Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Gil and Cal Talk Sports and Entertainment

Gil: Hey Cal, what’s up? Watching SportsCenter?
Cal: Yeah. I wanted to see the highlights from the Sox game last night.
Gil: Cool. How many Brett Favre stories have they run so far?
Cal: A lot. Apparently Favre accidentally mixed his colors with his whites last night and now his undershirts are all pink.
Gil: Man, I’m so sick of this whole saga. I’d rather hear a million more stories about Barbaro dying.
Cal: Who’s Barbaro?
Gil: You know, Barbaro the horse.
Cal: Oh. Is he related to Barbaro Seville?
Gil: Um, no. First of all, Barbaro is dead. Second, it’s not Barbaro Seville, it’s The Barber OF Seville. And that’s not a person, or even a horse, it’s an opera.
Cal: Oh yeah, an opera horse. I know I’ve heard that term before.
Gil: Ugh. It’s not “opera horse” it’s “opera house.”
Cal: Ohhhhhhhh. That makes more sense. I always pictured Mr. Ed singing Inflator Mouse. Always made me laugh, a horse singing a song about a giant mouse.
Gil: Cal, I don’t even know where to start with that one.
Cal: What do you mean?
Gil: You really want to get into it?
Cal: Yeah, let’s get into it, Mr. Knowitall. I wanna get into it. Let’s get right into it. RIGHT. INTO. IT. You and me. Into it.
Gil: Are you through?
Cal: Yes.
Gil: OK, first of all, Mr. Ed isn’t real.
Cal: Yes he is, I watch his show on TV Land all the time.
Gil: Well, yeah, there’s a real horse in the show, but he can’t really talk.
Cal: But you can see his lips move!
Gil: Supposedly they jammed a carrot up his ass to make his lips move like that.
Cal: Wow, how much do you think he got paid?
Gil: Mr. Ed? Pretty sure nothing.
Cal: No, the guy whose job it was to stick the carrot up Mr. Ed’s ass.
Gil: I have no idea, Cal. Not much.
Cal: Yeah, you’re right, they probably just had an intern do it. Can you imagine filling out your intern diary if that was your summer job? “Day 1. Shoved a carrot up Mr. Ed’s ass. Day 2. Shoved a carrot up Mr. Ed’s ass. Day 3. Tried to shove a carrot up Mr. Ed’s ass but Mr. Ed kicked me in the face.”
Gil: I doubt they had interns on the Mr. Ed show, Cal. So anyway, back to the opera thing—
Cal: Wait, I just thought of something. Do you think they used the same carrot every day? I mean, why waste a good carrot if it’s just going in his ass?
Gil: I would be very surprised if they didn’t throw it away immediately after using it. So Die Fledermaus—
Cal: Hey Gil?
Gil: Ugh. Yes, Cal?
Cal: Do you think Mr. Ed had really good eyesight?
Gil: Goodbye Cal.
Cal: OK, I’ll look it up.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Under My Skin

The last thing I remember was her crying.

I had shown her parts of myself no one had ever seen, both literally and figuratively. But man, I went too damn far. I offered her a piece of gum, but she dismissed it as an empty gesture. Of course she did. I make her cry and my only condolence is a piece of Double Bubble. I am an idiot. Well, I WAS an idiot. I don’t know if you can still be characterized as an idiot when you’re dead. I may have been an idiot when I was alive, but you get to start fresh when you die, right?

So here’s how it happened.

I met this girl in the grocery store. In the grocery store! I mean, how often does that shit happen? It’s the kind of scenario that goes down so infrequently that desperate, aging women use it as an excuse for online dating: “I have no choice. Where am I going to meet someone, the grocery store?” Well I did just that. I was standing there, she walked up to me, checked out a couple of my friends and before I knew it she swept me off my feet and we were on our way back to her place.

Now, before I continue, let me just explain something. I am NOT nuts. I’m not impulsive. I’ve always considered myself very grounded, with an attitude firmly rooted in common sense. But there was just something about this girl. I’d seen hundreds of them come and go, but no one looked at me quite like her. And I knew—I just KNEW—I was part of her plan. Whatever that plan was.

So anyway, we got home and I sat playfully on the counter while she went about her business. I waited anxiously in the kitchen as she ran back outside to grab something from her car. I remember my mind racing through attractive thoughts. Maybe she bought some kind of sexy outfit that day and she was getting it from the car to model it for me.

I heard the car door slam and my heart leapt. Maybe even skipped a beat. Whatever it was, my heart did something it didn’t normally do. I felt like I needed a drink of water or a deep breath. I took the latter.

But what I should have taken was the 326 back to the grocery store. When she re-entered the kitchen, she looked no longer like the curious girl I met just minutes ago. She looked more like a woman on a mission. From the purposeful ponytail on her head to the shimmering blade in her right hand.

I didn’t fight the thoughts. This was the end. And it’s a good thing I didn’t fight those thoughts. Because before I could think one more, she plunged her newly purchased knife inside, nearly bisecting me. With a ruthlessly quick movement, she brought the knife up and let it fall with her weight behind it, finishing the job.

Looking up as the last drops of life left me, I noticed her eyes. Tears filled him, making her look, well, not vulnerable, but human again. Maybe that movement wasn’t as cold and heartless as I thought.

And that’s the last thing I saw before dying.

I remember hearing a lot of my friends talk about what happens when you die. One of my friends used to say that you never really die, you just come back as the thing you most wanted to be in your previous life. I think he was full of shit. But if he was right, I’m definitely coming back as a hawk or a coyote, or something that runs around free of any concern other than the location of its next meal. I don’t know for sure, but whatever I choose, I’m sure as hell not going to be an onion again.