Circle of Life

Under a punishing sun in the midst of Kenya’s vast grasslands, a zebra’s luck is running out. It has attracted the attention of three starving hyenas. The zebra is ahead of its spotted pursuers but the predators are gaining on their striped prey.

Out of the thirty zebras drinking and bathing at the water hole, this one drew the short end of the straw. It ran left when the other zebras went right. The wrong choice.

Were it not for the cut on its left thigh, this zebra could have escaped its drooling hunters by now. At top speeds, zebras leave hyenas in the dust. These hyenas are running faster than hyenas ought to. These starving pups are desperate for a meal. This zebra cannot be allowed to escape like the others.

But it seems that may happen. The zebra is beginning to pull away. The hungry hyenas are starting to tire. Days of hunting without a kill has weakened them. Their legs give way beneath them. Fortune is on the zebra’s side for today.

The hyenas growl and whimper at one another as yet another zebra gets away. The two bigger hyenas eye down their younger brother. The small one bares its yellow teeth and barks. It scurries away with its tail beneath its legs. Its elder brothers keep close.

As the calls of the hyenas grow silent, the zebra slows. The endorphins fueling its strength run out. The zebra moves aimlessly until it finds shade underneath a tree. The cool spot under the branches and leaves of the Acacia tree is a rare place of comfort in the Kenyan grasslands. The zebra lies down, exhausted.

Its comfort ends when the whooping calls of the hyenas return. The calls are louder and more frantic. A clan of twenty hyenas is converging on the zebra.

The hyenas fight with one another, snapping and cackling. One hyena bites the ear of its brother. They each want to be the first one to satisfy their hunger.

The hyenas are like a swarm of hornets. They’re biting, ripping at the zebra before it can make a sound. To the human eye, the zebra appears to be calm and at peace as though it has accepted its fate. But death for this zebra is as agonizing and painful as death can be.

The calm that human observers claim to see is the zebra’s body going into shock. The zebra feels each rip and tear of its flesh and bone as the hyenas wrench it open and pull out its organs. Its senses dull as the blood seeps out of it. Its vision will blur and its hearing will lessen, but its pain receptors stay intact until its last heartbeat. If the zebra is fortunate, it may die a quick death. An overeager hyena could bite down on its heart and ends its misery.

The sight of hyenas feasting on zebras is distressing for human on-lookers, but this is what becomes of animals on the losing end of the circle of life.

 

The Danger

There comes a moment in a young boy’s life where the safety net of childhood is ripped away from him. He is now to be held responsible for his actions. He is no little boy anymore. He is to be treated like any other man. I’ve had several of those moments. The first I can recall occurred on a late night walk when I was fifteen.

I’m one of those types who walks late at night to clear their head. It drives my poor mother nuts but it has to be done. I’ve tried to remember just when I started this habit of mine, but the memory has been lost. I’d walk miles and end up in places I didn’t expect to. On a rare occasion, I could end up lost for hours. It was one of those nights that I had my moment.

Being out late at night is a dangerous situation to be in. That’s when all the creeps and freaks are out and about. It never deterred me. I prepared myself before I headed out. I was a cautious teenager. I paid complete attention to my surroundings and walked with one ear phone out. I kept only five dollars in my wallet and wore my most beaten up shoes. Being lost late at night compounded the danger.

The freaks could smell fear. If they saw weakness in your steps and poise, that could be it.

That night I found myself in a cul-de-sac in the town over from mine. I had walked in much worse towns than that one. But still I kept my wits about me. Even nice towns had their own batch of misfits looking for any excuse to hurt someone. I knew my way back if I could find the main street. I just needed someone to point me in the right direction. It had to be past midnight.

Then I heard a jogger’s foot steps. A middle-aged woman in a blue track suit was jogging down the side walk I was on. She had no head phones in.

I was so relieved by her presence. Finally a friendly face in the dark. She could help me. I called out to her.

“Excuse me. I’m lost. Do you know how to get to main street from here?”

Her jog sped up into a sprint. She bolted to the other side of the street and jetted away.

I eventually found my way back home. But I was puzzled by her behavior.

Why had she run away so quickly? What was she so afraid of? Was it me? I was a kid. Why run away from a kid?

But in her eyes, I was not a kid. I was the danger in the night.

I would not stand for this. It had to be reversed. I needed to go back to being seen as an innocent kid. If I had been ten, she would have stopped to help me. Maybe she would have scolded me for making my mother worry. It had to return.

But the process could not be stopped. When time took my cute face and fragile frame, it gave me something else. I don’t know what it is, but now I have to come love it. I don’t need to look over my shoulder. I can wear any shoes that I want. I can throw caution into the wind. I do not fear the creeps and freaks any more.

Because I am them and they are me.

Oh Blue

Time is no ally to man.

A young couple in Africa thought it was on their side. They vowed to make their flesh one because they saw a future together. All they had was time a head of them.

But time was no friend of theirs. It beat down on them as they raised their four children. In only forty years, they went from chasing their little ones in their home garden to barely being able to go down the stairs without help.

The couple’s bones became feeble. Walking became too much for the father. He was reduced to a wheelchair. Time took the mother’s eyes next. There was not a thing the doctor could do as the black spots in her eyes grew bigger.

Daily activities like washing the dishes or even bathing themselves became an impossible task. They had only one saving grace, their son Blue.

Blue was the eldest of the old couple’s four children. A tough man that hid a jovial attitude behind his imposing figure. A church-going man that was often found in a suit and tie even when the sun was out. He was known for his tight hug that could put people at ease and his bright smile that people couldn’t help but return.

The couple’s other children had families of their own to look after, but Blue made time for his parents.

When his mother went blind, Blue bought groceries and cooked for her. His mother taste-tested his creations. She gave him a nudge in the right direction if he strayed too far from her recipe.

When his father became too weak to walk, Blue took care of the house for him. He cut the grass and fixed up the roof. His father refused to sit aside as Blue did all the work. He handed Blue the tools and tried to steady the ladder when he had the strength to.

Blue helped his father into the bathtub at night. And chose the clothes for his mother to wear the night before. All of this he did not because he had to. But because he wanted to.

He was their son. This was the least he could do.

Time took another thing from the old couple.

A son. Blue’s younger brother. He had only turned thirty-seven a few months before. He was far too young, but that was all that time he got.

Blue was the one who had to break the news to his parents. He and his father spent the better part of a week trying to calm his mother down.

The rest of the old couple’s children returned back home. A funeral was prepared. Blue was placed in charge of arrangements. This he had to do not because he wanted to but because he had to.

He chose the best place for the wake. It happened to be the same place Blue’s grandfather’s wake had taken place in, many years before.

Back then Blue’s father had to drag him into the room to pay his respects. Blue was only ten at the time He had never seen death before. But there it was in the middle of everyone. The old man who had told Blue to stay out of trouble and ruffled his hair laid cold in a casket.

Blue’s father

That day stayed with Blue. He never forgot what his grandfather’s face looked like on the day. The old man had had a permanent wide smile on his face.Blue and Blue’s father inherited that from him. But on that day, there was no smile on the old man’s face. And there never would be again.

Blue had made arrangements for everyone else but himself when it came to his brother’s wake. He had let his sisters take his car with his parents. There was not enough room in the car for all of them and Blue. He had to call an old friend to drive him.

His pal was on his way to the wake anyhow so it was the best move. Blue hadn’t seen his friend since high school. His old pal was only in town because of the wake. The two friends caught up on everything that had happened.

Blue’s pal told him all about the accounting firm he worked for in Nigeria. Blue had never been to Nigeria and that set off another discussion on how the weather was. They eventually turned the conversation around Blue’s brother.

Blue asked his friend if he remembered that time he and his brother got into a fight. His friend told him it had been too long. So Blue told him all about he and his brother’s fight.

His brother had been talking a bunch of crap to some older boys at the school. He knew they couldn’t touch him during school hours since he was so much younger than them. But he never expected them to be waiting for him as he walked home with Blue.

Blue’s brother had jumped behind him as soon as he saw the boys. The older boys told Blue to step out of the way so they could give his brother the beating he deserved. Then Blue decked one of the boys in the mouth.

His friend piped in that he remembered now. He had joined in! And they all got their asses kicked very badly. He told Blue that his brother had been a good man.

There came a curve in the road. On the side of the road was a yellow sign that read slow down. Blue’s friend was too engaged in conversation to notice.

A tractor trailer was coming down the other side. The driver honked his horn. Blue’s pal panicked! He pressed down on the gas pedal instead of the brake! The driver of the trailer swerved away to try and save their lives.

But Blue’s pal swerved too.

Only a couple weeks after losing one son, the old couple lost another.

For the rest of their days, they waited for their own time to run out so they could see their Blue one more time.

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The Great Bunny Robbery: Episode Bun

And now the time has come for a story about friendship, bunnies, and the nature of man.

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And now the time has come for a story about friendship, bunnies, and the nature of man.

In South Jersey, there was a town called Eggy Township. It was as about as South Jersey as any town could be. The locals were Philadelphia sports fans and spent as much time denying the existence of Central Jersey as politicians did the existence of global warming. It was close enough to the beach that people said they cared about the on-going destruction of the shoreline, but not close enough for any of the residents to do anything about it.

There were many houses in Eggy Township. 1,269 to be exact. One of these houses had a hockey rink in the back. It was guarded by a clinically depressed lawn gnome and a cat that ran at the first sign of danger. Far around that house was a scary dark forest with critters that would freak out even the most hardened man. Inside the house lived the Tail family.

The Tail Family were a family of four, Mama Tail, Papa Tail, and two children. In the basement of the home lived their youngest child, a boy by the name of Reese Tail.

A slim young man with the spirit of stage-dives, kindness and punk in his heart. He was so tall that if he stood next to Yao Ming, he wouldn’t look that tall because he wasn’t super tall. He had the hair of an angel if angels existed. It was beautifully cut every Tuesday night by an expert team of South Jersey barbers. South Jersey barbers were world renowned for their hair cutting techniques. Reese also had a neck stronger than a young giraffe frolicking around in the Serengetti. Some might say he was the most beautiful man in the world.

Okay not some. Only one person in the world really believed he was that beautiful. And that was his fiancé/love rival/wife to be/confidant/financial partner/co-bun owner, Karyn. Reese and Karyn’s features complimented each other. Whereas Reese’s neck was stronger than a giraffe’s, Karyn had ankles of steel. Karyn had as much punk in her heart as Reese did. The color of her hair changed with the seasons. Now it was a blackish brown. Some might call it auburn. I wouldn’t.

Many of their friends speculated that Karyn would win in a fight between the two of them. Reese was favored by a small amount because he was slippery sort of guy. He’d slip his way in and out of holds. But the majority believed Karyn would whup his ass. She had a lot of tattoos and tattoos made a person tough.

Karyn was quite the tattoo enthusiast. She had tattoos of song lyrics and concert tickets. She had a glow-in-the-dark tattoo on the back of her neck. On her left elbow was her scratch-and-sniff tattoo that smelled like popcorn. Karyn loved each of her tattoos but she loved one of them the most. Her tattoo of her two adorable bunnies of the back of her left hand. This woman loved her two buns, Tempter and Siesta.

Reese was not on Karyn’s level when it came to tattoos. He had only one starter tattoo on the back of his leg. It was a disturbingly high detailed one of a rhino giving birth to Jim Carey inspired by the scene from Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. It is said by those in the know that his tattoo artist still sees that tattoo in his nightmares to this very day.

The family home’s basement was where the two resided. One could visit that basement many times and make a new discovery. Reese’s father had not a clue what lay in every nook and cranny and he had built it himself. The basement had taken on a life of its own in the years before Reese and Karyn transformed the place into their home. Voices could be heard inside the walls during the early hours of the day.

Around every corner of that basement was a picture of Jesus. If you headed down the staircase, there was the usual picture of a suffering white Jesus carrying the weight of the cross. In the corner to the right over the old Asteroid Arcade machine was a black Jesus smoking a cigar. No one knew where these pictures of Jesus came from. And they kept turning up. Each of them with tears in their eyes like they were weeping for all of humanity. In an effort to make the basement more homely, Reese and Karyn put couple pictures next to the weeping pictures of Jesus. It did not help.

Today they were saying goodbye to Reese’s great Kwame Darkwah. Kwame was as punk as they were but had no tattoos. Unless you counted the tattoo of darkness that nature had inked into his skin permanently. He was a quiet young man with the accent of his forefathers.

Kwame had come all the way down from the mythical land Central Jersey and slept over for the weekend. It had been a great time for all of them. They suffered through an old eighties horror movie that had no plot. They punked out at a hardcore concert. And then finally spent an evening contemplating whether or not Joe Dirt 2 would be worth a watch.

“Great time as always, Kwame.” said Reese.

“I hope I get to see you guys again before the wedding. How is the wedding planning going, Karyn? “Replied Kwame.

“It’s a lot of work. I can’t wait until this is over and we’re on our honey moon.” said Karyn.

“We’re traveling across the world in eight hours on a fighter jet. We’ll fly through the air at Mach Speed 2!” shouted Reese excitedly.

Kwame put his black hoodie on one arm at a time. He looked down at his cell phone and then at the two bunny cages. He and Tempter met eyes.

Tempter was a black Netherland Dwarf, the cuddliest of all bunnies in this universe. He wrinkled his cute little nose at Kwame. He seemed to speak to the young African man.

“Take me away from this place.” said Tempter with his eyes and body language.

Somehow Kwame understood the creature’s plea. Karyn and Reese didn’t notice a thing. They were too busy debating how fast the plane would have to travel to get them home and back in only eight hours. They were distracted, but Kwame needed them gone to make his move.

Tempter had to be set free from the shackles of his life. Kwame was not a religious man, but he looked to Jesus, Black Jesus in his time of need. He seemed to be the Jesus who got shit done. A miracle had to happen and it had to happen now. Tempter’s freedom depended on it.

“Reesey! Karyn! Bill’s here!” shouted down Mama Tail.

“Bill! I haven’t seen him in forever!” shouted Reese.

“I love Bill!” announced Karyn.

The two of them ran up the stairs! They tripped and pulled on each other as they made their way up. Each of them wanted to be first one to greet their very good pal, Bill.

“Thank you Black Jesus.” said Kwame.

Kwame knelled down and broke the shackles of oppression from Tempter’s cage. The bunny hopped out. He knew the drill. Freedom was at hand. The bunny wrinkled his nose.

“Thank you for freeing me. Now we are bun-buds. That bond is eternal.”

Kwame stuffed his bun bud into his hoodie. He grabbed a bunch of food pellets and shoved them in there too. He pressed his ear to the stairs. Bill, Mama Tail, Reese and Karyn were chit-chattering.

“At that speed, you guys would be liquefied!” explained Bill.

“Nu-uh!” said Reese with all the poise of a man who graduated college at the top of his class.

“Mach 3 ain’t no joke, buddy!” pressed Bill!

Their backs were to the basement door. Kwame poked it open. He became like a statue and moved only his feet. He tip-toed all the way to the front door. No one noticed a damn thing.

“We’re out of here, Tempter.” said Kwame into his hoodie.

“Where do you think you’re going?” asked Reese out of nowhere.

The jig was up. Kwame stopped in his tracks.

“You know the rules. Nobody leaves here without getting their hug.” said Reese.

Reese and his incessant need to show love for his friends had damned the bun buds. Reese started to come over. His arms raised in hug position. Kwame knew if that hug happened, Reese would feel the bun inside him. And then it’d be all over.

Kwame rattled his brains for a solution. But his brain failed him just like it did when he had to explain to his younger brother where babies came from.

He looked inside his hoodie and asked Tempter for advice. The two of them were in it together. If he went down, so did Tempter. Luckily the bunny had a plan. He blinked his little brown eyes and wriggled his pointy bunny ears.

“Take the hug. Be casual about it. I’ve got this.”

Kwame swung around.

“Reese, my very best good friend that I’ve known for so long! I LOVE YOU!” screamed Kwame.

And the two friends shared a passionate beautiful hug of friendship. You could tell it was a friendship hug because they patted each other’s back three times.

Kwame pulled away. Reese walked back to the kitchen, very satisfied. Kwame slid out the front door and sprinted like a maniac to his old Toyota Camry.

He took out his keys, started his car and got the fuck out of Eggy Township. Once the town was long behind them, Tempter hopped out of Kwame’s hoodie.

“Tempter, how’d we get away with that?”

Tempter replied with a wriggle of the ears, a wrinkle of the nose, and a blink of the eyes.

“Reese pats the upper shoulders when he hugs. So I hid in your lower back on top of your big buns. Could you please open the window?”

Kwame did. Tempter jumped close to the open window and felt the wind blow on his fur. He was free!

Meanwhile back at the house, Bill had left the building.

“Bill’s such a great guy.” said Mama Tail. Then she dove right into the nearest couch and went straight to sleep.

This left Reese and Karyn alone to contemplate on where to eat.

“We can get ice cream.” suggested Karyn.

“Nah. That cashier was a huge jerk to us last time.” said Reese.

“That was kinda your fault, babe.”

“I told him I wanted chocolate and watermelon. He came back with strawberry. I didn’t order no strawberry.”

“You didn’t have to throw it at him.”

“But it was very punk to do that.”

“It was very punk.”

“Let’s just go to Mega Double Super Wawa.”

“Cool. I’ll feed the buns and then we can go.”

Karyn opened the basement door.

“Nah babe. I took care of that while Kwame was here. The buns are fine.”

“Awesome!”

“Bet I can beat you to the car!”

Reese raced out the back door! Karyn was right after him.

“No fair! You got a head-start!”

Many hours later, the couple returned to the house with their goodies.

“Why does Mega Double Super Wawa have to close at 5?” complained Reese.

“At least Wawa Supreme was open.”

“Wawa Supreme doesn’t have the Mega Double Super Wawa chocolate milkshake. This milkshake Supreme isn’t cutting it.”

“You left the back door open, babe.” pointed out Karyn.

“Actually it was you cause you got left in the dust!” bragged Reese!

“You cheated.”

Reese shut the backdoor behind them. He peeked into the living room. The television was on, showing previews for a movie that was made to end the career of Kristen Stewart once and for all. His mother was sound asleep.

“Mama Tail’s out. We should try to keep it down. ”

“I’m beat. I think it’s time for some sleep-sleep.”

“I could go for some sleep-sleep too.”

“You can take a shower first. I’ll put the buns to sleep.”

Karyn walked down into the basement. Reese sipped a bit on his Wawa Supreme Milkshake. Then he threw it into the garbage. He opened his fridge and grabbed himself some apple juice. He went to his cupboard and picked out his favorite mug. He poured out half a mug of apple juice. He looked around for a straw. There weren’t any. He needed a straw if he wanted to truly enjoy this mug of apple juice. He opened up his garbage can. The Wawa Supreme Milkshake was there. It seemed to look back at him, asking to be accepted. Reese got the straw and left the milkshake to its grave. Reese washed the straw off in the sink. He placed it into his mug of apple juice. He placed his lips on the tip of the straw.

Karyn screamed. This was not your normal everyday scream of absolute terror. This was the sort of the scream that you didn’t forget because it scarred itself into your brain. Reese had been to hundreds of hardcore shows in his young life. He was usually right there in front next to the speaker. His ears had heard the loudest screams from grunge core metal bands. But none of those bands compared to the sheer magnitude of Karyn’s scream.

Reese stepped down into the basement. His fiancée was tearing it apart! Their bed was on its side. The television flipped over. Books and records flew past Reese’s head.

“What’s going on?” asked Reese.

“Tempter got out of his cage! I can’t find him!”

Reese joined her in her futile task of searching the basement for her missing bun. An hour passed and they were no closer to finding the bunny. Reese watched on as Karyn unscrewed an air vent.

“He couldn’t get in there, babe.” said Reese.

“You don’t know Tempter like I do!”

Then Karyn gasped!

“We left the back door and the basement door open. OH NO!”

She went up those stairs like lightning would if lightning was a person! She swung open the back door!

“Tempter!” shouted Karyn into the night. She jumped over the backyard fence and vanished into the spooky forest! Reese got up the stairs too late to stop her.

“Karyn!” shouted Reese into the forest!

“What, babe?!” yelled Karyn back!

“What should I do to help?!” screamed Reese!

“Look in the house! I’m looking out here!”

“Okay!”

More hours passed. The bun could not be found.

Reese had searched pretty much everywhere in it. There was this one hole he didn’t check, but he’d know if a bunny tried to hide in there.

He went back to the backward. The sun was starting to come out.

“Karyn! Did you find him?”

The woods were silent Reese screamed louder. He climbed over the fence and called out her name into the forest. Then he saw a strange green light. He followed it

It was Karyn’s glow-in-dark tattoo. She was laid out on the ground, unconscious.

“Babycakes?”

She was out. Her skin was clammy. Reese picked her up and shook her. This did not help and likely worsened whatever was ailing her. He called for an ambulance. Karyn was hurried to the emergency room. Reese went along with her.

Mama Tail was still fast asleep on the couch.

Once they arrived at the hospital, Reese had to wait for Karyn in that room where people have to wait. With all those beeps and people looking sad because their loved ones are probably dead or in the middle of dying.

A nurse came for Reese and brought him to Karyn’s room.

“Dr. Menken will be with you in a few minutes.”

Karyn looked awful. She was hooked up to a bunch of imposing hospital machines. She had all sorts of wires and IV drips coming out of her. Reese sat by her side and held her hand.

In came Dr. Menken with a clipboard that had nothing on it.

“Hello. I’m Dr. Menken. Your cousin is in critical condition.”

“Fiancée.”

“Oh. Good for you. No judging here, man.” said Dr. Menken

Dr. Menken played around with the knobs of the hospital machines. One of them broke off. Dr. Menken put it in his pocket like nothing had happened.

“What’s wrong with her?” asked Reese.

“Your cuz-an-cee won’t be waking up for quite some time. The body has a few skin factors that directly pick up on the heat signature produced by rabbits and other rodents. Your cousin had developed a dependency on that bunny for her health and welfare. Her body has gone into shock following the loss of it.”

“How long will she be like this?”

“Maybe forever. I don’t know. It’s pretty bad. I’m having the nurse bring in a variety of cute animals like kittens and puppies to try and replicate the bunny’s heat signature. It’d be for the best if you could find that bunny. ”

“I’ll find that bun if it’s the last thing I ever do.”

Reese lived up to his claim.

He spared no expense to find this bunny. He bought fliers and handed them out in all of South Jersey. He even bought a billboard in West Philadelphia where Karyn was born and raised to try and spread the word. Reese did not sleep. Reese did not eat. His every waking moment was spent trying to find the key to his love’s only return.

He started to take his campaign north.

Meanwhile exactly seventy-five miles away, Kwame and his bun bud were having the time of their lives. They had gone to a carnival and gotten those photo shoot pictures done. They’d been out to the theater to see the new Fast and Furious movie. Tempter was a huge Paul Walker fan so it was a bittersweet endeavor. Kwame had to dry the tears from the bun’s eyes. Now they were finishing up a binge of the first season of Orange is the New Black in Kwame’s room.

Kwame’s room was not a wondrous place. It was a blue room that had originally been pink since his parents expected a girl. There was a pile of clothes and straight-edge books on the floor. Posters of the professional wrestler C.M. Punk in his various iterations took up all the wall space.

“Piper is such a bitch.” wriggled Tempter out through body language.

“I like her. She’s got spunk.” replied Kwame.

Knock. Knock. It was Kwame’s mother.

“Come in!”

“Hey sweetie. Did you get together what you’re going to donate to the old folk’s home?”

“Those clothes over there. The old people can have them.”

“Oh hunny. Old people don’t need clothes. I’ll come back. Try and think of something to give away.”

His mother left. Kwame’s stomach growled.

“I’m hungry. You hungry, bun bud?”

Tempter nodded. Kwame picked up a bag of bunny food. It was empty.

“Looks like I got make a run to the pet store. Don’t start season two without me!”

But Tempter did season two with him. Because he was a prick.

It didn’t take Kwame long to get to Pets Mart. He took a few back roads and ran through a red light.

Inside of Pets Mart were bored workers and much neglected animals. Kwame tried his best not to make eye contact with the greeter at the front. He was always butting his way into conversations because he thought people cared about his vast knowledge of animals.

Kwame went into the rabbit section. He had to look for Tempter’s favorite, Organic Teriyaki Feed. Tempter refused to eat anything processed. Kwame grabbed the bag of organic rabbit junk and put in his cart.

“Kwame!” yelled a familiar voice.

A chill ran up Kwame’s spine. This had to be impossible. It couldn’t be him. What could he be doing in Central Jersey?

But it was. It was Reese! In that store, at that time.

“Hey Kwame.”

Kwame threw a bunch of stuff into his cart to cover up the rabbit food. He noticed that Reese had a bunch of flyers with Tempter on them. Reese’s eyes were bugging out from the lack of sleep.

“Hey Reese. What the heck are you doing all the way up here in Central Jersey?”

“So you didn’t hear? Tempter’s missing.”

“Oh. Is he?”

“Yeah. It happened right after you left. Karyn and I left the back door open. He got out. ”

“Oh no. I guess you’ll just have to forget about him. Buns come and go, you know.”

“Karyn’s in the hospital.”

“Oh my god.”

“She’s in a coma. The doctor says she won’t wake up unless I find the bun.”

“Excuse me.” interrupted the greeter.

Both men turned their attention to him.

“Did you just say bun? Are you’re referring to that Netherland Dwarf or Oryctolagus cuniculus that you’ve plastered all over windows here without asking? Bun is not a scientific term. It should not be used. The word rabbit was made for common people like yourselves who aren’t intelligent enough to pronounce that species of Lagomorpha by its proper name.” said the greeter with far too much pride.

“Oh kay.” said Reese.

“I have got to get going, Reese. Good luck with finding that Lagomorpha.” replied Kwame.

Kwame hurried through the self-check-out.

He got back to his car. Kwame saw Reese walk out of Pets Mart with his head down. Reese was a beaten man. Reese handed out flyers to an uncaring public. People threw the picture of the bunny away right in front of him. Kwame watched on as Reese got the flyers out of the garbage.

The wind blew them out of his hands. Reese chased after them. The wind was too strong and blew him away too. He crashed and scraped his knees on the sidewalk.

Kwame sighed. He couldn’t do this to his friend. He opened the car door.

“Hey Reese. You alright.”

“Yeah. Just bleeding a bit.”

“Any luck with that bunny?”

“No.”

“Would it hurt our friendship if I told you something?”

“What?”

“You have to promise we’ll still be friends no matter what I say next.”

“Okay.”

“I sort of took Tempter. He’s at my house now just chilling. He and I have been hanging out.”

“You’ve had him this whole time?”

Kwame nodded.

“WHAT?! You bun-napped him! Kwame, you’re a dirty bun-napper!” shouted Reese with justified rage.

“Lagomorpha!” chimed in the noisy greeter!

“You lagomorpha-napped him!”

“It was his idea!”

“Not cool, Kwame! Not cool!”

“I know.”

“Where is he now?”

“My house.”

“You drive! I’ll follow! Not cool, Kwame! Not cool!”

And so Reese followed Kwame’s car back to Kwame’s house. Kwame opened his front door while Reese teared into him.

“How could you do that? Karyn’s in a coma!”

“I didn’t know that would happen! I’m sorry!”

“You’re a bun-napper, Kwame! A bun-napper!”

Reese and Kwame ran to his room. And it was in much better condition than when he left it.

“Where is he?!”

“I left him right on my bed.”

Kwame looked at his Netflix account.

“He started watching season 2 of Orange is the New Black without me! Damn it, Tempter. I thought we were bun-buds.”

“I’m going to make your orange the new black if you don’t get me that bun!”

Kwame’s mom looked into the room.

“What are you two yelling about in here?”

“Kwame stole my bunny and now we can’t find it!”

“Oh. That bunny? I thought you were donating him. I gave him to the old folk’s home.”

“YOU WHAT?!” said Kwame with an outside voice.

“Kwame’s mom, not cool!” said Reese with an even louder outside voice.

Kwame’s mother gave them the address to the old folk’s home.

It was on the edge of Kwame’s hometown. It was an old hospital that had a creepy vibe to it. Probably because it was the last place a lot of these old people would live in. They were left there to rot and fester by their children until their untimely demises. It was really their own fault since they did the same to their own parents.

“He better be here.” said Reese as they pulled up to the place.

“He will be.” said Kwame.

“I still can’t believe what you did.”

“He told me to.”

“Don’t say that man. I feel like I don’t even know you anymore. Stealing buns is not punk!”

“You promised that this wouldn’t hurt our friendship.”

“Sometimes promises are broken, Kwame.”

The inside of the old folk’s home smelled like the inside of a coffin. It looked kinda like one too. The wooden support beams needed to be replaced as they had gotten moldy. Flies and mosquitoes buzzed past Reese and Kwame as they walked up to the front desk.

Reese rang the bell on the desk.

“I hope it’s not a sassy black woman.” said Kwame.

Reese rang it again. In walked, a sassy black woman. She snatched the bell off the desk.

“Who the hell do you think you are? I heard you the first time! You got to give a woman a chance to get down here! I don’t need to be hearing this ring ring ring when I’m trying to get my ass down here to help you. I’m going to shove that where the sun don’t shine if you ring it again!”

“Damn it.” muttered Kwame under his breath.

“I’m Reese Tail.”

“And I’m his friend, Kwame.”

“Friend?” said Reese without a hint of sarcasm.

“Don’t do this to me.”

“And?” replied sassy black woman.

“We’re looking for my pet bunny. This guy here bun-napped him and then his mother donated him here.”

The sassy black woman pursed her lips.

“Well Old Man Frank is watching Orange is the New Black Season Two with a bun bud right now. That might be your bunny.”

“Where is this Old Man Frank?” asked Reese.

The sassy black woman brought them to Old Man Frank’s room which also happened to be the cafeteria. Old Man Frank didn’t own a thing. All his time went to watching old shows on Netflix on the cafeteria TV. He was usually the loneliest of loners. An outcast even among those who had been abandoned by their own families because father time had turned their brains to mush. He’d sit at his table way in the back and think about why he never could have the joys of life.

But today was not a usual day for Old Man Frank. He had a smile on his face. He greeted the two boys very happily. He had Tempter in his arms. Kwame tried to make eye-contact with Tempter, but Tempter turned his nose at him.

“Hello there! What brings two bright young men like you to my side today? I truly am blessed. I was settling in to watch a show with my new friend, Mr. Klypzxym. Someone out there with a kind heart graciously donated a pet rabbit to this home and for the first time in my life, I got a friend.”

“Well we-” started Reese.

“I’ve never had a friend before. I had a pet dog for a day before he ran away. The kids at school stayed away from me because my father killed a man. He got put away when I was three. Never knew him. My mother was there for a bit but not really. She suffered from dementia. My sister ran herself ragged trying to help my mom out. That is until she hung herself when I was five. I was the one who found her hanging in the attic. Then I became a ward of the state. I moved from foster family to foster family. One of my foster dads was real bad. I don’t want to talk about what happened with him. Being adopted didn’t make me a hit with ladies at the schools I went to except for my only girlfriend. Of course she was only using me as part of a prank to get back at her ex-girlfriend. Guess the joke was on me. But here I am with my first ever friend about to do some binge-watching as I hear the kids say. What can I do for you boys?”

Reese and Kwame were left silent by this diatribe. Then Reese spoke up.

“Give us a second.”

They walked away from Old Man Frank.

“Damn. He’s had a rough life.” said Kwame.

“I feel bad, but Karyn needs Tempter.”

They went back to Old Man Frank.

“I know this is asking a lot and I’m sorry. But that bunny’s name is not Mr. Klypzxym. His name is Tempter and he belongs to my wife-to-be. She’s in the hospital now and needs him. Could you please give him back?”

“No! I won’t give him up. I’ve had no friend in my entire life. You see this on my face. This is a smile. I’ve never done that before. Mr. Klypzxym is the best thing to happen to me. I’m not giving him up. ”

“Old Man Frank. His fiancée is in a coma because of my selfishness. She won’t wake up without that bunny. I didn’t know this was going to happen. Please don’t make her suffer any more because of my choice. I already ruined my friendship with Reese. I don’t want her blood on my hands too.” butted in Kwame.

“You two are friends?”

“We were.” continued Kwame.

“And you stole his bun and put his fiancée in the hospital? Is that what friends do? Maybe I haven’t been missing out on much then.”

“I stole his bunny because I wanted a bun bud to do bun bud stuff with. It was wrong and I accept that now. Please give us back Tempter.”

Old Man Frank looked down at his bun bud. Tempter wrinkled his nose.

“It’s alright. I’ve had my fun.” Tempter said to the Old Man in his special way.

Old Man Frank pet Tempter on the head.

“Go on then. Take Mr. Klypzxym.”

Old Man Frank said goodbye to his one and only friend. Reese grabbed the bunny.

“Thank you so much.” said Reese.

“Friendship is a gift, Mr. Tail. Remember that.”

“I will.”

The two left the old man behind. Old Man Frank went back to his usual ways.

Back in the hospital, Dr. Menken and the nurse were discussing a very important subject.

“Is there any hope for her, Doctor?”

“Nope. I tried those golden retriever puppies. Nothing. The little kittens didn’t register a response. She’s going to die”

“What a shame.”

“This is what happens when you develop an unhealthy love to creatures that aren’t people. The human psyche wasn’t built for love of animals I have a dog at home. I like him. I take him for walks and I enjoy his company. But if he ran away, I would not shed a tear. This girl is going to live the rest of her life like this. If only someone could have stopped her bun obsession before it was too late.”

BAM! Reese kicked door off its hinges!

“Why the hell did you do that?!” asked the nurse.

“For dramatic effect!”

Tempter hopped out of Reese’s arms and flew across the room to his owner. He nested into her belly. The hospital machines started to beep like crazy!

Karyn’s eyes opened! She was back!

“Where am I? Tempter?! My bun!”

Her arms wrapped around the bun like she’d never let go again. Reese pumped his fist in the air! Dr. Menken slipped the bill into Reese’s fist.

“That’ll be three thousand dollars plus an eighteen percent gratuity charge of course. I did a good job here.”

“No. It won’t be. At least not for him. I’ll pay that. This is my fault.” piped up Kwame who had snuck into the room.

“What’s he talking about, babe.” asked Karyn with Tempter still in her grasp.

“I bun-napped Tempter.” confessed Kwame.

“What?!”

“It’s true. I’m sorry, Karyn. I’m a dirty bun-napper.”

“Your honesty has touched my cold heart son. I won’t be charging for this.”

Dr. Menken tore up the bill.

“Can you do that?” asked Reese.

“Of course I can. I’m a doctor! I can do whatever the fuck I want.” yelled Dr. Menken. He then morphed into a pterodactyl and soared out the window.

“Kwame, I just thought up your punishment.” announced Reese.

“Okay. I’m ready.”

“You have to plan a pizza party for Old Man Frank. Then we’ll be even.”

“Is that it?”

“And you have to promise to never kidnap a bun again.” added Karyn.

“But he told me to.”

“Don’t go back to that excuse.” said Reese.

“Nah, babe. Tempter is always doing stuff like that. Remember that time your mom took him to Six Flags cause he made her do it? He might be like evil or something. The vet mentioned it once. We can’t be too mad at Kwame. Tempter’s just a bad bun.”

“So we’re still friends then?” asked Kwame.

Reese raised his arms into hug position and they shared yet another hug of friendship.

A few days later, Old Man Frank awoke to a pizza party in the cafeteria. The excitement of the kind gesture sent his heart racing and then unfortunately Old Man Frank died.

But he died with a smile on his face which is more than most of us will get.

That’s the story.

 

 

The Egalitarians!

Everybody’s fighting for equality. Feminists. Meninists. The NAACP. The GLAAD. The NSA. The BCCA and many more important acronyms. Each of these groups claiming to have the same goal. Equal rights and equal opportunity for all of mankind.

But I bet if you got all these these equality seekers in the same room, they would be at each other’s throats. The room would turn violent very quickly. Because they all have their own definition of equality. Some say the shaming of feminine traits to be the cause of society’s ills. Others think it all comes down to class and economic disparity. More might say it’s down to racial bias. The only thing these groups would agree is that the world is unequal.

But what if they all got along? They let bygones be bygones. They open their fists and close their mouths. They embrace one another. They burn all their t-shirts, posters and bumper stickers they needed to spread awareness of their issues. They cast aside their old labels. They throw away all their silly acronyms and hashtags. They have the same goal so why fight one each other? Why have different names? Their super equality group will be known under one name.

The Egalitarians.

They will eradicate bias and privilege of any sort. They will be the scale-balancers. Seekers of fair.

What is the first thing on the agenda of the egalitarians? Economic disparity. They go after the wage gaps between sexes and race. They gain ground easily with a frustrated public. A bill is pushed through the government that puts an end to unequal pay.

But that’s not enough. Still there are more male CEOs than women. More white engineers than minorities. Too many minorities in prison. People are trapped in circles of poverty with no way out. The egalitarians are now after equal opportunity for everyone.

They create incentive programs for other groups in science. They shovel money into poor neighborhoods. They improve the education system. It takes them over a thousand years to shatter the circles of poverty, but they manage to get the job down.

But equal opportunity is still not there. The extraordinary are ruining it. They have better genetics than the average person. Their faces are more symmetrical so people treat them better. Their minds are naturally sharper. This is leading to them making more money and taking advantage of more opportunities. A painter can create a beautiful painting and sell it for thousands. Not everyone can be a great painter even with hard work and dedication.

These extraordinary people must be dealt with. They need to be knocked from their pedestals and brought down to everyone’s level. Why should they get more out of life because they were born a certain way? That is unequal and the egalitarians are here to snuff that out.

The egalitarians set up checks in hospitals to enact their final solution for unequal opportunity. If your child is extraordinary, strange or different, it will be terminated. There is some resistance at first, but the egalitarians have too much power to be stopped. The genius, the stunningly beautiful, the mentally deficient, and the ugly are all eradicated. There will be no deviation from the group. Everyone will be on the same playing field.

The egalitarians use to science to modify people into one gender. Why should women get to enjoy childbirth and men cannot? Everyone’s skin color is drained from them until they are a pale grey. And with that, the world is finally rid of sexism and racism.

The egalitarians still find bias amongst humanity. People showing more preference and love to family members. They find comfort in people who are from the same culture as them. Why should you enjoy a person more because they share the same blood as you? This is not equal. And so the egalitarians destroy the family unit. Babies are ripped from their mothers. You are not a child to a person. You are a child of the world. You will show the same love to all children, not that of your blood. Everyone is your family. Everyone is your friend. Everyone is your lover. That is equal.

The egalitarians go out and destroy all forms of culture. Where there is culture, there are those who don’t belong. Those who don’t belong are not treated the same. That is unequal. Every church, temple, mosque is burned down. No more identifying as a group. You are all people. That is the only identification that you need. You do not need the comfort of people who think like you. You will find comfort in your fellow man.

People are moved around every couple of months to prevent them from growing attached to their region. If you love where you’re from, you’ll show love to others who are from there. You should feel at home everywhere.

The egalitarians are pleased by the results. Equality has almost been achieved. Everyone is on the same level. No one can achieve more than anyone. They show the same amount of compassion to their fellow man.

But there still remains the problem of thoughts. There are people who are pretending to be equal. They still have bias in their hearts. They are safe inside their minds to be as biased as possible. True equality can’t allow these pretenders.

The egalitarians build a machine that allows them to see the inner thoughts of every person. They know all thoughts. If you are biased in anyway, the egalitarians will know. They will find you. There is no hiding from the egalitarians. You will be terminated for your bias. It’s the only solution. The egalitarians cannot be lax, not when equality is so close to being achieved.

The egalitarians smile at their just equal world. They wish those of the past could have enjoyed it. The first egalitarians are long gone. This was their dream and they aren’t around to enjoy it. In fact the billions of humans can’t. They’re dead. The people of today and the future will be equal but not those in the past. Why should these people enjoy this beautiful equal future when others cannot? The living should not get preference over the dead. That is unequal.

Then the egalitarians see the truth of equality. So long as a person lives, they are privileged over those who are gone. And those who are gone are privileged over those who never had the chance to exist. Why should the losers in the race to the egg remain forgotten and unknown? That is unequal.

The egalitarians build a bomb that will erase every trace of mankind. Non-existence is equality. True equality at its core. The bomb goes off and with it goes mankind. But it does more than decimate the earth. The egalitarians were kind enough to spread equality through the universe. Why should only lifeforms on earth get to revel in equality? It engulfs the universe, leaving nothing.

Because nothing is equal.

Equality-sxc-hu-small

The Carey Show “The Secret in my Son’s Closet.”

WARNING! THE CAREY SHOW MAY CONTAIN MATERIAL NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN OR THE OVERLY SENSITIVE! PARENTAL DISCRETION ADVISED! ALSO THOSE OTHER DISCRETIONS THAT NO ONE TALKS ABOUT!

SECOND WARNING! THIS SHOW DOES NOT PASS THE BECHEDEL TEST! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! TWICE NOW!

A rambunctious AUDIENCE stands and applauds.

AUDIENCE:
Carey! Carey! Carey!

In front of us, a standard afternoon tabloid talk show interview. CAREY, mediator and host, stands in the audience and talks to the camera.

CAREY:
Today on the show, we have a son hiding a dark secret from his own father.

The audience gasps!

CAREY:
Say hello to Mr. Treble.

Mr. Treble, loving father in a ten gallon cowboy hat, struts his way to the interview area. He waves to the audience. The audience claps for him a bit too enthusiastically. He takes his hat off and finds his seat.

CAREY:
Mr. Treble, tell the audience what secret you think your son is hiding.

MR. TREBLE:
I think my son might be a gay.

The audience gasps!

MR. TREBLE:
And he’s ashamed of it.

The audience gasps!

CAREY:
Tell us more.

MR. TREBLE:
Bout a month or two ago. He got some new posters. Hung em on his wall. Posters of half-naked men.

The audience gasps!

CAREY:
That does sound pretty gay.

MR. TREBLE:
I asked my boy about it. He took em down. Looked in his room under his bed other day, found a copy of Playgirl in there.

The audience scratches their heads.

CAREY:
That’s the girl version of Playboy if some of you don’t know. It has a strong following in the gay community.

The audience gasps!

MR. TREBLE:
That’s not the strangest thang. I woke up late at night to check in on him. Round two or four a.m. My own son. I seen it with my own two eyes. He had on a woman’s dress!

The audience ooohs!

CAREY:
Was it his mother’s dress?

MR. TREBLE:
Don’t know bout that. I don’t give a lick of attention to what that silly woman wears.

CAREY:
Did you talk to your son about it?

MR. TREBLE:
No. I don’t know much about the queer folk. Didn’t know what to do. That’s why I’m here.

CAREY:
Put a picture of Lance up on the screen.

A picture of Lance, fifteen-year-old skinny white kid in a wifebeater, pops up on the screen. The audience awes.

MR. TREBLE:
Ain’t got no problem with the gays. Not raised that way. They people just like us. They just smells nicer and got sillier haircuts. I want my son be true to himself. Come out of the crawlspace as them queers say.

CAREY:
You mean come out of the closet.

MR. TREBLE:
We don’t have closets in my house. Don’t believe in ’em.

CAREY:
Right….

MR. TREBLE:
I’ll always love my boy no matter what. I just want him to talk to me.

Mr. Treble wipes tears from his eyes.

The audience awes.

CAREY:
Let’s give him the chance! Bring out Lance!

TWO SECURITY GUARDS carry a confused LANCE out by his arms and plop him into his seat.

LANCE:
What the hell’s going on here?! Pop?!

CAREY:
Calm down. We’re here to help you, Lance. I’m Carey. This is the Carey Show.

LANCE:
I’m on TV?!

CAREY:
Your father asked for my help so you could tell your little secret.

MR. TREBLE:
Anything you want to tell me, boy?

LANCE:
You had these men kidnap me from school to go on this terrible show?

MR. TREBLE:
Boy. That’s not what we’re here to talk about.

CAREY:
Be honest with your father. You got a secret you want to share.

LANCE:
No.

MR. TREBLE:
Why won’t you be open with me, boy? I love ya. I love ya with all my heart.

CAREY:
I thought this might happen. That’s why we have an expert here with us today to help. He’s a member of the local chapter for Lebgetiqu? Leebgootkwu? Libgitoo? Am I pronouncing that right? Paulie Dianger.

Paulie, a rotund balding slimeball in an marriage equality shirt, steps forward to an open microphone stand.


PAULIE:

It’s L.G.B.T. Not a word. An acronym.

He smiles into the camera and licks his dry lips.

MR. TREBLE:
What’s all that then?

PAULIE:
L. G. B. T. Lesbian. Gay. Bisexual. Transgender.

MR. TREBLE:
Lesbian, a gay, bisexual?What in tarnation is a bisexual?

LANCE:
Pop that’s when-

PAULIE:
Sssh. Let the expert in queerology explain. A bisexual is a person sexually attracted to men and women. They know how to have a good time with the ferocity of the male penis and the elegance of flowery vagina.

MR. TREBLE:
You telling me, there’s people who like BOTH?! WHAT?!

LANCE:
Pop, you never heard of that before?

MR. TREBLE:
No. You kids and your new fangled fascinations. I can’t keep up.

LANCE:
Bisexuals been around for like fifty years pop.

MR. TREBLE:
All these letters are too confusing. Can’t you cut it down for the older folk? Lesbians and gay same thang. Ain’t it redundant having both? These “Bisexuals” seem to be a gays too. Make it GT. For gays and those transatlantics whatever them are.

PAULIE:
There’s also a Q and sometimes an “I”. Forgot to mention that.

MR. TREBLE
What in the hell do those stand for?!

PAULIE:
I don’t know.

LANCE:
WAIT! POP! YOU THINK I’M GAY?!!

CAREY:
Lance, settle down! Let Mr. LMFAO continue.

PAULIE:
Lance, you need to come out of the closet. It’s 2015. Have no fear that you’re queer! Scream it to the world! I am gay and you should support me today! All of you here today can support Lance and his queerness by buying a T-shirt! Support the cause! One marriage equality shirt here for a 13.95! Two for 32.65!

He reaches down into a box and starts pulling out shirts.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:
That’s almost a deal! I’ll take seven!

PAULIE:
Be the first on your block to show your support. Spread the awareness. That’s the most important part of any movement. Make everyone aware! Buy a shirt for your mom and your dad! Don’t forget little Jimmy.

SLY AUDIENCE MEMBER:
Gay marriage is already legal here. What’s this money going toward exactly?

PAULIE:
Listen to this one here with his questions. “Where’s the money going?” This is a sophisticated form of homophobia. He’s afraid of gays being equal. Don’t ask where’s the money going. Ask where is this country going. And that’s forward. Ignorant people like you are getting left behind. You should all buy an extra t-shirt just to spite this homophobic bigot.


AUDIENCE MEMBER:

I’ll buy three more!

LANCE:
I’m not gay!

MR. TREBLE:
But son….those posters of naked men. And the playgirl under your bed.

LANCE:
You found that?! Pop. I’ll give to ya straight. No pun intended. I’m working out now. Those Playgirl models are in great shape. I appreciate their aesthetics without deriving any sexual satisfaction. I aspire to be them, not be in them.

MR. TREBLE:
What about the dress?

Lance blushes.

LANCE:
What? Pop you talking crazy.

MR. TREBLE:
I am your only father. Don’t lie to your own blood. You wear a woman’s dress at night!

LANCE:
It’s not a woman’s dress. It’s mine! My dress!

MR. TREBLE
So you admit it then!

LANCE:
Yea I do! I wear a dress! I love it!

The audience is too preoccupied with buying marriage equality shirts to gasp.

LANCE:
I hate boxers! I hate briefs! I hate boxer-briefs! Pop, I WANT TO BE FREE! From all the restraints of cotton. Free to feel the breeze between my knees! Free to be pretty!

BEARDED MAN IN A DRESS:
Preach on brother!

LANCE:
I ain’t no queer, pop. I’m as straight as you. Just I like wearing dresses like Carey like wearing those pants.

CAREY:
I hate these pants.

LANCE:
You shoulda talk to me at home. Why on this show? In front of millions of people who can’t afford basic cable and have to watch this crap?

MR. TREBLE:
I didn’t know what to do. I saw this show on the TV and I called and they a said they’d help. I’m sorry. Pop did you wrong, boy.

LANCE:
Shows like this exploit pain. Only the scummiest of the scummy make a living off exploiting other people’s suffering.

Carey hides his face. Paulie pockets a wad of cash.

PAULIE:
Be sure to get a bumper sticker with that t-shirt. Don’t forget to download the marriage equality app! It’s on Google Play. Only 4.99!

MR. TREBLE:
I shoulda talked to ya. I’m sorry, boy.

LANCE:
It’s alright Pop. I forgive ya. You still me pop. I always love ya.

MR. TREBLE:
You too good to me, boy.

The two hug. Mr. Treble starts to choke up. The audience awes.

Paulie rubs his double chin sinisterly, then waddles over to the father and son.

PAULIE:
Now this is a sight to see. Father and son reunited. I can feel the love. Kid, let me tell your story. We need to spread awareness of cross-dressing. I see shirts, bumper stickers, posters, Facebook profile pictures and more. I’ll talk to some people. Maybe we can add a C between the B and G.

MR. TREBLE:
That’s alright, Mr. Gay Man. We don’t need your-

PAULIE:
Woah buddy! I’m not gay. Ew. I’m a straight ally.

LANCE:
Pop. I got this one. Cross-dressing don’t need help. You ought to spread awareness of crushed nuts. Not too many folks know bout that.

PAULIE:
Crushed nuts? What’s that?

Lance KNEES him in the crotch. Paulie drops.

LANCE:
Now you’re aware!

MR. TREBLE:
That’s my boy!

The two walk off stage as the audience claps!

CAREY:
Isn’t it great? Up next we have a couple going through some trouble. She has a foot fetish. He lost the lower half of his fighting for our freedoms overseas. Should they stay together? Can you love someone when they’re only half a person? Stay tuned.