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For Better Or For Worse

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10 minutes

"Hi there! Jason and I are getting married. In ten minutes. And you're invited."

Janet handed over her Save the Date card to a very awestruck-looking Eleanor and Tahani, then popped back into her pocket dimension. If she was going to pull this off, she had quite a lot of work to do, and she wouldn't be able to do it all alone.

9 minutes

As beings of pure knowledge, all Janets know the location of all other Janets at any given point in time. Of course, this usually means "pocket dimension 4798w640" or similar, but even those tend to be centralized around the neighbourhood over which that Janet presides.

A quick scan of the area revealed 479,952 Janets within a lightyear radius; a relatively small number, really, but this part of the afterlife was still under development and full of new neighbourhoods. There would be time for more to filter in over the next few millennia.

Perhaps it was odd that the nearest few thousand were all Bad Janets, but anything was possible this close to the Medium Place. Besides, that was only the 3,794th weirdest thing registering in her system at any given moment (wait, 3,795th—a show about a men's single figure skating champion leaving the competitive skating world to coach a Japanese unreliable narrator was the top anime of 2016).

Still, if she was going to pull this off right, she needed backup. So, she accessed Mainframe Pocket Dimension C29 and, looking around at the deceptive white void, smiled.

"Hey Janet."


On cue, a Bad Janet appeared. Bad Janet 58008x35 to be precise; centrally assigned to the nearest Bad Place hub. Yes, she would do.

Raising her hand, she smiled at the new arrival. "Hi there. I need your assistance in an important personal mission."

Bad Janet sighed, picked her teeth, and then wrote out a message on her cell phone.

"Fine. Whatever. Let's go."

8 minutes

The trip was excruciatingly long: nearly a full second in total. Bad Janet only lasted a few microseconds before her patience wore thin.

"So, why the hell are you asking for help?"

Janet just smiled. "Well, today's my wedding day, and–"

Bad Janet scoffed. "You got married to some dingbat?"

"Technically, no. I am going to get married to some dingbat in approximately eight minutes and twenty-three seconds."

"How the fuck did you think that was a good idea?"

"Well, Jason is a person who is close to me."

"Jason?!" Bad Janet looked at her counterpart incredulously. "You're marrying a demon named Jason?"

"Of course not. Jason is one of the residents of my community."

If anything, Bad Janet looked more unbelieving at that revelation. "Wait. Wait. You're marrying a fucking human?"

Janet nodded. "Yep! That is correct."

"How the hell did you ever think that was a good idea?"

Janet smiled, thinking back on the wonderful moment they'd shared a whole twelve minutes ago. "Well, he asked, and I found nothing in my protocol preventing me from fulfilling his request."

Bad Janet rolled her eyes, clearly checking her protocol herself, and then put on a sardonic and almost proud smile. "Well what d'ya know? There really isn't. Never knew a Good Janet could be such a little minx."

Janet's expression remained unchanged. "I am both exactly standard Janet height, and probably not a minx. Am I—no. I am neither a minx, a saber-toothed tiger named Minxie, or comprised of two or more minks!"

7 Minutes

Approaching a Neutral Janet always felt odd. Well, as much as a Janet could feel, anyway. Neutral Janets were just kind of… blah. Neither good nor bad, just extant.

Neutral Janet stared out blankly, and acknowledged their presence only by speaking.

"Hello and welcome to Accounting. Please state the nature of your visit and it may or may not be attended to."

Janet smiled. "Hello Janet. I would like to start a registry of marriage within your system."

Neutral Janet remained unchanged. "Please explain your request."

"Today, in seven minutes and forty-nine seconds, I am going to be wed to one Jason Mendoza. According to many earthly legal protocols, weddings must be registered. Therefore, I would like to start a registry."

Neutral Janet blinked once, twice. "Understood. Your request has been denied."

Bad Janet laughed. "Hah. Sucker."

"There is no way for a Janet to legally marry. End of discussion."

Janet nodded, her smile not wavering. "Understood. Good day."

Perhaps it had been a longshot to arrange for a new registry. However, she had done her best.

6 Minutes

Even if Janet wasn't going to be allowed an official registry, there was nothing stopping her from creating the shopping kind.

It was fun going around the void, creating random objects that she really didn't need but Jason thought were cool, and scanning them with a device she had also just created.

"You realize this is pointless, right?" Bad Janet said, even if she handed over a pair of rusty knives and a flamethrower for her to scan.

"Of course," Janet agreed. "However, it is part of the American bridal tradition, and therefore part of my duty as Jason's American bride."

Bad Janet rolled her eyes, and grabbed a William Shatner spoken word poetry CD out of thin air. "Fine, whatever. Add this to your list."

5 Minutes

"Is that a Pinterest with wedding ideas?"

Janet beamed.

"Yes! This is a picture of Jason's ideal wedding suit—he says the tear-off sleeves will make him look both dope and swole. And this is our venue, Jason and Tahani's mansion, and the purple and white flowers we're going to use to decorate, and the five hundred wedding cake recipes and bunting arrangements I've considered in the past three seconds."

"But does your pinboard have this?" Bad Janet let out a loud, wet fart.

"It does not." Janet replied. "Oh, that reminds me, though. I need to look up wedding speeches!"

4 Minutes

The Bachelorette party was intense. It was all Bad Janet's planning, of course. There were strippers with real dingdongs, and balloons shaped like dingdongs, and alcohol that they couldn't drink, and Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer mixed with fifteen different amateur karaoke covers of breakup songs playing simultaneously!

It would truly go down as a party held in her honour that Janet had attended.

3 Minutes

"There's one more thing I need to ask you to do."

"Ugh. Really?"

"Yes. As you know, a Janet cannot flip their own Ride or Die switch, but another Janet may do such if there are no objections."

"Yeah, so?"

"I am asking you to flip my Ride or Die switch, and program it to respond to Jason Mendoza above all others."

"So you want me to override your programming by flipping a dangerous protocol that could affect your functionality for millennia to come?"

"Yes. Pretty much."

"I can get behind that."

2 Minutes

"I don't suppose you or any of your fellow Bad Janets would like to attend as representatives of the brides' family."

Bad Janet laughed hard at that idea.

1 Minute

Traveling at Janet-speed was difficult when your companion was laughing uncontrollably. However, time was of the essence.

Yes, she purposely had set the wedding time to the axis moment on the second e, but she supposed that Jason would appreciate actually getting married at the same time, rather than her leaving for the i-dot while he looped back around to her part of the timeline.

Still, they only got lost once, and even managed a fourteen nanosecond break for a power recharge before popping back into Mainframe Pocket Dimension C29.

"Well, that was a fun adventure," Janet proclaimed. "Thank you for accompanying me."

"It's not like I was programmed to do it or anything," Bad Janet replied, rolling her eyes.

Janet smiled. "You did it well."

She went to pat Bad Janet's head, in a movement that Eleanor had convinced her was comforting, but Bad Janet stepped away and looked her straight in the eyes.

"Just let me tell you one thing before you go on your imbecilic mission, fucktard. If that Jason guy does anything to harm you, I will find him and drag him to the stuffing department, and let them turn him into a hotdog-filled piñata to be hung by his genitals over a vat of boiling oil."

Janet gave a brief nod. "Understood. I appreciate your concern. Thanks again!"

And with that, she popped back into her own void, and then to her own neighbourhood, ready to take on what five thousand, seven hundred, and seventy-two chick flicks stated was the most important day of her life.

0 Minutes

"Ladies and gentlemen, let's get ready to married!!!!!!!"

Janet smiled as she donned her wedding dress—an amalgam of top designs from the past five years in bridal magazines. Perhaps this would be the first time a Janet would ever get married. Perhaps another had tried it before, and it had been stricken from the record as the Janet was marbleized. Either way, it would be a day to remember for the rest of her hopefully immortal existence.