Nov. 12, 2009

Continued from Chapter 9: The Old Lady Adventure

I mean, how do pirates even talk, really? Am I just perpetuating negative stereotypes about them? Are there Oxford-graduated pirates... or, like, the Medieval equivalent... Monk turned pirate? "Rose, you are hereby condemned for mocking a truly remarkable profession, one held by such historical heroes as Bernard the Pirate Monk and Ranberd the Monk Pirate, without whom we wouldn't have electricity, sanitation, or gravity, today. Rose, your insensitivity is as disgusting as is the ineptitude of your pirate impression. As such, I condemn you to thirty years hard labor, ten years in a clown college, and four days as Cluck Cluck, the Mr. Chicken dancing roadside mascot. May God have mercy on what few tattered shreds must remain of your soul."

There are seven old ladies here all told, and so far, I've counted eight cats, weaving in and out of view, rubbing up against everything (and one of them seems to be allergic to my shoe because, whenever it so much as walks by, it starts doing that KKHHHHSSSSH thing that cats do and shaking its head in an "Get out of my head, you miscreant!" type of fashion.

The women are in a semicircle, and in front of them is me, and I should have started talking a while ago.

I say, "Yarr," by way of introduction.

I add, "Ummm..."

There is a pause.

One of the old ladies coughs; one of the cats KKHHHHSSSSHs. "Get out of my head, you miscreant!"

I say, "I be a pirate born, and a pirate bred. This be the tiniest of ventures onto land from my life as a bo's'n aboard the... U.S.S. Enterprise" (I mean, how are they gonna know?) "... which be the treasure in the clam, 'cept for all us, sometimes we gotta drop ship, head into these dry parts, and by Jolly Regina, the noise, my ladies, it be a pirate's true curse. I don't know how ye can bear it, all the shim-sham of the land life. So, all us scallywags, we had ourselves a Pirates Convention, and it was proclaimed, 'This be the end of all our ropes. 's high time we banded together and declared a pirate's war on television,' and this here, this be my part, see, 'cuz an enemy of an enemy is a mate, and us pirates, we be right good mates."

I am probably sweating, crying, and/or peeing right now. There is probably liquid leaving my body in some capacity. This is what I'm saying. I'm trembling so hard that an uneducated observer would classify me as seizure-rific and ship me off the emergency room and forbid me from driving for the next ten years. It's like I've got dancing shoes on, and they've just developed a life of their own. It's like there's an earthquake and only I'm invited. It's like I just discovered that my legs are actually stilts, and suddenly I have to balance or fall.

Rocking-chair lady (who just scooted her rocking chair around to face me says, "Here here!"

Another lady says to another lady, "What a lovely young woman!"

Darlene(?) says, "Well, my, what a precious girl you are. I could come to hear you talk for hours on end."


I say, "Well, uuhh, yarr, this be your lucky day, then! I be holdin' a bit of a party at me matey's house, and y'all be the perfect mates for the trip. What say ye?"

Darlene(?) says, "Oh, how perfect! I would be delighted!"

There are several murmurs of agreement. The rocking lady rocks a lot.

Darlene(?) says, "Is there an e-vite we should sign up for? Or a meetup link?"

I say, "Why, there is!"

All the ladies reach into their bags and pull out laptops and netbooks (mostly pink, covered in cat stickers, and looking a bit sticky from... ew). I give Darlene(?) the URL and she Waves it to everyone else. And, within minutes, our meetup has gone from four members to eleven.

... Now, I just have to figure out how to reconcile these women with the fact that they just signed up to do the thing, the hatred of which brought them together. The enormity of this task is akin to that of Jack Black trying to convince all those terrorists to sing "Rockin' in the U.S.A." in the "School of Rock 2: Escape from Guantanamo Bay."

But, whatever, let Future Rose figure that out. For now, I'm going to eat me some peach fucking cobbler.

Chapter 10: A Walk on the Hot Coals of Adventure

So, now that I'm a super-successful induct-o-matic, just about tripling our membership in a single night, I figure, why mess with success, right? So, the next night, at Fire Breathers Afraid of Fire, I go as a dinosaur. (Or, well, someone wearing a green turtleneck with green-ish pants, rubber gloves painted green, and green facepaint she had lying around, plus a papier-mâché snake. But, somehow, The Salvation Army does have an attachable monster tail [only it's purple, so, a bit of a clash there], so at least I'm recognizable as something other than a hardcore and highly chronologically impaired Saint Patrick's Day fanatic.) But, not just any dinosaur (dinosaurs can't talk after all, duh), I'm going as a nerdy dinosaur who was frozen in a super-brainifying ice block and has since been defrosted, taught English, and released into the wild (and, now, I live with my two wacky roommates, and we solve mysteries! Coming soon to NBC).

When the door finally opens, I say, "ROAAR! And suchwise in the manner of greeting. I am here in regards to a meeting, a gathering of pure speculation, one might say, of which I have the strongest desire to attend."

The person who answered the door, a middle-aged-ish guy wearing a T-Shirt that reads, "Northwestern Wildcat Golfers Shot First," looks me up and down once, gives a sharp chuckle and says, "Come on in, Rex." (Which, I mean, I'm not a T-Rex, so maybe Northwestern isn't a great school, but at least he's being nice, which is a good sign.)

I walk in after him, and we enter a living room with apparently something like twenty-five people who are apparently fire breathers who are afraid of fire. Who knew it was such an epidemic?

In fact, the room is too small for most people to sit, so many people are standing against the walls, and I go to join them.

We are all surrounding an open area that, after a minute of general milling (in which I do a miraculous job of not taking part) is filled by Mr. Northwestern.

He ehems. And then he ehems louder.

He says, "So, we have a new recruit with us, and it looks like she's still in Phase One: hiding, so let's give her a warm, FBAF welcome."

Everybody chants loudly and in unison, "Fire is your enemy, but I am your friend" and then they clap.

When it subsides, Northwestern says, "So, when we left, Ben was telling us about how he fell out of favor... with fire. Ben you wanna give a short recap for anybody who missed last week and then dive right in?"

A large man standing to my left, wearing a camouflage t-shirt under rainbow suspenders, says loudly (in that kind of forced loudness, the like "I am now my public persona" loudness), "Sure... other Ben."

Everybody laughs. This... was a thing that isn't funny. I wonder if they all burned the parts of their brains that registered humor properly.

Ben the Rainbow Guy walks to the front as Ben the Shot First Guy walks away into the crowd.

Rainbow Ben says, "So, last week, I was talkin' about this time I got all trashed on too much lighter fluid and stuff and then I was thinkin' of puttin' on this real great show, so I spent twenty minutes just herdin' people around, doin' a trick here and there to keep people from leavin' but really pushin' people to clap a lot, shoutin' at people walkin' by, basically really workin' the crowd. And, remember, this whole time I'm just hopped out of my mind, so that should tell you, I'm actually pretty good when it comes down to it. But, anyway, I get up to do my thing, got the torches all set, me sittin' on this unicycle thing I used to use to add more movement to the show, and right as I'm about to plunge in, right, I see this kid, out of the corner of my eye, breakin' toward me, just bookin' it, like she wanted to catch fire, like she was all, that morning, 'Dear diary, today I am going to catch on fire. Good bye.' You know, since then, I've read that diary entry over and over again in my head, that and the hundred or so other things she mighta said that would have led to such an apparent desire for the ol' suicide run. And, anyway, she's runnin' up, and I'm already movin' in to start the trick, and it's hard to reverse your body when it's doin' something you've taught it so thoroughly that it doesn't even consult you anymore."

Nov. 14, 2009 →



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