(A Random Post)

Shandalar Is Beautiful This Time Of Year

Everything You Want – Vertical Horizon

I’m an awful bastard.

On Tuesday, I took/dragged/forced Shirley to come out and see Pulse with me. Why did I choose her? Besides the obvious reasons, I was hoping to help her overcome her fear of horror flicks. A few days prior, she had explained to me in great detail the miserable experiences she’d had when dealing with the horror genre and I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to put her phobia to the test. After all, Pulse seemed like a typically hollow fright fest and after a few cheap scares and bad special effects, she’d be laughing at it just like the rest of us do. Also, she told me that her uncle could get us free tickets.

I should have taken her more seriously. She was petrified. She raised her defences immediately. Fingers in her ears, over her eyes. Feet up on the seat, knees curled up in front of her. Lids shut tightly. As the movie went on and it became more and more clear that she wasn’t warming up to the whole concept, I realized what an ass I was being for making her do this. This was not a fear she was going to overcome or, more accurately, I’m not the person to help her overcome it. After the movie mercifully ended, we had a good laugh about it while we waited for my brother to get out of Miami Vice. She was a good sport about the whole thing, but I never should have put her in that position in the first place.

It was a bad ending to what was an otherwise great day. I got to eat a Teppanyaki style lunch for the first time. I wasn’t prepared for the big flame the cooks create and when I said, “That almost burned my eyebrows off!”, the cook asked if I wanted him to do it again. Of course I did. Then we (Gary, Shirley and myself) went to Timothy’s for some tasty beverages. Lastly, because Gary didn’t want to see the movie, I ended up driving us (my brother, Shirley and myself) all the way to Scarborough Town Centre! That doesn’t sound that impressive, but if you know me and how incompetent I am, that’s like…whoa. It was a fine day, though I’m sure it was more Alex-heavy or Alex-centric than Shirley is normally used to.

*****

I went to Kingston on Wednesday and the 48 hours I spent there are a bit of a blur. The first thing Gary and I had to do when we got there was track down Brian so we could get the key to the house. We left our things at Eileen’s place and began our search. I suggested setting up a complex network of contacts and wiretaps so as best to gather any information that may come up concerning Brian’s whereabouts. Instead, we walked over to his building and Gary asked where we could find him. His methods have always been questionable.

We were surprised at how helpful everyone was. As far as they knew, we could have been a couple of goons sent over by the local bookie to collect Brian’s thumbs. Not that we give off that impression but hey, it’s possible. Sometime later, we lamented the fact that we don’t carry guns. It would have made a much more entertaining scene if we burst into Brian’s office with our nines and dragged him out kicking and screaming to the horror of his co-workers. And I would have finally been able to say, “Bitch! Stop screaming or I will put a bullet in your mothafuckin’ head!” A lost opportunity if there ever was one. We ended up going to McDonald’s.

Later, Gary and I went to go find Ellen so we could get the key to her house and Gary could retrieve his keyboard. The receptionist at her workplace was not so helpful and seemed suspicious of our intentions (and righfully so). Again, I wish I had my nine with me. Eventually Ellen called Gary and after a brief nap, we went to go get the keyboard. Man, we are in bad shape. Just carrying the cardboard box over to her place took a lot out of us. Packing the thing up and taking it out of her house took way longer than it should have, but that was nothing compared to the journey back to Gary’s place. We tried many different carrying methods, but inevitably ended up having to take a break every block (!). The good thing is that, as with every near-death experience, Gary and I are much closer after having accomplished this Herculean feat.

Later that night the boys started to play Magic. I used to play this game everyday back in elementary school and the only reason I stopped in high school is because I had no money and I foolishly thought that not playing such a *ahem* “nerdy” game would help me socially. Yeah, that worked out well. Now it’s difficult for me to get back in the loop, though I still enjoy watching my boys beat each others brains to death. I decided I’d have no part of their Magic playing on this trip.

Instead, I went to Brian’s room to play the Magic: The Gathering computer game.

The Magic computer game transports you to the magical land of Shandalar where you play a young wizard attempting to blah blah blah. Who am I kidding? There’s no story. It’s a video game. You play Magic in it. Simple. And addictive. I can’t come up with an exact number, but somewhere in the area of twelve hours (not straight) were spent exploring this mystical realm. I completed quests. I duelled great wizards. I mingled with Fungus Lords. Truly, this was better than going to Vancouver. At one point, Eileen popped into the room (which legitimately startled me) and I felt oddly embarrassed. She asked why I wasn’t playing with the other boys. I came up with some hackneyed explanation about how the game I was playing was an older version and I couldn’t keep up with the newfangled cards that the kids played these days. Just something to get her out of the room so that I could return to majestic Shandalar.

At some point I passed out and woke up and it was Friday. Time to go home. The bus back was nearly empty. I slept all the way home while Gary played Magic with John (or is it Jon?). Gary thought I was supplying a ride, but I informed him that everyone at my house was out so we had to take the bus. It was a scorching hot day and as we searched for the nearest stop, I discussed my plans for a Pac-Man live action film. That’s for another post.

When I finally got home, I felt an abnormal urge to call Shirley and see what she was up to. However, since she’d had more than her fair share of my company on Tuesday, I decided to leave it alone. I still felt guilty about the whole movie thing.

I am really, really sorry for what I did.

*****

The longest dunk ever.

You asked her out?
Well…not “out.” She’s a prisoner.
How could you ask her out?
Why not?
I remember when you wouldn’t date that girl who lived in Queens because you didn’t want to go over the bridge!
That was different!
I’ll say.
Jerry, I like being with her. Plus, I know where she is all the time. I have relatively no competition. An-and you know how you live in fear of the pop-in?
The pop-in.
Yeah, no pop-in, no “in the neighborhood,” no “I saw your light was on.” And the best part is, if things go really well…
Conjugal visit?
Don’t jinx it!

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Destined to fight the world's evil, The WAMBAG endures massive battles involving impossible stunts, races on horse-pulled carriages, and the desecration of enchanting medieval castles (all done with dizzying computer graphics). Not only does the eye candy keep on coming, the tongue-in-cheek writing and deep Transylvanian accents perfect the film with a dose of dark humor.

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