Monday, February 16, 2009

Antarctic Volcano Base Assault Final Episode

In my experience, which I'll admit is small compared to someone like, say, the Pope or Superman or especially Superpope, when a talking penguin tells you to run, you do it. You don't wanna stand around deciding which way to run or stop to figure out how fast you should be runnin or wind speed or anything like that. When a penguin says run, you turn around and high tail it outta there. If you don't, one of two things may happen. First, you could be crushed in a flood of penguins who, until 3 seconds before, had formed one giant penguin. I suppose if you had yerself some sorta specialized surf board or somethin, you could prolly ride your way to freedom on the crest of that penguin wave, but, really, who carries around a surfboard in case they have to surf on penguins? And where would you get practice in a sport like that? I mean, it's not like penguin floods happen every day. I guess they might, but I never saw nothin on that there nature channel about penguin floods. Sure, they talked about puffin floods that once, and there was a kiwi flood or two, but I don't know if all small, flightless birds are prone to flooding. It's times like these I really wished I'd kept up in high school biology. I was prolly out galavantin around on "Animals that form potentially dangerous floods" day. The other thing you gotta look out for in this situation, immediately following the penguin flood, is a very angry ice giant queen rushing at you, trying to squish you and your friends like you was bugs on the sidewalk.

My advice, if you ever find yourself in this kinda pinch, is to run into a back hallway where the giantess can't fit in her giant form. I'm not sayin it's the only option or anything, but it did work for me. Of course, I am aware that what works for me ain't always gonna work for other people. Take Jared, for example. He worked for me for them three days or so, sweepin up and whatnot, before he was kidnapped, but that don't mean he's gonna work for you, especially if the position involves heavy lifting or not being kidnapped by ninjas. Those are two things Jared seems to be pretty bad at. Now, I'm not tryin to get down on Jared. It wasn't his fault he was kidnapped by ninjas. But, just to be fair, I've known a load of people in my life, and not a one of 'em was as bad at not getting kidnapped by ninjas as that Jared. In fact, I would go so far as to say that, out of everyone I've known in my life, Jared is the only one who wasn't at least an expert in not getting kidnapped by ninjas. If I were handin out PhDs in "Notgettinkidnappedbyninjology", Jared might be the only one who didn't get one. So, if you want to hire Jared, not that he'd necessarily work for you, make sure there aren't any kidnappin ninjas around that would interfere with his job. In fact, if you've got him fillin out an application, under the area that asks if you have anything that would prevent you from fulfilling your duties to their full potential, you may want to go ahead and add "especially getting kidnapped by ninjas" at the end of that thing, you know, just to cover your own butt.

Like I say, though, I don't wanna be too down on Jared. We ran our way though the hall, that doughy kid leadin the way, sweatin like a balloon filled with ice water in the middle of summer that's just been arrested for killin a drifter but didn't do it but can't say so because he was sleepin with another woman at the time and his wife is the cop interrogatin' him. I snuck a look behind me and saw that Amelia had taken back her human form in order to fit through the doorway and follow us. I was fairly well amazed that her fur turned into clothes when she changed shape. That would explain why all them old pictures of her show she's wearin the same thing. She was wearin them fancy '20s pants that were all big and poofy in the thigh area, like you was smugglin turkeys in your pockets. The drag on these pants must have been slowin her down because she was fallin behind us. It may also have been the wagon full of caged orphans she was pullin behind her, too. I don't know if she loses her strength in human form or what, and I wasn't about to test it, but she might. Or it may be that a giant red wagon with about 50 precariously balanced cages with cryin orphans on it is just sorta naturally tough to pull. I ain't never tried it, so, like I said, I can't give ya much detail as to why, but she was most definitely fallin behind us.

I turn back to see where I'm runnin just in time to see Jared, Douggy and the squimonk round the corner into the open back door of the Build-a-Bear workshop. I get through the opening and they slam the door behind me. We begin looking frantically around for anything to bar that door closed, but the only thing we can see that's heavy enough is the stuffing machine, but that's bolted to the floor and I didn't bring my wrenches with me. As we're lookin around, Amelia bangs open the door, her eyes glowin red and she's all huffin and puffin like the big bad wolf and we're the pigs. That reminds me, I gotta start workin out some.

It looks like we're trapped. on the one side is Amelia Earhart, and she's startin to grow again. On the other, the doors and windows are stopped up with a bunch of psycho penguins that we'd angered earlier.

Amelia starts chanting my name, "Paaaaaat O'Neeeeeiiiiiilllll!!!! PaaaaAAAAAATTTT! OOOOOOOOOO'NEEEEEEEEIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLL!" Her voice is gettin lower and louder as she grows. As her head starts to hit the ceiling and her lower tusks are becoming visible, she grabs an orphan cage off the wagon, rips it open and starts liking the orphan's face, making horrible, disgusting noises like a catfish eating peanut butter.

Just then, I hear Jared behind me yell, "Oh HELL no!" I turn around to see him running at, and then straight through, the wall of penguins. They scatter every which way, yellin "MY EGG!!" And struggling to turn themselves towards anyone's personal bits. Now that we have an exit, we all follow suit and run through the Jared shaped hole in the penguin wall.

We're about to pass the jewelery store, you know, that one they have in every mall that you always think is going out of business because you never see any customers in there and you've never heard of anyone who ever shopped there, but, sure enough, every time you go to the mall, they're still there. The employees are wearin ties and just leanin on the display cases, lookin like their souls are dying one failed day at a time and there's always one just comin back from Subway. You know the store. So, we're just about to pass that and avoid making eye contact with the workers when we hear a roar like a thousand tigers behind us and the penguin wall shatters. It's like if the Kool-Aid man were 30 feet tall, covered in white, shaggy hair and had a horrendous under bite and the wall he burst though was not made of brick but was instead made of penguins. Also, if he didn't yell "Oh Yeah!" as he burst through the wall but instead yelled "DEATH TO PAT O'NEIL!" And instead of Kool-Aid, he had a crying orphan in his hand. And, needless to say, it wasn't a happy occasion, but was terrifyin. That'd be exactly what it was like because that's exactly what it was like.

Without thinkin, we turn to run towards the pillow room. I can see Gunther in there wavin us in. He's got the whole room stocked with grenades, dynamite, wooded barrels stamped 'TNT' that I thought only existed in cartoons and little blocks of some sorta clay. He yells, "Hurry!" as I hear from behind me, "PAT WOAH!! WOOOOAH!"

I turn around to see Ice Giantess Amelia sliding this way and that on the stuffed penguins. They're acting as a set of marbles under her feet. She's sliding all over the floor, flailing wildly and heading towards us like a furry freight engine with a rocket on the back. We're headed straight for the pillow door when Gunther yells, "LEFT!"

We all dive left. The 30 foot tall muppet missed us by mere nanometers and crashed into the pillow room face first, crumpling on impact. There was a sort of wet crunch as her face impacted with the wall and she went limp.

I stood breathing for a moment, unable to believe we'd made it. Then we all started whooping. When we'd all finished, I turned to Gunther, who hadn't budged an inch. There were tears in his eyes.

"What's the matter, Gunther?" I asked, "We did it."

He sniffled. "Not yet, we didn't."

"Whaddya mean?" Everything got real quiet. Even the crazy penguins were silent.

"I didn't think she would knock herself out. I thought I'd have to trap her in this room. I...I didn't prepare." He was openly weeping now. "I...I had a minute here waiting for you. I...I could have prepared...I could have grabbed some string or something....I....didn't...I DIDN'T KNOW!!!" He fell to his knees and cradled his head in his flippers.

Douggy cut in, "Gunther. What didn't you know? What can we do?"

He composed himself some. "I thought I'd have to trap her and this door only latches from the inside, so I rigged the explosives to be set off from inside the room. I was ready to die if I had to, but now...I'm scared."

The reality of the situation came on me. "Don't worry," I tried to sound brave, "We'll just run to the sporting good store and get you some string. We can do it, we'll be right back!"

I turned to run to the store when the laughter started. "Too late," said Gunther. I was about to ask him why when the shaggy rug of a giantess hauled herself to her feet yelling, "Death to Pat O'Neil!!!"

Under her yelling, I heard Gunther say, "Goodbye." Then the door clang shut and we heard the latch slam home. Then, there was a horrible roaring that shook the mall to the foundations. It was cut off in mid breath by the explosion. The door to the pillow room dented out and smoked. Then, there was silence.

As we left through the back entrance into the Antarctic morning, the penguins were just beginning their celebration of freedom and they were all making posters of Gunther. They invited us to stay, but we had to get home and take Brenda out of hibernation.

On the zeppelin ride home, Alistair and I were talking about Gunther and his sacrifice. I mentioned that is was sad, but somehow warming that his last word telling us goodbye but Alistair responded, "That wasn't his last word?"

"What?" I was shocked. "It was. After he said it, he closed the door and there was the explosion."

"You and your terrible hearing," he chided. "He said something just before the explosion. I heard it through the door."

"Oh, yeah?" I was curious. "What were his last words then?"

"You're not gonna like it."

"It's all right. I feel like I want to know, since he sacrificed himself for us and all."

"Ok," he said, "if you're sure."

"I am."

"His last words were, 'See the world in...' Oh, I get it! You bas!"


Anonymous said...

"Oh, I get it! You bas!"... I don't comprehend. What's a 'bas'?

Pat O'Neil said...

It's only half a word. The other half, I assume, is 'tard'.

Anonymous said...

I'd recommend writing it as "You bas-" in that case. That might be clearer.

gandy said...

Nyah hah, I was wondering if he would ever get it.

And, surprisingly enough, I do know the store.