Annie wears a pair of gigantic, 12-inch-wide sunglasses.

Plunger struggles with Chinese handcuffs.

Tooth has a fistful of Tootsie Rolls and Smarties.

Bandana pumps a squeeze ball that looks like a bloodshot eye.

Blackhawk makes a foul noise and reveals the whoopie cushion beneath him.
Patch has a battery-powered mouthpiece that lights up his teeth in red, blue and green.

In the center of the group are strings of amusement tickets. The thousands upon thousands of tickets combine to create a mountain rivaling Devil’s Tower itself.

“I made up for the Yarthies debacle by finding a video game arcade on the way home,” I say. “It cost me a mere 150 bucks for…” I look at Annie. “…some giant sunglasses…” I look at plunger. “…some Chinese handcuffs…” I look everywhere else. “…and a bunch of other novelty items that cost a nickel to make in China.”

“But it made the kids happy, right?” Tooth says, popping a Tootsie Roll in his mouth.

“It did indeed,” I say.

“Then worth every nickel,” Tooth says.

“So how was Bill when you got back?” Patch says, his mouth flickering like a fireworks display.

Bill stands in the middle of the giant pile of tickets, wearing the melancholy expression of a man whose team has recently lost Game 7. He holds out his arms for a man hug. I rise without hesitation, and we embrace.

“Aw, that’s so sweet,” Annie says.

After the hug, I smile at Bill, revealing a plastic set of hillbilly teeth. He lets out a light chuckle and puts his hand on my shoulder.

“We’ll get ‘em next year, buddy,” he says to me.

“Not if LeBron takes his talents to South Beach,” Bandana says.

Bill points at Bandana and gives a stern look.

“Don’t get me started, you,” Bill says.

Flash forward to me and Bill in his basement, watching the Heat take down the Celtics in Game 5 of the 2011 playoffs.

“I’m planning to add a decree to my will,” Bill says, casting an empty glare at the screen. “I’m going to be cremated, have the ashes dyed green, and then have myself poured from a helicopter into LeBron James’ swimming pool.” He smiles at the notion. “Now that would be a grand statement,” he says. “You know how hard it would be for LeBron’s pool guy to clean out the ashes? And the water would probably be green for, like, days afterward. That would be something.”

I nod. “I’ll do Kobe’s pool,” I say.

“Cool,” Bill says.

Tooth finishes off the half-dozen Tootsie Rolls he was holding. He speaks through a substantial chunk of brown confection.

“Well, folks, now that Doug’s story is finished…” Tooth looks to me. “It is finished, right, Doug?”

I nod. Tooth proceeds.

“I have a little surprise for everyone,” he says.

Being the cinema-slash-pop-culture aficionado that I am, I imagine this to be the part of the story involving the big “twist,” where everything I once thought I knew is thrown out the window, and my world turns upside-down.

Little do I realize, I’m totally right.


Travelling: Intro / Book Jacket, Chapter 1: Cribbagegate, Chapter 2: Two e-mails, Chapter 3: Pattern, Chapter 4: Shattered, Chapter 5: Hilarious Pee, Chapter 6: Suicide, Chapter 7/8: Coaching High school, Shark attacks and appetizers, Chapter 9: June, Chapter 10: 18 and oh no, Chapter 11: DNA, Chapter 12: Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Chapter 13: Tom Brady and the McGuffin, Chapter 14: Game 1, Chapter 15: Who the H is John Havlicek?, Chapters 16 - 17, Chapter 18: Game 2: Great White, Chapter 19: Pickle, Chapter 20: Marty McFly, Chapter 21 / 22: standard deviation, all the pretty flowers, Chapter 23: Game 3: Black Hills, Chapter 24: Twister, Chapter 25: Game 4, Chapter 26: Patriotic Agony, Chapter 27: Locusts, Chapter 28: skype, Chapter 29: Click, Chapter 30: Superman, Chapter 30: Ass Brunch Chapter 32: Mammoth, Chapter 33: Pathetic, Chapter 34: Purple and Gold, Chapter 35: Chowdah, Chapter 36: Mastermind, Chapter 37: m&m cookie dough, Chapter 38: taste, Chapter 39: Dance with the Devil, Chapter 40: Game 7, Chapter 41: 17 to 11, Chapter 42: One Mold, Chapter 43: Stink Smell, Chapter 44: Yarthies, Chapter 45: Oops baby, Chapter 46: Winnah, Chapter 47: Green Pool, Chapter 48: Jesus Christ, Chapter 49: Prequels

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Blogger Dan B. said...
Sorry that this chapter got so few comments, but then again, pretty much anything would be a letdown after that "Winnah" chapter. Pretty hard to follow up perfection, you know?

Blogger Evil Ted said...
Thanks Dan,

the finish will eclipse "Winnah." Mark my words.

I'll put out the next chapter tonight, and then one Monday Morning.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
Ugh. Is this series still going? Enough already.