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Then there was the time

did i ever tell you about the time i saved my wife jenmoon from an evil horde of cyborg pirates from the future? i suppose not... for a long time, we didn't like to talk about it because once you let someone know you're capable of saving someone from an evil horde of cyborg pirates from the future, then pretty soon they're asking you to save their sweetheart from maniacal mutant underwater slime monsters, and oh can you rescue my grandmother from the dreaded masking tape of santa demonica, and hey, fluffy my cat is up a tree, et cetera et motherfucking cetera. but as i've gotten to know this community a bit better, i've realized none of you are likely to approach me that way... i can tell this by the way most of you recoil in what looks like severe gastrointestinal pain any time you're forced to talk to me, so i suppose i can now share with you all the story of how i saved jenmoon from an evil horde of cyborg pirates from the future.

it was a sunday morning, and i woke up with an incredible headache from spending the previous evening performing horrible experiments on the fabric of the spacetime continuum, taking cues from my underground bestseller on the subject of obscene balloon animals. unfortunately, the naughty naughty horse cluster had popped after we'd gone to sleep, leaving a gigantic wormhole open directly underneath our bed. when i awoke, i realized immediately that i didn't feel the comforting warmth of jenmoon's skin next to mine, which was very strange, since i typically sleep under a blanket of jenmoon's skin from the clone vats we keep next to the refrigerator. more disturbing, though, was that jenmoon herself was missing from the loft. i immediately suspected our cat cinnamon had sold jenmoon into white slavery to keep up her insane catnip habit, but cinnamon passed the polygraph exam, so at that point i was baffled.

in an absolute panic, i immediately sat down and watched some television for a while. then i had some grape nuts, and checked my email for a few hours, and eventually realized i needed to clean the slime off the walls from the Baywatch Nights marathon we'd had a few months back. i lost track of time, a few days went by, and after a while, i started to wonder who all these women's clothes belonged to that were hanging on the rack next to mine, when eventually one night i received a phone call.

"we have your moon," said a vicious, disturbing, gravelly voice.

"what are you talking about?" i replied. "i'm looking out the window right now, and it's still up there."

"not that moon, you ignorant jackass," the voice said. "we have jenmoon."

the name sounded strangely familiar... and then, it all came flooding back to me, all the wonderful times we'd had together, the shared adventures, the laughs, the intimate nights alone, the multiple prison breaks, the clever use of hostages to throw smokey off our tails...

"what have you done with her?" i growled. actually, as far as growls go, it came out sounding more like "grrowowrrorrwrrrrrr," but i think he got the point.

"listen closely, if you ever want to see jenmoon alive again. we have--"

"hold on," i interrupted, because tiger woods was making a very important putt. the guy said a few things i don't remember, and then i turned the TV off finally and said, "okay, what was that?"

" three hours, or we will feed jenmoon to the spleenbeests of new indianapolis on the far side of europa!" i heard an ominous click, and the line went dead.

spleenbeests of new indianapolis? i thought to myself. that could mean only one thing: cyborg pirates from the future.

they'd made one critical error: leaving the wormhole open underneath the bed. oh sure, i'd known it was there all along; in fact, i'd been emptying the catbox into it for days now, which i would later learn caused the collapse of western civilization due to the sudden untimely appearance of mounds and mounds of cat waste at a critical meeting between heads of state. (and please, spare me the guilt trip, because any of you weirdos who happen to be around at the time will by then be uploaded and trapped inside an old powerbook or something, so it's not like you'll care.)

but now, i knew i had a mission: if i was ever going to get a decent meal cooked for me again in my life, i was going to have to travel through the wormhole, into the future, and rescue my beloved sweetheart, jenmoon. it would be kind of a shame, because she was probably going to want me to stop wearing her dresses, but if that was the price to pay for getting decent stir fry every now and then, so be it.

naturally i couldn't travel to the future unarmed. i pulled my arms out of the plasma bath with my teeth and sewed them back on with jenmoon's sewing machine. then i began assembling weapons for my trip through the wormhole. ball and chain: check. sound gizmo: check. jenmoon's britney spears CD collection: check. nuclear powered rail gun: ... fuck, who did i loan that to? oh, right - a quick call to mason (who claimed he needed it for work, but you know, whatever) and i was ready to go. only one thing remained: i certainly couldn't embark on such an ambitious rescue mission sober, for fuck's sake.

i opened the extradimensional safe and withdrew the large, glowing vial of 2-TC-special-G. renowned amongst the entheogentsia for its ability to grant the user a sharp and heightened sense of awareness, a deep and resonant feeling of confidence, and a large and bloody hole in the back of the sinus cavity, 2-TC-special-G had been my favorite research chemical for years (if by "research" you meant "let's see how many people die from it this time" and by "chemical" you meant "fundamentally corrosive and evil secretion from the sweat glands of Satan himself"). i snorted a large line of the stuff, collapsed onto my back, clawed the right side of my face off for the third time that week, then stood up, and with a resounding shout of "BANZAI!!!!!" i leapt into the wormhole.

i emerged at the other end of the wormhole deep inside the cyborg pirate lair. i knew this from the awful stench, the piles of technological booty stacked in the corners, and the enormous banner hanging on the wall that said "WELCOME TO THE CYBORG PIRATE LAIR!" i guess they were having some kind of cyborg pirate convention, and to my deep horror, i learned that even three thousand years in the future, people were still adding inappropriate sound effects to their PowerPoint presentations. however, i was quickly spotted by cyborg pirate security, and soon i was surrounded by a horde of nasty cyborg pirates, each of them pointing nasty cyborg pirate swords and cyborg pirate guns and cyborg pirate farm animals at me. that's when my years of martial arts training came into play. in my first class, they taught me "forward roll." in my second class, "TOUCH OF DEATH!" in my third class, "backward roll." so you see i was totally prepared.

an enormous brawl ensued, during which i kicked the absolute living shit out of hundreds of pirate cyborgs. i know that most of you are only acquainted with my mind mannered, vaguely interesting in a "how does this person survive without being committed?" persona at parties, but down deep i am in fact a badass motherfucker with a complete and total command of ancient fighting arts, an immense understanding of strategy and tactics, and an unfortunate skin condition that i would rather not talk about. i fought that cyborg pirate horde as though everything in my life depended on it -- which was not far from the truth, considering the mariners were playing in about an hour, and i needed to be home to watch the game.

eventually i had killed them all - all, that is, except their unfortunate leader, the Dread Pirate I Am Going To Kick Your Fucking Ass. he was standing on stage, below a large screen with a PowerPoint slide that read "How To Torment Helpless Females From The Past For Fun And Profit," and below that title, there was a picture of...


"you'll never see your sweetheart again unless you put down the britney spears CDs!" shouted the Dread Pirate IAGTKYFA.

"i'll put them down alright," i replied, just oozing cool the way old movie stars do, especially when you prick them the wrong way and the embalming fluid starts leaking out. i hurled the CDs with death-defying accuracy from clear across the cyborg pirate auditorium and watched them sink deeply into the Dread Pirate IAGTKYFA's throat. he gagged and hacked for a moment, then collapsed onto his face on the floor. i don't know why he had left his face on the floor in the first place, but that wasn't my problem.

i could hear a whimpering from behind the screen on stage. it was a terrified, plaintive whimpering, that sounded very familiar... but i knew these guys probably didn't keep 12-year-old filipino slave girls in the trunk of their car like i did, so i suspected it was probably jenmoon.

"jen, is that you?" i shouted as i dashed backstage. sure enough, there she was, tied to a tall post, wrapped in duct tape and saran wrap and wearing a carmen miranda hat. such savage torture... lord knows jen wouldn't wear a hat like that unless it was called for in the script and had a good artistic justification. i untied her, then became suspicious. "how do i know it's really you, and not some cyborg pirate imposter?" i said. she responded by doing that one thing she does with her hand that always makes me kind of do that other thing and then there was sort of this moment where tongues were involved and she made that little sound that she makes and i realized, even three thousand years in the future they didn't have cyborgs that knew that little sound, and that's when i knew i had found my precious, precious jenmoon, and despite the fun we were having and the mess we were making (thanks to the industrial lube i carry with me at all times), it was time to get the flying hell out of there.

"i knew you'd come," she said.

"well, i couldn't help it, i mean, you were doing that thing you do with your hand--"

"no, i mean, i knew you'd rescue me," she said, "i just knew it. that must mean you really love me!"

i tried to equivocate and pretend i didn't know what she was talking about, but i guess it's pretty clear that you don't leap through a wormhole with a ball and chain and a sound gizmo unless you really do love someone. well, maybe, i mean, it's not like i've interviewed everyone who ever leapt through a wormhole. the point is, though, that she was right - i really did love her, and i really did want her back. the cyborg pirates had captured her intending to blackmail me into investing in companies and placing bets on sporting events so that they could be rich beyond belief, but they hadn't counted on my devotion to jenmoon, my deep and powerful love for her, and my intense and refined sense of ethics and morality that kept me from -- well, okay, never mind that last part, but i mean, they hadn't really thought things through.

and so i led her to the edge of the wormhole, and we held hands and stared deep into the past... our past, or rather, our present day, the time when we lived in a loft and threw crazy parties and knew we were meant for each other. we looked deep into each other's eyes, and then she said, "scotto, i've always wanted to tell you something. it's one of my deepest and most closely guarded secrets, and it's meant for you and you alone." she paused, took a deep breath, and said

oh wait, tiger has another putt coming up. i guess i'll have to finish this later.


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