I’ve been fighting this giant flying deer for like 48 hours straight and I am sick of it.
I don’t even know which of my various nemeses cooked this thing up in which subterranean laboratory. I’m thinking maybe Doctor Nice, although the last monster he built had way too many heads and mostly just sat there confused and crying. It pretty much broke my heart to kick the thing in the faces and ship it off to Diego for analysis. (“Eet ees like Meetallica says, señor: a theeng that should not be.”)
Anyway point being I don’t have tons of—holy god that bitch just hoofed me right in the chops..!
OK enough. I’ve been holding back because the deer is so goddamn cute but now I’ve got a bloody nose and I’m exhausted and just want to get back to my hideout and unwind with some warm gin, maybe put the new Sade on the hi-fi, watch Rocky 2 with the sound off, lose the pants, dim th—gah he got me in my lower back I’ve had problems with that for years..!
I go into the unhappy sloth defensive stance (putting some peppers in the gumbo by extending my left knee an extra inch) and manage to jab him in his heart or kidney or whatever deers have there.
That throws him off his game long enough for me to do that move where I shake my hips and my brass knuckles go flying out of my pocket and right onto my hand. Nice. I usually only do that when there’s a stone cold fox nearby watching the action but whatever, I practiced that shit for weeks and I’m going to put it to work.
I clock the deer in his giant mutant ear hard enough to disorient him and then kick his giant mutant legs out from under him. He starts flapping his giant mutant wings but I do an old-school moonsault leg drop and this donnybrook is all wrapped up.
“Who sent you?” I yell.
And the deer wheezes out a scornful laugh and says: “Yo mama.”
I’m about to treat him to a second verse of chin music but then realize he’s not giving me sass-mouth. How could I have been so blind? This is totally my mother’s handiwork.
I have Thoughts and Feelings about people who confuse compliment and complement but I have even stronger Thoughts and Feelings about people who complain about dumb things on the internet. So I typically cram my complaints in my complaint-hole and wash them down with this bottom-shelf vodka called Suddenly Stop Caring.*
But you guys. I’m in a meeting today and the client is all: “We don’t want the copy to say these services are ‘complementary’ because people will think they’re free.” And I go: “No, no, I meant they complement one another.” And he goes: “Oh I get it. But so many people get it wrong that they won’t know what you mean. In fact, the first time I read it I assumed you meant ‘complimentary’ and just spelled it wrong.”
After calmly explaining that I have never spelled anything wrong in my entire life you asshole, I said: “So we’re letting the stupids win?” And he said: “The stupids won a long time ago, stupid.”
And then I counted on my fingers how many times I’ve watched Crank 2 and … and God help me I ran out of fingers.
*Other names I considered included: Just Shut Up, Mistakes Were Made, Wild Commute, Me Time, and Uncle Boris’ Problem Eraser.
I rappel down onto the thirty-foot statue of Phadis, get a stabilizing grab on her giant left tittay, unsheath my trench knife and go to work on the glowing sapphire embedded in her navel. Just as it pops out with a nice ch’ding! a nine-pronged shuriken hisses out of the darkness and into my hand.
(Say, do you guys remember the time I was in a machete fight with Donny After Dark in El Salvador and he flung a goddamn viper at me? Well this hurt like ten times worse.)
The jewel and knife go clattering to the floor of the undersea mausoleum and I’m trying not to cry because I recognize the cherry tree logo on the throwing star and I definitely don’t want to be crying in front of, in front of her.
She slinks into the chamber, wetsuit still wet, hair like spilled ink, eyes like twin jabs to the gut. She bends over to pick up the Blue Omphalos and I get a nice long look. She takes my knife, too, sliding it inside her utility belt.
“Hey now,” I say through gritted teeth. “My mother gave me that as a reward for killing my father.”
“You never had a mother,” Voletta Black says.
“I’ve seen pictures.”
“No man with a mother would ever do the things you’ve done to women.”
“I do awesome things to women!”
“A night of terrible pleasure, and then I awake to find myself handcuffed to a hungry panther and a hundred thousand euros poorer.” She produces a cigarette from somewhere. “Does that sound awesome to you?”
“This,” she says, showing me the sapphire, its glow lighting up her smoke, “is the second of a hundred things I will take from you.”
I’ve got thirty seconds to stop this ship from crashing into the moon of Nymphos. Which I discovered, what, like half an hour ago? I mean I literally just discovered it.
OK yeah technically it was my boy sidekick Trevor who noticed that Dykon’s orbit hinted at a nearby satellite. And yes your honor it was Gaylord 9000 our sentient onboard computer that did all the math—
(Gaylord 9000 prefers to be called by its product name Francis Montgomery v3. He finds my nickname to be “puerile” which is maybe the gaylordiest word ever, am I right or what.)
—but let me ask you this: Who first saw the moon? Was it Trevor? Yeah no. Trevor was in the space toilet crying for his mommy who abandoned him because he reminded her so much of the night she slept with a tri-penis’d Krakiit that she picked up at a gay alien bar called, oh, probably something like Uranus Forever? Half-Price Drinks For Any Entity With More Than Seven Nipples?
OK then was it Gaylord 9000, whose camera eye can’t even see out the window? Whose entire sad existence consists of looking unblinkingly at my crotch? A sight that, I happen to know, some women would pay two credits to see and other women would pay five credits to never see again?
Uh no. It was me. I saw Nymphos first. And Gaylord 6900 or whatever was so upset that it forgot to adjust our coordinates and now we’re on a goddamn collision course. I’ve pressed every single button on the console here and it’s basically doing jack! Shit!
Trevor’s doing the thing where you’re crying so hard you’re just flapping your little hands and jumping from one foot to the other. Gaylord is reciting some poem in its stupid fake British accent.
As usual, it’s up to me. Bob Danger.
I tiptoe aft and grab the last space-chute and blow myself (tee hee) out of the airlock. I float down to the surface of the moon which turns out to have a really nice crystal beach running along a deadly sea of purple acid. The only sign of life is this lame souvenir t-shirt stand but then my ship crashes right into it LOL.
So there’s this guy up on stage with on-fire barrels and the Santa Carla crowd is just loving it and he’s this big bodybuilder with an extremely oiled and nude torso and long greasy mullet and I think some chains around his neck — not like pretty little gold chains but the kind of chains you use to haul an engine out of a ‘64 Thunderbird? And he’s singing and pointing at the stone foxes in the crowd but then he also pauses from time to time to lustily play the saxophone. But Jason Patric is too infatuated with Jami Gertz to pay attention and Corey Haim is all WTF why are you not totally entranced by the oiled saxophonist like I am, and that, son, that is why the Eighties was the best decade ever.
I’m chained up in the dungeon of Emperor Xing. Yes, again.
Last time I managed to escape by hanging here for six months and losing enough weight to slip through the manacles. Time before that I excreted the lockpicks I’d eaten and grabbed them with my toes. Time before that I seduced Nathan, one of Xing’s elite guards, telling him that I couldn’t, you know, I couldn’t seal the deal with my hands cuffed. Point being I’m really hoping to come up with an escape plan that doesn’t involve me seeing a therapist and a proctologist afterward OK maybe for once?
Just as I’m about to imagine my daughter getting molested by a black man in an attempt to give myself a burst of manacle-snapping adrenaline, the emperor himself strolls in. Long fake fingernails, glittery eyeshadow, uncomfortably short kimono, golden stilettos, the usual.
"Bob Danger!" he says. "Accept my challenge and I will grant your freedom!"
I sigh and say: “I have wrestled your crimson gorilla-tiger. I have disarmed your army of a thousand robot scorpions. I have bested your genius baby at Go and Pachisi. I have survived the twenty erotic torments of Madame Lei. I have even freed myself from your devious finger trap. I mean seriously.”
"Come on, last time, I swear," Emperor Xing says. "I am thinking of a number between zero and infinity! Tell me the number, Bob Danger!"
"Five," I say.
"What the hell,” Emperor Xing says.
"Am I right?"
"How’d you know?"
"Five’s your favorite number, man. Remember when I was here back in like ‘97? We got to drinking that rum you got from a merman and really opened up?"
"I—no, not really."
"I told you about how I cry after sex but it’s a good kind of crying? Like, cleansing?"
Most days, this is truly awful advice. I don’t know about you, but I like having luxurious chest hair and a car with all its doors. I wouldn’t even want to have sex with a mop called “James,” let alone start a whole web community about it.