Thursday, December 14, 2006

Nothing Says Thanksgiving Like a Boot to the Head

The Sunday before Thanksgiving, the Singles decided to have our own Thanksgiving dinner; Shack-Fu offered to host, Peanut offered to smoke a turkey, the girls offered to make all the sides, and I offered to buy some Cokes -- hey, I know my strengths, okay? Even though both of my roomies were going to attend, we wound up driving separately, since PigPen had to come after he got off of work, and The Anti-Cap'n couldn't tear himself away from the Dallas game, so I wound up being one of the first people to arrive. I'm not sure what I was expecting to find at Shack-Fu's place, but whatever it was, it wasn't even close to what I got.

As I walked up the sidewalk towards the house, I heard quite a bit of commotion going on inside; when the door opened I was greeted with the sight of Fluffy* and Shack-Fu, both standing and looking a bit red in the face, and, on the couch, Shack-Fu's sister and brother-in-law, who I was surprised to see; I had met them at church that morning, and they had said they wouldn't be able to stay for our dinner since they had to head back to Oklahoma. I had barely set down my first load of foodstuffs and was getting ready to head out to the car for more when Shack-Fu's brother-in-law cried out "Todd, Todd!" as he scooted over and patted the couch cushion, signaling for me to squeeze in next to him. "You gotta see the show, it's great, we should pop popcorn!" Needless to say, I was intrigued, and hurriedly grabbed the rest of the food from the car so I could find out what all the fuss was about.

I was not to be disappointed.

After I got my front-row seat, my fellow audience members got me caught up on what had I had missed. You see, before I had gotten there, discussion had somehow turned to the fact that Fluffy is a black belt, which led into Shack-Fu asking to see some of her kicks; she obliged by kicking off her heels and then snapping off a kick that stopped inches from his face. And thus the show began, with Fluffy demonstrating various holds and moves on her newfound living practice dummy. Apparently, the allure of watching Shack-Fu get thrown around by Fluffy was too strong for his family, who were enthusiastically cheering Fluffy on, so their departure was delayed. After showing how she would protect herself from frontal attacks, Fluffy coached Shack-Fu to come up behind her and catch her in a bear hug, which he happily did. She then started her escape maneuver, which began with her grabbing him by the love handles, the idea being that in a real fight she would dig her fingernails in and yank down hard. However, while the intended effect was to just demonstrate how she would incapacitate him with sharp pain, the actual effect was to totally incapacitate him by making the incredibly ticklish Shack-Fu collapse into gales of giggling like an air-headed school girl with both lungs full of nitrous.

It was immediately after this that I arrived, and then the action resumed.

Or, at least, Fluffy tried to resume the action, but every time she reached back, Shack-Fu would flinch away, giggling insanely the whole time. It finally reached the point where he couldn't even get near her, as the mere thought of being tickled would induce the crippling laughter - - I'm sure the cackling audience members weren't helping matters either. After a few minutes of this exercise in futility, we were all suddenly blinded by the light bulb clicking on in Shack-Fu's head.

"Holdonholdonholdon" he cried out before racing into the back of the house**. After a minute or two he poked his head around the corner and yelled "Okay, Fluffy, face the couch and don't turn around. Don'tpeekdon'tpeekdon'tpeek!" Perplexed, Fluffy obliged, and therefore missed out on seeing Shack Fu stalk forth warily, clad in a camo flak jacket and combat helmet. Believing himself properly armored, Shack-Fu was able to successfully complete the bear hug. Fluffy reached behind her to grab ahold of the love handles yet again, and ended up with only a handful of flak jacket, prompting her to throw down her hands, stomp her feet, and cry out in consternation, "I can't work like this!" But, apparently she underestimated her ability to work under unusual conditions, as she then proceeded to throw him around like a rag doll.

"No, seriously, I can't work like this"

At one point she started to demonstrate a move which would have basically resulted in her hurling Shack-Fu onto the ground flat on his back, but she was worried if she did he would hit his head on the fireplace, so she didn't complete it. Shack-Fu's brother-in-law very helpfully offered suggestions on how they could maneuver themselves so that Shack-Fu's injuries would be minimized, but Fluffy still declined, to the disappointment of all.

It was soon after this that more guests started to arrive; poor Cap'n Cluck, Peanut, and Squiggly were very confused by Shack-Fu's gear, but after a brief recap, they were ready to watch the show as well. But, as entertaining as slapping Shack-Fu around was for her, after a few minutes of performing for the newcomers Fluffy decided to have mercy on him for a while. As soon as it was obvious Shack-Fu wasn't going to be experiencing any more humiliation, his family decided it was time to go. After that, the rest of the evening, while fun, felt like it was lacking something, i.e. physical violence. Still, there were some interesting moments.
  • Cluckity trying to teach Peanut a new dance move which required him to throw her onto his shoulder while she stretched herself out like she was flying. After a few tries where he couldn't quite get the placement right, she told him "You can throw me up harder than that, I won't break." So, the very next try, he threw her over the shoulder quite a bit harder, causing her legs to go flying down, effectively kicking him in the butt. And me without a video camera.

  • The infamous "What's Love Boat?" game of Cranium Pop 5 which, I suspect, didn't demand Shack-Fu's full attention. Why do I say that? Well, call it a hunch, call it my keen observational abilities, call it the fact that he spent most of his time using the game's supply of clay to build himself a submarine firing torpedoes at an octopus . . .

  • A rousing game of Chicken Foot, memorable primarily because I actually won for once

  • PigPen, who had been forced to stay at work later than he had wanted, got there just as the bulk of the party was leaving. PigPen was adamant that we play at least one game; Cluckity was adamant that he hurry up and finish eating so that she could take her card tables home.

    "I said we're playing a game!"

    After about the 27th exclamation of "We're playing a game!" somebody started a thrilling game of I Spy to placate him . . .wait, did I say placate? I meant antagonize. My bad. About the third clue was "I spy with my little eye something that's black"; before I even knew it, the following words came flying out of my mouth: "Shack-Fu's soul." Fluffy gasped in shock, and accused me of being horribly, horribly mean, which I felt was a bit much; after all, it wasn't like I was beating up on him or anything . . .

  • When I asked Fluffy about her recent trip to Philadelphia, she explained that she really enjoyed one particular aspect of the trip, a response that had me confused. I asked her to repeat it, and once again heard the strange phrase. I asked her to repeat once more, and this time it was clear, as evidenced by the fact that Cap'n Cluck, Peanut and I all exclaimed "Oh, sight-seeing!" at the same time; I'm glad I wasn't the only one who misheard her. What was it we all thought she said? Well, I could tell you, but then I would be her new karate dummy, so I think I'll pass, thank you.

Towards the end of the evening, with only five of us left, Fluffy and Shack-Fu were egged on into a repeat performance for the benefit of those who missed out. After running through the basic kicks, punches, throws, etc., it was time once again for the dreaded bear hug/love handle combo. Now, I don't know if it was a culmination of an entire evening of frivolity, too much caffeine, or something funky in the dressing, but Shack-Fu was even gigglier than before, actually collapsing to the ground and curling into the fetal position to protect himself. While highly entertaining for the rest of us, it did make me hope and pray that if military man Shack-Fu ever goes into battle that he's never forced to engage a foe well versed in the ways of Tickle Fighting, or else the free world as we know it may be doomed.

"Where's my dignity? I think it went that-a-way"

*Better known to you blog monkeys as H.Q., but trust me, the story works a lot better if you use the Fluffy nickname.
**Did I mention that Shack-Fu could give PigPen a run for his money in an "Ooo, shiny object!" contest? And did I also mention that the odds are good that PigPen is going to kick my butt if I make one more "shiny object joke" about him?