Nov. 05, 2009

Continued from Chapter 3: Murder House

And, you know what? It's kind of fun. It turns out that watching movies with other folks is actually better than holing up on your own or with a complain-a-rific boyfriend. Who knew? Plus, Stan eats like a pound of candy and has to go throw up in the master bathroom (the apartment is, surprise surprise, his), and while he's gone, Gully leans over and whispers, "Call him Stern Stan. He hates that," and winks. So, when Stan comes back, and it's that moment in the Oracle's waiting room, I stand up, right up in front of him, keeping him from sitting back on the couch, and I say, "You know what your problem is, Sterny?" (and his eyes get slightly larger, and the pupils dart to Gully and then Sen) "You were born... that tragic moment when science made its great mistake, wheren't you, you Ol' Sternopolis?, and now, from behind the shroud of night you come, a scuttling, shambling horde of sternness destroying everything in your path." And, he actually laughs! His face constructed in a form of pleasure is like watching a gorilla fight with a rainbow.

Plus, just to celebrate, we even watch "Night of the Lepus" the following Tuesday, and Stan comes in wearing one of those super-creepy Donnie Darko rabbit suits, while Gully's wearing Playboy bunny ears and tail. (I, of course, steal a shit-ton of hot sauce from Taco Bell and make blood-and-carrot soup.)

Stan's still a piece of shit, though. And, I will destroy him.

Chapter 4: Tree Loves You

It's a couple of weeks later, and Sen calls a special Thursday night meeting. She even takes us out to eat at this weird hippy bar called "The Shot Grass" and subtitled "A Proud Member of the Happy Farm Collective," and subsubtitled "We basically serve wheatgrass and tell you it's alcohol" (by Stan) and subsubsubtitled "Fuck you, Sterny" (by Sen) and subsubsubsubtitled "Come join us for a drink; you may never leave!" (by Gully) and "Become a member of the Happy Farm Collective... permanently" (by me [!!!]) and "I hate you guys" (by Sen).

Oh, and Sen's wearing this red, white, and blue cowgirl get-up, which is just somehow completely adorable on her.

The place is, like, deserted. Like, there's probably this old man, sitting in the back, burning his tie-dye clothes, crying naked in the corner, a Happy Farm Collective eviction notice crumpled next to him on the floor. He's basically out of pot and money, but he knows a guy, so he's got this low-grade stuff that still makes him kinda feel like he could still go back in time and make it to Lollapalooza instead of working 18 hour days as a circus clown to save up and buy this place from his dad. Back then, it felt like the dream would live on forever, but the only people who come here are just trying to make fun of the name, now, and half the time, they don't even order anything, and you know what, so what if he's so rattled half the time he barely remembers to put on clothes and doesn't even know what goes into any of the drinks anymore? So what if he ran out of beer a year ago and has been serving water that's been sitting in a keg he borrows from a pal of his down at Lucky Liquor, and somebody figured it out last week and demanded her money back and threatened to bring in the BBB, and they're already threatening him because of the rats that he can't afford to kill and only ever wanted to somehow befriend and employ into making an undiscovered and peace-enforcing energy drink that would save the planet, and the rats just piss and poop everywhere, and that stuff doesn't have anything good in it but the Hantavirus (this girl caught it a few months ago, and he was sure he'd get arrested but apparently she'd completely forgotten that she'd even been here)? His only real chance of not closing up tomorrow is if he wins the lottery, for which he still buys a ticket every day, even though he can't afford it, and every time he buys one, he tells himself, he'll devote all the money to bettering the world, but secretly he knows that he'd just run away and leave the bar to the rats. Or, maybe the musicians of yore could still finally get his letters and throw one last concert, one last Save the Shot Grass benefit, and bring back the world.

We sit down at the bar, Stan then Sen then Gully then me, and the stools squeak like a flood of rats as we sit on them. Sen spots a heap of menus behind the bar and grabs one for each of us.

The menu is just filled with these drinks, like, "the flower power margarita," "a friend of mother Earth," "the Michael Bowen Brew-In," and, best of all, "Air, baby, and it's completely free (BUT NOT FOR LONG, SO DRINK UP!)."

Gully turns squeakily to Sen and says, "You're right, this place is awesome... baby."

She says, "Before you laugh too hard, Mr. Gulston, you should recall that only I know where you're hiding that dead hooker."

Just then, an old man comes out from a back room to our left. He looks disheveled, and red-eyed, and like he's hoping that we'll leave so that he can burn the building down for insurance money. In the hollow pits of his eyes, there is only pain.

He says, "Oops. Don't usually get folks in so early. Ya'll ready to order, then?"

A dark shadow spreads across his brow. He thinks, "It is raining in Baltimore. My knee always hurts when it rains in Baltimore." He thinks, "I should call my sister. If only she weren't dead." He thinks, "I should have let those aliens abduct me. Then, I'd have that parasite in my stomach that eats strangers, and I could go back and get naked again."

Sen says, "I'd love a 'Group Hug'... with extra Hug."

The man says, "A'course."

Stan says, "Give me a grassy knoll on the rocks."

The man says, "A'course." He thinks, "That guy is a complete tool."

Gully says, "Uhh... I'll... What's in a 'Free Tibet'?"

The man says, "It's the standard. Nothin' special." He pauses. "I do add a spot a' ginger."

Gully says, "I... I'll have a Group Hug."

The man says, "Ha. A'right."

I don't know what to say, so - whatever - "I'll have a Group Hug too."

The man says, "More the merrier, huh," and after we pay, he starts mixing a bunch of liquid from completely unlabeled bottles together. One of the liquids looks green and has what appear to be purple olives in it. The man is likely poisoning us so that he can go cry over old, almost illegible, notes from a girl named Tree.

Before we are murdered, Sen says, "So, I have an announcement." There's a pause, during which she probably does something I can't see. "A proposition." Another thing. Gully is laughing. (Why do I always sit on the end? It's like a thing with me, this weird unconscious thing that I always want to be left out. I bet the depressed hippie over there knows what I'm talking about.) "A thought." Gully is still laughing.

Sen says, "My thinking is this. We are awesome. Really top-notch ultra cool people."

Gully says, "Agreed."

Sen says, "So, we gotta get us out there. Show us to the world!"

Gully says, "Nope. Not getting you anymore."

The bartender serves us our drinks. Mine is bubbling and a combination of purple and black death. I want to be in a group hug with it about as much as I want to have sex with a cactus.

On the other hand, it might be a useful weapon against a cactus who is desirous of having sex with me.

Sen grabs her drink and starts sipping from it. She says, "Call it a recruitment drive. We found each other on," she pauses "... mostly. Lots of people are doing it. There's this whole horde of people just itching for awesome people to hang out with and awesome stuff to do."

The rest of us start drinking a bit as well. Mine tastes a little bit like a combination of purple and black death. I wonder if I could pour it onto the flour and escape through the hole it leaves.

Gully says, "Yes, but half those people are perverts with 'awesome' stuff to hang out, looking for 'awesome' people to do."

She says, "First. Ew. Second. That still leaves a whole bunch of non-pervy non-gross folks waiting for people like us to show them how spectacular life would be if they tried a bit harder to spend some of it with us." She's is getting all high-pitched and fast-talky now. "And, the best part is, they've told us exactly where they're going to be and when they're going to be there, every week. It's like a salesperson's dream."

Stan says, "So, wait. Let me get this straight. Your brilliant idea is to try to steal people from other meetups because nobody can stand spending time with us?"

Sen sighs. She says, "No, Stan. I'm saying, other people want to be part of our meetup. They just don't know it. Did you know that 80% of all people on meetup wish they were part of at least one more meetup? ... involving scifi movie watching?"

Stan says, "This is a statistic you can verify, I trust."

Sen says, "Oh, sure. It's all over the Internet. Though," she pauses, "some people cite it as 75%." ... "Anyway, what I'm saying is that it would be fun, and you know, it might not lead anywhere, but whatever, it would still be fun."

Stan says, "Fun," and I can almost hear his lips curling, from three stools away, over the sound of the gurgling of my Group Hug.

Sen says, "Yeah, we'll show up at these other places, you and Gully can dress up and be weird, and who knows?, maybe it'll stick with someone. And, worst case? They don't like us, and we never go back."

Gully says, "Wait, so what you're saying is that you want to steal people from other meetups because nobody can stand spending time with Stan?"

Stan rolls his eyes (probably).

Sen says, "Yes, that is exactly what I'm saying. And, guess what?, I thought it'd be fun to pair up, and I stuck you two together." She leans way forward so I can see her, and she looks at me, "And, that way, Rose and I are gonna be, like, the stereotypical nerd guy fantasy."

I mumble, "Great. My dream come true."

She says, "We'll have hundreds of members in no time."

My drink breaks the glass that it's in by flexing, pulls a knife out of stomach, and we are all brutally murdered to the sound of the bartender singing "Tree Loves You, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Tree Loves You, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah," as he pours a mud slide onto his head "for the memories."

I say, "Yeah."

Nov. 06, 2009 →



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