Extraneous Voices of Picayune > Citadel Tavern

Anecdotes of the Bygone

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Ancient Gamer:
My Friend Moon Moon
Many years ago my girlfriend and I spent all our days roleplaying. We got the boys together and we rolled them dice. We explored swamps and forgotten ruins, temples and vast caverns beneath the mountains. When we didn't roleplay, we dreamt about buying a sailboat in the Aegean Sea and live merry days as charter boat captains, sailing tourists to the various Greek Islands.

We had a partner in crime. One of the roleplayers. In the roleplaying games he always played the silent, cool types. The Katana wielding Neos, with thieving abilities and a mean slash of the sword. This guy, we called him Meatloaf, also shared in our dream. And thus we spent our days, working s**tty jobs, gaming at night, and dreaming about the Aegean. Each Sunday we even made a Greek themed dinner, and we invited Meatloaf over, supplying him with free Greek sunday food. It was nice!

One day Meatloaf called us. "Guys, I want to introduce you to my new girlfriend", he said, pride in his voice.

And so we met Moon Moon for the first time. I was walking beside my girlfriend, who was pushing the stroller with our firstborn. Meatloaf came towards us, and beside him a padded girl with plump cheeks and a huge grin. She walked strangely, like an exaggerated Captain Ahab, wobbling from side to side.

Moon Moon turned out to be quite the character. Meatloaf was not allowed to game anymore, not unless she joined, and we tried that. She would sit in the couch, fall asleep, wake up, interrupt everyone and suggest we eat cake. She was the proverbial anti-roleplayer.

Because she ate so much, she really did, we stopped inviting Meatloaf over for sunday dinner. She never got to try it even once. This turned out to be a major event, and she confronted us, blazing with anger, telling us Meatloaf had told her all about the sunday dinners. Why had we stopped inviting him? Was it because we hated her? Did we hate her?

Moon Moon did many strange things. She raided our pantry, even though we could not afford food. She treated Meatloaf like a whipped dog.

She began addressing me in a sexual way. Each time we visited, she poked Meatloaf. "Look there, Meatloaf! That is how a man is supposed to look. A true man. Mister Incredible!", and he would smile sheepishly, nodding. "Yes, dear!". I tried to confront him, telling him she behaved ridiculously, but Meatloaf told me I was being silly. She was only being friendly.

Then they were going to marry. She called my girlfriend about the big event. My girlfriend cheered, said we had planned to marry too. It turns out they were going to marry two weeks before we did. Moon Moon was furious. She felt my girlfriend had spoiled her big event. That we were trying to steal from their shine.

Three months before the wedding, they spent the weekend at our place. Moon Moon told all about her plans, and Meatloaf sat there, with his head low. He looked miserable. She was criticising everything he did. He ate wrong, he looked wrong, he walked wrong, he talked about the wrong things. The next morning my wife had to leave early. I slept in. Later, around 11 AM, I awoke. I turned around, and there was Moon Moon. Beside me in the bed.

"What the @!#$ are you doing here?", I asked. She turned around, her eyes dreamy. "Hey mister Incredible!", she said. Her eyes shone like the stars in the heavens. I jumped out of bed like I was on fire. "What the @!#$?", I said.

I walked downstairs. Meatloaf was there. He looked grim. I tried talking to him, but he only answered in singular words.

One week later he left Moon Moon.  She came crying, telling us what an ******* he was. She asked if I wanted to go to the movies with her.

We had invited both to our wedding. As a matter of fact, Meatloaf was my best man. He turned up. We had not seen him in three months. Not since the unfortunate weekend. He had begun partying extensively. He was shaking like a leaf, sweating like a pig. He had lost a lot of weight. He excused himself, had to leave our wedding early. Later that night he was tagged in Facebook, at another party. I guess it was too much for him.

I sometimes get an MMS from Moon Moon. She still has a crush on me and I keep my distance.

Ancient Gamer:
The Decadent Rich
... and tales of horror

On Partying with Rich Girls
Once I was partying in Marbella. Marbella is an unassuming, large Spanish town, famous for its luxury resorts and marinas for the ridiculously rich. It is a place where you stay at fancy hotels, drink champagne in pools and eat Sushi at the beach. I have been there several times, one of those was during my wild days.

So, I was out partying in Puerto Banus, a place famed for its Saudi Princes, driving their Rolls Royces from the prow of their village sized yachts, 200 meters to the local restaurants, eat lunch, then drive their Rolls Royce back to the boat.

I was out drinking with the elite. They nipped champagne and enjoyed the local big thing; inhaling helium filled balloons, which all the decent places served. I navigated around the brats of tycoons and their helium baloons, I maneuvered between the flame eaters, the exotic dancers and the jugglers.

Then I hooked up with three rich girls laughing and partying. They were in such a good mood and brought me into a taxi with them. I sat in the back seat with two of them and they started making me feel good, kissing and hugging. Kissing two girls at once is not a nightmare, not for a boy, and the one in the front was no less friendly.

It was alright.

And thus is the life of the rich and famous. Happy and carefree and frolicking in the sun.

Cockblocking, Mengele Style
Once I was partying with two lovely Dutch girls. They were more than mere girls to me, we connected on a deeper level, and I really enjoyed their company. We had spent several days together when we ran into some Whitbread sailors, what is now called the Volvo Ocean Race, and they were traveling the world in their oceangoing yachts. These guys came from Cuba, Norway and Australia and were typically monied fellows with clinics and other companies of their own, and enough free time to spend it sailing the seven seas. Well, except their pet Cuban that is. He just tagged along.

So we ended up at their penthouse luxury suite, but the prettiest girl just had eyes for me. One of the guys, a Norwegian dentist with a clinic of his own, wiggles his finger, asks me to come over. He was convinced I was swedish, as I speak that language fluently, and asked me if I would see something spectacular.

Turns out he had worked as a surgeon in the Utoya massacre in Norway where a deranged Norwegian had killed over seventy Norwegians and maimed so many more. And thus he proceeded to show me genuine footage from bullet wounds that had maimed and disfigured his patients, and the stitches made during his surgical procedures.

I left the party, and the girls, in Mengele's tender care.
Shaken to the core of my being.

It was cockblocking, Mengele style.

Walking through the Garden of Paradise
Once I was walking through the gardens of Sintra, outside Lisbon, Portugal. Those who have been to the Kitsch masterpiece castle can confirm that its gardens are vast and beautiful, and I walked there, gazing upon majestic ponds, peacocks in all their splendor, and many, many exotic animals.

As I walk, text messages begin to hail into my phone from various sources.

"War has come. I hear explosions"

"A bomb just detonated. The entire building shook"

"Someone is killing our young. Countless have died."

"We are at war"

Around me people laughed. They pointed at the trees and the birds. They studied the architecture of the grandiose castle.

I talked with my wife. We wondered what happened. How many had been killed. If our friends or family had died.
People stared strangely at us while tears ran down our cheeks.

When we came back at the hotel, we just sat there, watching the BBC World News.

It was the most outlandish feeling of emptiness and confusion and terror.

When we came back home it seemed to us that all our fellow Norwegians had entered a state of mass psychosis.
They had this fanatical gleam in their eyes. Everybody hugged. They put down roses everywhere. It was beautiful and terrifying at once.

On Birds

My grandfather raised peacocks in Ohio. No one really knew why. He seemed to think this would somehow be a profitable venture. To this very day, Central Ohio lacks any major peacock-related industry.

If you've never been around peacocks, here is what you need to know:

* Peacocks are not all pretty. Only the males have bright colors and fan tails; the female are smaller and a drab gray-brown.
* Peacocks stink. To high hell. It's sort of a blend between a chicken coop and the zoo.
* Peacocks are loud. Their call is sort a repeating, rising honk that starts low in the throat and ends like a bicycle horn.
* Peacocks are aggressive. I wasn't allowed in the peacock pen (coop?) by myself in fear that they would claw and bite me.My grandfather loved his peacocks. My grandmother had a large vase that was filled with peacock feathers like some ornate Persian decor.

But his love did not extend to all birds equitably. The pond on my grandparents' large property had a pond, and the pond was the regular home of a flock of Canada geese.

My grandfather hated the geese. "d**n geese," he would mutter. They were loud - sometimes louder than the peacocks - their droppings were everywhere, and I have been more than once chased from the pond by an angry and aggressive goose, hissing with wings akimbo. I think at one point he threatened to shoot the geese. It was an unfulfilled threat that did not seem to affect the birds with any depth.

As they are migratory birds, the geese only plagued my grandfather for a few months at a time. In the late fall they flew south, the algae died off, and the pond peacefully froze over. One late fall my grandfather noticed one d**n goose who was still hanging around, sitting and honking by itself. He recognized it, a bullied geese whose comrades would peck and squawk at it. He tried to chase it off, but it ran instead of flying away, one of its wings held at an odd angle. This goose was apparently a crippled and flightless goose, abandoned by its flock.

After watching it a while, my grandfather went into his garage. He was there for some time. Eventually he returned, not with the promised rifle but with a large box. He had made it out of wood and leftover chicken wire from the peacock coop. He installed a lightbulb into a socket at the bottom to keep the box warm in the cold Midwestern winter. He placed the box by the pond, turned on the light, and went inside to wait.

The goose eventually found its way into the box. It nested over winter, kept warm by my grandfather's box and light, eventually rejoined to its flock in the spring. It lived two more winters in its nest. When it died, my grandfather buried the d**n goose in the yard.


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