Suggested Audio Jukebox
 Yello “Oh Yeah”
 Kenny Loggins “I’m Alright”
 Placebo “Every You, Every Me”
 Marina Van Rooy “Sly One”
 The Beach Boys “Kokomo”
 Madonna “Holiday”
Even one as battle-primed as the Brutal Word Wrangler must have some lieu days owing to him right? I’ve taken a look at the calendar and it would appear that I’m owed a fair few. You see, I have a tendency to work my fingers to the bone and then some more, keep crusading for the good of mankind and all with the most honorable of intentions. This is all well and good but being everyone’s go-to-guy when shit approaches the fan isn’t all it’s cracked up to be y’know. Some poor bastard has to end up with cheeks stuffed with feces and, it just so happens, I fit the profile a little too well. I’ve become practically a hamster, free only within the confines of the glass wrecking ball I circulate frequently. The problem with hamsters is that their lifespan tends not to match their commitment. Nobody dare mention to them that they’ll be swaddled in tissue in an old shoe-box at the foot of the garden in no more than eighteen-months time so they spin those wheels regardless and attempt to make a life for themselves within their cramped confines. You can’t blame ’em for trying but, by the same token, you have to ask yourself whether their exertions are really all that necessary. Subtract a hamster from the equation and what are you left with? A devastated six-year-old who can be bargained with by simply suggesting a quick trip to Pet Smart and perhaps a Chupa Chup to plug that cake hole en route. Simple.
Thus I have come to the conclusion that I deserve some kind of a break here and feel well within my rights to propose precisely that. I’m not talking of shirking responsibility, indeed, I accept my wrangler directive and plan to resume services the very moment I feel suitably galvanized. I’m fairly assured that the world isn’t going to spiral towards perpetual ruin in my absence; the ever-burgeoning threat of Armageddon need not be a factor here as it will still be there on my return and perched at the very top of my in-tray. Do you think that Ferris Bueller risked truancy a tenth time with Ed Rooney attempting to cram a courgette down his clarinet? Of course not or there would have been a sequel. All he needed was a day to recharge those batteries, torment his long-suffering bestie Cameron, and provide Sloane Peterson’s ovaries with a spring clean. And look how much fun he had himself. The Breakfast Club know where I’m going with this rant as all five of them were still grinning like grinches as the school doctor diagnosed the quintet with pubic lice. Turns out that Claire wasn’t such a princess after all. All I’m requesting is a solitary day of downtime and I don’t believe that is unreasonable given the shit I’ve seen of late.
It’s no picnic scaling a 58-floor skyscraper wearing clown shoes but the threat of Trump Demon had to be extinguished, before he received an endorsement to start work on that ridiculous wall of his. The one thing you don’t wanna do is piss of a Mexican and that appears to be his elected angle so somebody had to siphon his cement mixer. Was Hilary Clinton ever going to cease his march? Well I didn’t fancy leaving it until November to find out so took matters into my own hands, the way any wrangler worth the salt on his cashews would. This feat was made all the more remarkable given that I had previously locked horns with none other than The Grim Reaper himself. Now that bone-shaking beatnik I can deal with but it wasn’t long before his eavesdropping entourage stuck their oars in and rowed my vessel towards all manner of storm-thrashed sea serpents. It wasn’t all bad as the arrival of Justin Bieber into the fray enabled me to alleviate some of my frustration. But I haven’t had a decent wink of sleep since Monsieur Heureux did his very best impression of the Loch Ness Monster and departed on what seemed suspiciously like his very own terms. The bottom line is that it has been a perilous journey fraught with great peril and, should that come across as cliché, then I guess that makes me just one big stereotype. I’m comfortable with that.
Any ideas what I’d be more comfortable partaking in right now? And no it doesn’t entail a hand whisk, several thimbles of curd, and a lubricated stickle brick. Okay maybe it does but may I suggest we focus more on the other luxury as it is far more PG-rated and I’m aware there may be kids tuning in to this transmission. Heaven forbid I play the part of chastity burglar as I like to consider myself a role-model of sorts and have not a solitary strand of soiled sinew to speak of. Turns out that being benign to the spine can lead to orthopedic blight in later life if you don’t cease walking around with a vase on your head day after day and fail to apply Deep Heat to the afflicted area once in a while. I believe it is commonly referred to as R&R and anything has to be better than R&B since R Kelly attempted to soar and was never seen of again. The word in the nest is that he’s still out there. Let’s hope he’s been clocking up that annual leave as the last thing I need is him taking a crap from an altitude of 5000 feet directly into my morning muesli. I do know the difference between bird feed and burger meat y’know Mr. Kelly.
Anyhoots, if I’m to be permitted this brief adjournment, then I pledge to share this experience with another only mildly less deserving than I. In truth, Bonus Brain has had something of a rough trot of it lately ever since an electronic tagging device was fitted to ensure he adhere to the terms of his bail. I have taken him under my jurisdiction and endeavored to assist him in his ongoing rehabilitation but he doesn’t make shit easy for me while I’m pushing on with the whole honesty deal. Actually he has been downright disruptive and very nearly ended up someone else’s cross to bear before I pitched him one final opportunity to bat for my team. Granted he has been somewhat instrumental in me getting those home runs down to pat but I’m not altogether besides myself with the constant curveballs lobbed with intent to strike my ass out. Nevertheless, I shoulder his burden like the courteous little shit heel that I am, waiting for the nickel to finally drop. The way I see it, we all have our quirks, and his just happens to be that he gets a punt out of making my life vaguely miserable. He’d say it’s the realist in him where the word “cunt” seems a far more fitting reflection. So I cut him loose then right?
Do I fuck! Who am I to pass judgement or consider him surplus to requirements? While some way from perfect, he’s also some way from without his uses, often when the writing appears to be on the wall. And besides, beneath that veneer is a squishy fondant centre, of that I am quite certain. Crossed words are inevitable in such a pressure-cooker environment as one’s own cranium but hatred cannot be allowed to thrive and common ground needs to be negotiated to stem the flow on occasion. That is why this day off is so incalculable right now as we get to kick back together and repair the ties that bind us. I’ve run this past him in advance and he seemed to think it as workable so we’re thinking in tandem at least. Of course, whether or not I can suffer him from dawn back round to its successor is in pretty severe question but I can think of worse things to do than lounging around in a man-diaper all day soaking in Hawaii 5-0 reruns. I’m a little perturbed as I proposed a strip bar called Bullseye’s where a delightful young lady by the name of Sticky Vicky has been known to fire a ping-pong ball thirty yards using only the power of clench and release but Bonus Brain reckons that he already saw some chick in Bangkok achieve forty so the proposal was promptly vetoed. Talk about stick in the mud.
That said, as long as I’m not required to flex muscles that are far better served wasting steadily away, I’m all for going with the flow. For a man who likens himself more to a lover than fighter, trouble seems to have an uncanny knack for tracking me down and getting all up in my grill. Indeed, just the other day, I happened across the uppermost portion of Evander Holyfield’s ear lobe alongside the ravaged remains of Mariah Carey’s last PA. Try as I may to provide strife with a wide berth, it invariably returns it to sender by way of hand delivery. If that sounds lousy, then how do I think it feels when I am required to sign for getting my ass handed to me before I can conveniently forget to prepare my morning muesli? It sucks is how it feels, more than both Olsen Twins combined after that ill-advised third helping of tampered punch only with four less cheek dimples. Well for the next twenty-four hours, trouble can masticate its own meatballs as Mama Delphini’s prize-winning Bolognese sauce is being left on a low heat to simmer dagnabbit. You know what they say trouble – if the heat is that unbearable, then what the hell are you doing with my George Foreman grill up your duffle sleeve. Now get out my kitchen before I tan your scrawny hide with a spatula.
Peace and quiet it is then and, it has to be said, Bonus Brain is keeping up his end of the bargain thus far. I’ve not heard a solitary peep from his enclosure and this bodes well for some good old-fashioned relaxation and spiritual replenishment. I could do whatever I wish right now and get away scot-free or receive a slap on the wrist at very worst. That means a dash of harmless on-the-spot masturbation would be fair game and I’m tempted to do just that as those endorphins haven’t had a run-out in a while and may well threaten to cloud my judgement if not relinquished post-haste. Of course, I’m only too aware of Bonus Brain’s tendency to pry in my personal affairs, and haven’t the available funds to clear my outstanding debt with the wank bank so I shall be required to do this low-key and muzzle my rapture as I arrive at the all-important knee tremble. While there can be no denying the riskiness of this endeavor, my mother tends to knock before entering nowadays so I could do with the delirium. Nice and easy does it and, should he inquire as to what I am up to, then I’ll put it down to trapped wind and the pleats in my slacks should do the rest.
One thing I certainly won’t be doing is homework as I far prefer the prospect of entering the ring blind to swatting up on whatever opponent is lined up next. Trump Demon has been defeated, Queen Bieber dethroned, Miley Cyrus plucked and stuffed, and the disapproving gaze of The Hecklers evaded, so the coast actually feels pretty clear right now. Not that I have any intention of tempting fate as it has never been known for its willpower and was seen last night hanging out with trouble. We all know that loose lips sink ships and I’m almost out of life rafts thanks to a deal I struck with Cal Hockley. The cad swore blind they were for women and children only; which made it all the more harrowing when he floated past me in knee-high shorts and braided hair extensions. I’d like to say that I entertained the last laugh as his long-suffering fiancée’s starboard took a sound blasting from Jack’s titanic cannon before the iceberg hit but I’m still a little sensitive over the whole “never let go” deal. Could Rose not have shuffled over just a little? I’m glad her whistle jammed up, selfish slag.
Perhaps I could use this time to add another arrow or two to my quiver. I’ve always been interested in learning sign language and I’m sure it would come in handy if Marlee Matlin ever decides to reply to my regular facsimiles. Then there’s swingball and I’m sure there’s a way of achieving contact with that wretched ball if I can only untangle the damn thing in the first place. Or maybe I could just top up my tan some and get a few lengths of the pool in before the test lab results come back on the chlorine levels. I swear blind that Bonus Brain has been meddling with the filter y’know, can’t take your eyes off him for one second that one. One thing there definitely won’t be is flip-flops as it is my stern belief that men’s feet should never be paraded openly. Let’s not go jumping to conclusions now, mine comfortably belong in the upper tier of alpha hooves, but that’s hardly an excuse to henna them up and encourage any unnecessary attention. And I refuse to wear speedos also, not when there’s a perfectly good mankini going to waste.
Getting in character is paramount when taking to the white sands, thus I shall don a pair of impossibly black Ray-Bans so as to keep my constant inspection under wraps. Come now, tell me I’m the only one clocking up the titty tally once those beach towels go down. Along with bikini line bonanza and the camel toe challenge, this has to be the most rewarding pastime outside of grand larceny and far less likely to land you in the dock if the lifeguards suss out your game plan. In the spirit of congeniality, Bonus Brain is most welcome to join me and I’ll even go as far as slapping on the After Sun if he starts to blister. A day at the beach would do us both good right now and I hear that the sun is positively backed up with all manner of enriching vitamins so there seems no reason why we shouldn’t return from our vacation fresh as daisies and positively raring to go. How’s that for organization? No wonder I was gifted a position of such immense sovereignty, not that I’m tooting my own bugle or anything but I am the Brutal Word Wrangler after all and I don’t need an ® to make that shit official.
Just one day out of life is all I’m asking here, after all, it would be so nice. You have my solemn vow that wrangler duties will reconvene the very moment I’ve dislodged those stubborn sand granules from my groin crease and I shall hit the ground absolutely no less than jogging on my return, of that you have my word. Should there be villains on the horizon, then consider them vanquished, and I’m more than happy to take on all comers once those pistons are firing once again in my bid to fashion a better world for all of us. For now however, I should inform Bonus Brain of our imminent departure and get this party started before I lose him to Happy Days. He’s been brushing up on his cossack you see and, after witnessing his electrifying breakdancing prowess back at Trump Tower, I’m fairly assured that Arthur Fonzarelli’s days are numbered. If you ask me, they were numbered the very moment his parents named him Arthur but his loss could soon prove Bonus Brain’s gain. Right now however, there are a multitude of mammalia not counting themselves.
“Bonus Brain my old friend?”
“I’m not your friend”
“Well you may be when you see what I’m holding in my hand”
“Didn’t your mother ever warn you that you’ll go blind?”
“Who said that? Just kidding. Not my lefty, the other one”
“Do I look like I wish to play your childish games? Just spit it out already will you”
“Two all-inclusive tickets to the Seychelles no less. It’s time for a little R&R Bonus Brain”
“Was you born without a clue or did you misplace it during the holocaust?”
“I don’t follow”
“Check the flight times bozo”
“1.30 pm. So what”
“So it’s nearly midnight. Duh! I wanted to tell you but you’ve been so wrapped up in your writing ever since you woke up that I took my opportunity to enjoy my day-off without having to look at your pitiful excuse for a face”
“Yeah fiddlesticks. Now you may want to go grab that shut-eye as we have a hectic schedule tomorrow and I don’t want you fumbling the baton as per usual”
“But my day off. I had so many wonderful things planned”
“So did Bobcat Goldthwait in the eighties but you don’t see him whining do you?”
“Is that a trick question?”
“Bite me nonstarter”
Well I have to say that I’m terribly embarrassed. Looks like our plans will have to be tabled for the foreseeable Grueheads as there’s clearly nothing doing here. Guys?..guys?