So, today begins what I shall call the Mordorian Death March. But don't let the name fool you. It won't be any fun at all. The good news? Well, as it happens, that's also the bad news. The Mordorian Death March may only extend so far as the 23rd of May (though there's at least two months worth of walking to be done), and not likely a day longer. Which means, including today, I have only thirteen days to complete this stroll from the Mountains of Shadow north to Ered Lithui, passing the still black waters of the Sea of Núrnen and moving out across the plains of Nurn and Gorgoroth and the Plain of the Black Steed. See, that makes it sound not so very fucking bad, after all. Better than if I'd gone and used Dante for my metaphor. And in the end I will, I hope, have learned my lesson, so it will not be necessary for me to pass this way ever, ever again. There will be maggots and biting flies, thorns and stinging winds, the suspicious stares of orcs and always the stink of sulfur upon the scalding air, but I will tell myself that on the other side I shall at last be free and this pelican may be cut from about my aching neck (thank you, Josiah Kennedy). And at least I have learned that I do not look good going about wearing butchered pelicans.
But turn not pale, beloved snail, for even such awful days as these invariably yield grim moments of humour. Which is to say, I had a little too much in the way of alcoholic beverages late in the afternoon, wishing to dull the prickling sensation of imminent doom tumbling about inside my head. Spooky decided it would be best if we took a walk and got some fresh air and dinner, figuring it might do me some sort of good. But neither of us counted on the skinheads at L5P. Two of them, in fact, and really this is where the whole lamentably extended orc metaphor began. These two racist assholes and their white power T-shirts and tattoos and suspenders and this oily little weasel of a girl lurking in their sooty penumbrae. I remember she had a video camera, so perhaps all that follows will wind up on YouTube.
Anyway, they were just standing there, glaring, clearly appalled at all the unabashed diversity milling about, and I'm wondering what gawdsforsaken rock these two sorry sonsofbitches crawled out from under. I haven't seen skins in L5P in ages. And Spooky must have noted some warning glint in my drunken eyes, because she seized hold of my arm and with fierce (but futile) determination tried to steer me back towards Seminole Avenue. Too late. Of course, had I been sober, none of this would have happened. When I'm sober, I just grumble to myself and keep on moving, pretending I have some obligation to tolerate intolerance and stupidity and hatred. But I wasn't sober. I walked up to the skinheads and asked if they wanted to go bowling.
For a moment, they only stared silently back at me and Spooky. Indeed, this silence lasted just long enough that I began to suspect they were only clever illusions or waxworks or something of the sort. Finally, one of the ugly fuckers leaned towards me.
"What did you say?" he asked.
"Would you like to go bowling?" I asked again.
"What?" he asked again.
"B-o-w-l-i-n-g," I said, spelling the word, just in case he could, you know...spell. "Bowling."
"What?" asked the other skinhead, and by this time, of course, Spooky is freaking out, being somewhat sane and in possession of at least a dim sense of self-preservation, whispering for me to shut the hell up and come on.
But I'd started laughing, which actually seemed to confuse the skinheads even more than the whole bowling thing. And then, I swear to whatever vile beings keep watch over idiots like me, I asked the skinhead, "What country are you from?"
Skinhead: What? (this makes what #4)
Me ('cause the drunker I get, the better I quote Tarantino): "What ain't no country I know. Do they speak English in What?"
Skinhead: What? (#5, I shit you not)
And then, even as the next line in this surreal exchange was passing from my vocal chords to tongue to lips ("English, motherfucker. Can you speak it?"), Spooky grabbed me by one arm, sinking in her fingernails, and hauled me away towards the relative safety of the Corner Tavern, where we were headed before I decided to poke at the skinheads with a pointy stick. They just stood there and watched us go. When we reemerged after dinner, alas, the skinheads and the oily weasel girl were gone and in their stead there was only some skinny one-armed guy who kept telling me that I have "remarkable hair." No, I did not ask him to go bowling. But if you want to hear a really funny story, mostly free of orcs, have a look at this entry by tagplazen.
Thank you. I'll be here all week. Where the hell else am I gonna go?