I have officially (almost) relocated to my new digs, far from the Wilds of Oklahoma, and right smack into what you might call the Wilds of Urban Oklahoma. And the big news is…? My Freak Magnet is alive and kicking. Gus the Football-Playing Disney Mule didn’t kick like my little ‘ol magnet is kickin’ these days. Ready for the update? Read on, my fine friends. Read on.
A Trip to the Mall
I’d been here about a week when the urge to see a movie came upon me. Lamentably, I selected that puddle of cinematic ass juice called Transformers: Dark of the Moon, but that’s another tale for another time. The closest theater showing the thing was inside the nearby megamall. I got there too early, due to one of Fandango’s more playful attempts at providing showtimes, and, finding myself with time to kill, went on a wander about the place; three full stories of gaudy commerce.
On the second floor, I rounded a corner just as a quintet of teen- or twenty-something Okie Urban Oddities exploded from the interior of some sort of sports-wear hut. And I mean exploded. They were heading somewhere with a sense of purpose, and I’m betting it wasn’t the library. And no matter their destination, they looked silly as shit. They were all tall and gangly, like junior varsity basketball players. Each wore knee-length NBA shorts, and baggy NBA jerseys with words like Thunder and Heat and Knicks stenciled on them. White unlaced leather high-tops completed their ensembles, except for one other item. All five sported huge—huge—white straw cowboy hats, with brims so wide you could farm mushrooms under them.
And they ran into me. They ran into me, onto me, and around me, each reeking worse than the next of Axe body wash and unleavened testosterone.
They passed as quickly as they arrived, like a bony storm front, and I was willing to let their rudeness slide until the last to go turned and said, “Whoa, watch it there, big ‘un.” His tone suggested he’d routinely employed the exact same sentence at other points over his life’s short journey, most probably in a pasture.
“You ran into me,” I said, coming to a standstill and squinting at them, mostly because their outfits demanded squinting.
There passed about six seconds of guys-sizing-up-other-guys behavior, and I could see in their eyes and body language that we were sharing a similar pattern of thoughts. To wit: they wanted to kick the shit out of me, but even though there were five of them, I was bigger than any two put together, and none of them had the sack to wade into such a melee, one where the outcome was sure to be little better than ten-to-six and pick ‘em. So, after a few shared glances, they took the prudent course and made to depart. But not before one of them, I couldn’t say which, offered some humorous take on the situation, at a quiet, passive-aggressive volume, that set a couple of his pals to giggling.
Grumbling, decided to press my advantage.
“Hey!” I barked.
They stopped in an ungainly clump and turned back to look at me.
“Are you little faggots all on the same dance team or something?”
Not among my better rejoinders, I know, and not the nicest choice of words, but what made it a moment of sheer perfection was that, just as I said it, three very pretty young girls strolled by, heard me, saw them, and burst into that brand of high-pitched, mocking laughter that only teenaged girls can produce.
As one of the boys actually blushed, all five beat feet in the opposite direction, toward a place, I am sure, where they hoped to be free of cranky old fat men and mean girls with smooth, tanned legs.
And then I was punished for my happiness by The Transformers. Fuck.
I frequent pawn shops. They make me smile most largely. And it’s not all rusty power tools and golf clubs. either. You really never know what you might unearth there next. Just recently, for example, I purchased a fine family of Filipino day-laborers, for—seriously—like half the price of a Chinese set. OK, kidding aside, pawn shops are a positive trove of goodies. Wish the same could be said for some of the people who dawdle about them.
There’s a nifty little locally-owned shop a mile or so from my new digs. They had a sign in the window advertising DVDs for two bucks each. Couldn’t pass that up, so I popped in for a closer gander. After selected five or six flicker-shows for my later popcorn pleasure, I circumnavigated the store, scrutinizing the stuff that was up for grabs. And—Holy Hannah—there it was. A knock-off of da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” framed in bright yellow and pink Neon! Wicked pissah! I immediately coveted it, with a covetousness I usually reserve for ’74 Cadillacs, and girls in Catholic-school skirts.
Oh, but then…tragedy. The shop wanted $375 dollars for it! Fuck me! Bunch of greedy cocksuckers! And thus was I forced to do nothing but stare longingly at it, thinking of how my new walls might have been so honored by it’s dangling from one of them.
And then, a voice from behind me, low and elderly: “That’s blasphemy.”
He was about five feet tall, neat and tidy, and well into advanced years. He frowned with ease, like the frown had become, over the years of his intense religiosity, the default position of his facial muscles. One could imagine him wearing the same expression while he gnawed the heads off Easter chicks.
I didn’t like looking at him. First, because I was afraid he was going to keep on about “blasphemy” and all that shit, Second, because, despite his spick and span appearance, he smelled really bad, and Third, because—and this is so fucked up—his tongue was purple. I don’t mean a little bit purpleish, man. I mean PURPLE. Like a chow’s tongue. Merry-Pranksters purple. Been-goin’-down-on-Violet-Beauregarde purple.
My eyeballs leaped from my head and made like Superballs all over the tile. I guess the old guy thought I was reacting to his “blasphemy” remark, and thus somehow felt emboldened to gimme another dose of Jesus.
“What’s wrong with this country.” He poked a finger at the painting. “Disregarding the Shepherd. Making a mockery of Our Savior.”
I hate it when religious people speak in capital letters.
“He Died for Our Sins,” the old gent intoned, his B.O. clouding around us like a swarm of no-see-ums, his purple tongue dragging across his dry lips.
“Yeah?” I said, kind of loudly, too, I guess. “And then he came back to life three days later. Big fuckin’ deal.”
His eyes went all funny, like I’d maybe stuck my dick in his ear and given it a good jiggle.
“Also,” I continued, as he sort of silently worked his mouth and egregiously exhibited the freaky fucking purple thing inside it, “keep your religion to yourself.”
I started toward the counter with my movies.
“And,” I snapped, now really pissed off, for reasons I still don’t understand, “take a fucking shower. You smell like an unlaundered cunt.”
And I went home. And I popped in a DVD. I’d never seen it before. It was Tron: Legacy.
Punished again. Fuck.