Saturday, January 3, 2009
I just want to let you know that I will be making a sincere effort to get back to more regular updates after January 9th or so. I've been reveling in being home and seeing family and friends and, unfortunately, I haven't had the time to sit down and write as I would like to. However, I'll be back on a normal schedule in about a week and I will do everything I can to keep the story coming. Thanks for hanging in there.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Had me a weird customer in this mornin. We was havin a special wherein we was blowin out all the 2008 donuts to make room for the 2009s. I realize that it just means we're selling donuts made today, but Douggy said it'd be a good marketing tool. He also said that we should start releasin our model years in the summer, because that works so well for car makers. Well, I was arrangin the donuts to spell out 2008, most of which is easy in donuts, what with most of them numbers bein round and all, though the 2's kinda hard to make and I was thinkin of cuttin a donut in half and then usin a long john for the stem, but then Alistair just bent a long john funny and, viola, there was a 2. I tried to do it, but I got fillin all over myself. That was ok, though, cause I got Albert, and he helps me clean food stains off my clothes while I'm still wearin 'em. The only problem with this system is that Albert, bein a hound dog, leaves my clothes flooded with dog spit for about a half hour or so. Normally, that ain't a problem, but now I gotta worry about the health inspector and appearance in front of the customer and all that nonsense. So, I usually keep a spare set of clothes with me in the shop, but in the back so no one can come in and accidently see me in my skivvies, which I wouldn't wish on anyone, least of all someone who was out lookin for food. That could not only ruin their entire day, but it would likely lessen their craving for donuts for awhile.
So, I'm in the back, changin into a new pair of overalls when I hear the beep from the front door. We wired up one of them things that beeps when the front door is open, so if I'm in the back or droppin a load off or somethin, I can know that someone's come in the shop and we can get it staffed quick enough the people won't help themselves to a free donut, except, that is, off the plate with the sign that says 'free donuts, help yourself'.
So, I finish changin quickly, which is pretty easy in overalls since there's just a coupla buttons and, it bein winter around here, I'm wearin boots that slip on and off, and then I go out to the front. There's this guy standin there, just lookin at me. I figure he must be one of them goth or emo types that I read about on the internets or somethin akin to that because he was dressed up all in black and had this funny kinda voice. You know, since I'm on the topic, I always wondered why them emo kids, if they was tryin to act all sad and lonely and whatnot, would name themselves after a little red guy on Sesame Street. I remember when that Emo guy was popular, because I always had to buy Emo stuff for my nephew for Christmas and his birthday and all. As I recall, that Emo was one happy little guy, right upbeat, if'n you know what I mean. Now, I ain't watched children's programming in neigh on 15 years now, but what is this world coming to if a little red children's character has become the name for a group of depressives who, in my opinion, just need some hard work under their belts? I guess it's just been too long since I been young.
Anyway, I come out buttonin up my last button when I see this guy standin in my shop like a shadow with no person attached to it. This is not the first time I saw that event though. When I was a lad, me and Douggy was playin shadow tag with this boy Hammish from down the block. He and his family had just moved from the old country and he was kind of a sickly lad, pale and skinny and he had them red rings around his eyes that look like he's got a giant lamprey at home that sleeps on his face, which is a great cure for oversleepin. We was playin shadow tag, wherein one guy has to stomp on the shadow of another guy to make him "it". It gets more challenging to not be "it" as the sun starts goin down and shadows, especially in this part of the country, can stretch for four miles or more, sometimes obstructing the view of traffic passing in another city. Well, we was havin a good ol' time, stompin each other's shadows when some combination of a hard stomp and Hammish's natural sickliness caused his shadow to rip right off. We got all panicky and told Hammish to stay where he was, so he didn't lose the shadow. He kept scrabblin at the ground, tryin to roll up his shadow before a truck on the interstate carried it off for good. We got it in a little roll which Hammish clung onto like he was drownin and that shadow was the only log in the lake. Then Douggy ran back to his daddy's garage and got the duct tape. We didn't know if that'd work or not, but duct tape seems to work pretty well for most things, except for taping ducts. Well, he ran right back and we duct taped Hammish's shadow right back on his feet and he went home good as new. Course, for the rest of his life, he had to wander around with duct tape around his heels and he had to be super careful when taking a shower so his shadow didn't slide down the drain. Eventually, he just stopped taking showers and opened a landfill. He ran that until '78 when he was eaten by a bear on a unicycle, but that's a different story. Incidentally, that bear went on to become the mayor of the next town over, but that is a different story altogether.
So there's this shadow standin in my shop, and I say to it, "Y'all want a donut? Maybe a bear claw?" We got this goth kid in town named Jared. He's the only goth kid I ever seen, and he's a good enough kid. But he loves him some bear claws. He didn't useta like bear claws very much, but that's all he orders when he comes in. I don't know if it's cause he's older and his taste has matured or if it's a goth thing, but this seemed like my chance to find out.
"Pat O'Neil?" ask the shadow in a voice like he's speakin to me through a tin cup telephone.
"Well, you are in Pat O'Neil's Body Shop, Refurbished Car Emporium and Donut Eatery," I says to him, "and I'm the only one here, so that must make me Pat O'Neil. What can I do ya for, friend?"
He looks around slowly and squeakily. It sounds like he's got an old weather vane in his pocket or somethin of the kind. Then, he looks right at me and says, "I must fight you."
I can tell ya, I was quite taken aback at this. Not at the fightin, I was in a number of tussles in my youth. I was surprised at the 'must', like it was his job or something. So I shot back at him, "You must, must you? And why is that?"
"Because that is my nature," he calmly explains.
"It's your nature to fight me?"
"And how long has this been your nature?"
"Since I began."
"So," I asked with logic and reason on my side, "what have you been doin since you began and now, if it wasn't fightin me?"
"I don't understand." He was beginning to twitch.
I decided it was best to begin at the beginning again. "You said it's in your nature to fight me, right?"
"And it's been that way your whole life, right?"
"But if it's your nature to fight me, and you haven't been fighting me, what have you been doing?"
"Walking," he admitted.
"Walking here, to fight you," he explained.
"And have you fought me yet?" I asked.
"No, but I must fight you! It is my nature to fight you!" He began yelling and flailing wildly and smoke started to come out of his ears.
"So, you been walkin all this time and you haven't fought me at all. Sounds to me like it's more your nature to walk than to fight me. You been doin it for so long and you haven't fought me once. Just by the percentages, it seems it's not in your nature to fight me, you follow?"
Then his head exploded. I ain't never seen nothin like it. I seen a lot of wild stuff in my time, I seen a bear become mayor, I seen Amelia Earhart become a giant, I even once saw a man eat a bowling ball for $50, but I ain't never seen no explodin head before. His head shot all over my shop and a shower of spark erupted from his neck, lookin like Vesuvius or somethin. His body stiffened up and fell over backwards like a 2x4 stood up on end. Then some sorta green liquid started leakin out of the neck and all over the tile.
Right then, Alistair and a couple other squimonk come runnin in, ready for action. They looked at the headless body in the middle of the shop, leakin goth goo on my floor, then they looked at me and Alistair asked, "What the heck happened here?"
I wasn't too sure myself, so I just decided to stick with the facts. "Head exploded," I explained.
"Could you be more specific?" He was still pretty geared up, but I didn't know what to say to get him to calm down.
"Well," I scratched the back of my head, tryin to sort it all out, "one minute he had a head, and the next he didn't. That's on account of it exploding."
"Ok, back up and start from the beginning," he asked. So I did, but he stopped me, "I know about me showing you how to shape the donut into a 2, I was there."
I tried explaining that was the beginning, but he had me skip ahead a little bit. While I was explainin what happened, some squimonk were lookin over the body and moppin up the floor. One of 'em, I think it was Victoria, shouted over to Alistair, "We can stand down, have a look at this."
We wandered over to the body and looked where Victoria was pointing. There, on the neck just below the ragged hole where the head used to be, were two letters, C and L.
"C.L?" I asked, "The only person I know with a C and an L is Charles Lindbergh. But why's he sendin somethin to fight me?" I was mighty confused.
Then a voice came out of the headless man's chest, makin me feel like that Ichabod Crane feller. "Because I think it's time to train you to fight ninjas," said Charles' voice.
I leaned down and spoke into the chest. "How's sendin an explodin goth into my shop gonna train me to fight ninjas?"
"It's not an exploding goth, it's a robotic ninja," came the voice, "I must have set the fighting level too low."
He went on to explain that, after my injury at the end of the NAMSU competition, he got worried that Clan Platypus might come and attempt to do me bodily harm. So, in the past couple of days, he devised a plan to send a series of robotic ninjas for me to fight so's I could learn how to defend myself. So, he's gonnna be sending robotic ninjas to fight with me at random intervals and he's gonna make them a little harder every time, so I can get better.
"I'll try and do something about the logic circuit, too," he told me from the dead robotic ninja's chest, "I think you shorted it out and that's what made the head explode."
So, it looks like I'm gonna be learnin to fight ninjas for awhile here. Douggy and Alistair both said they'd give me tips and help me out, so that's nice.
Well, Happy New Year, readers and y'all be safe with your partyin and carryin on and whatnot. Thanks for makin 2008 a good year to write a lame blog.