The party was rollicking and Dipper had successfully cloned himself ten times.
Okay. That's a lie.
One clone was not so successful.
His name was Paper Jam Dipper.
It's not that he didn't want to be successful, it's just that the paper jammed in the copier while he was being printed, and...that does things to you. I mean, it really messes you up.
Look at the poor guy, all he can say is NYANGH.
But even paper jam people need love.
But the real Dipper was also looking for love. He didn't have time to babysit the Paper Jam copy of himself.
"Here," said Dipper, leaving Paper Jam with some cheese and crackers. "Maybe you can figure out how to feed yourself..." Or probably not, thought Dipper remorsefully.
Paper Jam said NYAAAANGH and pawed at Dipper like a lonely hedgehog.
"Sorry, Paper Jam. Tyrone, the other Dippers, and I have to go win Wendy's heart before Robbie does!" Dipper explained. He motioned to the other high functioning Dippers and ran off.
NYANGH? Paper Jam Dipper tried to eat a cracker with cheese. It didn't work any better the second time. There's just some things you can't do with a crumpled mandible.
So he sat.
And said NYANGH.
Like a lonely hedgehog who also says NYANGH.
But then he heard footsteps approaching. He slipped into the closet of the copier room. He wasn't sure why he hid...it's just...well, if Dipper didn't approve of him, who else would? And if it was Dipper coming in...he didn't want Paper Jam's help anyway.
A tear slid down Paper Jam's face. Some ink on his crinkled visage ran and steam rose up before his eyes. He wiped the tear with a crinkled hand, transferring the strange sensation to his phalanges.
Paper Jam decided he did not like being wet. So he refused to cry.
Instead he listened intently from the closet to the ensuing conversation.
"Ugh. Stan says we need to print more tickets," said a girl's voice.
Paper Jam peered through a crack in the door. It was a beautiful, red headed girl speaking. He liked her. In a rare moment of lucidity he realized it must be Wendy. That's why he liked her. Because Dipper did. He was...sort of Dipper.
NYANGH, he whispered quietly, which was Paper Jam speak for "hottie."
Soos was with Wendy.
"Yeah, dude, Stan can be a slave driver!" he chuckled.
Wendy looked around.
"Hey, while we're back here, let's have some fun with the copier!" she suggested.
"Fun with a copier? What is this strange phenomenon you speak of?" inquired Soos with the utmost seriousness. Copiers, fun? He took a step backward.
"Dude, didn't you ever sit on the copier and copy yourself at school? Like after hours or when the teachers actually trusted you to go get the homework they printed?"
Soos scratched his chin and thought. He tried to conjure such a delicious sounding memory, but alas, there wasn't one. Quite the opposite, in fact. So, he shook his head.
"Oh, man, you gotta do it! It's part of living!" Wendy said enthusiastically. "Everyone needs a poster of themselves. Here, I'll go first and show you how it's done."
Wendy hopped on the copier and peacefully laid down.
"Oh, so you take a nap like when you get MRIs! I like that idea. Naps," said Soos with a bucked tooth grin.
Wendy chuckled and pressed the scan button while asking, "when and why did you get an MRI, Soos?"
"Long story dude. Also long time ago. Mishap with a toaster. Will never try to toast a bag of Burrito Bites again."
Wendy's eyes widened, but she wasn't gonna judge.
Suddenly the copy machine bleeped and blinked.
"Aw, man!" Wendy moaned. "Now we can't make posters of ourselves or print more tickets for
Stan! Unless...can you fix it Soos?"
*Cue Fixin' It With Soos Theme*
Soos shuffled his feet. It was the first time he hadn't jumped at the chance to fix something and use Mabel's glitter glue.
"Hmm...we could tell Stan to come fix it," Soos suggested. "I would give it a shot, but I've never worked with this model of copier before and...the real reason I never copied myself was because...I was afraid of copying machines as a child!" Soos cried. "And
I think I still am!"
"There, there, Soos," Wendy soothed. She hopped off the copier and patted his arm."Come on, let's go draw some tickets. Stan can deal with this on his own, and he never has to know it was us who paper jammed it."
"Draw tickets?" smiled Soos. "Can I put my face on them?"
"Sure, dude! Let's hurry though so we can get back to the party!"
Paper Jam watched them leave.
He stalked out of the closet and to the copier. He pulled out the piece of crumpled paper with Wendy's face on it.
It glimmered with a bluish light and suddenly Paper Jam Wendy rose from the sheet.
NYANGH NYANGH NYANGH
Paper Jam Dipper and Paper Jam Wendy flailed at each other. It was a match made in Paper Jam Heaven.
They held hands and smashed crackers into each other's faces, and sang NYANGH NYANGH NYANGH as a duet. They watched a movie: Almost Nearly Dead But Not Quite, and agreed that the squirrels in the background were the scariest part.
In their own way (more flailing and nyanghing) they conversed about how they didn't really fit in, but they did when they were together.
Paper Jam Wendy attempted to smile, but her skewed mouth just opened ever so slightly. She took off her crushed lumberjack hat and swiped Paper Jam Dipper's cap with a pine tree that no longer looked like a pine tree.
She shoved the lumberjack hat on Paper Jam Dipper's head.
She put the cap on her own pretty red headed paper jam perm.
They laughed. NYANGH NYANGH NYANGH!
This was so fun! Paper Jam Dipper had never had fun before, and he decided he liked it.Paper Jam Wendy pulled Paper Jam Dipper's arm, and without the notice of any residents or visitors of The Shack, they went outside. It was a beautiful starry night. They sat outside the kitchen window of the Mystery Shack. The grass tickled their noodle legs.
And on the conversation went. (With yet more flailing.)
Paper Jam Dipper knew he was moving fast, but the stars in sky and the upbeat music from inside The Shack made him bold. He was going to kiss Paper Jam Wendy. Maybe real Dipper didn't have the nerve. Maybe the real Dipper had to wait till he was older and 3 years didn't mean anything anymore. But Paper Jam people can't count. And they don't know what the word embarrassment means.
As Paper Jam closed his eyes and leaned toward Paper Jam Wendy, he heard Stan coughing like his old car from inside.
"Ugh, this bottle of Pitt is flat! And it has plastic dinosaurs in it! I've told Mabel a hundred, no, a thousand times..." he mumbled loudly.
The next thing Paper Jam heard was the kitchen window creaking open. When he opened his eyes he saw Paper Jam Wendy soaked with the discarded Pitt soda. Plastic dinosaurs were in her lap.
At first they laughed, NYANGH NYANGH NYANGH! (Yay! Toys to play with!)
But then Paper Jam Wendy started to sizzle and melt. Paper Jam Dipper yelled NYOOOO!
But it was too late.
Before she was gone, Paper Jam Wendy zipped her lips and pointed at Paper Jam Dipper. The special signal that any Dipper understood. She smiled that skewed smile. "NYANGH NYANGH."
She was glad to have spent her short life with Paper Jam Dipper and couldn't have asked for anything better. She'd do it all again. Except this part. Goodbyes suck, even for paper jam people. Luckily in paper jam speak it only takes a few nyanghs to convey this...because within seconds...she was gone.
Upset, alone, and distraught, Paper Jam Dipper gladly joined the others Dippers in ganging up on the real Dipper. This was all his fault! If he had never copied himself, Paper Jam wouldn't be in this heartbroken mess.
But when the real Dipper made the sprinkler system go off and all the other Dippers started melting under its spray, Paper Jam could only say, NYANGH.
It's better this way.
Now he didn't have to live without Paper Jam Wendy.
But like her, he decided he wouldn't have traded his short life for anything. It had been pretty great.
NYANGH, He whispered.