Monday, December 05, 2005

10 More Land Units!

Let's go back to an earlier time, a simpler time, a time when I was still naive enough to think that going along with Dr. G'ovich's plans was a good idea . . .

The following entry is made possible by my old cassette recorder, which I just recovered from the Stoneheart residence, where I left it many, many months ago.

As usual, I can't recall the exact genesis of the plan; I believe it was something G'ovich pitched to Flunky, and which I somehow invited myself along on, although the invitation may have been extended willingly; who can say? What I can say for certain is that on the afternoon of Sunday, Oct. 30, 1994, Flunky, Dr. G'ovich, and I left Parker Hall and proceeded to Lake McMurtry on foot. I'm iffy on the exact distance we traveled, but it was at least 12 to 13 miles; don't ask me how far we thought it actually was, or why we thought it would be a good idea to do it; I was just along for the "don't want to be left out of things" ride.

So what does my tape recorder have to do with this journey? Well, at some point during the trip we decided to document our travels; of course, since we didn't start doing so from the beginning, we had to recap everything that had happened up to that point by re-enacting scenes from along the way. The beginning of the tape goes like this:

Flunky: Flunky's Log: Stardate, Sunday, 10-30-94, 2 P.M. What is that I see? Bamboo! I've always wanted that! Let's get it
G'ovich: Think of all the stuff we could --
Flunky: Oh no! There's a dog barking! Run, Todd, Run!

Ah, yes, now that? That would be the sound of my best friend mocking my emotional pain: specifically, my severe panic attack caused by a stray dog. When the mutt started following us I was a little leery, but not overly freaked at first, since it seemed like a friendly enough animal; however, when it came up behind me without me realizing it and licked my hand, well, I freaked out: froze up, stopped moving, maybe even cried a little bit . . . okay, okay, definitely cried a little bit. You see, when I was four years old, I had my head ripped open by a neighbor's German shepherd, which has left me a little, shall we say, touchy, at times, when it comes to canines; I'm all right around dogs most of the time, but there are certain situations that just set the fear off majorly: apparently, strange dogs coming up on me without me realizing it is one of those.

Needless to say, my two future roomies were puzzled by my intense reaction to this harmless mutt licking my hand, since the whole head-ripped-open thing had never really come up before for some reason. I was pretty embarrassed by the freak-out, of course, so they made a joke out of it to lighten the mood; G'ovich told me it was a friendly dog, no need to get vicious just because, and I quote (wishing I could properly duplicate the demonic voice he used) "it wants your soul!" Flunky started calling the mutt Killer; I, for some reason, insisted on calling it Charley; G'ovich named it Lucky. We all referred to it as "dumb dog" at one point or another, but the friendly thing followed us all the way to the lake.

Other highlights covered in our over-acted, overly-exaggerated re-enactments included seeing various dead animals; Flunky finding a magazine of questionable content that he insisted he was only keeping for the articles; having a strange van stop and ask us if that was the road to Lake McMurtry and offering us a ride; the beginning of Flunky's oft-repeated assurance that the lake was "only 10 more land units," followed immediately by my cry of "shut up!"; passing the point where Rocket's car had broken down earlier that semester and then been towed away, leaving only the muffler behind; oh, and more dogs barking. Which brings us up to this point:

Flunky: Alright, that about sums up everything that's happened so far; it is now . . . 5:16, and we're almost there.
G'ovich and myself: 10 more land units!

Not long after this came Flunky and my singing our version of "I Saw the Sign" upon seeing a sign for the lake, followed quickly by Flunky noting that the lake had more quiet hours than our dorm. And then there was G'ovich's cataloging of the strength of his bamboo stick, which he had been testing on various objects along the way:

G'ovich: Okay, so far, my bamboo is stronger than aluminum, stronger than . . . leaves
Flunky: Stronger than the little puffy things
G'ovich: Stronger than the puffy things
Me: About equal to a mirror
G'ovich: It's stronger than sticks, roughly equal to a mirror . . . and a mailbox, I think [Cap'n Neurotic disclaimer: we didn't really try it out on a mailbox . . . I think] But it's so far indestructible.
Flunky: Next test is --
Me: Next test is Flunky's head.
Flunky: No, I was going to say Todd's head.
Me: {unintelligible yelling at Flunky}

Upon entering the confines of the park, Flunky went up to a mound of sand, and planted a flag in it (whether it was something he found or something he brought with him, I have no clue), saying "I claim this lake in the name of Parker."

Now, by this point, it was getting close to 6:00, and we really didn't want to walk back, so we found a payphone and Flunky called the Parker Lobby while G'ovich manned the tape recorder for evidence; I, of course, was trying to get a Coke from the vending machine because I was going into caffeine withdrawal.

G'ovich: Now we get to see who our real friends our; gonna make a phone call and see if anybody comes and gets us; if we stay the night, I'm pissed at everybody I know.
Flunky: *on the phone* Who is this? *pause* Michael? Michael who?
G'ovich: Stipe.
Flunky: Hmmm . . . is . . . okay, is Wrath or Pooh-bear or . . . um, who else? *pause* Start yelling out these names.
G'ovich: Who all's down there, anybody?
Flunky: Who all's down there *pause* alright
G'ovich: *massive burst of laughter* Todd's Coke, he just now opened it, spewed all over him.

Once again, happy to have provided the unintentional comic relief; maybe that’s my role in the group . . . anyhoo, there's some brief chatter as we wait for the random Michael to find one of our friends, and then:

Flunky: It's Pooh-bear!
G'ovich: It's Pooh-bear, we got Pooh-bear.
Flunky: *on phone to Pooh* You're a good friend, right? *pause* No?!?! We're recording this conversation, so anything you say --
G'ovich: Can and will be used against you in the Parker Hall Council.
Flunky: Exactly.

Flunky then told her where we were, that we had just gotten there, and that we really didn't feel like walking back. Also told her that we had a dog; she didn't seem too enthused by the idea, but Flunky told her if she brought a leash we could just tie it to her bumper; we'll assume that he was kidding. He then suggested she bring, and I quote, "the cat food" for it, which elicited an "Ooo, ooo, yeah, bring the cat food" from G'ovich. It's the fact that it was the cat food and not some cat food that gets me: why exactly there was cat food readily available to be brought, I have no clue.

The next few minutes of the tape are us trying to entertain ourselves while waiting for our ride to show up by doing little skits (Flunky pretending to have been left all alone, Flunky sending Killer/Charley/Lucky off to find help, G'ovich trying to teach the dog tricks, us re-enacting a scene from the Gary Larson's Tales from the Far Side special involving aliens, cowboys, and "Deep in the Heart of Texas") and wondering if Pooh really was planning on coming to get us ("Pooh-bear told us she'd pick us up, but then she just laughed and laughed: she knew she didn't give a crap"). These shenanigans apparently soon wore thin, as the next minute or so of tape is occupied by Flunky trying to be sneaky and record our conversations without us knowing (oh-so-cleverly trying to cover up the red recording light with his finger), but failing miserably in his covert actions.

Finally, Pooh and Zinger showed up to rescue us, at which point Pooh discovered Flunky had not been lying earlier about recording the phone call. We bid farewell to the dumb dog, and headed back to town. We listened to the tape, and were finished with it by the time we hit the city limits. Once we got back into town we stopped by Toxic Hell, I mean Taco Bell, for some grub, at which point Flunky noted that it was 6:30. We reflected on what we had learned on our journey: G'ovich noted that I had been forced to confront my phobia, and Flunky stated that we found out who our true friend was, which earned a shout of "Me!" from Pooh. We then made up a little ditty about our adventures, sung to the tune of the theme from Gilligan's Island, which earned us a "You're all freaks!" from Pooh. But the fun wasn't quite over yet . . .

Flunky: Okay, we're going to record the Taco Hell lady and see if she gets confused about [can't quite make it out . . . Border Ice? Apparently, I'm just as confused as the Taco Hell lady] again.
Drive-Thru Guy: Welcome to Taco Bell, we'll be right with you.
Pooh: Ok, thanks.
Flunky: Well hurry it up, okay?
*laughter from all in car*
Drive-Thru Guy: I'll try to.
*much more laughter*
Pooh: *embarrassed laughter* Shut up. You guys are embarrassing me; I'm never going to pick you up at the lake again.
Me: You mean you picked up a bunch of guys at the lake?
*nervous laughter from Pooh as she wonders what she did in a previous life to deserve friends like us*

Eventually we got the food (which, with luck, was not poisoned or tainted in any way . . . well, anymore than usual with Toxic Hell’s food, that is), and ended our tape with many thanks to Pooh, assuring her that if she ever walked to the lake, we would be sure to return the favor (which got a "Why the hell would I ever walk to the lake?" response), and G’ovich telling her that she was our favoritest person in the world.

And how to end such an epic adventure? Leave it to the ever-eloquent Flunky to know just what to say:

Flunky: Th-th-th-th-th-that's all folks!


G'ovich said...

Todd seems to have selective memory. Quite possibly he mentally blocked this part out:

nearly at the lake, There are two killer attack dogs and a man training them how to BE killer attack dogs. They come out at us all teeth and slobber. There's no where to go, no place to run. We are dog food. But then LUCKY comes to the rescue, yaps his little head off, and runs for his life into the trees. The dogs chase after Lucky, we escape with our lives.

How can you hate a dog like that? Or freak out when he licks you?

Cap'n Neurotic said...

Hmm, and you're the one who's accusing me of making stuff up . . .

Honestly, no recollection of that at all. There was a section on the tape where Flunky remarks about the crazy man teaching his dogs to attack, but I have no actual memories of potential danger-to-life-and-limb.

Also, I never said I hated CHARLEY, and the licking incident would have happened long before he courageously ran for his life in a bold effort to save our lives, so I can hardly be blamed for freaking out towards this self-sacrificing animal prior to him commiting this heroic feat that I do not remember at all.

Cap'n Cluck said...

*claps enthusiasticly* When does the big screen version come out? Who will play the three of you? I think the Killer/Charlie/Lucky should be played by the dog that was on Full House. You definately have to add in G'ovich's part of the story. It will bring more action and drama to the movie.

Have a Cluckity Cluck Cluck Day!