Sunday, April 18, 2010

Old School New. (A Reposting from Blogstream.Com)

They come at him from every angle. They come in waves of what seems like numbers ranging in the thousands. Zombies, werewolves, wombats and vampires and the like, monsters of every size, shape and color imaginable, all wanting a piece of the master. Does he panic? Nope. This is after all, what he was seemingly born to do, meet 11 year old Marvin Tallmadge, video game master, monster fighter extraordinaire. Nimbly his young fingers glide over the controller, vanquishing monster after monster, level 10, level 11, level 12, working on 13. He’s never been this far before, but he knows he’s going to do it, he’s going to beat level 13 and move farther in Monster Zombie Attack than any other kid on his block has before! Almost there, a little farther. Damn, only three zombies left in the swamp, then he has to deal with those pesky wombats waiting in the tree’s, the werewolves are all dead, and he put down the last vampire eon’s ago. Damn! They retreated back into the bog, ahh they’re trying to draw him in to where the wombats are waiting. Wait- something is wrong here. Marvin! Huh? What? Zombies don’t talk! And they surely wouldn’t know his name. “MARVIN!! Turn of that infernal video game and get your butt down here now!”
“But.. Daaaad. I’m, almost finished!” he yells looking back over his shoulder at the door.
Now distracted, the master monster hunter falls easy prey to the flesh devouring zombies who swoop in to surround and eat him. Please start level 13 all over again.

He stands before his father, dejected, and more than just a little annoyed. He looks up at him from the sofa where he is forced to sit as his father prepares to deliver the morning lecture. He paces back and forth carefully eying the eleven year old at every pass.
“Son? Have you done your chores?”
“Taken out the garbage?”
“Mowed The Lawn?”
“Yep, did it yesterday.”
"Done your homework?"
"Cleaned your room?"
He smiles triumphantly at his eleven year old son.
“Well then its time for your reward son!” he exclaims to the delight of the eleven year old.
A thousand thoughts race through Marvin Tallmadge’s mind. He is so excited, maybe he’ll buy a copy of Monster Zombie Attack II! Yeah that must be it! He looks up at his father with a renewed sense of respect.
“Son go get your fishing pole! You and I are going to spend the day up at Lake Hazatoxin hiking and fishing! Isn’t that great son??”
“Just you and me. A father and son alone in the woods. side by side!"
"Think of it son.. all alone, Fishing, hiking, No phones, no TV, no video games! Just you and me son, bonding with nature and the elements!”
“I have a fishing pole?”

They drive on for more than two hours before Marvin Tallmadge’s father steers the gray Lexus into the parking area at the base of Lake Hazatoxin. They get out of the car and he begins to study his unfamiliar surroundings. The towering pine trees, the loud chirping sounds of the birds, the dark winding pathways leading upwards into the hillside where Lake Hazatoxin itself awaits their impending arrival. His father assigns him the task of carrying the fishing poles while he himself carries the tackle box and the picnic basket that holds their lunch. Half way up the trail as he looks around a thought occurs to young Marvin Tallmadge. “Damn! This would be the perfect spot for a Zombie/wombat ambush! This could be a trap! Damn we have to go back!” he looks up at his father.
“Dad are you sure this is such a good idea?” he asks.
“Keep walking son, the next left turn is going to take us all of the way to the edge of the lake. Stay sharp!” they arrive at the feet of Lake Hazatoxin moments later. Exhausted from the hike, the father almost collapses onto a picnic table that is nestled in the trees some fifty or so feet from the lake.
“Whoo son! I forgot that the air is so much thinner up here than in the city. Now don‘t you worry about a thing, I‘m going to help you bait the hook and cast it out the first time. Just until you get used to it”
he sits the tackle box down on the table and begins to rummage through the assorted hooks, lines and sinkers until he arrives at what he believes to be the perfect combination, before removing the container of worms to bait the hooks with.

The scene for the next twenty or so minutes reminds young Marvin Tallmadge of an old Three Stooges gag, as he sits curiously watching his father try to bait the hooks, while dropping first the worms themselves on the ground, followed by the rod & reels being dropped into the lake, followed by his father wading into the shallow part of the lake to retrieve them, followed by he himself slipping on a slick rock resulting in him falling ass first into the water, followed by some slightly subdued giggles coming from the eleven year old son. The next hour features disaster upon disaster for the father on the fishing front. Finally the two decide to eat lunch before hiking back to the car to drive home. Silently Marvin Tallmadge gnaws at his sandwich before having yet another revelation that he reluctantly shares with his slightly aggravated and no less dejected father.
“Hey Pop?” he asks waving the sandwich in the air. “what kind of sandwich did you get?”
His father looks at him with a cold blank stare.
“I think they are all the same son.. Tuna I think.” he answers flatly.
Marvin smiles triumphantly.
“Well at least we got some kinda fish to eat today! Ay Pop?”
He rises to his feet giving his son a cold humorless look.
“Lets get back to the car son.”

For the next two hours he leads them up and down every wooded trail that the shores of Lake Hazatoxin has to offer, before finally coming to rest in a clearing over looking the very spot that had stood only two hours previous. The father stops to scratch his head.
“We should have went left at that last trail fork, I think I may have missed a landmark or two, C’mon son, we’ll have to back track.”
They move back up the trail until finally the eleven year old boy begins to point out where they should be walking. And soon finds himself taking the lead, winding along trailhead and forks, turning left, turning right, going uphill, going downhill until finally in the clearing ahead of them, the gray Lexus appears right where they left it.
“Ok son, I have to ask, how did you remember where the car was?” his Father asks.
Marvin Tallmadge produces a slim, shiny black gadget from his pocket.
“Pop, I programmed our exact position into my GPS before we got out of the car.“
The father stares at him grimly.
“is there anything else that you’d care to share with me son?”
“Umm well.. Pop?”
“Yes son?”
“Do you remember that term paper that I wrote last year that I researched on the internet?”
“Why yes I do. I believe, you got an A+ on that paper, your mother and I were so proud.” he smiles.
“Pop. Well I wrote that paper on botany. You know. The study of plants? Well I don’t know how to tell you this but.. You see that stuff your standing in?”
He looks down at his feet.
“Pop. I’m pretty sure that that is poison Ivy.”
“We’d better get moving son, I’m pretty sure that we may be stopping by the doctors office on the way home. I want to get there before they close.”


~Scratch. A.B.T. Copyright © 2009~

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