THE TOTALLY UNREMARKABLE ADVENTURES OF A WORLD CLASS UNDER-ACHIEVER
“You doing anything today?” Zach asked, stretched out on the bed waiting for coffee to brew. He took in a deep sniff. . .hey, Harper Bailey didn’t smell bad. . .”You take a shower or something?”
“Oh. . .uh. . .yeah. . .and yesterday got my Mom to wash my clothes. . .I gotta find a job. . .rent’s due last week and my Dad won’t gimme any money. . .
“You ask your Mom?”
“Dad took her purse.” Harper Bailey thought for a moment and then asked; “How do you find a job?”
“Uh. . .I dunno. . .check on-line, I guess. . .”
Harper Bailey turned on the computer. . .and waited. . .and waited. . .and waited for the screen to boot.. . .well. . .finally. . .why do we have this stupid computer. . .I want a laptop. . .Oh. . .uh. . .okay. . .okay. . .just a quick game of Skateboard Challenge. . .hey. . .how come I can’t skateboard?. . .
“Dude. . .doesn’t sound like the want ads. . .” Zach’s always gotta be up in my business. . . Ah. . .Crap. . .
Harper Bailey turned off the sound.
Okay. . .uh. . .local paper website. . .local paper website. . .
“How you spell Examiner?” Spelling, among other useful things, was not one of Harper Bailey’s strongest talents. . .
“Oh, geez. . .E-X-A-M-I-N-E-R-. . .you moron. . .”
“Hey. . .uh. . .WHAT?. . .wait. . . Like. . . Don’t it have a H?” Zach probably didn’t know how to spell it either, Harper Bailey thought.
“An H. . .where the hell would you put an H?”
Harper Bailey thought a moment. . .uh. . .uh. . .”I dunno. . .that’s why I’m asking. . .but, listen. . .like. . .uh. . .listen. . .egg-zam-in-her. . .see. . .‘her‘. . .that has a H. . .and you got egg, so there ought to be at least one G. . .”
“Oh my God, Harper Bailey. . .you really are a dumb bastard. . .just shut up and spell it like I told you. . .”
“Uh. . . .okay” said with a shrug. “Don’t gotta get sore. . .”
Okay. . .uh. . .let’s see. . .nope. . . Nope. . .nope. . .Oh hell no. . .nope. . .Ah, crap, this is so freakin’ boring. . .nope. . .nope. . .Hey. . .nope. . .”Dude. . .you think I could be an orderly?”. . .uh. . .nope. . .midnight to seven. . .when could I go out. . .”How ‘bout a sales manager. . .you think they’d let me be a sales manager for . . .I dunno. . .like. . .a week? Pays 400.”
“Probably not. . .”
“Holy crap, dude. . .all these part-time jobs start at 8 in the morning!. . .I can’t be at work at no 8 in the morning for a whole freakin’ week. . .man. . .it would like kill me. . .” . . . my Dad’s really starting to tick me off. . .what’s a few lousy simoleons to him. . .he’s got like a whole house and everything. . .I don’t wanna have to do this crap. . .man. . .I got stuff of my own to do. . .
“Finding anything?” Zach didn’t really care, just thought he should say something.
“Nothin’ I wanna do. . .look. . .how come you don’t have to have a job?” (Pout )
“Hey, whiner. . .my dad gives me money. . .I’m okay.”
“Pig. . .hey. . .uh. . .hey. . .like. . .you think I could. . . Like. . . decorate somebody’s house for a week. . .” Both took a look around them and laughed. . .”Yeah. . .right. . .”
“Keep looking,” Zach said and sat down to have his coffee.
“Think I’m gonna try to get us a gig someplace. . .” Zach mumbled between mouthfuls of coffee. “What are we calling the band?”
“Uh. . .What?. . .” Harper Bailey had stopped listening. . . .What did Zach want?. . . Something about the band. . .what?. . .Oh. . .”I dunno. . .ask Kirby. . .”. . .oh. . .oh. . .I got to concentrate here. . .this is tough. . .
. . .almost. . .almost. . .
Harper Bailey’s face went pale.
“Dude. . .“ asked Zach. “What’s the matter?. . .you look weird. . .”
“Uh. . .Zach. . .something bad is happening to the computer. . .”
“What do you mean. . . bad. . .?”
“Uh. . .”
“It’s. . .like. . .dead! Oh, crap. . .NOW what’m I gonna do?!”
“Well. . .geez, whiner. . .don’t panic. . .we’ll see if Josh can come and fix it. . .you can look for jobs in the paper. . .”
“JOBS!. . .Screw that. . .I didn’t get to save my game. . .” . . .Damn it. . .now the whole day is gonna stink. . .why does this crap always happen to me. . .
“Listen up, Harper Bailey. . .it’s almost 5:30. . .I’ve got to run out and see if I can get us a gig. . .you go over to Mike’s Corner Store. . .my cousin Phil works there. . .tell him to give you a job stocking shelves. . .as a favor to me. . .you know. . .but, you’re gonna owe me. . .dude, you better make tracks, they close at 6.. . . .I‘ll call and let you know where to meet me. . .we‘ll get someone to stand us a few drinks. . .”
“OOH. . .OOH. . .dude. . .see if you can get us into ‘Pit‘. . .ooh. . .ooh. . .wouldn’t it be sweet?. . .No. . .No. . .‘Dungeon‘. . .yeah. . .ooh. . .ooh. . .No. . .No. . .‘Club Baby Head‘. . .yeah . . .that’s it. . .I wanna play ‘Club Baby Head’. . .”
“Dude!. . .HARPER BAILEY!. . .You listening?. . .Make Tracks Dude!. . .”
. . .Geez, what’s he all ticked off about. . .oh. . .uh. . .yeah. . .I gotta go see if I can stock freakin’ stupid shelves for like my whole damn life ‘cause my Dad’s a freakin’. . .hey. . .was I supposed to call Taylor?. . .somethin’ about Taylor. . .ah. . .crap. . .
“DUDE. . .you know. . .tick-tock. . .and stuff?. . .” Zach prodded.
“Oh. . .yeah. . .hey. . .hey. . .why do they do that?. . .you know. . .that tick-tock. . .thing. Clocks don’t make noise. . .”
“Oh. GEEZ, Harper Bailey. . .how the hell do I know. . .just MOVE. . .”
“OOH. . .OOH. . .dude. . .dude. . .You’re turnin’ ‘to a monkey. . . Turnin’ ‘to a monkey. . .” sung in his best “Cheetah” voice. . .
“God, Harper Bailey. . .get off me you freakin’ loser. . .why do you got to always be touching on me and stuff. . .”
“OOH. . .OOH. . .You nothin’ but a monkey. . .Nothin’ but a monkey. . .I‘m gonna write it in a song. . .Zach‘s nothin‘ but a monkey. . .”
“Harper Bailey. . .damn it. . .Go Get A Job. . .”
. . .Go get a job. . .people always telling me what to do. . .like I don’t know what to do with my own damn life. . .go get a job. . .go take a bath. . .go brush your teeth. . .yap, yap, yap , yap ,yap. . .HEY!?. . .Why’m I wasting all this smelling good and having clean hair and stuff on some dumb job interview thing I don’t wanna have . . .oh, , ,yeah. . . ‘cause my Dad’s a tight-wad . . .Like. . .uh. . .I should be out . . .like. . .hooking up. . .uh-oh. . .hooking up. . .was I supposed to call Taylor?. . .WHAT IS THIS CABBIE DOING?!. . .oh. . .oh. . .who was that little red head yesterday at the subway stop. . .did I get her number?. . .uh. . .Hey. . .where’m I goin’?. . .uh. . .uh. . .oh, yeah. . .stocking freakin’ shelves like for the rest of my life. . .HEY. . .how come I’m not booking us gigs?. . .I could book us gigs. . .why’s it always gotta be Zach?. . .
It was 5:55. . . Harper Bailey stood outside and watched some guy sweep-up, some other guy arrange a few cans on a shelf and waited and watched as someone else came and locked the front door; then he went and fiddled with the door handle. . . Nope. . .closed.
Okay. . .well. . .maybe if I just . . .like. . .I dunno. . .wander around. . .maybe I can just like. . .FIND something to pay the bills. . .hey. . .it could happen. . .man, I’m beat. . .this going on job interviews is rough. . .ah, crap. . .NOW I have to go all the way back home again. . .why do this stuff always happen to me?. . .
Zach strolled into the seediest bar he could find. . .Waylon’s Haunt. . .for sure, he figured, I’ve got to be the best looking dude to come in here. Somebody’s bound to stand me a few. . .Let me check this out. . .oh, first better check me out. . .yep. . . I’m HOT. . .okay. . .let’s see. . .blonde chick. . .naw. . .too stuck-up to buy us drinks. . .okay. . .secretary in the bad dress. . .too wild for her, just scare her. . .okay. . bottylicious babe . . .very hot. . .but, naw she might take it seriously. . .young dude. . .cute. . .broker than me. . .busted dude with the ponytail checking me out. . .save him as a last resort. . .oh, Sweet! . . . Enyo’s tending bar . .pretty sure. . .uh. . .She? . . wants a bite of this. . .
“Hey, Enyo” . . .(wink) . . . ”Look. . . Harper Bailey is meeting me here in a while. . .can you run a tab for us. . .I mean, like. . .no use having to keep wallet dippin’ all night. . .we’ll just catch it at closing time.” . . .Give. . .uh. . .her?. . .a smile. . .okay, now wink. . .
“God, Zach. . .don’t be such a jerk. . .yeah, you can run a tab. . .but if you try to skip out I’ll kick your butt. . .”
“Hey, gorgeous. . .Whaddya take me for. . .” . . .Man. . .she’s?. . . tall. . .
“Hey. . .look. . .Like. . .you used to be a dude, right. . .”
“What?. . .NO!. . .are you stupid or something?. . .damn. . .gimme your order before I change my mind. . .”
“Oh, sorry. . .you’re just kinda dude-like looking is all. . .hey, not like that’s a bad thing. . .I mean. . .I’d hit it. . .“ . . .give her a smile. . .“Can I have a couple of those Madness things?. . You know. . .Big Mistakes. . .Oh, yeah. . .give Harper Bailey a couple when he gets here. . . You know him, right. . .”
“Yeah. . .the weird little freak whose always takin’ off his clothes. . .”
“Yep, that’s him!” Zach gave out a laugh. “Dude’s stupid sick. . .we got this band. . .he sings lead. . .but it’s MY band, so get that right. . .he’s my best friend ya know. . .”
“Hey. . .lucky you. . .” Enyo just shook her head. What a jack-ass.
30 minutes later. . .Harper Bailey was feeling great; sure he’d score tonight. Clean pits, clean hair, clean clothes. . .what more did he need?
“Hey dude. . .” Harper Bailey gave Enyo his very best ‘hey dude’ wave.
“Look, you moron . .I’m not a dude!. . .”
“Oh, yeah. . .NOW. . .but you used to be, right?. . .”
“ NO!. . .“
“Hey. . Dude. . .not a worry. . .” ( giving Enyo a wink ) ”. . .secret’s safe with me. . .”
“Moron, I’m Not A Dude. . . I Never Was. . .” and slamming two drinks in front of Harper Bailey, said. “Here. . .Zach ordered these for you. . .Now, sod off. . .”
Hey. . .what?. . .What’s Enyo’s problem?. . .the dude’s all touchy and crap. . .OMG!!!! Madness thingys. . .Madness Thingys. . .I LOVE Madness thingys. . .sick. . .Zach thinks of everything. . .TWO!!!!. . .let’s get this one out of the way right now. . .oooh. . .oooh. . .Fuzzy! . . .uh. . .What?. . .
Uh-Oh. . .hey. . .uh. . .What?. . .I think somebody lookin’ at me. . .uh. . .where. . .where that thing. . .feel like. . .like. . .it watchin‘ everythin‘ I do. . .ahhhhh, sweet. . .everythin’s all fuzzy. . .I like fuzzy. . .Fuzzy Is Good. . .uh. . .WHAT?. . .Hey. . .Hey. . .look. . .somebody left ‘em a drink behind. . .Hahahahaha. . .stoopid. . .that my other drink. . .
No way. . .it that girl with the sunglasses. . .COOL. . .she checkin’ me out. . .okay. . .okay. . .stay chill. . .get this down. . .act like I don’t care. . .she want me, she want me. . .Madness thingys. . . .LOVE Madness thingys. . .
Uh-Oh. . .I don’t feel right. . .feel like. . .like. . .crazy. . .no. . .not like good crazy . . .like lock me up crazy . . .Crap. . .that somebody always makin’ me do bad crap. . .OOH. . .SWEET!. . .nice and fuzzy back again. . .I’m cool. . .uh-uh. . .not sweet. . .not cool. . .where my fuzzy go?. . .now everythin’ just noisy. . .Hey. . .uh. . .What?. . .like. . .uh. . .why these clothes all over me. . .Hey. . .Hey. . .where that girl go?. . .
“THERE YOU ARE!”. . .man, that was loud. . .”Hey. . .HEY!. . .like. . .uh. . .what your name?. . .” . . .Why’m I shoutin’?. . .Hey. . .uh. . .What?. . .oh. . .yeah. . .”HEY GIRL! WHAT YOUR NAME?”. . .Oh My God That Be Loud! . . .okay, not cool. . .say it again. . .”Hey girl what your name?” ( asked in his best “want you” voice ). . .oh. . .I gotta get some money for rent. . .when I start my job?. . .Hahahahaha. . .don’t got no job. . .hey. . .why they close them doors seein‘ me standin‘ there?. . .how I suppos’ta work if they lock me out. . .not cool. . .oh. . .oh. . .rent been due. . .“Hey. . .HEY. . .LADY. . .You got any money?. . .Rent due last week. . .”
“Get lost!” the girl in the sunglasses hissed at him.
Wow. . .that don’t sound friendly. . .uh oh. . .m’eyes gone crossed. . .
“Hey. . .uh. . .HEY. . .can you quit movin’?! . . .I can’t talk to both a you. . . you. . .hey. . .which one is you?. . .”. . .Madness thingys. . .LOVE Madness thingys. . .”Hey. . .hey. . .tell you a secret. . .somebody always watchin’ me. . .makin’ me do stuff. . .told you before. . .can’t talk to both a you. . .why don’t one a you go sit down a minute. . .” “OOH. . .okay . . .phew. . .cool. . .tell your friend I check her out later. . .hey . . .where she go?. . .anyway. . .you and me baby right?. . .Hey. . .hey. . Uh. . .you say somethin‘ before?”
“Yeah. . .I said GET LOST!. . .”
Hey. . .uh. . .hey. . .this ain’t goin’ right. . .ooh. . .ooh. . .do the thumbs up thingy . . .chicks really dig that. . .
“So. . . Like. . .you wanna come home with me now?”. . . hey, why she laughin’?. . .hey, why he laughin’?. . .who he be anyway?. . .I say somethin’ funny?. . .yeah. . .maybe I say somethin’ funny. . .hey. . .uh. . .What?. . .
“GET LOST JACK-ASS!” the girl in the sunglasses shouted in his face.
. . .Hey. . .I don’t think she like me any more. . .
”Listen, CREEP, if you don’t leave me alone my brother here will kick your butt!”
CREEP!?. . .CREEP?!. . .Hey. . .ain’t I got feelin’s?. . .
Crap. . .uh. . .Where my Zach?. . .uh. . .What?. . .Who say somethin’!?. . .hehehehehe. . . Just music. . .Hey!. . .where my Zach?. . .
“Hahaha. . .there you be. . .found you. . .found you. . .you was hidin’ but I found you. . .”
“Dude. . .Harper Bailey. . .listen dude. . .Hey!!. . . Can-You-Listen?. . .”
“Hahaha. . .found you. . .”
“Dude. . .Dude. . .Zach. . . We take off our clothes and dance. . .yeah. . .com’on. . .ya know ya wanna. . .Hey. . .Hey. . .uh. . .Zach. . .that girl. . .she don’t like me any more. . .hey. . .hey. . .gimme a hug. . .you my best friend. . .”
“Yeah, yeah. . .alright, Harper Bailey, there’s your hug . .now get off me you creepy moron. . .”
Creepy? Why’m I creepy?. . .Hey. . .dude. . . I GOT FEELIN‘S. . .Who keep puttin‘ these clothes all over me?. . .
Harper Bailey started pulling at his clothes.
“No, dude. . .no. . .For once in your whole damn life, Harper Bailey. . .Keep Your Freakin’ Clothes On!. . .We gotta get out of here. . .”
“Hey. . .hey. . .HEY!. . .I know’d this dude had him some red sneakers. . .hmmmmm. . . Hey!. . .RED SNEAKERS???!. . .I know’d about a guy with red sneakers . . .why you ask?. . .maybe I help you find him. . .”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. . .we covered all that before, dude. . .red sneakers took your clothes. . .blah, blah, blah. . .it was me . . .remember?. . .Look. . .it’s almost closing time and I don’t have any money to pay for those drinks. . .Harper Bailey. . .are you even listening?. . .BOUNCE! Dude. . .NOW!. . .before Enyo kicks my butt. . .”
“Oh. . .man. . .that Enyo dude’s mad ‘bout somethin’. . .why that Enyo dude all mad?. . .”
“HARPER BAILEY!. . .DAMN IT. . .MOVE !”
Harper Bailey had fallen asleep with his cell phone clutched in his hand. He had been trying to make a call. . .
The ring-tone jarred his aching head into something close to awake.
Hey. . .what Zach doin’ in my bed?. . .Ugh. . .who keep playin’ that stupid song. . .oh. . . phone. . .shut up already. . .Hey. . .why Zach in my bed?. . .
“WHAT!!. . .oh. . .Taylor. . .hey girl. . .stop shoutin’. . .huh?. . .somebody shoutin’. . . . ( why everythin’ so loud and bangy in my head? ) yeah. . .yeah. . .I try callin’ you all day. . .did so. . .did so. . .yeah. . .I spend the whole day lookin’ for a job. . .did so. . .did too. . .swear it. . .oh, man, Taylor, it was rough. . .yeah. . .Naw, nothin’. . .hey. . .you got any money. . .Whoa. . .don’t gotta yell at me !. . .”
“. . .whattcha want from me?!. . .did not. . .did not. . .you di’n’t say nothin’ ‘bout no payin’ you back. . .did not. . .did not. . .hey. . .hey. . .chill out. . .oh. . .uh. . .Hey, girl? “ ( said in his best “need you” voice ). . .”wanna come by and like. . .mess around. . .?”
. . .What-The-Huh?. . .she hung up on me. . .
. . .wake me up . . .middle of the night. . .who she think she is?. . .Damn It!. . .what he doin’ in my bed!?. . .Uh. . .why everythin’ spinnin’?. . .Crap. . .gotta sleep with his dumb stinkin’ breath all over me. . .Uh. . .Geez. . ., why it so freakin’ bright in here. . . Gross. . . he droolin’ all over the pillow. . .he better not. . .like . . .hug up all over me. . .who she think she is?. . .call in the middle of the night. . .
While Harper Bailey shouted into his phone and then went back to bed, Kirby washed the dishes he found under his bed. Feeling left out from the night before, he didn’t worry if he was making too much noise. They ought to be awake, anyway. . .it was 2 in the afternoon. They seemed to leave him out of a lot lately; wondering what was up, hoping to wake them and get some answers, he made sure to clatter the dishes as loudly as he could without breaking them. All he got for his efforts was another round of grunts and snores.
It took another hour before the smell of coffee brewing finally got Zach to get out of bed.
What’s Harper Bailey doing in my bed?. . .oh, geez. . .I hope he didn’t hug up on me all night. . .probably drooled all over my back or something. . .oh crap!. . .my face is all wet. . .oh. . .gross. . .he was drooling on my face. . .
“Hey Kirby. . .hey. . .was Harper Bailey hugging all over me last night?”
“Wha’do I know. . .Like I don’t got nothin’ better to do than watch you two dopes sleep! Hey. . .what’s up with the coffee-maker? It’s like spittin’ at me. . .”
“He’s like always touching on me. . .I think he wants me. . .”
“Oh, yeah. . .that's just gotta be it. . .whole damn world wants you. . .don’t have anything to do with you getting him stupid every time you go out. . .Oh, God, Zach. . .Relax!. . .Harper Bailey’s always touchin’ on everybody. . .don’t make you special. . .look, he don’t want you. . .”
“Why? What’s the matter with me? What’s not to want?”
With a very heavy sigh, Kirby said; “Shut up. . .”
“Hey. . .Zach. . .dude. . .I came up with some fliers last night. . .oh, oh. . .band’s name is “Rage” now. . .where you want me to put them up?. . .”
“What’s the matter with me?. . .Why wouldn’t Harper Bailey want me?. . .man, look at me. . .course Harper Bailey wants me---”
“OH MY GOD!. . .SHUT UP!!!. . .NOBODY WANTS YOU!. . .NOBODY!. . .“ then giving himself a moment to compose, Kirby calmly asked. “You get us a gig yet?”
“Oh. . .not yet. . .I was out All Day working on it. . .I think we should try for ‘Pit’. . .they don’t seem to care who plays there. . .not that we’re bad. . .”
“We suck. . .”
Harper Bailey stumbled to the table. . .hey!. . .where’s MY coffee?. . .how come nobody got me no coffee. . .“Why you gotta sleep in my bed Zach?”
“Your Bed?. . .That ain’t your bed. . .just ‘cause you climb into it don’t make it yours. . .my parents gave me that bed. . .”
“Did Not. . .”
“Did So. . .”
“SHUT UP!” Kirby didn’t want to hear it.
“And. . .gross, Zach. . .you freakin’ drooled all over the pillow. . .”
“Gross?. . .No, dude. . .Gross is you. . .You freakin’ drooled all over my face!”
“Did Not. . .”
“Did So. . .”
Zach shot a stare at Kirby; “What’s your problem, dude?. . .Hey, Harper Bailey. . .how’d it go at Mike’s?”
“Oh man. . .they locked the door right in my face. . .not cool. . .Hey?. . .where’s that chick with the sunglasses?. . .She gone already?”
Harper Bailey sat down before he had a chance to fall down. . .why’s the room still spinnin’. . .Hey. . .what’s that look for?. . . “What up? You got a weird look on your face Zach. . .”
“Harper Bailey. . .that girl didn’t come back here. . .she shoved you off. . .”
“No. . .for real?. . .”
“Let me get this straight. . .” . .uh. . .focus. . .focus. . .he tried his best. . .focus. . .
“Don’t you remember?. . .Just you and me came home. . .” Zach prompted, knowing it would do little good. Harper Bailey never remembered anything.
“Uh. . .WHAT?!. . .Naw. . .okay. . .waitta secon‘. . .waitta second. . .gettin’ me a picture here. . .blah, blah, blah. . .hey baby. . .blah, blah, blah. . .naw. . .that’s not how I remember it. . .you sure she ain’t here?. . .”
“Swear dude. . .”
“Uh. . .uh. . .Really?. . .I remember it different. . .”
“That‘s you, Harper Bailey. . .total recall of crap that never happened. . .”
. . .waitta secon’. . .don’t remember it that way at all. . .HEY!. . .uh. . .uh. . .nope. . .oh. . .NAW. . .no way. . .nope. . .don’t remember it like that at all. . .
“Hey. . .hey. . .it’s like . . .whatever. . .I gotta go get dressed.” . . .Nope. . .not like I remember it at all. . .hehehehehe. . .yeah, right. . .remember. . .hehehehehe. . .
“Over there. . .now. . .” Zach ordered Kirby after Harper Bailey wandered off.
Oh, crap. . .what’s this got to do with me? thought Kirby. I don’t wanna be dragged into this. . .
Keeping his voice down, Zach asked, “What‘s your problem, dude? You told me to shut up like three or four times. . .so. . .spill. . .”
Kirby had something to say, but he sure wasn’t going to say it; not to Zach at any rate.
“I’m cool. . .just in a bad mood. . .sorry. . .” Kirby said with a shrug.
“You sure. . .”
“Yeah. . .sure. . .not a worry. . .”
“Then don’t ever tell me to shut up again. . .ain’t nice. . .” and Zach gave Kirby a pat on the back. “Hey. . .we’re okay. . .not a worry. . .”
“Alright. . .I give. . .“ Harper Bailey said after searching under the chair cushions for change. “Call your cousin Phil. . .tell him I’m comin’.”
“Oh. . .wait. . .you really gonna go stock shelves?. . .”
“Like I got me a choice?. . .Everybody’s bein’ a butthead to me. . .Geez. . .like what do I need?. . .a hundred?. . .and don’t nobody gimme nothin’!. . .so Yeah, Pig. . .I gotta go stock shelves for the rest of my freakin’ life. . .but I’m gonna remember this crap when I’m a famous Rock Star and all you losers who wouldn’t gimme money want tickets to see me. . .”
“Oh, dude. . .your pits. . .didn‘t you wash?”
Harper Bailey shrugged. “Wash?. . .for what?. . .I washed yesterday. . .how dirty you think a guy can get in just a day?”
“Well. . .that’s not the point, dude. . .but look. . .cut out the drama about having to work. . .like how long are you goin’ to do it for anyway. . .like, what?. . .A week?”
“Yeah, dude. . .but it’s a whole freakin’ week of my life I ain’t never gettin’ back. . .”
. . .don’t know why that somebody makin’ me do stuff don’t just. . .like. . .make me find some big ole piece a gold. . .or some really big diamond or somethin’. . .hey. . .it could happen. . .why it got to make me do all this humiliating crap. . .yeah. . .I know me some big words. . .it prob’bly thinks I’m too stupid to know it’s makin’ me do all this crap. . .uh. . .hey. . uh. . .hey. . .HEY!. . .How come that thing don’t just GIVE me money?. . .makes me do all this crap instead. . .see. . .see. . .I don’t think that thing so powerful after all. . .all it knows how to do is mess up my life. . .if it was. . .like. . .powerful. . .like. . .I could say. . .HEY THING!. . .GIMME MONEY!. . .and it could like. . .Ka-Ching me some money. . .but. . .NOOOO. . .it just goes on messin’ up my stuff. . .Phew. . .finally waking up!. . .
Oh. . .crap. . .here already. . .
Hey. . .you aren’t really gonna watch me do this?. . .Ain’t it bad enough I gotta do it in the first place?. . .You gotta watch?. . .pretty sure Zach or Kirby are doing something
. . .go watch them. . .well. . .okay. . .suit yourself. . .but it ain’t gonna be pretty. . .
“. . .Hey!. . .Hey!. . .Some dude named Phil here?. . .Zach told me some dude named Phil got a job for me. . .Hey. . .Oh, Hey, Phil. . .I‘m Harper Bailey. . .”
Three Hours Later. . .
. . .Stupid. . .worse damn day of my whole freakin’ life. . .Hahahahaha. . .a job. . .too damn dumb. . .I’m gonna have to quit this before it wears me down to nothing. . .I’m beat!. . .wonder how many more hours I have to work before I can collect retirement?. . .Hey. . .Hey. . .ain’t that Buster over there?. . .
“Buster!. . .Dude. . .what’s up?. . .we don’t see you out much any more.” Buster Whatever-His-Last-Name-Is! Too Cool! Wonder why he took a powder?
“Hey Harper Bailey! . . .oh, dude. . .you’re comin’ over a little ripe. . .put your arms down. . .anyway. . .Naw, I don’t get out much anymore. I got a job at the theater now, but I’m working at ‘Pit’ cleaning up on week-ends. How come you all don’t come by?”’
” ‘Pit’!. . . Oh, man. . .we’re trying to book at ‘Pit’. . .oh. . .dude. . .who do we call to get a gig?. . .Hey. . .Hey. . .we got a band, you know. . .it’s called. . .uh. . .it’s called. . .uh. . .oh, look, I dunno. . .gotta ask Kirby. . .but. . .like. . .we don’t suck that bad. . .who’d we call to get a gig?”
“Gotta call Derrick. . .he handles all the bookings. . .” Buster Round tried to back-step away from the odd odor wafting up from Harper Bailey‘s underarms.
“Dude. . .you think you can gimme his number?. . .( then in his best “poor me” voice ) . . .It’s like. . .it’s like. . .my life really freakin’ stinks right now. . .stuff’s goin’ real bad. . .I been brought real low. . .like I gotta stock shelves dude. . .ME. . .stockin’ shelves. . .like some freakin’ bum. . .and you know me dude. . .it’s like crushin’ my spirit. . .”
“Holy Crap, Harper Bailey. . .cut the sob story. . .it’s just a phone number. . .not like you’re askin’ for a lung . . .so, you want that number?. . .Got a pen?”
“A Pen?. . .like. . .dude. . .For What?”
“To write the number down. . .???. . .”
“Oh, dude. . .Phew. . . I thought for a minute you were asking for a bribe. . .hey, I don’t need to write it down. . .you can just tell me. . .I got me a great memory. . .I remember. . .like. . .everythin’. . .”
“You sure?. . .okay. . .555-3729. . .”
“Uh. . .WHAT?!”. . .did he say ‘free seben to dime‘?. . .those ain’t numbers. . .”What’s that again?”
“OH! 3-7-2-9 !. . .Dude. . .shoulda just used numbers the first time. . .Okay. . .cool !”
“This is freakin’ awesome dude. . .Zach’s gonna call the minute I get home. . .I don’t know why he get’s to do the bookings. . .you know. . .it’s always gotta be him. . .like man. . .I could do it. . .but. . .no. . .always gotta be him. . .Like. . .I‘m a people person. . .people dig me. . .”
“Yeah. . .right. . .uh. . .can I have my hand back?. . .Your palm‘s kinda. . .sweaty.”
“Oh. . .dude. . .yeah, right. . .sorry. . .oh man. . .freakin’ awesome. . .Thanks a Lot. . .”
Harper Bailey watched Buster walk away. . .best day ever. . .BEST DAY EVER. . .call Derrick. . .call Derrick. . .555. . .uh. . .uh. . .”HEY BUSTER!? WHAT’S THAT NUMBER AGAIN!!?”
“555-3729 YOU MORON!. . .”
Best Day Ever. . .5553729. . .Derrick. . .5553729. . .best day ever. . .5553729. . .oh, man. . .freakin’ awesome. . .wait ‘til Zach hears. . .5553729. . .
“Dude. . .dude. . .you’re gonna LOVE me. . .” Harper Bailey was so excited he could barely hold himself together.
“Doubt it. . .”
“No, dude. . .seriously. . .”
“You. . .Are. . .Gonna. . .Love. . .Me. . .Dude. . .guess what I got? Com’on. . .guess. . .hey. . .you ain’t guessin’. . .”
“Look, Harper Bailey. . .I got a headache. . .stop being stupid and just tell me.”
Oooh. . .he’s in a bad mood. . .”Ah, com’on. . .guess. . .just a couple times. . .com‘on. . .guess. . .I’ll be your best friend. . .”
“Oh My God! Alright!. . .a purple shoelace?. . .gum stuck in your hair?. . .lost on the way to the store?. . .THERE!. . .Now tell me. . .”
“Crap. . .you’re no fun. . .okay. . .okay. . .man. . .best day ever. . . I got the number for the guy who books ‘Pit’. . .”
“No Way! NO WAY! That’s freakin’ Awesome!! Dude. . .dude. . Where is it? Let me have it. . .I’ll call now. . .Where is it?!”
Harper Bailey grinned his best ‘I’m Too Smart’ grin and tapped his forehead. “Right here.”
“Oh Crap. . .you mean you didn’t write it down?. . .Crap. . .”
“Write it down. . .pffft. . .I don’t gotta write stuff down. . .I got me a great memory. . .it’s. . .ah. . .it’s ah. . .hmmmmm. . .”
“Hey. . .gimme a minute. . .oh, man. . .best day ever. . .it’s ah. . .Oooh. . .Oooh. . .555-3729. . .Derrick. . .”
“You sure? Harper Bailey. . .you positive sure?”
“Yeah. . .yeah. . .555 free seben to dime. . .that’s what he said. . .Hehehe. . .but those ain’t numbers. . .he meant 3729. . .people talk funny, ya know. . .”
“Oh My God, Harper Bailey. . .I can’t freakin’ believe it. . .you actually did something right!” and Zach gave him a huge bear hug that squeezed the air out of him and left him coughing. “I’ll call right now. . .you go tell Kirby and then give Josh a call. . .oh, man, Harper Bailey. . .you freakin’ finally did something right. . .”
“Kirby! Kirby!. . .dude. . .Hey. . .Hey. . .I finally did something right!. . .HEY!. . .wait a minute. . .What’s that supposed to mean?. . .( shrug ) . . . Anyway. . .dude. . .I got us the number to book at ‘Pit’. . .hey. . .Hey! Whoa. . .You look all messed up. . .whattsa matter dude?”
“Stuff’s kinda messin’ with my head, Harper Bailey. . .I don’t think I oughtta tell you. . .”
“Hey, Kirby. . .you can tell me anything. . .you know that. . .you’re my best friend. . .”
Kirby shrugged and looked away. “No, I’m not. . . Zach’s your best friend. . .and I kinda got a problem with Zach right now. . .”
“Oh, yeah. . .he can be kinda rude. . .like all in his own world and stuff. . .you want I should kick him outta the band?”
“No. . .no. . .it’s not like that. . .”
“Then. . .uh. . .what’s it like?. . .”. . .oh, dude. . .I hope this ain’t messy. . .please, please, please don’t be all messy. . . it’s like my best day ever. . .I don’t wanna see it get all wrecked up. . .maybe it’s like Zach keeps. . .like. . .burpin’ in his face or something. . .oh. . .no. . .that’s me. . .I prob’bly shouldn’t do that any more. . .”You can tell me. . .I won’t say nothing to Zach if you don’t want. . .”
Kirby pulled Harper Bailey very close and whispered in his ear, “I think I’m in love with Zach. . .”
Oh. . .CRAP!!!!. . .Not Romance DRAMA!!!. . .Not Freakin’ Messy Romance Drama!. . .Not Today. . .no, man. . .remember. . .Best Day Ever?. . .Don’t he know it’s my best day ever?. . .crap-crap-crap-crap-crap-. . .uh. . .oh. . .I gotta say something here. . .
“Oh, dude. . .you sure?. . .don‘t you think. . .it‘s like. . .maybe. . .Gas? . . .Does being around him make you feel all. . .like. . . crampy?. . .’cause then it‘s probably just gas. . .I mean. . .I thought I was in love with this girl once. . .I was feeling all weird and stuff. . .but my Mom told me it was just bloated intestines. . .and you know. . .she‘s an expert on digestion. . .”
“Oh my God, Harper Bailey, what the hell are you talkin’ about?”
“Uh. . .I dunno. . .I just figured you needed me to say somethin’. . .you sure, Kirby?. . .Zach?. . .Zach’s a bastard!. . .You could do way better than Zach. . .”
“Yeah. . .see why it’s messin’ with my head?”
Yeah. . .also see how it’s messing up my best day ever. . .oh, man. . .Zach?!. . .Who’d want Zach?!. . .Zach’s a user. . .Zach’s a pig. . .I ought to know. . .he’s my very best friend. . .No, I need to correctify this kid. . .these two getting together just can’t happen. . .nope. . .can’t let it happen. . .it’s a very bad thing. . .
“But. . .dude. . .nobody’s in love with Zach, except Zach. . .. .you don’t wanna be in love with Zach. . .dude. . .he drools. . .yeah. . .slobbers all over pillows. . .if you end up with him you’ll. . .like. . .wake up with his old bar spit all over your face. . .”
“No, Kirby. . .you just leave this thing to me. . .there ain’t nothing I don’t know about dating. . .but I don‘t gotta tell you that. . .you’ve seen me with the ladies. . .No, man, you just leave it to me. . .I’m going to find you somebody perfect. . .somebody who knows how to keep his spit in his mouth while he’s sleeping. . .just. . .Now Listen To Me, Dude. . . . .Don’t---Go---Messing---With---Zach!. . .Okay?”
"Well. . .uh. . .okay, I guess. . ."
Cool, got that cleared up. . .these two together would just make my life a freakin’ misery. . .Oooh. . .Oooh. . .
Back to my Best Day Ever. . .
Okay. . .now I know for sure somebody’s out there messing with me. . .I mean. . .Kirby and Zach?!?!. . .For Real?!?!. . .Like how miserable do you want my life to get?. . .Look, I know I can’t prove it . . .but, listen up. . .Somebody’s out there! I don’t know why they’re picking on me. . .maybe they just don’t got enough of their own stuff to do so they gotta come here and mess up mine. . .but, let me tell you something. . . if I ever run into them I’m gonna kick their butt. . .like. . .My Best Day Ever!. . .My Road To Freakin’ Stardom!. . .Sure. . .Mess with my good thing ‘cause you ain’t got nothing better to do. . .Kirby and Zach?. . .No Way! Well, I showed them. . .I’m not going to have my two best friends hooking up in some kind of freak-show train wreck of a romance. . .No Freakin’ Way!!!. . .Oh, uh. . .sorry. . .I didn’t mean to go off like that. . .Thanks for droppin’ by, it was really nice to see you. . .if anything else happens I’ll let you know. . .
“Harper Bailey Caine! Why are you down here in the basement talking to yourself?! And what are you doing back here anyway?!”
“Ah, Dad. . .get off my back!”
Life and Times of Harper Bailey II
Sep 29, 2011 by orlov
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