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Choose Your Own Novella: Part 3 october 11 2004, 03:59 am
submitted by: normal mc

Editor's Note: Refresh your memory and check out part one and part two.



No dog, no smile and more importantly… or more depressingly… no girlfriend. Breakfast of champions, I thought. I started reading that book a few years ago but found myself too confused by the Wheaties tie-in. I lit a smoke and found the sensation of wedging in my gap-smile oddly fulfilling. The first pure moment of joy this fine winter morning and it’s killing me.

Prioritize. Firstly, enough with the Phil Collins. I semi-staggered to the stereo, hit eject and flung the disc out my front window. It flew Frisbee-style to the street below, gently resting on fresh snow until the plow ran it over without prejudice. Justice maybe? I stared for a minute, head out the window letting the breeze smack me in the face. The winds of change perhaps? Do I have any Scorpions CD’s?

Secondly, back to the rack, still dark, I grabbed at random. Insert, press random. Fuck.

“She seems to have the invisible touch, yeah!”

Eject, fling, repeat step 2. I settled for my next grab bag, Bob Seger, Fair enough. Okay, time for the dentist call. Reaching for the phone, it rang.

“Hello?”
“We have your dog.”
“What?”
“Your dog. We have it.”
“Who is we?”
“None of your… don’t you have caller ID?”
“No.”
“Want the dog back?”
“Please.”
“What’s it worth to ya?”
“Whatever the going rate for a bulldog is, plus a hundred.”
“Okay smartass. Where is she?”
“Who?”
“You know who…”
“You’d be surprised how confused I really am right now. Who?”
“Your girlfriend.”
“I’m single.”
“Since when?”
“This morning.”
“Fuck!”

He hung up. I felt uncomfortable because I let him dictate the tone and pace of he conversation. It wasn’t so much the dog or Alli for that matter, but I hate being controlled, hate being regulated. Perhaps I should’ve been more firm, really sold him on the idea that I wanted my dog back, get him on the defensive. He didn’t sound all too menacing; not your typical goombah / wiseguy kneecapper. Sounded more like Peter Lorre with a bit of a head cold.

Why didn’t I have called ID? My phone was ‘ready’ for it. Is ‘star 69’ part of the same package I didn’t opt for? I called the phone company and within minutes I had caller ID. And star 69. Because I had a plan…the dentist could wait.

The plan was this: wait for the guy to call back and find out who he was via my new caller ID. Not the perfect plan - it could read 'unknown name', he could be unregistered or calling from a payphone, whatever. I'd arrange my meeting with him, aquiesce to his demands to the point of getting my dog back and then hightailing it on out. I'd even give up any information they wanted on Alli... as long as I got my dog.

What, you expected some long-winded, criminal mastermind revenge 'fuck you for taking my dog' kind of plan? Too early for that shit.

Then I'd go to the gym and get Alli's phone and dial all the numbers she has saved on it, just for something to do,

After about 15 minutes, I grew tired of sitting there, with my ass falling asleep from the uncomfort that is my lazyboy armrest. My pan could wait, this is starting to hurt. I dialed the dentist.

“Dr. O’Leary can fit you in at about 10:30. Do you want to come in?”

I lisped/spit a ‘yes’. It had gotten progressively more painful since I had seen the damage, now I was bleeding all over the handset, and I was glad they could sneak me in today. Something told me I was going to have an interesting afternoon – if the dog-napper called back – and I’d like to look good for him if we do meet.

It was 9:30, I knew I didn’t have the patience to sit and wait and I can’t stomach being so fidgety, so I took off for the dentist early. On the way down to the parking lot, I casually glanced around for my tooth, feeling a lot like a kid looking for a specific shell at the beach. All the shit on the floor looked a like. I toyed with the idea of grabbing a larger chunk of the rock salt and jamming it up the Grand Canyon that is my four-year-old’s smile. But I didn’t because I am an adult.

It was a day that made me curse the moment I chose new speakers over a remote starter. Fumbling with the keys as that whore of a winter wind whipped through my gap, I reached in, started her up and grabbed the ice scraper. It was the last gift I remember getting from Alli – it was one of those ergonomic, no-slip deals from Lillian Vernon or somewhere.

“Hey Jackass, what are you doing up so early?”

Somewhere out in the white I heard Chip’s voice, but I couldn’t see him.

“Fag, where are you going? Can I get a ride?”

Day-glo deer-hunter orange appeared. It was Chip, with his stupid fucking hat. Khaki pants, a white/gray parka and a bright orange ski cap. What an asshole.

“Yeah, scrape this and you can ride.”
“Scrape your own God-damn Malibu, fuckhole!” He tried lighting his cigarette for almost 20 seconds. I counted. I was so enthralled by his attempts I stopped scraping. I tossed the tool to him.

“Ass, grass, gas or scrape. No one rides for free.”

I got into the car and lit a smoke of my own. Through the 5x7 patch of windshield I had cleared I watched Chip debate whether he should smoke or scrape, smoke as he scraped or smoke then scrape. You could almost hear the gears turn. Finally he scraped, with the Camel non-filter dangling from his lips. Four scrapes in his Camel fell to its wet death. He stopped and started pounding my hood.

“Knock I off you asshole.” He couldn’t hear me, but he was an asshole. He was cursing now. I flipped on the radio to drown him out.

Bob Seger. Is life too fucking weird or what? I turned it on right in the middle of the last chorus of ‘Mainstreet’. And, of course, it was a doubleshot of Detroit Bob. Chip had cleared the view, although the defrost certainly pitched in, and got in just as ‘Like A Rock’ spun up.

“I love this song.” I wasn’t lying. “You just missed ‘Mainstreet’, man,”
“Notice how they always play like three or four or five songs by someone just after they die?”
“You’re thinking of Phil Collins, Chip.”
“What, did he die too?”
“Too?”
“Yeah. Bob Seger died last night, man.”

Jesus fucking Christ. I can’t escape this absurdity, can I?

“Where am I taking you?”
“I have a dentist, O’Leary. 11:00”
“I got one right before you.”
“Let’s get breakfast burritos.”
“I already ate. I gotta stop by the gym.”
“I’m not gonna watch you work out, that’s pretty gay.”
“I’m not gonna work out. Gotta pick up something for Alli.”







comments...   add a comment...


blackwidow
blackwidow 1056 posts
10.12.2004
comment no. 1

Ahhh yes...hanging on the edge of my seat! What could he possibly be picking up for Alli at the gym? Hrmmm?

Very good Norm. Coming along nicely.


the snerly
the snerly 671 posts
02.21.2005
comment no. 2

So when's the next installment coming?


dj tanner
dj tanner 4789 posts
02.21.2005
comment no. 3

I second that!


robert troll
robert troll 566 posts
02.21.2005
comment no. 4

You keep this up and I am going to release your secret manuscript that has been sitting on my closet shelf collecting dust for almost 10 years now.


dj tanner
dj tanner 4789 posts
02.21.2005
comment no. 5

Not that adult film monologue... "Strip Solitaire II: Playing For Keeps"


normal mc
normal mc 7472 posts
02.21.2005
comment no. 6

Keep what up? Writing? Fine!

The story is over! Nothing to see here! Move along!

(Please IM me so we can work out a transfer of that script, tough guy)


robert troll
robert troll 566 posts
02.22.2005
comment no. 7

I will release that script on my own terms. Or I will trade for some high stregnth aluminum rods.





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