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Thursday, August 21, 2008

The End of an Eclipse

Several years ago, when I first set forth on my grand quest to uncover the greatest story ever written, I set out on foot across the ruggedly beautiful Sierra Nevadas, my only gear a worn-out victrola, a vinyl copy of Air Supply's Greatest Hits, Vol.2, a warm bottle of Dos Equis, a week's supply of Jack Link's Chicken Jerky, a boot-leg vhs recording of the first season of The Fall Guy, a signed copy of Barry Switzer's autobiography, Bootlegger's Boy, a couple packages of Orville Redenbacher Cheddar flavored microwavable popcorn, a faded postcard from Joe, MT, a $25 gift card to Bath and Body Works, two Aleve, and a sling-shot that needed only mild repairs to be in full working order. As I struggled across the rocky terrain searching for the burst of inspiration that total and complete isolation often bestows upon great men, I surprised an ancient Washoe medicine man, bathing in a tiny spring. The shaman was naked but unabashed, only starteld by my sudden presence. The sparkle in his eyes belied the haggard coarseness of his dark and wrinkled skin. I spent several days with the shaman, and he taught me many things about life, vision quests, how to pick up any woman at any time, the scoring system of Olympic gymnastics, and all the while he never wore clothes. It was the time I spent with this man, Swings Like a Donkey, that I learned to never be ashamed of the human form. But as I struggled nakedly against the vise-like head-lock in which the Big-O held me, my old feelings of shame slowly crept back in.

Naked herself, the Big-O was as strong as a team of oxen. Maria screamed and cried, but to no avail. I fought to maintain counsciousness, but the darkness began to surround me, edging ever closer, until I was on the verge of blacking out.

"Hit her with Moby!" Maria yelled. But how, I wondered. The Big-O held me from behind and, as impressive as Moby is, even he has his limits. Then, as her ever tightening grip threatened to steal the last vestiges of life from my body, I had a vision. I saw the old shaman. He was gesturing wildly, swinging both hands up behind his head as if throwing a large stone behind him. I began punching back at the Big-O's face, but she shrugged off the blows as if they were mere gnats. The shaman shook his head violently, repeating the gesture, trying to make me understand. Suddenly I understood. With death scratching at my life's door, I summoned all the strength I could muster. I reached up behind me and gripped the Big-O by her powerful shoulders. Then I pushed up with my muscular legs and vaulted my rippling figure upward and back, swinging Moby like a hammer of the gods and striking the Big-O directly between the eyes. Upon contact, her grip loosened and my momentum catapulted me into a full back-flip and sat me down directly behind her.

The power of the blow momentarily stunned her, and I knew I had to act quickly, despite my lack of strength. I launched myself onto her back, applying the same headlock she had used to detain me. But I quickly knew I had under-estimated her strength.

"You call that a hit, little man?" she laughed, "Remember, I seen Dennis Rodman naked."

"You slept with Dennis Rodman?" I asked incredulously, "He never wrote about that in his book!"

"He might not be proud of it," she said, "but he knows what he did." Then, with a laugh, she reached back, grabbed me by the neck and flung me over her shoulder, sending me spinning head over feet through the air and into the wall above the kitchen sink.

I lay on the counter top on my back clinging desperately to consciousness as I watched through blurred vision the towering, frightening figure of the Big-O moving over the top of me.

"So you're a dog lover, huh?" she asked mockingly.

"I, I liked Bambi," I stammered.

"Wasn't Bambi a deer?" Maria asked.

"That's right, that's right," I agreed, "What about Flipper?"

"I think Flipper was a horse," Maria said.

"Flipper was a dolphin, you idiot!" the Big-O screamed, "Why the hell would a horse be named Flipper?"

"No, I think Maria's correct," I said, "I believe Flipper was Roy Rogers' horse." The Big-O shook her head and turned away from us. I could hear her swearing quietly as she reached for a large carving knife.

"He was a quite famous horse, too," I continued, "I believe his stuffed and mounted corpse is in the Smithsonian."

"Well I hate horses, too!" the Big-O screamed as she returned to her previous position standing over me, "All they're good for is making dog food out of, and why would anyone want to feed a dog?" With that, she raised the knife over her head, preparing to plunge it deep into my chest, to extiguish the light of one of the great geniuses of our time.

"But if there were no dogs then you wouldn't have your baloney," I reasoned, "And since dog food is made from horses, then horses would in turn be an essential ingredient in your baloney also."

"Enough!" she roared.

"Drop the knife!" a familiar voice ordered. The Big-O turned suddenly to the door, blocking my view of my savior. She dropped the knife and raised her hands.

"Move away from the sink!" the voice ordered again. The Big-O moved slowly aside, as if the end of an eclipse, and I saw K-Ro standing in the doorway, a pistol trained on the behemoth. I somehow managed a smile, and as I slid into unconsciousness, I swear I saw a tear in K-Ro's eye.


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