Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What's in the hatch

I ain't one to tell people what to do. I figure, you do what you're gonna do and I'll do what I'm gonna do and, as long as we ain't gettin in each other's way, we'll all be pretty happy. I used to feel that way about most intoxicants, too. I reckoned that, as long as people was doin it in their homes, and it didn't involve them comin into my home to relieve me of my teevee or whatnot, they could go on and get down with they bad selves. Being on a world surrounded by meth addicts changed my mind about that real quick. Them people didn't seem to have a concept of limits. Runnin through the destruction they'd wrought on their own world, followin a hunched over shadow, I got to see a lot of weird stuff. Here's what I've gathered of Methworld societal rules from my adventures here so far:

#1) No one here owns shirts with sleeves. I seen a couple of stands back round the way that was sellin shirts, mostly for Lynard Skynard and somethin called Slipknot, and every one of em had sleeves attached. Despite that, all the people I seen sittin around jungle fires around here, not a single one was wearin a shirt but it had the sleeves cut out. Also, a surprisin number of people go topless.

#2) Teeth don't seem to make much of a difference in quality of life here. There's people walkin around here with any number of teeth you could think of. The most common number of teeth seems to be right between zero and one, though I did see a guy guardin a pile of teeth big as Aunt Ruth's old woman cleavage. He was holdin a garden rake.

#3) The mullet is the only acceptable hairstyle on this world, and I ain't seen one person I would peg for a hockey or soccer player. It also looks to me that the large or colored mullet is a sign of dominance in this society, like havin a big, red butt marks leadership in baboon society.

#4) Big, red butts mark leadership in this society as well. Don't ask me how I know, I just do, and I wish I didn't.

#5) Every vehicle is, apparently, required to have a big air intake blower and giant tires on it somewhere.

#6) Meth makes you think there's something crawlin on you. I only know that from all the people rollin on the ground, scratchin at themselves yellin, "Get 'em off me!"

Tell ya the truth, under all the scared, I felt sorry for those people. It was like if you was bein attacked by a giant ball of wolves that had their tails tied together and findin out, after you was too tired to fight anymore, that there was a cute little big-eyed bunny at its heart, and that bunny wasn't usin mind control to make the wolves do its evil bidding, like Frank's bunny does.

That ain't to say I was about to go out into the explosions and start givin out hugs like it was Halloween and all the meth zombies was dressed like princesses. Just cause I feel sorry for them doesn't mean I've grown myself a whole new beard made outta stupid. Mostly because, on top of the bunny, there was still a big ball of wolves. And them wolves wasn't gettin any less ferocious as I followed this lady or feller through the fire and pain on that world.

I don't know how long we was walkin, but it was pretty long, I tell ya. It's hard to figure time when the sun doesn't come up and the stars don't turn. We didn't even stop to eat or nothin, which I thought was pretty rude. Any time I've lead someone through an alien world without telling them anything, I always make sure to pack them a sandwich or, if I ain't got no bread, at least a banana and a bag of cereal. By the time we got to the steel door set in the ground where I was told, "Go down the stairs, and watch your head," my dogs was barkin and my stomach was rumblin like two giants was smoothin out boulders by rubbin em together.

I was about to turn and ask my guide if there was food down there when the metal door slammed behind me and there was a sound like a bolt slammin home. I was standin in pitch dark on some hard dark stairs, just waitin for somethin to happen when, in fron of me in the dark, I heard a gruff man's voice sayin, "You're in trouble now, Pat O'Neil."

I went wide eyed and huddled up near the door, thinkin maybe they wouldn't see me. Ahead in the darkness, a door opened and spilled light across the hall. Whoever had spoken was still mumblin and looked to be walking around in a room just off the hallway. They didn't seem to see me, which was a bonus right then. Then he spoke again, "Pat O'Neil, when I get through with you, you're gonna be wearin your feet as a hat and walkin around on your hands."

Then another voice, very similar to the first, cut in. "Oh yeah? I got this Uncle Franky that went through somethin very similar..."

"Can it," said the first voice, "and explain to me why you ate the bacon you knew I was savin."

"Gee, Pat," said the second, "I sure am sorry 'bout that, but it ain't my fault. You see, I was dead asleep there this afternoon and I started havin this weird dream. I dreamt I was home, but it wasn't my home. There was all sortsa machines there that flew around and poked people in the eye. Well, I just wasn't gonna take bein poked in the eye by nothin, so I started grabbin at em and smashin em together and swingin em around. I opened my eyes mid dream and saw I was really in the kitchen and, lo and behold, instead of smashin a bunch of eye pokin machines, I'd made myself a BLT sandwich in my sleep. You know I can't sit there and let a perfectly good BLT go to waste, so I ate it. You woulda done the same, I know you would."

"Yeah," acquiesced the first voice, "I would. Boy do you know me."

"Almost as well as I know myself," the second voice shot back. They had a big laugh over that.
Me, I was still sittin there with my feet hurtin and my stomach growlin. You know how sometimes, when you're in the worst situation, your nose itches? Like you're sittin there in the dentists chair, and he's drillin a hole in your tooth the size of Montana and you know that drill's only an inch or so from your brain, and your nose starts itchin. You try to hold on, but it's tough. Well, as I discovered in a pretty inopportune moment, flatulence can be a little like that. Except there's no dentist and you're not in a chair. Instead, you're tryin to press yourself against a locked metal door at the top of a staircase hard enough that you can just push right through the metal and there's two strangers down the hall sayin crazy things like, "Did you hear that?" and "Sounds like we caught another one" and, finally, "Let's go check it out."

Right then, I thought of this space travel documentary I'd read one time. It was something about a guide for hitchhikers in space or some such thing. It don't really matter what the name was. All that really matters is that, in that book, there's this thing called the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal and, if you don't look at it, it can't see you. It couldn't hurt, I thought. I mean, if they can see me, it's not like they're gonna kill me MORE. So I turned and pressed my face against that metal door and wedged it up there as far as I could get it. I was determined to keep it there. After the lights came on, I tried pressin in farther, even though it made my fillins hurt.

I knew the jig was up when I felt the tap on my shoulder and heard them say, "Pat, is that you?"

"No," I said, definitively. That's what I tried to say, anyway, but it came out soundin more like "SMMMPHN"

"We ain't gonna hurt you, Pat," said the first voice, "just turn around."

And when I did, I was so surprised, I let one rip again. For a second there, I thought I might have laid an easter egg, but, thankfully, it turns out I didn't

"I know what you're gonna say," said the man with the long white beard standing in front of me.

"Oh yeah?" I sat, still stunned. "What's that?"

He replied, "You're gonna say, 'What on God's formerly green but now scorched black as the business end of a leopard is goin on here, and are you gonna finish that sandwich?' The answers are, come into the kitchen and yes, yes you can."

"" I couldn't get the words to come out of my head.

"Because I said the same thing."

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