Nov. 14, 2009
Posted: Nov. 18, 2009
Continued from Chapter 10: A Walk on the Hot Coals of Adventure
Rainbow and the Forces of Freedom says, "So, I'm basically like a spectator here, hand movin' up to my mouth, mouth like burstin' open from all the fumes in there and all the while, my eyes dancing back and forth to this little girl runnin' at me. She reaches me as the torch is up high enough for me to blow, and just lunges - I'm talkin' lunges, not like skips or walks, or jumps a tiny bit, I'm talkin' lunges here, like a frickin' monkey, knocks the torch out of my hand, and slaps the bejesus out of me. I'm not kiddin' here; she starts yammerin' 'bout how I'm her daddy, and her mom is all POed at me for missin' my child support and whathaveyou, and I ain't never seen this girl in my life, nor do I got any rugrats I'm knowin' of, but she's wailin' on me, kickin', hittin', man those little fists hurt, and I'm doin' what any grown man'd do under such'n onslaught, I'm curlin' up into a ball and cluchin' at my face so'n she doesn't claw my eyes out. After a bit o' this beatin', her dad (yeah, she's got a dad) pulls her off'a me, and he's all apologizin' and sayin' he doesn't know what's goin' on with his girl and sayin' it was a good show 'til then anyhow, and, but, it's then that I start smellin' the smoke and feelin' the heat, and see, turns out she'd smacked my torch up into my case, where I got all my stuff, but also more torches, and some o' the old tricks of the trade, like, well, I ain't gotta tell y'all, so I jump up and'm startin' to tell people to get back and t' watch out and all that, and just'n everyone's safe 'n all, my case goes bang, knockin' shit from here t' Canada, and hurlin' me around a bit."
He takes a drink of water.
He continues, "So, 'bout ten minutes later, all the police'n such start showin' up, and 'course they question me, askin' me what's going on, and I tell'm, 'listen, girl came runnin' up, knocked a torch from my hand; ain't my fault, right? Go talk t'her dad.' But, turns out, the kid and her dad left, just weren't around even a bit, and 's worse, everyone else says they didn't see any girl, and I just tossed the torch onto my case and threatened t' kill'm all. Now, I know I ain't always tol' the truth to y'all, and I'm sorry for tryin' t' steal all the crackers last time; it's just hard t' find such good crackers in my... well, anyway, police're the way they are, they take me in, y'know just for the precaution or whatnot, and I gotta spend the night in jail, just while they do a bit more diggin', but a'course, I got this whole bad past, and they start diggin' up all the troubles I got in when my neighbors said I was tryin' t' blow up the sun and'n when I was a kid 'n those kids kept makin' fun a' me, so I replaced their bananas with firecrackers, and all manner a' junk like that, and a'course, who're ya gonna believe, the good guy with th' checkered past but a story can't be verified 'cause some girl and her pops took off, or the spiteful jerks who're just pissy 'cause my show mighta gotten 'm singed a bit, and now they're all jus' makin' up this crazy story, tryin' to ruin my life, tryin' to ruin this hard-workin' American's life, even though they prolly never had t' work a hard day 'n their life, and YET HERE I AM GETTIN' BLAMED FOR SHIT I AIN'T EVEN DONE AND I'M GONNA FUCKIN' KILL TH--"
Ben Shot First says, "Okay, great!" and jumps back into the open area. He pauses for a second and then pats Weirdo Ben on the back. "Thanks for sharing with us, Ben."
Ben the Guy I'm Not Going to Ever Be Alone With Ever says, "Hey, thanks for listenin' everybody. 's a real hoot t' hear how y'all's stories just basically like mine. I'm really IDin' with all y'all, an' I hope you can ID with me too."
Ben Shot First says, "That's wonderful, and if you need any help adjusting back to the... uhh... free world... you just let us know."
Ben Who Keeps Getting Creepier By the Moment walks back into the crowd, smiling, and maybe looking a bit bewildered, like he's three seconds away from pulling out a flame thrower and killing us all "for some waffles."
And, of course, Ben Shot First says, "So, moving along, how about we give our newcomer a chance to shed her scales" (laughter again. What is with these people?) "and tell us about herself!"
Well, here goes nothing.
I walk into the center; I close my eyes; and, I say, "RAAWWWR! Hello, strange beings from a new age! I come here with you to express a fear we all share, you for your reasons and me because it was a cause of much death for my people throughout our existence. I understand now that your kind have contained this horrifying curse of a thing, and that my fears have become irrational, but as they used to say in my time, 'RAWWWRRR RAWWR Rrr AWWRRR,' which roughly means, 'I eat you now!!,' but... well... there are some subtleties of connotation that cannot travel across the linguistic boundaries." (Oh, God. What the hell is wrong with me?) "What I am trying to express is that I feel a connection, a bond, with the creatures in this room, something I have not felt with any creatures on this planet for a long time, an almost primordial interplay between our collective unconsciousnesses that brings us together implicitly. If fate were not as foreign a concept to me as a microwave oven, I would call it fate. If destiny did not sound to me as strange as long-distance communication through magical invisible waves, I would say that our destinies have been intertwined." (Holy shit. What am I even saying?) "Basically, the theory I am trying to express is a desire to spend more time together, a desire to become better acquainted. The scientists who helped form the educated being I am today need me for the remainder of the week and through the weekend, but I declare that Tuesday night should be a night of new friends gathering, of an incipient story coming to its first of many happy chapters, of a fast chase across some plains after one's delicious dinner... metaphorically. What do you say?!" and I open my eyes.
Their stares that appear before me are as blank as an over-plastic-surgerized person's. Like the face of a person who has just been teleported to a new planet and is doing her or his best to ignore this fact, continue drinking tea, and hope that things rectify themselves momentarily. "Oh, hello, gruesome half-toad, half-eagle, with fangs larger than I am, have you noticed where my television has run off to? It's about yay tall and yay wide. Probably plugged into... you guys do electricity through the trees here or something? Well, whatever. There'll be a plug."
Ben Shot First says, "Well... great! That sounds marvelous! We'd love to attend your party!"
I say, "Uhh... really?"
Another voice from the crowd says, "Yeah, let's help welcome the new girl into town!"
I say, "Umm... Great. Yeah."
Several other voices make affirmations and one of them even says, "Oh, how marvelous!"
I say, "So, let me, uhh, link you to the meetup..."
And, with that, another 14 (!) people join up.
With my luck being the way it is, I figure, what the Hell, and I go to two more meetups: "YOU BUY FALAFEL" and "Lakers Fans Who Love Pudding" (I mean, I actually would like some good falafel, and I think that pudding is pretty okay). It turns out that "YOU BUY FALAFEL" is just a shack with a guy selling falafel to people, but I somehow manage to get him to agree to come and sell falafel at Tuesday's meetup, plus turns out he's got a helper monkey, and the monkey's gonna be there too.
Yeah, I'm pretty much the definition of 'awesome.' Back when people used to use dictionaries, they used to say, "What the Hell? Who is that girl, and why is there a picture of her in this dictionary?" This was especially confusing back before I was born, but now, with the Internet, there's a Wiktionary quote, and not just a picture, but a whole explanation, "Pictured above is Rose. She totally rocked out getting folks to come to a sci fi meetup just now. So, yeah, pretty awesome."
And, guess what?, the Lakers fans? Totally adorable. And, I'm not talking, like, rabid dog looks-cute-but-is-actually-diseased-into-wanting-to-hurt-you adorable; I'm not talking a mountain range that looks beautiful and awesome and could eat up thirty Roses, connected to each other through some sort of climbing-enhancing surgery, and leave nothing left but a grotesque shell of the former ultra-Rose monster. I'm talking a-dor-a-ble. These are folks who basically sit around a giant bowl of pudding with smaller bowls that they just use to scoop into the mega-bowl whenever they run out... and they often don't even talk about the Lakers. The whole time I was there, this one woman was talking about why pudding is so fantastic with charts! "See, if you imagine that your tongue is this sphere, right? Just this crazy old sphere of atoms. And, they're all kind of smooshed together. But, see, pudding's got this crazy property that no other material in the world has, it can make the atoms slightly looser, which is why your tongue goes just a little bit numb when you're eating pudding. Plus, what's crazy is that our body notices that pudding's got this wacko property and uses it all over the body. That's why so many doctors tell you to eat pudding when you're sick, or when you're pregnant, or why they tell you to rub pudding on a bruise. But, here's where things get bizarre. Pudding doesn't just leave your body after a little while like a normal food. If we take a look at this chart, from Tyrone and Tyrone, 1956, pudding stays inside the body up to 5,000 times longer than even your most stubborn of other foods, your maple-syrup-covered rice cakes, your barbecued carrots, so pudding just keeps helping and helping, even when everybody else quits. But! (Isn't there always a bit?) There is a downside, and we've all felt it. As people in the soul-sucking supermarket business have been becoming increasingly aware of the truly unbelievable use of pudding, and as use of pudding has been increasing, the price of pudding has begun increasing without pound. See here a chart showing how much pudding you can by for the small price of $240. Whereas, in the old days, before we formalized under meetup.com, we used to be able to buy our weekly supply for less than a grand, we're now well above that."
Yeah, I know. Anyway, these folks usually get three or four new people every week, so I don't get to stand up and ask them all to come tomorrow to our meetup tomorrow, but I do flag a few down individually (look at you, Rose!) and get five more people to agree to come.
Ladies and gentlemen, there is a new act in town, and that act can kick all of your asses at inviting people to watch science fiction!
I can't sleep. Basically, I mean, tomorrow is going to be incredible. Tomorrow is going to be an event. Years in the future, after sci fi has become a Thing, people will remember this as the definitive moment at which it started. This is going to be the Woodstock of sitting in front of a screen, the Don Quixote of being a complete a total dork. When I win the Nobel Peace Prize (who's gonna start a war when there's still new shit to watch?), people will ask, "Rose? How did you do it? How did you inspire a generation into believing that it could live? How did you bring the human race back on track?" And, I'll say, "Oh, it was easy, Ms. Random News Personality Who is Probably Self-Employed and Posts Stuff on YouTube (let's call you 'R-Nep'), I just believed in the commonality of all human beings, the fact that, really, we're all the same inside." "... really? I find that incredibly naive, actually." "... I... Uhh... Well, that's not my... my complete theory." "I'm sure it's gong to be a real wallop after that blast of insight." "I... It's, it's just..." "You know, I don't even know why people got so excited about this. I bet there was someone else behind it, you know?, and you're just stealing all the credit. You look like a credit-hog." "No, I... I just inspired..." "OINK OINK OINK. Credit-hog. Credit-hog." "No, seriously. I don't know why, but people just started flocking to hang out with us. I must be really charismatic or something!" "Yeah, lady, you're about as charismatic as a POed skunk." "That's..." "If you're charismatic, I've got a silver tongue. If you're charismatic, I'm Helen of fucking Troy." "I... I guess I don't know why, then..." "You don't know? Good. Well, let me tell you. I thought you were a magician when I first started this interview. Now? Now, it's pretty clear. You just got lucky. You deserve your success about as much as I deserve the fact that I get seventy e-mails a day from perverts asking me out, and I don't even give out my e-mail address. You deserve your success about as much as Johnny Falafel (I'm not even kidding) deserves his monkey to bite his face off (which will happen in early 2011). You enjoy your Nobel Peace Prize, missy, because one day, you're going to stop being so lucky, and you'll have to live life with the rest of us mortals." And, that's when she spits on me. Fucking R-Nep.Nov. 15, 2009 →