Mine is a life wraught with tragedy o'erwhelmed by courage and mingled
with justice. You see, my penchant for curiosity ran a red light just as my taste for a wondrous
beverage was passing through the intersection of my very existence. My credentials opened the side
door to the complex where Jogging In A Jug is bottled, and my gift of conversation unlocked the
very vault where the glorious recipe is stored. But alas, the bane of my mischievous inner ear
leapt from its quiet slumber and sent me plunging headlong into a monstrous vat of the mysterious
drink. At that moment, there wasn't a single drop of hope to be found in the crowd of well-meaning
unionized laborers who fished me from that tank. But fate is a foreman that doesn't seem terribly
interested in the cares of those who toil in his quadrant. From that day on, the tangy aftertaste
of Jogging In A Jug is permanently etched in my tongue, and the very breath in
my nostrils defies all explanation. My newfound knack for continuing to be alive has returned from the
mall with these running shoes of civic duty, and the checkout lady says that they can not be returned or
exchanged in this condition. They are marked with the stink of my feet, and I am thereby bound to make
sure that evil knows better than to tug at my laces.
Since the days of my youth, I have been surrounded on every side by wholesome goodness and strong principle.
I was raised to have faith, to help those who can't help themselves, and to take your vitamins. A person
can get far in life by living thusly, and I always imagined I would do so. But one fateful day, I feared
that I had sustained exposure to some mercury when I got a toe cramp while taking my temperature.
Remembering an article I had recently read, I quickly grabbed a bottle of Vitamin E and began orally
administering myself with a great many doses. I don't claim to know what happened after that, but I do
know that when I came to, I was different somehow. And I cannot say for sure, but I feel fairly certain
that I had not been wearing my apron when I went down. But as I sprang from the prostrate position and
straightened the apron I found myself wearing, I determined that I would not be the same from then on out.
Not to say that I would stop writing children's books altogether, mind you. But the children these days
need more than just another edition in an upstanding series of pop-up books about a plumber and his
faithful mule. They need a little something I call "looking after". And that's what I aim to do.
What can I say, folks? I was born to take the field with the rest of the
boys of summer. You could say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. No way, man. I have studied
the way of the short hop, and I have learned to dance the 6-4-3 so that I'll be ready when they start to
sing "let's get two". I'm an American through and through, and I want the founding fathers of this great
nation to know that I have not forgotten the lessons they taught us about how to bunt for a base hit, or how
to hook slide around home plate. But I'm in a weird place right now, and my gut keeps trying to tell me that
they may not let Wille Mendoza back into the game because of the fat ladies that have already sung to the
skeletons in my closet. It's not for nothing that they put those signs up around the infield fence. I can
relate to that philosopher who said "I fight authority, authority always wins". When they say "No Pepper
Games", you can take that to the bank and smoke it. I guess that since I grew up cutting classes at the
school of hard knocks, I've always had to learn things the hard way. And now, nothing short of a pardon from
the governor is going to be able to get me back into Class AA baseball. But I've got to keep on truckin' no
matter what, otherwise I'm afraid all of these sunflower seeds will go bad while I sit idly by. I don't
think I've got the guts to let that happen.
It seems to me that a name is a peculiar thing. If any of you all know me a-tall, you know me as Hillbilly
Robot, because that's who I am amongst this herd of folks. At the robot potlucks, I am known as
Cybernetic Online Red Neck, or just C.O.R.N. for short. My momma still calls me Roy, the same as
everyone did before that day at the fair. Back then, a man named Roy had two passions – pie eating
and arithmetic. And I went to the Cattlebit County Fair that day with every intention of partaking of
that pie eating contest. But I seen that they didn't have no chocolate pie handy, so I just idled back
to spectate. I was a pretty fair hand at arithmetic, and as I sat there I began to set my mind on the
value of pi, to see could I find its value. Mind you, it was a powerful hot day, and a strong whiff of
blueberries could send me to sinking on a good day. Now, let it be a lesson to us all that irrational
numbers ought not to be meddled with on an empty stomach. Or while squatting on an ill-balanced
engine block, for that matter. But I reckon that engine was someways destined to forever give up being a
part of Eshelman's old Chevelle, in order to entwine with my innards. And Lord help me if this mess of duct
tape ever betrays me. I shall have to practice what I've preached about living by its utility from here on
Boy, I haven't had this much fun since that time in the second grade when we
had to write a theme about what we did last summer. Funny thing is, I have about as much to say now as I
did back then. Siberia doesn't really have a Katrina and the Waves kind of summer, and little Eskimo
girls don't really have many Bananarama experiences to speak of. So I usually spent my summers writing
public license UNIX software and dreaming of the day when Elvis Costello would tour the Arctic Circle.
I guess those were the formative years for the warped individual I am today. That, and the three days
I spent coding in the belly of a whale. Most people attribute it to the latter. Some coders will tell
you that they drink Jolt and espressos like they were water, or that caffeine runs in their veins. Well,
my doctor tells me that I have separate veins used exclusively for the caffeine. Of course I'm stuck
with an HMO these days, so you can take that with a grain of salt if you like. And while you're at it,
take it outside. There's a "Freaks and Geeks" marathon calling my name, so unless you want to talk
Haverchuck it's time for you to scram.
This party's resume is on file and available by contacting Gray Target Promotions.