And Ann B. Davis as The Thing
Monday, April 25, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
My second year of highschool I found myself at the center of a juicy rumor, a rumor that was so outlandish that it has prevailed my entire life. Something said completely in jest took on a life of it's own and became part of my personal mythos, a fabricated reality born into this world through the twisted birth canal of adolescent gullibility.
It was like living with Kuato from Total Recall, some horrible siamese twin kept hidden beneath my shaker-knit, forever attached to me.
The irony is that I was a co-founder of this ruse, along with my pal James. It was meant to be a harmless one-time gag designed to prey upon the guileless of a particular feminine faction of our classmates. We jokingly discussed an experiment of sorts, like when Henry Frankenstein teamed with Doctor Pretorius. To be honest neither of us can remember the exact exchange that lead up to its creation, it was so insignificant that it was forgotten by us. But not by others.
The seed lay dormant for weeks, until a member of the targeted group approached James in the hallowed halls after homeroom and nonchalantly inquired about me. The query may have been mere passing curiosity, or perhaps it was idle small talk to initiate a courting conversation with young James himself, but when I tell the tale, it was the probing of one possessed of the passion of unrequited love for yours truly. Whatever the reason, James remembered the too-long neglected plan and, putting personal gain aside, seized the opportunity to put it in motion. He took her aside, away from the rattle of rusted combination locks and hanging haze of ozone depleting hairspray, and in hushed tones, solemnly wove a tale of my sordid past.
His solitary audience listened intently, entranced. Wide-eyed she nodded her head as the story unfolded during its inaugural telling, not interrupting except for clarification of words greater than three syllables. A gamut of emotions tattooed her smooth adolescent features: shock, awe, disgust, pity, excitement. But never disbelief. She was beguiled. James' convincing tale verily dripped snake oil liniment.
And then he put the bow on it. Looking his rapt co-conspirator straight in her vacant brown eyes, hand gently resting on her Esprit shoulder-pad, James said "You have to promise not to tell anyone. And whatever you do, never ever EVER ask him about it. He doesn't like to talk about it". And like Benjamin Franklin tying the key to the kite string, he let the kite take flight into the storm.
Lightening struck approximately 17 minutes later. I was at my locker, agonizing on important issues of immediacy: should I go to the 5-Pin to play Space Shuttle pinball, or the Sub Shop to master Karate Champ. I was startled out of my ruminations by the squeak of Jellies and the rustle of a lace trimmed tutu behind me. The incredibly cute girl didn't say anything at first, she just stared at me curiously, a fingerless mesh glove brushing her crimped hair out of her eyes. She bit her bottom lip, her nervousness almost palpable, but her curiosity trumped her trepidation and she blurted "Is it true?".
By way of response I squinted. It was a practiced squint that was open to interpretation. She quickly looked to see who was around, cupped the back of my neck and whispered her question in my ear. Her lips caressed my lobe, and I could feel her hot breath on my neck as she lingered longer than necessary. She stepped back and awaited my reply. The blank expression on my face was genuine. I had no idea how to respond. I caught a flicker of movement over the bright pink bow in her hair. It was James at the other end of the hall, proudly sporting a Cheshire Cat grin, waving frantically like a castaway trying to get the attention of a passing liner.
I realized the game was afoot, and it took every ounce of restraint not to laugh. I bit the inside of my cheek, closed my locker, gave her my best Great Sadness squint, and without a word, I walked away, knowing my silence would be interpreted as a deafening admission.
James and I had a good chuckle over the success of the experiment, proving the quickest way to spread gossip was to make someone promise not to tell. We high-fived our ingenuity and celebrated over a few rousing games of pinball, the incident quickly forgotten amidst the click of the flippers and the hypnotic lights of Space Shuttle.
When I returned to school for fifth period social endeavors, the green and white hallways were buzzing with more than typical scholastic ideals and angst. The whispers echoed off the waxed linoleum, carried from student body to student body. The winds of gossip had swelled to hurricane proportions. The collective gaze that followed me told me immediately what this was about.
I was a little concerned. How was I going to correct this, stop further spread of this outrageous scuttlebutt? This was big, out of control, and unexpected. What was also unexpected were the six girls phone numbers I discovered slipped into my locker, including one from the incredibly cute original recipient of this work of fiction. I smiled, deciding then and there not to say a goddamned thing.
That was 25 years ago. 8 months ago at an unofficial reunion of sorts an old classmate needed to know the truth, so she asked me: "Is it true?"
"Is it true you willingly participated and starred in a porno movie?".
I smiled and didn't say a goddamned thing.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
Today is my friend Gord's birthday.
Gord loves the movie Anchorman.
Gord also loves lamp.
He is a miniature Buddha, covered in hair.
His formidable scent stings the nostrils. In a good way.
He's kind of a big deal.
And he once killed a man with a trident.
Gord currently resides in a safehouse.
In short, Gord is the balls.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
(Related posts: Days 15, 36, and 40)
You may recall when last we left my brother I had just intentionally and vengefully prevented him from besting his personal Wizard of Wor highscore, a half year obsession that would have inspired Herman Melville.
I had been sitting Indian style, but as the prophetic 'Game Over' flashed repeatedly, tauntingly on the mammoth 24-inch TV, I slowly rose to my feet, not wanting to startle the quivering behemoth before me. Like a sadistic Marlin Perkins I knew I was in danger but needed to relish the beast's reaction. The Bally Astrocade joystick slipped unnoticed from his sweaty hand, falling noiselessly onto the red shag basement carpet. His jaw slackened, mouth agape, the sun streaming through the window glinting off the menacing metal contained within. A string of saliva dripped from his twitching bottom lip and I swear that it hissed and smoked when it hit the ground. A tremor began to course through his sizable girth and his hands began to clench and unclench rhythmically. His neck creaked like leather as his head slowly swiveled in my direction, constricted by the apparent increase in blood flow that had stained his face dark purple, like an overripe aubergine. Maybe it was a reflection from the still flickering television, but his eyes were glowing red. Glowing! I was in over my head.
Unlike Marlin I didn't have a Jim to tranq the animals when they went on the attack. At a glance I surveyed my surroundings and quickly came to the conclusion that I was fucked. My spiteful gambit had been ill conceived; the spontaneity that lent it its unexpectedness had also not left room for planning. The way we were positioned my brother's hulking frame blocked the stairwell, the only avenue of escape. Fight or flight? No contest. Before my mind caught up my body was in motion, a five foot blur of speed and fear. And the beast was in pursuit.
I had danced this dance many times before and was familiar with the arena. The room was rectangular and cluttered with mismatched furniture, much of it covered in gaudy faux-velvet. I knew the stone in front of the fake fireplace was slick to sock clad feet and could cause a tide-turning slip. I knew the 70's sheik bar area at the opposing end was a death trap of no escape. The orange easy chair could support my weight if jumped upon, but the cream colored armchair would tip. All lessons learned the hard way.
I was lithe and spry, my sparrow light frame easily hurdling ottomans and beanbag chairs, but my brother was possessed of an irreconcilable rage, and like an avalanche gaining momentum had inertia on his side, barreling through all obstacles in his path. Every time I passed the stairwell that lead to the backdoor and escape I gauged whether or not I'd be able to make it to the closed door and open it before my brother was upon me in a flurry of punches to my solar-plexus. Once, twice around, not quite yet. I knew that soon he would begin to tire hauling his considerable mass around and the distance between us would begin to increase and I could make my move.
Fourth pass and I noticed his lumbering gait slow slightly as he clipped the Bally Astrocade Console and he looked back in conflicted concern. Now was my chance. I put on an extra burst of speed, channelling my inner Barry Allen. As I rounded the glass-topped coffee table in the center of the room I risked a glance over my shoulder...and didn't see the power cord to the videogame system had been pulled taut, several inches off the floor, by my brother's oafish clumsiness.
My shins connected with the thin plastic cord. I faltered but remained upright, and although my freedom was but steps away I stopped dead in my tracks. As had my pursuer. There had been a sharp POP, similar to the sound a light-bulb makes when it blows, followed by a strange acrid taste in the air. And all the lights had gone out. The television was dull and dead. My brother and I looked at each other, the dance momentarily forgotten. We followed the power cord from the game to the wall. I had not just pulled the plug free, I had pulled the entire socket out of its housing, a mess of wires, plaster, and metal hemorrhaging from a gaping hole in the wall. An electrical evisceration.
Despite the sunlight coming in through the basement windows the house suddenly seemed very very dark, and deathly silent. I began to slowly creep towards the stairs before my brother pieced together exactly how much trouble we were in. I briefly wondered if the damage was limited to just this one room.
By way of an answer the silence was shattered by my father's protracted baritone bellow "Jeeeeee-zus Christ!"
For the first ten years of life I thought I had been named after the son of God. As my father appeared at the top of the stairs I was sure I was about to meet my namesake.