Not an action-packed few days, but that sort of thing happens.
I had to place an order for my car. I believe I left it in Memphis. I could have driven it remotely, but, let’s be clear, that shit’s tough to do. Did I mention that? Very distracting, and not in the fun way, like a midget dressed as a monster bug wrestling a Spanish-speaking ice cream clown. It was a good match too, more for its humor and entertainment value than the wrestling itself.
I’ll know if that driver does anything to my car. I already put him on notice. Called him up via the car and told him that as a professional killer of man and amateur proctologist, hey may want to consider not fucking up the car. “Or it’s your ass!” I told him. And I mean it too.
Scared out of his mind. I did let him know there was a method in the car to allow him to use the restroom while driving. I remotely popped open the glass recycling bin to reveal various bottles. Sometimes you want to make that driving song “99 Bottles of Beer” interactive, you see.
I should have my car up here in a few days as a result and he’ll get a big tip.
In the meantime, Moai and I are getting settled in around here. We’re in a part of the city that’s a little worse for wear, but that suits me just fine. I already didn’t want the cops coming around. This part of the city, they don’t show even if you call them.
The new hideout…is a shithole. The good news is, I’m one Growth Ray away from having an army of killer cockroaches.
There were no Growth Rays at Michelangelo’s House of Negotiable Goods, though. Shame. I used to do a lot of work with giant monsters back in my home universe. Damn Phenomenal Fighting Justice Rangers! I’ll get you next time!
Like hell I will. I bet somebody’s working on something to cross dimensions, but it’s not me. That place brought out the worst in me.
Allow that to sink in. Not that I get worse anymore. Nope. Absolutely never. Under complete control at all times.
And now back to the House of Negotiable Goods.
Michelangelo was still alive and in business, and he still remembered me. He trotted out all sorts of equipment, talking about a so-called “Golden Touch” of mine.
I grabbed what appeared to be a baseball bat with two circular saws attached to opposet sides of the hitty end. Whatever the formal name is. I raised it up over my head to hit him with if he didn’t back off. “Listen, dude, I don’t want to spend all day touching your junk. I just came by to grab a few things. Parts, pieces, stuff I can put together. Maybe a few weapons.”
He obliged then. I noticed a pull string on the bottom of the baseball bat too. Curious, I held the wooden instrument of national pastime and broken kneecaps in front of me and tugged on it. Some sort of motor started up and the blades began spinning. “Oooh, this is nice.”
“Yeah, some folks around here have been going a little overboard with the blades after that space marine mess early on in the year. That’s one of the better weapons in that style. You interested?”
“Maybe. Tell me, does it work well with that air cannon over there?” I pointed toward white, beefy shotgun-like device with a barrel that curved outward.
I went through picking out a few things. Odds and ends I can think of a use for, as well as parts for the big gun. I just have this desire to mount a big gun on a skyscraper and go to town on the ants down below. I think it had something to do with a dream last night.
I was standing at a window for some reason. It was off in the countryside and somebody needed me to help them with some task. There was a bright light outside the window. Suddenly, I was in Tokyo fighting a giant can of Campbell’s soup with heavy metal music playing. It gets blurry after that, but I think I went for the flying elbow drop off Mt. Fuji. Then after that, there was something about being in a church where the pews were all filled with ice cream.
Some might say that’s the price of eating a chocolate chip cookie pizza with ranch dressing before bed. I pay it gladly.
I got so much, they needed to deploy a truck. There were new movers around Empyreal City. That’s good. Those guys are useful. Shame what the last guys brought down on themselves.
They’re not Screwhaul though. Nope. They were clear on that much. “We’re not Screwhaul. Those assholes got lippy and died when some super crazy got a hold of them. We’ve learned you don’t mouth off about the ones whacko enough to kill people with regularity. No, we call ourselves F-Uhaul.”
Nice people, at least until I noticed one of them spitting chewing tobacco into a cup. I grabbed him by the ear and tore it off. The guy in charge of the moving showed up with Michelangelo right behind him. I don’t know how he got it all on in time, but the fence and black marketeer was now clad in combat armor and wielding a gun in each hand and more strapped to his thighs. Big guns too. There was an average of 3.25 barrels per gun going on here. He calmed down when he saw the shrieking was me-related. I think the supervisor was going to complain, but he put two and two together when he saw me chewing on the guy’s ear. Maybe that should be “put two and one” together in light of someone missing one of a pair of things. Or he just didn’t feel like complaining and really ought to keep his employees in line with their filthy habits. What’s next, a moving company that engages in cannibalism?
Michelangelo ushered me inside to wait while they went back to work, minus the guy with the missing ear heading to the hospital. Like all good chewing gum, the ear lost its flavor after a few minutes and wound up stuck to the bottom of my shoe. Meanwhile, the mobster and I discussed the new aesthetic in weaponry. “They’re making a lot of these saw things?”
“Yeah. Ship crashed and there were some survivors, as well as a shitload of leftover gear. Government got most of it out, but they couldn’t get all, not by a long shot. They’re going to have a field day with this government shutdown, too.”
“Oh, that’s right. I wonder how long the government’s own guys are going to sit on that equipment when they’re not being paid and can’t be sure they can even take a new job.”
“I meant that you won’t see too many federally-funded heroes keep their funding right now. Hell, they can’t even afford to send the National Guard after you again. They’ve got other concerns when it comes to paying the military.”
“Yes, concerns concerning other countries.” It made me wonder how Shieldwall was doing. I hadn’t kept up with the news on them. My guess is they’re still around. I was hoping the corporate troubles would mess with them coming after me. I also may have slightly influenced that with where the F-bomb was actually dropped. Right smack dab on the Long Life tower. You think they got that message?
“This shutdown is almost perfect for you villains,” said Michelangelo.
“Yes, yes…Shieldwall can’t very well seek Federal funding now,” I said, holding my hands in front of my and crossing my fingers. It’s like…instinct. I don’t know. That’s just what you do when you plot.
“You thinking of hitting a bank or something?”
“Not necessarily. At least, not like how I normally do it. Everyone will go after those types. Then there are complications when people figure out the FDIC doesn’t have their back right now. Next thing you know, you’ll see bank jobs turn into bloodbaths. Then maybe I’ll hit them.”
“Are you going to do anything in the meantime?”
“I was thinking of burning down a national park. Lightbulb! Can you get me enough cement to fill in the Grand Canyon?”
“I’m afraid that’s a no.”
“Yeah, you would be afraid of that, you lily-livered, yellow-bellied son of a sour-“
“Yo, we’re all done here if you want to go already,” said the supervisor for F-Uhaul who poked his head in.
“Oh, thanks. Gotta go Michelle,” I said and waved goodbye to Michelangelo.
Yep, got the whole mess back to the shithole I’m hiding in. It sure was hard work watching those guys do all the hard work. Whew. What, a guy can’t sit on his ass just for once?
When they were all done, the supervisor came up to me. I noticed the other guys were all hiding in the truck. The guy in the driver’s seat looked especially on edge. When the supervisor approached, he held his hand up, “Hey, yo, I know you haven’t worked with us before, but it’s customary to, uh, tip.”
“Stay away from New Jersey,” I said and slapped a little something down on his hand. He looked down at it like someone had put a chewed up human ear in his hand, so I sweetened the pot by laying down a couple thousand on top of it.
Now, I’d built up an appetite by that time, as watching sweaty men often leaves me inexplicably drained, so I told Moai I was going out again. I think Moai feels bad about the shithole. At least shitholes on higher floors are more defensible, but shithole-quality construction has a longstanding feud with gravity that it frequently loses.
And then, boys and girls, that’s when I went grocery shopping! Mwahahahaha! Just imagine some lightning and thunder and flashing lights.
No, not an evil grocery store or a black market grocery store. Just a regular one. An evil one wouldn’t have had so many long lines. Dealing with supervillains has all sorts of risks to it, as F-Uhaul knows, but we are great people if you like prompt service. This express lane line with seven people in it taking forever? Uh uh. Doesn’t happen when you know that every second longer you take increases the chances of somebody zapping you with a freeze ray.
What got on my last nerve was the woman in front of me. She had twelve items. Twelve. The sign says ten fucking items! She wasn’t even some old person who maybe had a little trouble with their numbers at that age. No, she had some sort of sweater, and Capri pants, and a necklace, and a cutesy haircut and a baby in the cart. Now see, this is the real lesson I was trying to impart so long ago when I had a minor loss of cognitive control and brought up a fucking fiction story about people swapping bodies. The moral of the lesson shouldn’t be “Cope with what life throws at you,” people! Make life your bitch! Do not let the supposed good of society keep you from the real good!
Luckily I had the air cannon hidden in my coat and it doesn’t have a negative reaction to thoughts involving exclamation points. I whipped that sucker out and FWOOM! She splatted against the front window of the story, sticking to it a bit. Didn’t seem to do lethal damage to her, though. I grabbed her cart and pushed it toward her as well, amused clapping toddler and all. I also kicked her shoes out of the way where they still laid in front of me in line. People screamed, of course, but they do that all the time.
The cashier held his hands up. “Listen man, you can have the till, just don’t hurt me!”
I held the cannon to his face and yelled at him, “I don’t want the money! Just ring up my fucking food! You got that!”
His eyes widened in surprise and he hesitated. I turned the gun’s barrel to the side and blew the store manager off his feet as he stepped out of his office. “Did I stutter, motherfucker?!”
“No sir!” he croaked out and went to scan all my stuff. There was a quart of ice cream that refused to scan. He tried it once, twice, three times. “Oh god, don’t hurt me!” he whined. Fourth time was a charm. I tossed him some cash. “You want to p-pay?”
“Shut up and take my money, shithead, or I’ll fill you full of nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and trace gasses!”
He rang it up and gave me my change. “D-do you want you receipt, sir?”
“This ain’t no damn Question and Answer session, what the hell’s wrong with you! You can trash that shit! Wait. No, nevermind, throw it away. Thought I might need it for tax purposes, but then I realized I was a guy holding a cannon!”
Nice place, you know. I might go back there for more shopping. I’ve been leery of yogurt since that guy was caught adding his own personal special ingredient to the creamy mix, but they do have the kind of pork chops and teriyaki marinade I like to use.
See y’all next time, readers. Same Gecko time. Same Gecko channel.