRRRRP! A most foul wind with a force stronger than a hurricane swept the whole company off their feet. As they rocketed and spiraled through the cavern, they discovered they were not in a mineshaft after all, but inside of a Big, Fat Esophagus.

Before this could all sink in, they had passed through the Pharynx, the Larynx, and had to duck their heads as they whizzed under the Colossal Uvula and into the cavernous opening of a Big, Fat Mouth.

They saw taste bud hills beneath them, and white-capped, molar mountains further off on either side. Up ahead, blinding daylight shone through a wide opening, which, upon examination, appeared to be shrinking by the second. The Projectile Miners appeared to have no chance of escaping before the great gates shut. But at the last second, as if by a miracle, these five chosen ones were propelled into the free air just before the upper and lower incisors touched!

The Whistler and his newfound Squad were utterly bewildered. As they stared at each other in exuberant disbelief, they knew their lives would be forever changed. Beneath them was a new and unseen realm, a vast expanse of possibility.

Through the sky they fell, and they fell, and they fell. For two hundred years, they accelerated downward at 9.81 m/s. All the while, The Whistler had not stopped reciting his melody. Soon, The Squad joined in, understanding the significance of The Whistler's mission without a word of explanation needed.

As they whistled on, it dawned upon the Five Falling Miners that they would never again see their old mountain home. So they named themselves "Arlie," as a tribute to their homeland. With no distractions, Arlie had plenty of time to streamline their whistling embouchures for maximum volume output. By the time they'd been practicing only 100 years, the Whistler's tune was so greatly amplified that it could be heard as far as the moons of Tatooine!

At last, in 2016 Arlie landed in a little town the locals liked to call "The Athens of the South," hitting the ground at a final velocity of 61,875.6 x106 m/s, and they disintegrated on impact, right on 12th Avenue S. between Eldey's Barbecue and Montrose Ave, where their remains splattered onto a white brick wall. And ever since, thousands of disciples have traveled to this site every year from afar, paying their homage by whistling Arlie's hopeful melody, and taking obligatory pics for the Gram.