Last month, a good friend rushed up to me as I was leaving work and said he "had something important to give me". I followed him out to the parking lot where he opened the passenger door of his Kia and popped open his glove compartment, producing of all things . . . a Taser. It was a neat little black box with metal snake fangs at the end. He depressed the button and I marveled at the little blue electrical jolt that zapped! angrily between them. I believe my assessment was summed up the following gastroenterological exasperation: "Oooooooooh! Sparky!"
"Yeah, it's yours if you want it. My wife is scared shitless one of the kids will get a hold of it and wants it out of the house."
I held it up to the Sun and looked at it as if the Lady of the Lake herself had delivered it to me from the, uh, lake. He chuckled and said, "You just gotta promise me to be careful with--"
I tased him.
He went down quick and hard and jerked around like an epileptic for a few minutes, then breathed heavily and tried in vein to cuss me out. I nodded with approval, tased him again, before he could get up, and left him in his own drool before he could regain his senses. He'd done me favor, after all, and I didn't want him feeling guilty for getting up and kicking my ass.
At stop lights, I admired my new toy in the car as it lay on the passenger seat. On the road, I glanced over adoringly at it like a new lover, with doe eyes and a tender simpering smile.
Then low and behold, I saw the homeless guy at the Ben White stop light. Not the one in the wheelchair with no legs, but the one with the blue knit cap and the gut the size of Montana. I thought about motioning him over, though I'd never done it before, but I had an urge to be a good Samaritan because of my new found toy. I was in industrial plasticky heaven. But I didn't have to, he wandered over, as if sensing my joy and knocked on my window. Unable to help my smile, I rolled down the window and tased him.
He stumbled backwards onto the shoulder (thank God) and flailed around, before coming ominously silent. I thought maybe I should check him for a pulse, but then the light turned to green, so I just assumed it was a sign from God that he would be alright. The Almighty wouldn't steer me wrong, would He?
At Wal-Mart, I smiled cheerily at the greeter and showed him my new toy. He put his hand out, so I tased him. Only later did I realize he thought it was an item I was returning and it would need one of those little green stickers, so everyone would know I was returning it. I felt a little sorry for the guy, especially at the discovery that false teeth have a tendency to actually leap from the mouth upon a significant jolt of electricity. Who knew?
I must say I've never had such a pleasant experience in Wal-Mart before. Aisles cleared before me. Customers who had well-ingrained habits of leaving their carts in the middle of the aisle suddenly bowed before me, because, well, because I tased them. I did make the observation that the kids that ran around the store loose and wild like members of a lost tribe from that Lord of the Flies island made the most peculiar sideways grimace as they went down. I had to laugh. No one else was. It seemed only appropriate.
When I was pawing through the $5.00 movie bin, seriously eyeing a copy of First Knight with Sean Connery, an elderly woman approached me. She couldn't have been taller than 5'2", even with her bufonted blue hair. She was clearly upset with me, so I tased her. It's nice to know some seventy year olds still have their own teeth, though I did not relish the hollow sound of her skull hitting the tiles. It made me a little sick in the stomach actually, so I moved on to housewares, where I was approached by an "associate", but who strangely enough looked to me to be nothing more than a sixteen year old boy with terrible acne. I knew what he was going to say, so I tased him.
Guess what? Adult diapers aren't just for adults. Good to know, no?
I bought a few items: one of those plug in things that would hopefully make my guest bathroom smell a tad more like a spring meadow and a tad less like cat shit, because the litter is so cleverly secreted away in the closet; a CD by Tenacious D which is stupid, funny, and filled with some catchy tunes, (Goddamn, Jack Black has a phenomenally good voice, if only he were more serious, he could make a truly excellent album, but maybe he wouldn't be Jack Black if he did that); several cheap towels because that redhead has a tendency to squirt, or pee upon orgasm, I'm not sure which, but I'm keen to find out; razor blades; a $5.00 copy of Iron Man, which turned out to be a poorly animated series (Note to self: don't shop drunk!); two bottles of wine, for shopping drunk; 52 containers of yogurt; 3 tins of tuna; 1 jar of mayonnaise; 1 sponge; and a pair of boxers with pictures of Vaseline containers on it, though it may have been just square beige blocks, I just assumed.
It was while I was shopping for pants that I noticed a pretty brunette perusing the books. I sauntered over, pretended to look at some magazines, then maneuvered behind her and "accidentally" bumped into her. I apologized, of course, and almost at once noticed and breathlessly commented on her beautiful green eyes. She blushed and tucked a lock of that thick black hair, with all the shine of an oil spill, behind her ear. I asked if she knew where I could find some of those "Dummies" books, and her face went all quizzical on me. "Y'know, Dummies Guide to. . . ." She laughed and nodded. "I don't think they have those here." I snapped my fingers as if I'd just missed a pop fly and said, "Well, if you happen to find them, let me know. I'm looking in particular for the Dummies Guide to Picking Up Really Cute Brunettes with Green eyes." She laughed, blushed beautifully, flashed a friendship ring at me, and I smiled in good natured defeat and tased her.
I must say girls who drool aren't so beautiful anymore.
I made my way to one checkout line after another, discouraged by the long lines. Ah, but I had a secret weapon. Cozying up the tall black man at the end of the line, I tased him. As people moved to help him, figuring him for a heart attack, I moved forward in line. Next was a lone Hispanic gentleman with worn jeans covered in sheet rock dust, standing next to his wife with a basket filled to the brim and beyond with sausages, pork chops, bacon, and God knows what else; they were apparently buying a whole pig on an installment plan. I tased him. His wife lunged at me with wide shocked angry eyes and began to cuss me out in Spanish. I apologized deeply from the bottom of my heart and helped her get her husband back on his feet, then I tased him again. She stood in mute wonder for several minutes, utterly apalled and/or astonished, so I tased her.
Couples should stick together, I always say.
Around this time, the Self-Check lane opened up, so I scanned the first of my items and heard the commotion arising from behind me. I needed to get home quickly, but the razor blades blipped and the screen went to that Goddamn "Please Wait For Associate" screen. Meanwhile, two young jocks from the local basketball team were inching up behind me, closer and closer, already trying to scan their items, despite the fact that I still hadn't paid for my own. I tased them. When the associate finally showed up, she seemed more interested in the two boys sprawled on the floor then in clearing my purchase so I tased her. I'd had enough of waiting to pay for my goods, so I tased the scanner and miraculously it blipped back to life and gave me a $40 discount, which was good because my items had come to nearly twice that amount.
When I got home, I put my groceries away and listened to all 28 messages on my answering machine, which were all essentially the same message from my friend who'd given me my new toy. I ate some yogurt, plugged in the outlet smelly thing and plopped myself down on the couch to study my beautiful new toy. Black and steel blue with the acrid smell of fresh electronics, I admired it in all the ways a man can admire a function of power.
Slowly, trembling, shaking, I put my tongue between the metal barbs, closed my eyes and pressed the trigger.
Later, when I was scrubbing the stains off the couch, I made a note to call my friend and thank him for the gift that had so recently changed my life. Tomorrow, as we all know is the annual Shriner's convention, and I recently bought a ticket on-line.
Aaron Diaz Hoal
(originally published 9/17/08)