I am Walter Payton .....
So I am on my way home pretty much minding my own business. It is pouring down rain so I didn’t really have much choice in the matter as I couldn’t really see worth a damn. On a whim, I decide to stop by one of my old watering holes for a bite to eat and perhaps an adult libation or two. This place is located in a typical little strip mall along with a State farm agency, a florist, and a dry cleaners next door. Like I said it was raining and me being as sweet as I am (oh and modest of course never let me forget to tell you how modest I am), I was worried about getting wet and melting you know? Therefore, I begin to formulate a strategy to avoid such problems. Instead of parking in the normal lot, I park out back as it is much closer and has much more cover. It is about 630 pm or so and still about an hour away from normal darkness time. However, thanks to Mother Nature it is looking more like darkness is only minutes away.
There is a little breezeway moving from that back parking lot to said watering hole and I have deduced that using it is the best way to avoid getting totally drenched in my penguin suit; other wise known as my banquet uniform of white tuxedo shirt, black pants,Black vest and (by now untied) bowtie. I gather my keys, wallet, cell phone and stuff, take a deep breath, open the door to mustang Sally and dart out into the rain heading for cover. It is only a short trip, maybe 15 strides if that. As I run through the rain, I see a number of rather large puddles ahead of me and make plans to dart to the left to avoid this one, dart to the right to avoid that one. I take a moment to consider the idea of going back to my car for a t-shirt and dropping the tuxedo shirt off at the dry cleaners as long as I am already here, but ultimately decide not to do so.
The little boy’s active imagination, is still with me even if I may be getting up there in years. As it so often does, it chooses odd times (like this one) to show up. A bolt of lightning chooses that very moment to light up the entire sky as well. These two things (along with being crazy) combine to make me feel a sort of change, a transformation if you will.
It was like the moment Spiderman got bitten by the Spider.
It was the Incredible Hulk getting zapped by the radioactive waves.
I am no longer simply peon extraordinaire.
I am no longer simply BD, writer of crappy stories and corny anecdotes read by 3 readers from all over the world.
Those are no longer simple puddles blocking my way.
That up ahead is no longer simply a watering hole serving awesome Chicken Quesadillas and a cold bottle of Icehouse if I choose to have one.
In that moment when my imagination chose to visit and the sky lit up with brilliant light I was transformed.
In that moment I became Walter Payton, Hall of fame running back for the Chicago bears for many years. I wasn’t the only one/thing transformed mind you.
In that moment, that watering hole became the end zone….
In that moment, the bright neon sign of the neighboring dry cleaners proclaiming ‘yes we are open’ was transformed into a giant scoreboard showing the bears were down by 6 points with 7 seconds left in the Super bowl.
In that moment, those puddles up ahead grew out of the ground like some scene from Lord of the rings, and became great big menacing blockers hell bent on keeping me from making a touchdown.
I am determined, and I can hear the crowd counting down the seconds as they urge me on.
I dodge to the left avoiding the puddle/defender on the right and continue to run.
The puddle on the left becomes a menacing tackler, drooling at the mouth, and coming at me as if I had accused his mother of wearing combat boots. I duck quickly and perform a spin move back to the right. I hear him screaming obscenities when he realizes he has missed me as well.
“Do you kiss your mother (who DOES wear combat boots by the way), with that mouth?” I taunt looking back and continuing to run for my life.
One final tackler dives at my feet trying to knock me down, but I leap in the air hurdling over him easily and feeling myself inching closer to the goal line.
As quickly as the transformation started it ends.
This must be how Cinderalla felt when the clock struck midnight........
Minus the hot pink lacey thong and the glass slippers anyways.
I am still in the air, when the menacing tackler I have just hurdled over turns back into the ankle deep puddle I was trying to avoid stepping in.
I am still in the air, when the goal line that had been there just moments ago becomes nothing more than an ordinary sidewalk.
I am still in the air, when the end zone I had envisioned leaping into transforms itself back into nothing more than the outer walls of the dry cleaning shop and I realize for the first time that it is rapidly getting much MUCH closer. As I sink back to earth I wonder if I will be able to do so before or AFTER I do a complete face plant into the side of it and go sliding down like Wile E. Coyote in the old road runner cartoons. meep meep indeed!
I breathe a huge sigh of relief when I realize I will come down with plenty of room to spare on the sidewalk.
My relief is short lived though. No sooner do my wet shoes come into contact with the sidewalk than I feel my legs start to slip right out from under me.
Before I know it I have gone into full blown “turtle mode” on my back, legs and arms flailing at the air.
Before I know it, I am spinning and reminded of the time when I was a kid when some friends and I spread a large cardboard box out on the lawn and started trying out that new fad known as break dancing. I really sucked at it back then, but on this day, and at this moment while I spin out of control Vanilla Ice ain't got chit on me!
I see my car…..
I see the building……
I see my car……
I see the building…..
I see my c………wait that building was getting awfully close
I turn my head back to see that I am right.
I have time to consider all the crap I am sliding through, its effects on my new starched white tuxedo shirt.
I have time to feel mud and water splashing all over my black vest and realize that all of a sudden that little mishap earlier with the chocolate mousse wasn't so bad.
I have time to notice and appreciate the irony of this happening right outside of a dry cleaners.
I have time to consider going back to the car for the t-shirt after all.
I have time to see the “yes we are open” light go off, and hear the dead bolt of the door right in front of me slam into place.
I have time to think uh oh, this is going to hurt.
I have time to think if only I could have done moves like this on that cardboard!
I have time to think damn you imagination!
I have time to think damn you Walter payton!
I have time for all kinds of things, but CLEARLY stopping is NOT among them.
I hit the door going no less than 320 miles per hour.
I go through a mental roll call in my head.
“Everyone check in! Feet?”
Feet: “check, everything is fine and dandy down here!”
Knees: “left knee is a bit bruised but he will be okay, right knee in full operating order!”
“Brain? you okay up there? No bleeding scalp wounds or anything I hope?” I ask remembering the 6 stiches I got in my head at the age of 10. Remembering the nine staples I got in my head at the age of 16. Mostly though, remembering having to have a huge bald spot shaved in my head both times. I have a moment of panic. I am not 10 anymore. I am not 16 anymore.
I have time to think , what if they shave a bald spot in my head this time and the hair doesn't grow back?
my thoughts are very rudely interuptted.
Ego: “screw the brains! screw the feet! What the HELL are you doing checking up on them for!!!???? You DO realize you are still lying on the ground in the middle of a rain soaked sidewalk don’t you? What if someone sees you? Get your ass up!!!!”
I have just agreed with the ego and am starting to pull myself up, cussing at the mud all over my white shirt when the Korean operator of the dry cleaners cracks open the door, sees me, decides I must be looking to have my shirt cleaned and screams in broken English
“We no open no moah, come back eeen moahnin, open seven dirty!” and slams the door in my face.
I couldn’t help laughing on my way home though I did NOT get any Quesadillas that night.
Safe to say, I did NOT get any adult libations that night either.
tags:waitress,aging,Sunday Scribblings,old fart,smartass,
Thursday, October 19, 2006
I am Walter Payton .....
Posted by briliantdonkey at 4:42 PM