Ian needs help getting better at charades,so his friends will stop laughing at him
“Two hundred mongoloid seagulls have laid three hundred spider eggs in the armpit of a Ukrainian soccer player”, Ian shouted.
“What?” replied Mike, “where the hell did you get that from?”
“I thought you were supposed to be Cher”, said Justin.
“I was” Mike said, “Wow Ian. I think you may be the worst charades player in all of Olsom County”.
“Screw you guys”, shouted Ian as he exploded from his seat. “I’ll show you. I’m not the worst. Just you wait- I’m gonna come back a charades dynamo. Now guess what I am” Ian exclaimed as he dove through Mike’s bay window and ran hastily down the street.
“He’s the guy who owes me seventy-five dollars for a new bay window” said Mike.
“Oh. I thought he was supposed to be Cher” replied Justin.
“I was” screamed Ian from a distance. (How? Your guess is as good as mine. You’re thinking, “if he was running continuously throughout that whole section of dialogue, there’s no way Ian could have heard Justin say what he did” and to that I say HA! There is a way- this is fiction)
Now what most folks don’t know about Olsom is that their countywide pastime is charades. No matter what time of day it is you can find a game to just go and jump in on. Those Puke brothers and their car, The General Grant, had been out-runnin’ and out-charadin’ ol’ Boss Pig and the local law for goin’ on three years by the time Ian found himself in this predicament. OKAY. TIME OUT. General Grant? Boss Pig? Thanks, but I think I can handle it from here, Mr. Jennings. What he said was true, but completely irrelevant, except for the part about charades being bigger than Jesus in Olsom County. ANYWAYS…
Ian ran the four blocks back to his house and after bounding across his front lawn, dove through the hole in the window from his exit earlier that afternoon. “I should really get that fixed. It’s unsafe” he noted, “Now how do I get better at charades? Ye-GASP! That’s it!”. Ian could hear his grandmother’s voice, sandpaper on plastic, saying “we play charades every Friday night. The whole senior center plays. Never had so much fun in my life. Reminds me of when…”
Ian had barely shaken the wretched sound from his head by the time he found himself leaping through the sliding glass door that leads to the cafeteria of the retirement home. “Hi grandma” Ian said as he plucked the glass shards from his forearm.
“Jesus Christ boy! Are you trying to give an old woman a heart attack? You are, aren’t you? You want me dead so you can take my money. Well I’ve got news for you. I’ve invested it all in Billy Graham’s ministry. He says I’ve given enough to go to heaven twice over, unlike a certain bastard grandchild of mine”. She finished by either cackling or coughing- Ian couldn’t tell, it sounded like both, and he didn’t care enough to try to determine which it was.
“I don’t want your money grandma. I need to learn how to play charades better so that my friends won’t make fun of me anymore. I figured I could play with your group” Ian said as he gave perhaps the most awkward and confused look of his life.
“Charades?” his grandmother snapped, “charades is the easiest game ever. Well maybe not as easy as skittles, and of course not as easy as snip-it. ‘Snip-it for a muffin’ is what you’d say when you got the most bottle caps. I was the Olsom county snip-it champion four years running, ‘til Bessy Smith and her pigtails and her pale blue pleated dress and her braces and her perfect part and the stupid way she’d say muffin. “Muh-fun’ she’d say.” Ian wasn’t sure how long his grandmother continued rambling on, but he could still hear her cursing Bessy Smith as he dove through the pane of replacement glass the janitors were installing in the cafeteria door.
“That got me nowhere” Ian said to himself, and it’s true. It hadn’t –at least not any closer to beating Mike and Justin at charades. “I thought you were supposed to be Cher” Ian said in a whiny, bland tone, imitating and mocking Justin. Suddenly Ian’s pants began vibrating. He pulled out his cell phone and answered the call. “Hey Wesley. What’s going on? You, Dana, Jennifer and Stefan are going to the bar? Which bar? Rutger’s? I’ll be there in ten minutes”.
Twelve minutes later Ian was in front of the group of friends and a wall of intoxicants. Three drinks lead to six and before the seventh round Ian suggested the group play charades. Stefan volunteered to go first and at once stood up and began shuffling his legs and gyrating his arms in all directions.
“Slipping” Ian shouted.
“High on crack?”
“Dammit. I don’t know” Ian said.
“Sodium Disulfate” Jennifer exclaimed. ”Wait! Sodium Trisulfate!” she shouted.
“You’re so right” Stefan said, confirming her guess.
“Hey. You there” the bartender whispered.
“Me?” asked Ian.
“No.” the bartender replied, “the other jerk-off who doesn’t know sodium trisulfate when he sees it. Listen pal, I’ve seen this kind of thing happen before. Do yourself a favor and go to the address scrawled on this napkin here. Go Now! … while time is on our side. Hmm… that’s not it. Before fate turns her cold hard back on you. Yeah, that’s the one. Mwah ha haha!!!”.
With his jaw resting nearly on the floor Ian slowly shifted his head in the direction of his companions who were still engulfed in their game of charades.
“You guys didn’t see any of that?” Ian asked, with his jaw still stretched far beyond it’s normal reach, “Any reaction right now would be good.”
“Oscillating sea otter!” Stefan yelled.
“So right” Dana responded.
Ian’s eyes once again found themselves focused on the bartender who was still laughing- not audibly, but Ian could tell that he was by the sharp and quick convulsions of the drink server’s upper torso. Despite the fact that the credibility of the address was now seriously in question, he decided to give it a shot regardless.
125 Oxford street. Saint Christopher’s cathedral. Ian knew this church- they had been under investigation by the FBI for racketeering, fraud, and about twenty or so other charges related to their illegal gambling ring- but that’s not why he knew it. Saint Christopher’s charades team had five world championships under their belts. It appeared to Ian as if the house of worship standing before him doubled as a charades school, and indeed it was. It was a magical place where things were light and merry, to some. To most it was a big brick building filled with dark hallways that smelled heavily of incense, wine, and incredibly flat bread. He navigated the corridors of catholicism until he walked into the amphitheater and approached the three people sitting in the center of the room.
“I need your help, I’m getting my ass kicked at charades” Ian pleaded.
“You’ve come to the right place” said the shifty black-haired kid who squinted through his small round glasses, and adjusted them to get a better look at Ian.
“I’m Henry, and those two over there both with long brown hair are my compatriots Jesse and Tyler. What’s your name?”
“Okay Ian”, Henry said, “let’s get started. Almost on cue there was a loud bang and the doors flung open revealing a light that was nearly blinding to all but the one who emerged from it. “Very Superstitious … Writing on the wall !!!” a chorus shouted. One voice stood out above the others and it was coming from the man now standing before them.
“I need your help. I’m getting my ass kicked at charades” the man said.
“Well of course you are” said Tyler, “you’re Stevie Wonder.”
“Regardless, I need your assistance. I’m also aware that your team needs funding – it’s difficult to find good periodicals in braille – so here’s the deal. You teach me to be a charade master and I’ll sponsor your team next season”.
“You’ve got a deal” Henry said and the team cheered as the welcomed their new benefactor.
“Thanks for taking me under your wings.”
“Uhhhh…Mr. Wonder?” Jesse said, “we’re over here.”
WAIT WAIT WAIT… I know what you’re saying. I hear you. Too far? I know. “We gave you Stevie Wonder” you say. “We also gave you campy under-dog gets chance to win story set-up” you say. “But then you make a blind joke. That’s going too far.” I hear you and I’m sorry. Are we cool? Cool. Back to the story.
Hours of training went by to no avail. No matter how hard Ian tried he could not get any of the charades right.
“For God’s sake, even Stevie Wonder has gotten a couple right. I’m going home”, he said as he stood up, slumped his head and walked out. He proceeded to sulk the entire way home and as he crossed his front lawn for perhaps the last time that day he had an epiphany.
“Charades is a dumb game. That’s why I suck at it, cause it sucks”. With that Ian decided to quit charades and become the best at mahjong, cause he was already pretty damn good at it, and he did become the best, but that’s a completely different story all together.