So I’ve had the one story up for a while now, but I did some editing and adding, and here’s the complete first story! Please read, please enjoy, and let me know what you think! More will be coming, as soon as my brain decides to get into a writing mood. Don’t blame me, blame my brain.
The Fanciest of Pants
That’s All Me: The Christopher Damon Story. Part One. Of Many.
I don’t believe in coddling people, so I’ll jump right in and give you one word I frequently use to describe myself: trailblazer. Why, you ask? Well, apart from “doing my own thing” and inspiring many a fashionable trend (some of which include socks with sandals and the ever comfortable sweat shorts), I go to the park on Wednesday mornings and blaze my own trails. You read right. I take my steak knives out to a patch of tall grass and slice a path through, and let me tell you, I cut a mean path. I’ve gotten stopped by the cops a couple of times. Apparently it’s a “safety hazard” and there were kids playing in the area. What’s that phrase? “If I had a dollar?” Well, if I had a dollar for every time I’d heard that, I could probably buy the Salvation Army. And transform it into an actual army. Why call it that if you’re not gonna have some sort of military force? Anyway, that’s enough about that. I’ll give you a brief introduction to the physical specimen that is me.
First things first. My name will remain confidential, as will my profession (don’t take this personally; it’s that way with secret agents and spies in the movies too). For the time being you can call me Christopher Damon. I didn’t choose this moniker on just a whim either. Christopher is an American name; no disputing it. Try, I dare you. Can’t do it. And it just so happens that Matt Damon is my favorite actor. I don’t cry for movies, not even Marley and Me, but I cry every time I watch Good Will Hunting as a matter of principle. If you haven’t seen Good Will Hunting, you’re an idiot. And you know how people always say “no offense?” In this case, I mean offense. Back to me. I’m a trailblazer; this much is certain. If I had to relate myself to an early colonial explorer, it would probably be Daniel Boone. I’m like him; except for I wouldn’t have founded Kentucky. That state sucks. No, I would have founded a state like Colorado. You never hear anyone getting sick of Colorado. Or maybe I’d have annexed Canada. One of the few accents I approve of. Plus they have animals on their coins. Keep George Washington on the front; just throw a big moose on the back. Yea, I’d annex Canada for sure. I love bacon, too. It’s one of the few things I truly love. Most of the rest are food as well. Except Taco Bell. Their food’s great, but I refuse to eat there more than twice a week until they put that Chihuahua back on the commercials.
I made a trip to the store the other morning. I opened the aluminum door to my trailer and began my trot down the gravel-strewn road. I had never noticed, or never fully understood, how the air attains that “crisp” quality in the fall season. That’s one word you hear a lot nowadays: crisp. Usually with bottled water. That’s one thing I’ll never understand, how a certain type of water is more or less crisp than another. What makes Aquafina crispier than Dasani? I think that the first guy that tasted two different types of bottled water needed a word to describe the difference, and he looked at an apple or something, and said, “Hey, apples are crisp. This water is crisper.” I don’t know, something like that. I don’t even care. Bottled water’s a ripoff invented by the French. I hate the French. I’m all tap water baby. All American.
Anyway, as I was stepping over a particularly crunchy piece of stone, my neighbor, who shall remain nameless, decided it would be a good idea to talk about how my Velcro shoes were “so out of date and unprofessional.” I told Henry where I would shove my Velcro shoes if he ever made a negative comment about them again, which shut him up. I think the crispness of the air emboldened me. But back to the Velcro shoes, why shouldn’t I sport those bad boys? I mean, they’re comfortable as heck, and they’re real time savers. I can get up and go in about 10 seconds. Try that in your lace-ups, Henry. Plus, they have little lights on the bottom, right below the rubber impersonation of Buzz Lightyear (who just happens to be my favorite Toy Story character), and they flash yellow and green every time I take a step. While some might regard this as “childish” or whatever they say, these lights come in handy, let me tell you. One night about a year ago after my other neighbor Preston’s “America’s Got Talent” party, I was wandering home through the shrubberies that line the gravelly path that I’m on right now. I like to do that sometimes, you know, get my nature on. So here I am, admiring the brambles on a particularly boisterous bush, and a raccoon starts coming at me. I don’t mean he was walking and I was walking the other way, I mean he decided he wanted my candy caramel apple sucker and he wanted it NOW. As this was a delicious caramel apple sucker that I had just earned by shoving the most Whoppers in my mouth, I stood my ground and advanced right back at that little bugger. As soon as he saw those yellow lights signal my manliness, he realized that he didn’t want to screw with Buzz Lightyear and my karate skills, and he scampered right off. They say that the color yellow means timid. I say it means badass.
Back to my story. I was walked down the gravel path to the cement road that ran through most of the trailer park. Now let me dispel the preconceived notion that all “trailer parks” are trashy. I know they carry some negative connotations, but Leaning Willow, the park in which I reside, is a classy place. There are requirements to get in. It’s pretty official. Anyway, I hung a right at the paved road, Hallow St, and started the trek to K-Mart. It’s about a mile walk, and would normally take me 30 minutes or more, but I have some stupid awesome roller blades (got ‘em at a garage sale, buck fifty, what a steal) that shave some serious minutes off the trip. After the twenty-minute long skate, Lightyears in hand, during which I only managed to trip over one branch, a new record, I unbooted, locked my blades to a sign post, and entered the store. Some of you may ask why I didn’t just drive to the store. Well, in an attempt to make myself more physically appealing (it’s pretty hard, how do you improve near-perfection), I decided to sweat 20-30 lbs. off my 5 foot 6 inch frame. I figure if I get down to around 230, I’ll be irresistible. Anyways. I don’t want to make it seem like a big deal, because it’s not really that big of a deal, but it kind of is, but they know me over there at that K-Mart. I plopped down onto my courtesy motor scooter, because walking is overrated, and made my way over to the shoe section. My Lightyears were wearing down just a bit, and I felt like treating myself to a new pair of sneaks anyway.
On my way past the ladies’ Delicates section, I saw a real specimen in orange jean shorts and a ketchup-stained yellow tank top looking over some of last year’s fashion accessories. From the glitziness of the rhinestone-studded choker she was examining, I could tell she was a woman with pretty big expectations. I decided to live by my brother’s motto, “Don’t settle for anyone not wearing at least one pair of elastic pants,” and check out what else the twenty plus aisles held in store for me. Scooting right on by the shoes, I decided to make a run to the toys section to see if they’d received their shipment of replica lightsabers. I just talked to the store’s manager the other day, so I knew they weren’t expected for “1-2 weeks,” but I decided to check anyway. Just last Christmas this dude shafted me when the Easy-Bake Ovens, which “Paul” had promised me would be in on a certain Tuesday, arrived on the Thursday prior. I showed up really early on Tuesday, around noon, and found that all of the said ovens had sold out. There went my Christmas dessert. Thanks a lot Paul, you ass.
Anyway, I went to the toys section and there they were; just one green for those of the Rebel Alliance and just one red for the wretched Dark Side: my lightsabers. I zoomed on over to the weapons (I had my cart on the “Rabbit” setting, just to show off my speed to any potential lady friends), all the while muttering curses to Paul and his inability to keep an effing schedule. Lucky for me that I was prepared with the pedal to the metal, because just as I came to the Star Wars section a child ran around the corner sputtering some nonsense about his Halloween costume. That’s one thing I never understood, Halloween. Why would you freely give away 3 Musketeers Bars? But I got some complaints from the trailer park association, and I promised I’d offer candy to the kids for exactly 2 hours on October 31st. I don’t make it easy though. Sure, they can have some candy. If they can get to it. Usually they can’t. I position myself strategically between the path leading up to my trailer and the bowl of candy and ward off children who think they can have some for free. But that’s a story for another time. I snatched up the two sabers and began a pretty flashy turn back to the main aisle.
I could just hear the sobs of the kid; I pegged him to be around 7, as I burst out of the toy section into the concourse. Sorry kid, you’ve got to be fast to beat me. And I’m very fast. Didn’t get the lightsabers? Tough luck. As if the thunder god Thor himself wanted me to display my aptitude at the wheel of a motor cart, one of those giant rubber balls jumped out of an opening to the left of me. I grasped the handles of my sabers, and with the substantial skill of a man versed in the driving of a SkooterKart3200, employed a sharp left turn to avoid the big bouncing ball of pink. As I righted my course and slowed to the “Turtle” setting, a woman dashed out of the aisle holding the hand of a child, who happened to be crying. I accepted her frantic apology with a slight shrug of the shoulders and nod of the head, because I’ve learned that infrequent K-Marters think something such as this would phase an obvious regular such as myself. False. It takes much, much more to phase me.
The looker I talked about earlier in the ketchup-stained tank had her mouth slightly ajar as I scooted by, obviously impressed with my agility. My friend Stew has frequently remarked that on a motorkart I resemble a mongoose. I won’t argue with that. I proceeded to the shoe section, deciding a new pair of Lightyears was warranted after this display of cart prowess. I rolled into the children’s section, because Fisher-Price, to whom I’ve sent several angry e-mails, still refuses to make the Lightyear shoe model in a size larger than boys’ 12. As I have fairly small feet, this does not matter, but I do feel a small sense of constriction when I’m participating in activities. I wear them for style and function, not comfort; I’m much more agile in my Crocs. If you catch me on the street in a pair of Crocs, you know I’m extra fast that day. I approached the section and was immediately dealt a blow. There were no Lightyears remaining. Curse the gods and their games. I threw it into Rabbit and sped up to the service counter, where one of my least favorite desk reps, Beatrice, was eating some Corn Nuts. Disgusting. When she asked (very sarcastically) what it was I could possibly want this time, I decided it was a time for action. Waiting is for lesser men.
Bypassing Beatrice entirely, I lunged for the red phone that controlled the PA system, warding off the woman’s pathetic attempts to restrain me. I knew that Shake-Weight was a great buy, I could feel her weak fingers slipping off my forearm in feeble surrender. I love “As Seen On TV.” I called loudly into the speaker for Paul to come “immediately with all possible haste” to the service counter. I heard the untidy shuffling of a man many years past his physical prime growing louder from behind me. I swiveled about, and there he was. My nemesis. As he clutched at some pain in his side, I called him weak and asked him where in the hell my sneakers were. Hands on knees, he gulped down some of the asbestos-infested air and gasped that Fisher-Price had discontinued the model.
Now at this point, I had two choices. One was to put a serious whooping on Paul for the simple fact that I didn’t like him and he was present at this time of utter disappointment. The second was to swallow my insult, be the bigger man, and begin my search for a new brand of shoes to call my own. I was rather partial to the first one, as I was excited to give my new lightsabers a test run, but I decided to be the bigger man. This was relatively easy, as I am the physical superior to most men and women. I’ve only ever met 2 women who can beat me up, and they were both from a bowling alley.
Knocking Paul down on my way by, I proceeded to the shoe section once more. I slowly released the accelerator and came to a gradual stop. At this point my eyes, which were scanning the shelves for something, anything, to cure my growing depression, fell upon a small box between the K-Swiss and Skechers. I usually passed right over this section, because of the implications of wearing either (I don’t like looking dressed up everywhere I go; they’re just too sophisticated for me), but at that point I would have settled for a plain pair of Swisses. I decided to take a gander at the smaller box, and slowly rose out of the black plastic seat to see what it held in its cardboard clutches. As I took hold of the box, I felt the air around me start whisking my hair about. I had debated cutting my hair the other day, but in retrospect it was a great move not doing it. My mullet was whipped back and forth by the force of a wind sent down from the heavens to signify the gravity of the moment. If I had to relate it to a movie scene, it would be the moment Harry first touches his wand in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Great movie. Although if I had to pick a favorite from the HP series it would be Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Dammit I love werewolves. But that’s beside the point. What’s the line from that movie? Something about the wand choosing the wizard? Well this was like that. I did not choose these shoes, they chose me. I’ve learned a lot of life lessons from those movies. This is just one of them.
When I picked up the box, I knew I was holding something special. I threw open the lid real dramatic, and there they were. My Croc Mocs. The soft tan rubber, harvested in Indonesia and formed in some factory in China, intersected perfectly with the lush white fur that laced the inside. I swore under my breath. A woman shot me a dirty look and covered her small child’s ears. I didn’t care. He’ll learn them soon anyway woman. You’ve got bigger problems, one of which happens to be that muffin top peeking out from underneath your “Soccer Mom” t-shirt. So I spent a good 5 minutes examining my new shoes, and after I was satisfied that they were flaw free (as if Crocs are going to be flawed, complete waste of time) I went up to the register. After I shot Paul another dirty look, I paid the $21.19 for my new kicks, deposited my cart right in the middle of the aisle (take that Paul, you fool of a man), and waltzed out of the store. Not actually waltzed, just walked with smugness. I don’t dance. Unless it’s to “Mambo Number 5” by Lou Bega. Classy song by a classy man.
When I got back into my trailer I threw on my Croc Mocs (I was gonna call them ‘Coccasins’ but I knew people would take it the wrong way) and started to break them in. First I performed some standard exercises, touching my toes once or twice and doing some high knees around my trailer. I had to stop after 3 minutes because I lost my breath. After that it was nearing time for my second lunch, so I threw some Hot Pockets in the microwave and watched them rotate for about a minute. They say that you shouldn’t watch things in the microwave, but I like to watch the food develop. Microwave rays can’t penetrate this brain. If they do then they deserve to. Because they’d have to work hard to get in.
I sat down and consumed my Pepperoni Hot Pocket with the aggressiveness and zeal of a ravenous coyote ravaging the carcass of a fallen animal much smaller than itself. I’m sorry if you got offended by the graphic detail with which I just described my meal, but at the same time I’m not. I’m not sorry. I spent much of the rest of my day watching the Shrek movie series, because those films are delightful. As I turned out my Han Solo lamp (which happens to be a collector’s item), I decided that it had been one of the most productive days of my entire life.