LNH: The Green Lampoon
aprilwhite022000 at yahoo.com
Sun Nov 24 00:33:45 PST 2013
THE GREEN LAMPOON
This was me. No, not the big jock. No, not the guy standing next to him either. And, no, not that guy who was busy doing his homework.
There. That's me. The kid with the Star Wars T-shirt. Al Harker.
"Harker!" And that was the big jock we saw earlier. His name was Lance and his friend's name was Jeff.
"You're going to give me your lunch money."
I shrugged my shoulders. "I didn't bring lunch money."
"Don't lie to me!" Lance said. "How are you going to buy lunch if you don't bring lunch money?"
"That's just it," I said. "I never DO eat lunch. You always take my lunch money. Why should I bring lunch money if you're going to take it?"
"Because it's not about the money..."
"It's about sending a message?"
"No," Lance said. "It's about beating up a geek in a Star Wars T-shirt."
So for yet another day I had Jeff grab my arms from behind while Lanced punched me. I was getting bored by this.
"Aren't you going to beg me to stop?" Lance asked.
"No," I said. "I could keep this up all day."
"Hey, Lance," Jeff said. "I think he likes it."
"Yeah," Lance said. "I think you're right."
"This is creepy," Jeff said. "We should just stay away from this weirdo."
Lance seemed to agree and, since then, he had stopped picking on me. That was the good news. The bad news is that he started telling people that I was gay and people believed it so, as a result, instead of having Lance and Jeff beat me up and take my lunch money I started gettng beaten up by the local Bible thumpers. You see, these guys hated gays and their interpretation of "Turn the other cheek" was "When you are finished hitting a guy on one cheek, turn his face so you can hit him again".
That was high school for me.
But then one day the strangest thing happened: there was a falling star. Well, actually it was a space ship but as it was burning up in the atmosphere it looked like a falling star. You know, like a meteorite.
Anyway, when the ship crashed there was a huge explosion that leveled trees in the woods near my house. Luckily nobody was killed. or maybe luck had nothing to do with it.
You see, I passed out for a moment after the crash and when I woke up there was a green sphere around me. And here's where it gets really weird: the sphere lifted me up and took me in the direction of the crashed ship.
There was nothing left of the ship: there was just a crater where the remains of the ship made impact with the ground. All that was left was a green sphere not unlike the one that was carrying me.
When the two green spheres made contact they became a single oblong green blob. I was now inside this blob with an actual alien. I knew he was an alien because he had blue skin just like the aliens in Avatar.
The blue skinned alien handed me a green ring. "Take this ring, Al Harker," he said. "It has chosen you."
"Why me?" I asked. "Of all the people on Earth?"
"Because you were nearby."
"Okay." I took the ring from him.
"I am dying, Al Harkin. The ring is yours now."
"Hey! How do you know my name?"
The alien didn't answer because his body was crumbling into dust. Apparently he was so badly injured by the crash that the ring was the only thing keeping him alive.
I quickly put on the ring and used my force of will to maintain the green sphere aound me. I ordered it to take me home. And, just like that, it flew me home.
- * -
My parents died when I was a young boy: they got into their car and turned the key and the car blew up. The police said that they had been using diesel fuel in a car that was only supposed to take unleaded gasoline but I always thought there was more to it than that.
When my parents died I went to live with Uncle Tim and Aunt Mei. Tim was my dad's brother and Mei was his wife. He met her on a trip to ThaiLAN, married her and then arranged for her to be brought over to the Loonited States. I feel no shame in admitting that I think my aunt was really hot.
"Hey, Al!" Uncle Tim said. "Did you see the big explosion? They say on the news that it was a meteorite!"
I nodded. "Saw it? I was right in the middle of it!"
"My God! Are you alright?"
"Yeah. I'm fine."
"You're not hurt?"
"I said I was fine."
"So then how close were you to the explosion?"
I smiled. "This saved me." I showed them the ring.
"What is it?"
"It's a ring."
"We can see that. How did it save you from the explosion?"
I smiled and activated the ring. A green bubble formed around me and I used it to slowly rise up above the floor.
"How is this possible?" Uncle Tim asked.
"It wasn't a meteorite," I explained. "It was a space ship. And the alien pilot gave me this ring before he died."
"You're... you're a superhero!" Aunt Mei said.
I scoffed. "Oh come on, Aunt Mei!"
"No," Uncle Tim said. "She's right! With great power comes..."
"I was going to say 'fame and fortune' but, yeah, you're right. If you have the power to help people then you should use it!"
"Here!" Aunt Mei said. She went to get some green pajamas. "Put these on."
"Seriously, Aunt Mei?"
"Do as your aunt tells you!" Uncle Tim said.
"Okay," I said. I put on the green pajamas.
"Now," Aunt Mei said. She took a green tie and ripped it down the center.
"Try this on."
She wrapped the tie around my face and tied it around the back of my head. It looked like a green mask.
"Go take a look in the mirror," she said.
I did. "Hey!" I said. "This looks pretty cool!"
Aunt Mei smiled. "You listen to your Aunt Mei from now on. Okay?"
"Okay," I said.
"So, Al," Uncle Tim said. "Are you going out there on patrol?"
I shook my head. "Not tonight. I have school tomorrow." Truth is I had had enough excitement for one night and needed to go to bed.
- * -
Going on patrols a superhero isn't as exciting as the comics and movies make it out to be. I mean, how much crime do you see on a daily basis? If it were that easy to find people getting mugged in the city then you'd probably never want to leave home.
Then something exciting actually happened: a KNET News helicopter was spinning out of control. I covered it with a green bubble and had it safely float down to the roof of a nearby building.
"Is everybody alright?" I asked. Three people got out of the helicopter. Two of them I didn't recognize. The third I recognized right away. "Hey!" I said. "You're Lois-Jane Larson!"
"Yes," she said. "That's me."
"Have no fear, Ma'am!" I said. "I'll take you home!"
"That really won't be neces--" she started to say.
"Nonsense!" I said as I enveloped her in a green bubble. "It's no trouble."
We flew in the air, each in our own bubbles. She looked a bit nervous so I merged the two bubbles in an attempt to calm her down.
"It's really okay," I said. "Your apartment is not far from here." I pointed. "There it is right over there!"
"How do you know where I live?"
"It's the ring," I explained. "It tells me things. For example..." I concentrated. "You're wearing pink underwear. Am I right?"
"Let go of me!" she yelled.
I was so startled that I did indeed drop her.
"Ahhh!" she screamed.
I grabbed her with a green bubble and flew her down to the balcony of her apartment. "See?" I said. "Nothing to worry about."
As I flew off I heard her shouting things at me but I couldn't make it what.
She sounded a bit angry.
- * -
I decided to quit being a superhero. I just wasn't cut out for it. From now on I was only going to use the ring for selfish purposes. For example, during summer vacation I flew to ThaiLAN, not by airplane but using the power of the ring.
I wanted to go to ThaiLAN because I saw how happy Uncle Tim and Aunt Mei were that I wanted some of that action myself. Seriously, all that moaning and grunting all night long coming from the master bedroom. Geez. But after spending a whole month in ThaiLAN, I just couldn't find what I was looking for. Not with Nana. Not with Peipei. Not with Anna. Not even with the twins, June and Judy.
So I decided to travel Northwards. I let the ring guide me. It brought me to a monastery in Tib.net. When I landed at the monastery, an old Scottish man introduced himself.
"Greetings!" he said. "I am MacDougal. I run this place."
"I'm Al Harker," I said. "You're not surprised to see somebody fly down here using his own power."
MacDougal shrugged his shoulders. "We've been cut off from the outside world for some time," he explained. "I expected there wpuld be some changes."
"This ring," I explained. "It's unique."
"You don't say." He smiled. "Come in."
I went into the temple. The monks all had white full-face masks with black circles where their eye holes should have been.
"This is the Temple of the Dark Monks."
"How do they see through those masks?" I asked.
"It is part of their training," MacDougal explained. "They must be able to make their way around without seeing with their eyes."
Just then one of the monks tripped over a stool and went spralling over the floor.
"It takes many years of practice," MacDougal explained. "Please," he said, "I want you to dine with us tonight."
I nodded. "Thank you," I said. "I'd be honored!"
"But, first, you must do one thing for us."
"You must kill this goat." MacDougal pointed to a goat.
"Why? What did it do?"
"You don't understand. It's what we are having tonight for dinner."
"Oh, well." I said. "Then I guess I will pass."
MacDougal sighed. "Do you not realize that whenever you eat meat that somebody had to kill an animal."
"Well, sure," I said.
"We here believe that if you eat an animal you should kill it yourself. Otherwise you are not accepting responsibility for the death of the animal."
"Well, hey, I admit it! Many animals have died because of me! Guilty! But that doesn't mean I want to kill them myself!"
MacDougal shook his head. "One day you must learn to do what is necessary!"
I nodded. "Right. Thanks for that advice. Much appreciated. Anyway, nice meeting you! Bye!" I was out of there. I flew all the way back home.
- * -
I didn't give any thought to Tib.net during the rest of the summer vacation because I was too busy preparing my textbooks for the new school year. One day, I came home and found that my Uncle Tim and Aunt Mei weren't home. But the house wasn't empty.
"MacDougal!" I said. "What are you doing here?"
"Don't try to play me for a fool, Al Harker!"
"What do you mean?"
"You are the son of Tom and Jane Harker who we had killed years ago."
"What? You killed my parents?"
"I told you not to play me for a fool!" MacDougal said. "You went to our monastery last summer looking for the people who had your parents killed! Admit it!"
"No!" I told him. "It was the ring that brought me to your monastery! I didn't know why!"
"Ah, yes," MacDougal said. "Your ring. You know, if it wasn't for us killing your parents you would never have gone to live with your aunt and uncle and you would never have found the ring. So, in a sense, we are responsible for you finding the ring. You should thank us!"
I was getting impatient. "Where are my aunt and uncle?"
A bunch of masked monks appeared behind MacDougal. "Give us the ring and maybe I'll tell you where your aunt and uncle are," he said.
I used my powers to slam all the monks against the walls. I then grabbed MacDougal by the throat. "Tell me where they are."
MacDougal smiled. "You have finally learned to do what is necessary!"
"I asked you a question."
"Very well," MacDougal said. "I'll tell you the truth. I work for the Mandolin."
"Yes. He's a terrorist. A Hindu extremist."
"A Hindu extremist?"
"Yes. he hopes his actions will bring about the Hindu apocalypse and show the world that Hindism is the one true faith!"
"You better not be shitting me!"
"Have you not watched the news?"
I decided to place MacDougal in a green bubble and turn on the TV. I turned the channel to NNN, the Net.News.Network.
"I am the Mandolin," the Mandolin said. "I am a bad man."
The Mandolin looked like what Ghandi would have looked like if he had taken up a life of crime instead of a life of civil disobedience. Instead of white robes and string he had red robes and gold. And nine rings. He had nine rings.
"If you are watching, Al Harker, I have your aunt and uncle! Bring me your ring and I will spare their lives!"
"See?" MacDougal said. "I told you the truth."
"Perhaps," I said. "But if you're lying to me I will hunt you down."
I used the ring to locate the Mandolin. I expected him to be in PakisLAN but he was in Flori.de of all places. He was living out of a comfortable mansion. There were prostitutes on the bed in the master bedroom and there was cocaine on the night stand. Definitely not what I had expected.
"Oh man," the Mandolin said as he came out of the bathroom. "Don't go in there! My shit smells something awful!"
"You!" I said. "You're the Mandolin!"
"What?" the Mandolin asked.
"Where are my aunt and uncle?"
"Don't play games with me!" I said.
"I don't know what the fuck you're talking about!" he insisted.
I sighed. "You are an international Hindu terrorist out to bring about the Hindu apocalypse!"
"Do you hear yourself? Seriously! Hinduism is a peaceful religion!"
"That's what they all say!"
"Oh," the Mandolin said. "Fair point. I'll grant you that one."
"Wait," I said. "Is that British accent for real?"
He smiled. "It is indeed. Born and bred in Brixton I was. Well, born there anyway. I think my parents sired me there too although it could have been on one of their vacations." He winked.
"An actor. Yes. Ken Bingsley at your service." He wanted to shake my hand.
"MacDougal!" I screamed. "I'll kill him!"
"Eugene MacDougal? He's the one who hired me!"
"So he's your boss?" I asked.
"Not exactly," Bingsley said.
"Who's the one in charge?" I asked.
"That would be the Toker," Kingley said. "He's the one who tells everyone what to do."
"Right," I said. "Then the Toker is the man I want!" Then it occurred to me that I had already been lied to once already. "If you're lying to me..." I said.
"Yeah, yeah, whatever," Bingsley said as he got back into bed with the two hookers.
The ring told me where the Toker was. I really did not have to go all the way to Flori.de because the Toker was back in Net.ropolis in the abandoned warehouse district.
"Congratulations!" the Toker said as he took his joint out of his mouth and exhaled some smoke. "You found me!"
"Where are my aunt and uncle?"
The Toker laughed. "Look up," he said.
I looked up. My aunt and uncle were suspended from the ceiling.
"Try to save your aunt and your uncle will fall to his death. Try to save your uncle and your aunt will fall to her death. You must decide!" The Toker laughed.
I shook my head. "You've got to be kidding me!" I enveloped each of them in green bubbles, broke their bonds and brought them safely down to the floor.
"Oh," the Toker said. "That was a lot easier than I had imagined it."
"And now, Toker," I said. "You are going to jail for a very long time!"
"On what charge?" the Toker asked.
"Murder. Extortion. Kidnapping. Forcible confinement. Racketeering. Drug possession."
"Oh. Okay then." The Toker smirked. "But could we stop at White Castle first? I have a major craving for their hamburgers!"
- * -
The Toker, the Mandolin, MacDougal, they all went to jail for a very long time. And my aunt, uncle and I all lived happily ever after.
Well, except for one problem.
I went to see Lois-Jane Larson.
"Yes?" she said as she answered the door.
"Hi!" I said.
"Do I know you?" she asked.
"You probably don't recognize me!"
"Who are you?"
I put on my green mask. "Remember? I'm the hero who saved your life!"
"Get the fuck away from me, you creep!"
"Now, now, come on, Miss Larson!"
"I swear before I call the cops!"
She pulled out a can of mace. "I'm not afraid to use this!"
"Okay, okay!" I said. "Geez!"
It went on like that for years. After she got the restraining order and she got married and started having kids I finally decided that things weren't working out and it was time to move on.
I was about to give up on love altogether when Aunt Mei told me about her cousin Lulu back in ThaiLAN. Lulu and I really hit it off and now things are going fine, except of course that I had to move out and find my own place because Aunt Mei and Uncle Tim complained that Lulu and I were making too much noise all night long.
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