May 19, 2020
R n R
A disciplined unit takes a crushing defeat as a reason to get right back on the grind. Lift a copious amount of weight. Analyze the best way to achieve a 78.3 degree angle when you throw a karate kick to an oncoming opponent’s jaw. Pull that springy thing as far apart as possible. Power through a Dan Ryan Pilates PLUS! workout in only 20 minutes a day.
Yes, growing physically fitter could be just enough to leap over the hurdle of a loss. Thoroughly reviewing the videotape may very well propel you to the point of victory the next go-round.
Maybe they even go to the extent of getting back to their roots. Calling up the old coaches and revisiting the three R’s of professional wrestling.
Rope-runnin’, Rest Holds, and uh…
But, one particular enlightened Group of Guys take a more spiritual approach to a loss.
Spiritual in the fact that they were doing all of those aforementioned activities in spirit.
Now, as an unbiased narrator, I don’t want to necessarily accuse the Bandits of being lazy, but…ah SHIT!
Doozer, Cancer Jiles, Zeb Martin, and newest member Max Shell are all sleeping. Despite the sun peeking shyly over the distant horizon line where Lake Michigan meets the skyline, the eGGs have apparently found it an opportune time for a nap.
To their credit, the gentle oscillation of the water against the bass boat made it much easier to succumb to sweet sweet slumber. This, and since ONE certain “expert” had urged the crew to cast off the dock at 2:30 a.m., it was perfectly understandable that they’d want to break the monotony with more monotony.
However, prior to this current antithesis of a vigorous training session? They were engaged in an activity that really helps a unit weld their bond into an unbreakable iron chain of strength.
Fishing. Yes, fishing.
“Reckon I coulda clarified when I said we need tuh get an ‘early start,’ I meant when the sun come up,” Zeb revealed, his eyes adjusting to the glare of the vessel’s headlight as he moved the wheel slightly towards the starboard.
Doozer, stewing in misery and casting an angry bloodshot stare into the distance, shook his head. He wasn’t sure who to direct his anger at. Was it Cancer Jiles for being the one so insistent upon getting to the lake at such an ungodly hour? Was it the young Martin for not expressing his opinion hours before? Or was it Max, who seemed wholly unbothered by the circumstances and decided to dress for the occasion in a Captain Ron cosplay outfit?
Jiles mustered a thundering chuckle. “Sun, sch-mun,” he bellowed, as the statement was made more relevant by the fact that he was wearing his T-shades in the dark. “The great outdoors doesn’t sit around and wait for daylight, and neither do the Bandits!”
The Maestro puts a friendly arm around the sailor. Or, he attempts to, at least. Thanks to the double-darkness brought on by his glasses and the unsteadiness of the boat, he stumbles into CBD. Keeping his COOL, however, he plays it off and merely leans onto him with the point of his elbow.
At this moment, Dooze made the decision as to whom he presently hated the most.
“This isn’t a fucking Caribbean charter, MAX.”
It’s safe to say that our friend Doozer hadn’t quite gotten used to the idea that Max Kael had been swiftly integrated into the mix of the eGG Bandits. Undaunted, Max’s biological vision upgrade simply turned off and turned back on. Wow, that’s cool. Didn’t know he could wink with that bad boy. Of course, the tribute to Kurt Russell’s most beloved role warranted an eye patch, which he opted to place over his real one.
“You’d better be thanking me,” the Shell of a Kael responded. “I bring fifty years of experience in yachtcraft from my days sailing the Saratoga. And besides, do you really trust THAT GUY to get us out of potential hurricanes? Or whirlpools? Or whirlpools that are ACTUALLY hurricanes just pretending to be whirlpools?”
“We’re on Lake Michigan,” Doozer fired back. “Those things don’t exist out here.”
Max grinned. “That’s just what the whirlpools disguised as hurricanes want you to think.”
Maneuvering himself upright, Cancer Jiles stumbled his way to the bow of the bass boat and placed a foot on the partition. “Boys, boys. We’re in the capable hands of the Watson Mill Kid. I mean, his nickname is based off something that makes lumber! Just like this boat.”
“Thank it’s fiberglass actually,” Zeb amended.
“Yep, good ol’ sturdy wood,” the Maestro adds, completely ignoring Martin’s correction. “Now, Zeb, where exactly are we going to land this baby? Don’t worry: we won’t reveal your secret spot to the public. It’s just between us Bandits.”
Martin scratches the foam of his Levi Garrett cap for a moment.
“I ain’t never fished on here yet.”
“Great,” Doozer replied. “Just great.”
“Exactly. You see, young Zebulon, this is precisely why we came out here,” Jiles proclaimed, extending an index finger to emphasize the lesson he was about to articulate. “Much like our match this week, we are floating our way into unfamiliar territory. Drifting through the shark-infested seascape of MJ Flair as we motorboat directly towards the island-like chest of Jack Harmen.”
Cancer paused for a moment, becoming cognizant of the metaphor that just spilled from his lips. “I guess it’s more of an archipelago than an island. Because there’s two parts. Right, Dooze?”
Doozer, whose cell phone camera is pointed directly at Jiles, shrugged his shoulders. “I wasn’t listening. Just hoping you’d fall off this boat so I can post the video to TikTok.”
“Never gonna happen, bud,” CJ boasted. “Zeb’s not the only one here experienced in playing with his dinghy.”“Question,” Doozer piped, glancing to his left at Max seated across from him. “Do the whirlpools disguised as hurricanes have a mind of their own? I mean, if they happened to be irritated, any chance they’d just come up out of the water and swallow someone alive?”
Minutes later, the vessel had come to an abrupt halt. Wanting nothing more than to look heroic in the eyes of his comrades, Zeb had slowed the craft into a random cove and advised the crew that “this is where the big ‘uns at.” Jubilant, the Maestro stood alongside Zeb at the right edge of the hull with both rods cast into the water below. Doozer remained seated, scrolling through his phone and generally already bored with the trip.
The resident of North Kaelrea, meanwhile, meticulously prepared his line. Despite there being plenty of bait and tackle for the entire crew, Max had taken it upon himself to bring along a large twig and a few shoelaces tied together. Fashioning a slip knot around the stick, Max motioned to the stoic CBD with his hand, prompting him to remove a wad of chewing gum from his mouth. Placing the saliva-soaked Doublemint on the end of the laces, he proudly displayed the crude tool for the world to see.
“You’re doing great so far,” Jiles reassured to his fishing buddy. “The way you put everybody in position to get the boat off the trailer, immediately getting behind the wheel, and navigating us to the perfect spot. Like a manly man, you didn’t stop to ask for directions.”
The truth of the matter was that Zeb’s makeup made any reaction fairly even-keel. Inside, he was bursting with pride. Sometimes, the best fit didn’t exactly coincide with what you would normally expect, and that was most definitely the case with his newfound relationship with the eGG Bandits. The fear that had clouded his psyche was one that consisted primarily of being accepted for his differences. Whether intentional or just their good nature, Jiles, Doozer, and Bobby had embraced him with open arms and made him feel like a part of the whole from the get go. Heck, even CBD had gone out of his way to buy him a coozie that said “I like GRITS: Girls Raised In the South” just because he saw it at a truck stop and thought Zeb might like it.
“Fact is that I’m gonna need you to do the same thing this Saturday,” the Maestro directed.
TO BE CONTINUED…
May 20, 2020
HATE to see it
You know the place.
There’s a trusty, potted, plastic fern next to a comfy, cozy, 97red love sofa which is positioned in front of a large, LCD, flat screen TV that hangs on the wall.
You know the person.
Bee. Dee. Jay.
The Qualifier of COOL.
The Grand Maestro of the eGG Bandits.
Hunter of Mongoloids, and Egger of Benny Newell.
My hair, swagger, and man length, are to kill for.
My jumper; vintage and 97red.
My sunglasses, fresh off the Skynet SE Line, are capable of reflecting a Max Shell lazer beam at damn near point blank range.
And that’s that.
No point in wasting anymore time.
“You’re welcome.” A genuine smile creeps across my face as I take a seat on the plush sofa. Slowly, I ease back on the cushion, getting nice and comfortable.
I do plan on being here for a while.
“Well, let’s address the elephant in the room right out of the gate, shall we?” Deflated, I heavily sigh. “My role model, a man who I have more respect for than the fine scientists and hard working robots over at Skynet Laboratories, didn’t get it done.”
Aloof, I shake my head back and forth wearing a look of utter, bafflingly disbelief.
“Jimmy, from your biggest fan, good try.” A hearty, patronizing, thumbs up. “I know guys who almost didn’t make it out alive after going up against Mike. Trust me, you’ll be better and more focused for what you’ve been through. Heck, I even bet that one day, you’ll look back and say, What the fuck was I thinking? Why? Why did I invite this man to come inside my house and take a shit in my MASTER bathroom?”
I know all about regret.
“It’ll be okay, James. I still believe in you.”
My reassuring thumbs go up again, as I find it very hard to contain my genuine fandom.
“Okay, enough about what’s been going on over in Benton Cross’ universe. Let us come back to reality, on Earth, where HATE runs rampant, HEROES EXIST, cigars and strippies are the tried and true cliche of the times, Max Shell is an actual thing, and legends never die.”
I smile wide as if the Bandits bagged the golden goose.
Then, my smile grows as I remember that we did.
“I’d like to congratulate the COO and Rick on a hard fought victory. You two titans of the ring would not be denied. BUT, if it weren’t for Doozer sacrificing himself and literally taking one for the team, who knows what might have happened.”
Honored, I stand from my seat, remove the T-shades from my clean shaven face, and proclaim with righteous dignity from atop my hill.
“Let it be said, here, right now, and forever from this point forward and this point backward– Doozer is a hero for what he did.” Emphatic, I continue. “I know you won’t hear me say, joke, or imply otherwise. His age, silly mannerisms, and well, everything else, yes, that is still fair game. But his bravery, that will be admired and written about in the Book of Egg, for all Bandits to know.”
I ain’t kidding.
Don’t like him.
That’s twice now that Doozer has taken the hit for Bobby Dean. The first time was when I regretfully threw an egg at Bob after a tense showdown, and Dooze lept in front of it. Second time, obviously, was when the coward, Scott Woodson, tried to kick Bobby back into a coma. The old bear dove in front of the ever fear inducing, Ice Kick.
I suppose you could say Dooze is a real life Kevin Costner, protecting Bobby’s dream of being Whitney Houston.
If that makes sense.
If not, ignore and move on.
Also, I want to give credit where credit is due. Ice Kick is the product of Scott Woodson’s advanced imagination, not mine.
And gawd damn these studio lights must be extra bright during the day. I’m usually here at night, but my sleep schedule is all sorts of fucked from going fishing with the boys. Which, now that I think about it, could also have something to do with why my eyes feel like they are rotting.
Anywho, best to be shading back up now.
“Regardless, no matter Doozer’s heroism, or Bobby’s ring rust which I can assure you is being worked on, a win is a win.” Gulp. “So, HATE, to you, The Brothers of Borecore, I say again, congratulations, and enjoy the fleeting thrill of victory while it lasts.”
I pause, because being poignant in times like this is important. Plus, I want to sit back down, which I do, all while poignantly pausing.
Up next, chewing gum.
“I’d like to add that while I’m devastated the Bandits squandered an opportunity to snuff out the HATE before they have a chance to chaotically bring down an arena, I can and do hang my hat on the fact it’s been two weeks in a row now that I’ve kicked Scoots Woodson, COO and head HATE Monger, in his face.”
Jocund, I smile like a proud father seeing his newborn child for the first time.
“I guess you could say I’m on my own little Hollywood streak when it comes to making Scoot go Terminal.” Lounging way back, I contently cross my arms over my chest and remember the sweet sound my size twelve boot makes when hitting him flush across his corporate lip rings. Then, I jolt forward, realizing my mistake, “No. Wait. I said two weeks in a row, so it wouldn’t be a Hollywood streak, per se. Sorry about that.”
In an attempt to scold myself for erroneous reporting, I shamingly shake a pointer finger in my own direction.
“In any event, that wonky, HATE hearted bastard has been seemingly willing to spit shine my boots so often as of late, I think I’m going to have to start tipping him.” Sincere, I lean forward and rest my forearms on top of my knees. “Being we’re old pals, I’ll start right now. Here’s a tip, HATE Monger. Shall you and yours wish to proceed in this hateful game of war with the Bandits… With me. Well, you should know I got plenty of change for that shinebox of yours, and I’m not adverse to helping your friends out either.”
I spit with the confidence of not giving a single fuck about where “old rocky” lands. The loogie, otherwise known as “old rocky”, is charcoal in color and you guessed it, rock hard in texture. It whistles through the air with such veracity you’d think it were one of those Nerf footballs trying to escape a HATE promo.
“AHHH. GOOD. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let us tackle more pressing, mind melting matters. For instance, about how my friend Zeb and I are totally up against it this week. We’ve drawn a daunting task for our first time teaming together. One, I’m not so sure we will be able to overcome.”
A deep breath.
I hold my hand out as if to correct myself.
“Well, one is a legend, and one has legendary blood running through her veins that she can’t wait to tell you all about.”
And I can’t wait to tell you more about both of them!
In part two!