Archive for January, 2010

Life Preservers, Parachutes, and the Flaming Nest

January 1, 2010

A current rendition of an old Dickens classic
Reworked  with a single intent: Illustrating betterment.

(download as a pdf: http://philkaplan.com/parachutes.pdf)

It’s New Years Day 2010 and Monty wakes up with the sun (it’s killing his eyes as it blares through the window reminding him of last night’s Tequila Shot #12, the last one he remembers).

He stumbles to the toilet and allows his lower body to somehow collapse onto itself so he can sleep safely, knowing he’s in the right vicinity if anything that didn’t make it all the way through his digestive tract wants to revisit him on this glorious first day of the new year.

Yes, it’s New Years Day, the day he’s certain to uphold his “never drink again” vow.

Yes, it’s January 1, the day good old Monty’s going to break out his old photos reminding him of the condition he was in when he graduated college 15 years earlier.

Yes, it’s a new day, a new year, and . . . oh sh*#!!!!

It’s the day he scheduled the personal trainer to come to his house.

Monty heaves a few times, decides brushing his teeth might be a good idea, and as he stares into the mirror before him he finds himself fascinated by the bright color of red the whites of his eyes have become. Carefully putting one foot in front of the other, as the house is clearly rocking from side to side, he makes it to the clock. He lets out a little prayer, “please give me time to cancel.”

The clock says 9:15. The no-good-son-of-a-monkey-white-smiled-ridiculously-tan-tight-shirted-muscle-bound clod who convinced him to make this absurd “get in shape” resolution is going to be there at 10.

“Hmmm, if I just lie in bed with the pillow over my head, I won’t hear him and he won’t know I’m home”

Monty plops his head face first into his pillow and thinks he hears a muffled “ouch.” He lifts his head, not without effort, and sees a little winged Monty dressed in white brushing himself off. A hallucination? Monty blinks. Ow, that hurts.

The little clean mini-me is still there, and he looks pissed.

“Monty, you idiot! It’s another New Year. Every year you make the same stupid resolutions and you’re plummeting downhill so fast you’re going to wind up so torn up your own mother won’t recognize you. She’ll walk by and say, “who was that smelly ugly unkempt drunk?” Is that what you want? That’s precisely what keeping your head on the pillow’s going to do. Get your fat ass out of this bed, drink some coffee, breathe some air, and move a little bit. You made a resolution and you’re going to stick to it!”

Monty wishes for death to come quickly, but it doesn’t. Instead a horned little guy, no bigger than the first arrival, pokes Monty in the chin with a pitchfork.

“Don’t listen to that geek. You know, every year we have a blast, and those stupid resolutions are only good in the moment. You’re here to enjoy your life, and alcohol, gluttony, and self-abuse are more fun than any absurd exercise program.”

Monty sits up and steadies himself. He asks the bed to stop rocking. He then asks the floor to stop moving. He then asks himself what the cluck is going on here?

A dream?

No. He couldn’t dream up this much discomfort.

Aha, he’s having a conversation with his conscience! Yes, it’s the little angel and devil who try to steer him in moments of decision. But something’s wrong. The little angel-me isn’t speaking his nice-speak from years past. In fact, he looks furious. The little guy flies up and hovers in front of Monty’s face.

“Jackass, I’m not going to let you do this again. That moron who looks like me in a red cape is a miserable wretch who thrives on watching you suffer and fall.”

The red-clad shortie jumps up and tries to position alongside his arch rival, but “whaaaack!,” one thrust of a white-sleeved fist sends him into the unknown, red cape, pitchfork, and all. The white apparition flexes his biceps and says, “assertiveness training. It was my 2009 resolution. Seems to have paid off.”

Suddenly the doorbell rings. The stuffed-in-a-shirt-smiley android is early.

Read the rest

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