Posted by Christopher America
The eGG Den
The Scarlet Letter
I’m a creature of habit. A man stuck in my ways. A man with flaws. So, so, so many flaws.
But can someone answer me this? Whatever happened to good old fashioned letters?
You know the kind; where you sit down at a table, pen in hand, and you tell someone you love them. You put effort into crafting a special message to a special someone that tells them just how much you care.
Technology happened, I know. It went from letters to emails. Emails to texts. Texts to tweets. Tweets to DMs. Hell, nowadays people craft these communications exclusively using emojis. Fucking emojis!!!
Well, I still believe that if you want to show someone you care about them and that you mean every word, you take the time, and the effort and you show them how important they are to you, with a nicely worded letter.
“Dear Mike…” And so it starts, as Doozer reads aloud with a smooth, somber cadence. Kinda sounds like Barry White making love to your ears.
I sit at the table, pen in hand, head down, tongue slightly poking out like Michael Jordan as I’m in heavy concentration. Doozer stands over my shoulder, reading each word as I write. Now that I think about it, I don’t know when he showed up or why he’s here narrating my letter like it’s an episode of the Wonder Years. Wait, is that showing my age? Should I pick a newer show that uses a narrator? Dexter? Or How I Met Your Mother?
“I just wanted to take this moment to thank you,” A scowl forms as Doozer recites the words, pausing as that little tidbit sinks into his brain. He looks at me, as if I’ve lost my mind. Yet, he continues to read, “I know that you might not get many thanks, what with you being the massively egotistical shitcrumb that you are and all.”
Grin sprung agape, Doozer nods his head emphatically, rejoicing at the pissant known as Mike Best.
“But, for once, you actually deserve this golden shower of praise.”Back to being confused, Doozer reads on. “You see, you’ve freed me. You have done for me what I couldn’t do for myself in the past six plus years. Do you realize how tiresome it is to constantly hear how much better I USED to be?”
Hesitant, Doozer pauses as his face crawls with concern. I guess he’s never really been aware of the dark thoughts that invade my mind from time to time.
“Nah, who are we kidding? You don’t know what that’s like. You’ve been the BEST since before you were officially a Best.” A sneer forms on the face of The Dooze, as he leans forward while I scribble away, eager to continue reading. “You’ve constantly surrounded yourself with the cream of the crop. The toppest of top talent throughout the years. No matter where you were in your career, you gathered and you plotted. Here I was thinking the greats usually wanted to beat the other greats? You just seem to join them together like the pussy footed basketball players these days.” The sneer gives way to a smirk. “You’re always bringing people into your inner circle, who then prop you up on that massive pedestal. Stroking that ever growing Ego of yours.. instead of Busting it.” Doozer sucks in his teeth before moving on.
“One really must assume your ass is quite sore from the number of lips that constantly kiss it.” The smirk turns into a full blown smile. “Mike, I came close at the Lottery. Sure if things had gone my way, everyone and their mother would have chalked it up to it being a fluke. But you and I know, I’ve beaten you before. And my tag partner, who’s creepily reading this aloud as I write, has too. Sure, he may not be Superman like you claim, but neither are you some infallible GoD.”
Doozer looks at me with pain filled eyes as he removes his red hat with the Super S logo on the brim.
“You claim that the G.o.D. is family for you. That they are the family you never had, but always wanted. But Mike, if they were family, why is it they’re so keen on becoming Bandits? Soon there isn’t going to be a G.o.D., it’s just going to be e.G.G.”
Doozer smiles widely at that, while also shaking his head, wondering what sort of acronym e.G.G. could stand for.
“Mike, we’ve been opponents. We’ve been rivals. We’ve been acquaintances. Dare I say, we’ve even been friends. We’ve shared the road together. We’ve shared a meal of three. We’ve been tag team partners, stable mates, and you even worked for me for a short period of time back in those old Hostility days. We’ve shared the ring, even a few of the rats that come with it. Regardless of our expansive history, I couldn’t have reached this point in my life nor my career without your assistance. So thank you, dear friend. From the bottom of my heart. For everything that you have done for me, both in the here and now, and back in the days before High Octane. My life is certainly more interesting with you in it. Know that I will forever keep you within my heart.
Sincerely, Bobby Dean.”
“P.S. I never knew that Dan Ryan was your mentor. It explains a lot, actually. I now understand how you became such a massive tool. And why a lot of people don’t like you. And, as much as I hate to admit, it explains how you’ve always been so dang successful.”
With furrowed brows, Dooze shoots me a quizzical look and asks “Really, dude?” He rolls his eyes ala Cancer Jiles. “Laid it on a little thick at the end there, don’tcha think?”
“Wait, so I can talk about banging the same chicks as Mike and all that crap, but the mere mention of how important Dan Ryan was to Mike’s career? That’s too much?”
“…” Doozer pauses in deep contemplation for a second or two. “Yes.”
“Noted.” I grin at the stubborn ox’s response before going through the process of folding my finished letter, stuffing it in an envelope, and licking it closed. “I always did like the taste of whatever rat glue they put on these things.”
“I don’t think you’re supposed to lick those anymore.” Doing his best parental impersonation, Doozer admonishes my letter etiquette. Letterquette? Irrelevant. The Dooze, as if sensing my wandering mind, breaks my sidetracked thought, “So, you’re really going to send that to Mike?”
“No, not send.” The words leave without a hint of emotion as I address the envelope to Mike Best. “Hand delivered, this weekend.”
Doozer’s eyes bulge as he stares down at me like I’ve lost my mind.
Cancer Jiles, Doozer, and Zeb Martin gather around the open trunk of the Banditmobile. For the curious, it’s a big ass white van with no windows and a large graphic of an over-easy egg on each side. The license plate reads CRAKKD. For the still curious, yes the Bandits now carry weapons to ward off the druggies who keep pestering them wherever they go.
Smiles on their faces, they laugh at each other’s jokes as the early afternoon sun shines bright overhead. All three men were quite surprised when Bobby gave them a call, inviting them for an afternoon of fun in the sun. Each one of them were anxious to dig their toes in the sand and take a dip in the ocean.
And what’s a good beach party without some party toys? These boys have come prepared, and all three of them take a turn extracting their implements of fun. Zeb is first up as he pulls forth an inflatable raft, uninflated of course. He also snags a plastic bucket filled with a set of sand castle building tools that any six year old would be proud to wield. While Jiles pulls out a couple of boogie boards, wind kites, towels for the group, and the biggest bottle of tanning oil you’ve ever seen. Last but not least, Doozer steps up and pulls forth a massive cooler filled with ice, and one can only assume a near-endless supply of Bud Light.
“I wonder why he’s invited us all out here?” The question is posed by The Dooze to no one in particular, as the three make their way towards the water from the parking lot.
“Reckon he’s been puttin’ time in on the weights, getting ready for y’alls match, Dooze.” Answers Zeb, looking a little out of place with his cutoff denim shorts, shin high boots, and his pasty body mismatched with his bronzed arms that would make a farmer jealous.
“Bobby?” Jiles asks in shock. “Training? Are you sure we’re talking about the same Bobby here?”
“Jus’ what I heard,” Zeb offers with a shrug.
“I heard he was worried about his place in the Bandits.” A skeptical Jiles retorts. “Zeb taking us fishing last week really hit a nerve with the formerly, now not so big guy. Probably feels like he’s the one that should be bringing us on all the fun adventures.”
“Huh!?” Caught off guard by Cancer’s commentary, Zeb asks with a hint of hurt in his voice. “I ain’t mean to upstage him! I just wanted y’all tuh like me!”
“Are we sure that coma didn’t mess him up?” The concerned question comes from Doozer, completely forgetting to calm the clan’s newest addition. “He was already a bit delicate to begin with, but lately he’s been acting a little more…”
“Awesome?” Jiles finishes his long time friend’s sentence with a chuckle.
“I was going to say assholish, but more Jilesey works too.” Sly, old Doozer quips as Cancer just smiles back at him smugly.
The trio arrive at the pre-arranged spot to see the Beautiful One standing there in a baby blue speedo. Loose skin, which used to be full of belly fat, hangs unseenly over the rim of his tight trunks. Nevertheless, The Bob’s barefoot and smiling brightly as his friends arrive.
“My Banditry brethren, thank you all for coming!” Bobby calls out, greeting them as the three Bandits lay their loads out onto the soft sandy beach.
“Listen, not many people get a second chance.” Sobering the moment, Bobby makes the statement very matter-of-factly. “I don’t know if this is a blessing or a curse. But I’m 0 and fucking 3, and I’m tired of being the weak link on our team. So, I’ve asked you all out here to help me prepare.”
“Prepare?” The word almost chokes Doozer on its way out. At the same time, you can sense an air of hope about him. “Prepare for what, Bobby?”
“Well, I kinda got caught up in a Rocky marathon the other day.” Bobby begins to explain.
“Hell yeah!” The interruption is brought to you by Zeb Martin, “I love that one where the one guy kilt them other guys, and then that little guy yells ADRIAN! But you can’t help wonderin’ if that Adrian chick screws like a dead snapper. Am I right? I mean, her facial expressions were so, I don’t know. Jus’seems like a dead fish kinda.”
All three Bandits look at Zeb who begins to mime shadow boxing. Doozer and Jiles turn their attention back to Bobby, who smiles at the exuberant new Bandit.
“So what do you need help with my former big boned buddy?” A smiling Jiles asks with the purest intentions.
“Dooze mentioned how I’ve been wrestling like I was still 300 pounds.” Bobby answers sheepishly. “And he’s right. If we stand any chance of beating Danny-Boy and Mikey, then I’ve gotta up my game. And I need you guys to help me get there.”
“So what do you have in mind?” An excited Doozer asks anxiously, hopping from one foot to the next to loosen his old bones up. “Do you have any idea how long I’ve been waiting for this moment!?”
“Calm down, old man.” The caution is thrown by Jiles. “Here we always had to worry about Doozer having a diabetes heart attack, now we gotta prevent the old man from croaking out of exuberance!”
“Well, Dooze,” Bobby begins. “You always wanted me to run the beaches to help my cardio. I figure, well, we’re here on a beach. Why not run some laps?”
“And you need us here for that?” Asks a skeptical Jiles..
“You know how I am,” Bobby answers sheepishly. “If I don’t have someone to help hold me accountable, I’m likely to be stuffing my face and gaining all that weight back. Now, if I’m honest, as much as I loved being good ole fat Bobby… Being the Lean Mean, Fighting Dean Machine is starting to grow on me. I just need a little help to make sure I stay on the straight and narrow.”
“Wait,” Stepping in with caution, Zeb’s despair in his voice causes the other Bandits alarm. “We ain’t flyin’ kites or buildin’ castles down here?”
“Uhm…” Making circles in the sand with his foot, Bobby answers, afraid of disappointing his new friend.
Bobby lies on the sandy beach, face down, head slightly askew so he’s got a little bit of breathing room. The sweat dripping off of his entire body is slowly turning the gritty sand into mush. Nearby, Doozer and Jiles sit casually on the beach watching as the sun slowly sets. The cloud filled sky is a beautiful orange reflecting across the water.
Zeb sits nearby with a look of shock on his face, as he is unable to tear his eyes from the recently finished sand sculpture of Dan Ryan. The likeness was immaculate. You know, except for the fist sized hole where his face should be.
Zeb looks up at Dooze, confused, and a little hurt after all that time he put into the perfect sculpture. Seeing the consequence of his actions, Doozer sighs while wiping the sand off of his knuckles. “I told you man, when I see his face I just get this urge to punch it.” His unapologetic explanation evokes a nod of approval from Jiles.
“I get it,” Cancer vocalizes his agreement. “He’s just got one of those faces, you know. Like Zion, errr… Matthews, but on steroids.” He doesn’t laugh. “But speaking of CBD’s inspiration, Bobbo, what’s the status on that little thing we talked about last weekend?”
Bobby slowly climbs up out of the sand and staggers his way over to his friends. Plopping down onto his ass with a sigh of relief, he’s now put the Maestro in between himself and The Dooze. Looking at the T-shaded eyes of his friend, Bobby waves his arm nonchalantly and answers, “Already taken care of, buddy.”
Cancer smiles and returns his attention back to the gorgeous sunset. Smirking as the plan he’s been cooking is one step closer to fruition. “So you were able to get a hold of RDR after all?”
Bobby, looking over at Doozer while Cancer is staring off into the distance, answers “Of course! I told you, you let me handle it and ole Bobby took care of it.” As he says the words, Bobby is shaking his head from side to side and shrugging his shoulder at the eldest member of the group.
When he’s finished explaining, he mouths to Doozer, “Who is RDR?”
“Perfect.” Announces The Qualifier of the Undercard. “Boys, this Refueled has the potential to be quite interesting.” Jiles mumbes to no one in particular.
“Just think, you retire Lucian.” Doozer begins to count as he holds up an individual finger. “Me and Bobbo pick up a win over the G. O. D.” A second finger raises. “Zee over there beats ordinary Berg.” A third finger. “If we pull off a clean sweep, one of us HAS to make into the big War Games match.”
The King of COOL begins to smile, as Doozer lowers his hand and looks off into the sun set. Zeb meanwhile is busy trying to restore the face of his masterpiece. And Bobby, well, Bobby is trying to hide a grimace at the mere thought of him being selected for War Games!