I wrote this story in text form to a friend back in 2015. He was looking for ideas to make a 30 second movie short. I was on a four hour drive and my mind was wandering. It was around Thanksgiving, which explains why I went Native American. I don’t remember where the musician thing came from, though. Maybe it was a stipulation for the short? Who knows? Either way, I hope you enjoy!
Ah ha ha! Where’s the horror flick about a budding Native American musician? Last year at Thanksgiving his crazy old Aunt gave him his recently deceased Uncle’s guitar. He’s been practicing every day, and now he’s sitting in the kitchen, playing along in time with the microwave numbers as he reheats a plate of turkey and stuffing. As it always does, his mind begins to wander as the numbers continue their rhythmic countdown. His fingers explore the ancient instrument, coaxing out notes and chords he wasn’t aware he knew.
As the numbers impassively approach zero, he imagines he were playing side by side with his Uncle. Their steady plucking is backed up by a chorus of hand drums that forms a heartbeat to the rhythmic melody. A group of figures stand eerily motionless around a flickering fire as their soft chanting is lifted on steady notes of song into the night sky. The words are all the more menacing for being foreign and half heard. His Uncle slowly turns to him an– BEEEP!!
A discordant note escapes the guitar as the microwave’s alarm shatters the melody. The sweating musician draws a deep, ragged breath and a knowing smile slithers across his lips. In his eyes can be seen the reflected light of a dancing fire surrounded by motionless figures.
My office has come to expect verbose, ridiculous stories from me. The following correspondence is the result of my coming down sick. I had missed the previous day and wrote in to tell them that I was still too sick to work. Enjoy!
Hey guys. I was hoping this wouldn’t happen, but I am unable to work today. I’m very sorry.
How dare you call in without some outlandish excuse! Make something up like a meteor struck my house or you were abducted by aliens and heavily abused. Something!
Ha ha ha! It’s true. I guess I do owe you an explanation. See, when I left my circus troupe in Nepal, it wasn’t on the best of terms. The thieving and conning we performed from city to city had begun to wear on my conscience. So, one overcast evening, I packed up my meager belongings and disappeared into the night.
For the next three years I traveled alone, wandering from town to town, losing myself in the mundane. I performed odd jobs to survive. I relied on my finely honed acrobatic skills and deftness with sleight of hand to make me valuable to employers. Eventually, though, the questions would start and I would move on.
I thought . . . no, I hoped I had left that life behind me. I hoped, but I never really believed. You see, on the night that I slipped away, I tipped off the local constables to the larceny that was to come. They raided my troupe that very evening. In my travels I would hear rumors. The troupe had resisted. Some had died. Some had been captured.
Now, an ocean away and a lifetime later, they have found me. My day today has been a montage of chasing and fighting. As I lie here now, tears of regret for the fallen, for my one time companions, roll down my cheeks. They mingle with the drying blood stains. Much of it is mine. Too much of it isn’t.
Is this the end? Is it finally over? Will I be able to live in peace and go to work tomorrow? I always hope, but now . . . I dare to believe.
I received the following e-mail from my office requesting details about a job I had recently completed:
Any chance you can whip up some fancy verbiage for whatever bad ass ninja skills you dropped on this job??? 😉
The job basically consisted of drilling a 2 1/4″ hole in the side of a counter to allow electricity to be run to a new cooler, but that’s boring. Also, the e-mail DID mention bad ass ninja skills. So I responded. I hope you enjoy.
Ooh . . . I get to word ninja? Sweet! Well, as always, the most effective way to complete a job like this is without the knowledge of the store employees. The Happy Valley crew was rather diligent, so this job required an extra long stakeout and more smoke bombs than I’m accustomed to.
Once I was inside there was a lot of skulking, slinking, and hanging between ceiling beams above people. None of this was actually required. It simply makes the montage scene more exciting.
Eventually I made my way to the left side of the counter behind the cash wrap. This was the only viable place to install the cooler. I verified that there were available outlets within 6′ and drilled a hole through the counter. Next, I swept up the mess. Finally, I installed the lil’ grommet thing with some silicone to hold it in place. Now for the exit!
My adversary approached with a smooth, confident stride. A self satisfied smile flirting along the curve of her lips. That’s when I noticed the movement on the edge of my field of vision. I’d been careless and allowed them to surround me. I closed my eyes and focused on keeping my breathing even.
“This won’t be as easy as Portland,” she sneered, “I wo-“
Her words caught in her throat as my eyes snapped open.
“No.” Her eyes darted around the cash wrap. “What have you done?”
A light blue gas began to spew forth from several floor vents. It swirled frantically in the air conditioned building, spreading much faster than I had expected. The shouts began immediately.
I could hear her minions attacking the shelving, each other, anything within arms reach. The manager took a step toward me, eyes ablaze. Her smoldering fury stoked to a blinding rage by the gas she’d breathed in.
The unlucky man that attacked her bore the brunt of that rage. I’d have to thank Telin again for that gas. In the ensuing chaos I slipped away. My prize, a 2 1/4″ disc tucked comfortably in my pocket. No. This hadn’t been as easy as Portland, but it had been much more enjoyable.
This isn’t an exact quote, or an original one, it’s just something we should all say more often. The first time I started thinking about time in metric was when two of my best friends decided to abandon the American standard measurement system for the ‘clearly superior’ metric system. Now I’m not here to debate which system makes the most sense or is more efficient (that will be a whole other rant), I’m here to make fun of the people who insist on using the metric system when it isn’t their native system of measurement.
When my friends adopted the metric system, it was like listening to a child using a new curse word. I’ve never heard two people come up with more excuses to mention distance, temperature, or weight. Eventually I couldn’t resist telling them I’d ordered them a gift online, a metric clock! The look of extreme joy, followed by brief confusion, dawning understanding, and eventual indignation mixed with laughter was priceless. So next time you hear someone forcing metric units into a conversation to prove how superior and worldly they are, ask them what time something is in metric. Then laugh and buy them a beer. . . because you should also buy a beer for random people more often. Now go work on that!
12/14/12 – “Take a picture, it’ll last longer. Unless it’s a picture of a Twinkie.” ~ Toez
Sure, we’ve all heard this, and it makes sense. But what if you take a picture of a Twinkie? Which of them will last longer, the picture or a Twinkie? I’m considering burying a time capsule with these two items in it. You know, with technology nowadays there are so many questions that have been answered about the world. More importantly, we’ve discovered more and better questions. But when it all comes down to it, Twinkies still rest at the heart of the important questions.
Twinkies may just hold the keys to immortality. Could we infuse ourselves with Twinkie DNA and live forever? Then there are matters of National Security. Since the Star Wars anti-nuke shield still isn’t up and running, what about a Twinkie barrier? If Twinkies could survive a nuclear holocaust, could we use them to counteract the effects to the flora and fauna of the world? There are so many possibilities for what can be done with Twinkies, and I recommend we get on the ball and explore them all! Well, except for eating them. Don’t do that. That’s just disgusting.
12/06/12 – “When you hit rock bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up. For you. I’ve got an industrial drill, and I’m doing further down.” ~ Toez, 04/04/12
I’m sure I wasn’t the first person to say this, or something to the effect of it, but here’s how I see this phrase. First of all, it’s a refusal to allow yourself to be in a ‘rock bottom’ state of mind. I am a definite believer in your thoughts forming your reality, an if you refuse to believe you rock bottom, your not rock bottom. And if you can go further down, you definitely have not hit rock bottom. On another level, there’s the rebellious aspect: everyone else wants to go up from rock bottom, screw that, I’m going further down. I believe this mentality almost always has value in it. Pushing the envelope and exploring the limits of established beliefs is the only way current philosophies will grow along with humanity. This led me to the thought that rock bottom may just be a concept created by lazy people with crappy tools.
Looking back at what I said, I realize I left out an obvious interpretation, that of the thinly veiled ethnic slur. Now, if you use the geography taught to us by Bugs Bunny, China is directly on the opposite side of the world from us. So if rock bottom is the ultimate low for Americans, and you go lower, you’re actually rising into China. If you break the surface and continue ‘down,’ you’re actually rising up over China. Therefore, for someone in China, the highest they could possibly strive to rise is actually lower than our lowest low. In fact, the higher they rise, they lower they get by our standards. Granted, the complete opposite is also true, making us low to them, but I think we all know that ethnic slurs don’t derive from minds that are looking at both sides of the coin equally. So I’ll laugh at both versions of the slur, and the idiots that believe either one.
12/04/12 – “If laughter were an STD, we’d be RAGING with it.” ~ Canadia, 04/07/12
On the phone with Canadia, while both of us were plied generously with whiskey, this little gem popped out of his mouth. Or a near approximation of it. I was drunk as hell, so this is the iteration I wrote on my office wall with a sharpie. Sure it may be a bit crude, possibly insensitive, but I think it sets an important precedent about the way we could all look at things. First off, when the two of us are around each other, we’re usually laughing. Even if the night includes breakdowns, horrible news, etc., eventually we’re laughing like crazy. Often times we’re laughing about the same things we were just raging about.
If laughter WERE an STD, I would for sure consider Canadia a carrier. His infectious laughter is one of the things I love about that guy. Also, it’s not just that he makes me laugh for the moment, but it’s the deeper philosophy of allowing those around him to look at the negative things in your life (the STD’s, if you will), and make a joke about it. And realistically, being able to laugh at your problems is sometimes the difference between making it through your day alright and taking a battle axe to work. If laughter WERE an STD, I’d run from penicillin like an Enderman from rain.