Tuesday, the eighth of September, 2009 – 5:20 in the afternoon. It was a day like any other day: at an hour closer to dinner than anything else, I was sitting at the computer in my bathrobe, unable to recall if I’d eaten breakfast yet.
Suddenly, I heard my phone vibrating from across the room like a coin-fed bed in a pay-by-the-hour hotel. I was expecting a call, but damned if I was going to pry myself away from the computer and take the two steps required to reach the phone unless I was absolutely certain I had to.
Before I could be certain, I had to check Twitter. With the phone vibrating away, I clicked a sidebar link attached to the words “Direct Messages”. I was right: the source of my phone’s panicked vibrations was here, online. No reason to waste precious, underfed moments on physical movement.
No reason, that is, until I read the two latest messages.
“Your package came,” they said. “In the mail.”
Now, unless it was another pipe bomb from my sleaze-bag bookie, Joey, there was only one thing it could be.
I rushed upstairs, holding my bathrobe shut so the midgets of the house wouldn’t see Peter Johnson doing his upside-down trapeze belly dance.
There it was, sitting on the table: the package I’d been waiting weeks for. I grabbed it and rushed downstairs, nearly giving Mr. Johnson a concussion as I sat down a little too quickly.
I tried to pull the package open. No dice – this little seductress was sealed tighter than my ex-wife’s legs. Not that I ever had a wife; I just like to say I did.
Finally, I pulled out Rusty – my trusty nail clipper. My ex-wife – not that I ever had one – was always nagging me about getting a real knife. But me? I figured that if a nail clipper was good enough for a theoretical terrorist that might one day hold an entire plane hostage with the mostly blunted file…well, it was good enough for me, too.
Rusty penetrated the package like my package penetrated my mistress (not that I have a mistress – I just like to say I do). Together, we tore through the unnatural barrier, revealing the box inside. If my father’s sperm could tell stories, they would probably say something similar about their triumph over the old man’s mishandled condom. Not that my parents didn’t mean to have me. I just like to say they didn’t.
Throwing the wrapper aside like a five dollar hooker, I opened the box. A sharp intake of breath was all that signaled my awe at the holy grail inside.
He was heavier than I thought. But his head bobbled away like mine did whenever I’d pretend to be listening to a cabby’s tales of woe. Not that I’ve ever been in a taxi cab.
It was a detailed, miniature likeness of author and Internet celebrity John Green. And it was an eerie little thing.
His mouth hung open, his eyebrows arched with surprise. The expression frozen on his face was the same one I saw on my old man right before I shot him for trying to flee the scene of a crime. Not that my father is dead…or a criminal…or was ever facing down the barrel of a gun at me. In fact, I’ve never touched a gun in my life. But I like to say I did.
After a shower and a shave (not that I shaved), I decided to show off Mr. Green to my sister and that mook she married. Not that my brother-in-law is a mook. I just like to say he is.
After a few minutes, the mook said he needed to get something. I prepared myself for the sound of a pistol cocking, or the sting of a bat hitting the back of my noggin. The mook returned with a box. I knew whatever was inside was dangerous. I know whatever was in that box had to be something packing a lot of punch – and this time, I was right.
Al Franken was in that box.
His head bobbled back and forth, side to side, like he was laughing at Peter Johnson’s upside-down trapeze act. It wouldn’t have been the first time. My ex-wife laughed at it all the time. Not that she ever existed.
Words – especially the limited vocabulary and made-up catch words of the noir genre – can’t describe what happened next. The mingling of the two icons, craniums bobbling away like a couple of Japanese kids having a Pokémon-induced seizure – it was amazing. The subsequent interview, the novel telling all the sordid details of the event? Indescribable.
The new world order was created here. With these two powerhouses in one place, the world trembled and minds were expanded. The future was now, and I was there, bearing witness to it all.
It was the most incredible thing to happen in all of history. A day I will never forget.