Archive for May, 2007

The Third Task..

"What do you want?", he said in a hostile tone.
Taken slightly aback by his tone, I nonetheless decided to continue.
"I just wanted to ask you something." I replied. When he did not respond, I continued. "Why do you still hold this grudge against me? I don’t blame you or anything, because I did something incredibly stupid, and I am sorry for it, but can’t we just bury the hatchet?"
"I’m not holding any grudge." he said.
"Clearly you are. Things between us were just fine until Wrigley Field. They haven’t been the same since."
"Ok, so why does it matter to you?" He said, in an indifferent tone. He wasn’t even looking in my direction.
"Because, it leaves me with a bad taste if things between us aren’t fine because of something I did." I responded.
"Who cares? You’ve got other friends."
"Yes Kid, but-" He cut me off.
"Don’t call me Kid!" he said, with a small flash of anger in his voice. "My name is Venge."
"Alright… Venge…" I said, more than a little surprised at his response. "I have other friends, but I don’t want to lose a friendship over something stupid like this."
"Well, maybe I don’t want to hang with you anymore." He said, using that same indifferent tone of voice.
I felt a sharp pain in my heart as he said that. A weak "Why not?" was all I could manage in reply. I was quickly losing my control of the situation.
"Because… you’re weird." he said. "Other people have made me see it, and I didn’t before, but now I do."
At this, I felt a wild mix of emotions: Anger, because he had let other people influence his opinion of me. Bemusement, because public opinion holds him to be far weirder than me, and so who is he to say that to me? Hurt, for reasons unknown. I have never felt even remote hurt at being called "weird" before, but this time it hurt, and badly.
"Well, I don’t want to lose this friendship. That’s all I have to say." I walked away, feeling sick to my stomach.
And that is how today went, in a nutshell. I cannot express in words the shock, disappointment, and hurt I feel at this moment. It is difficult to bear.
This is… a horrible blow, to say the least. I cannot believe… cannot understand how… I prepared as best I could, I was sincere in apologizing, I really wanted his forgiveness… yet I was still denied. That is what hurts the most, my friends. I truly gave my best effort into rectifying this situation, but my best wasn’t enough. I failed, my friends. I did the best I possibly could, but still failed. The third task, the reconcilliation and attonement, is a failure. I…
I am a failure.
I have always tried to live a life without regrets. Of course, such a task is impossible, so I try to at least avoid having any major regrets to speak of. As of recently, however, I am failing in this.
You see, I have lived a long and decent life. Longer than any of my predecessors by far, at least. You do not live as long as I have without sinning against people from time to time, and so I have. Sometimes, you will sin against others in a way that is easily reconcilable. You hurt a friend’s feelings, he or she forgives you the next day, and you move on.
And so it is with me. There are many who I have sinned against, and I wish to make it up to them in any way I can.
However, in the way that I completed the second task, I inadvertently made the third much more difficult.
You see, ever since the Wrigley Field incident, relations between me and Kid have been… rocky, at best. He still bears a grudge on me for what I did to him.
I had a ridiculous lapse of judgement. It was an incredibly stupid thing to do. I am truly sorry for doing it. I very deeply regret it.
Yet it is a month later, and he still refuses to forgive me. I have apologized several times, but now time is running out. I have little over two weeks remaining to somehow make amends for my actions. I must give my all in this task.
I accept the fact that not everyone in the world will like you. What I do not accept is that one of my closest friends has turned his back on me because of something I did.

Don’t you see? I need this. There can be no failure, not this time.

I need this…

Something New

My friends, I confess myself to be perplexed at the moment.
An interesting event occured yesterday, one which I have no explanation for. I will relate it here, so that perhaps someone can help me come up with an explanation for it.
Yesterday, I went to meet some of my friends in the local park. While we were there, one of my friends said "Hey, there’s Albert." And sure enough, about 100 metres away was Albert, along with a friend of his. Now, Albert has been aquainted with The Union for years. He knew the Screwup and the God of Beer as well, and he hated them both with a passion, as well as myself. We hadn’t seen each other for nearly two years until yesterday. Could he be an agent of Bellij? Entirely possible. When I saw that he was approaching us, I prepared to adopt a fighting stance at a moment’s notice. Then I recalled that he was the type of person who would likely be carrying a blade with him at all times. Unarmed as I was, I decided that running would be a better option. Anyhow, he and his friend approached us and began conversing normally with us. As if everything was just fine. He did not pay me much notice at all. Then, perhaps five minutes into the conversation that we were having, he finally made eye-contact with me and started laughing.

"Holy shit! I know you!" he said.

I shrugged.

"You’re s3c0ndh4nd! From St. Clare! Yo bro, what’s up man?" said he.

"Nothing much." I replied, waiting for him to strike.

But he didn’t, and the conversation began again. We spoke about old times, and how life we going for us now. Somehow the part about us hating each other was left out.

About half an hour later, it was time for me to head for home. I left wondering "Does he not hate me? Do I not hate him?"

And I find myself still wondering that now. What happened?

Don’t mistake me, friends. This was not the most enjoyable experience of my life. Not even close. But it happened without incident. He did not attack me, he did not poison me, he did not put any tracker bugs on me, he didn’t even verbally spite me. Not once.
Here was someone who I hated, and who hated me back. He was upper class, and certainly one of the most hated upper class people. He was constantly at the throats of the entire middle class, including the Screwup and the God of Beer, for years. YEARS! And now, everything seems to be normal. 
I am perplexed, to say the least.

And so it begins.

My friends, 24 hours ago, Bellij’s forces attacked our outermost defenses.
Bellij’s troops were poorly trained compared to ours, and as The Union has gained some of its power back in recent days, we were easily able to repel the attack with minimal casualties.
Though we were victorious, it is a bittersweet victory.
This means that Bellij has finally decided to destroy The Union once and for all.
Now, there is no need to worry just yet. Bellij has yet to scratch even our outermost defenses, and so it will be a while until he can pose a direct threat to the Temple.
But, the attacks will intensify, and one day he will pose a direct threat. As such, I am preparing several Temple Defenses, as well as creating an escape route for myself and Kakunaman, should escape become necessary.
My friends, this is The Union’s time of need. If you can provide us with any help, we will accept it gladly.
That is all.


I am disheartened, my friends.
I am thus because though many others besides me have proclaimed this message, there are those who are still relentless in ignoring it entirely.
Here is what happened today:
My friend Polygon and I were discussing the newest Pokemon games (for, like Kakunaman, I am a fan of the series), when we were approached by Android, a member of the lower class. Immediately, Polygon dropped the conversation, and waited for Android to leave. Android looked slightly confused, aware that a conversation had just stopped because of him, and so he inquired "What are you guys talking about?"
"Nothing." replied Polygon quickly, casting a nervous look in my direction.
"What?" thought I, with a bemused smile. "Is he afraid? And of someone from the lower class? Tsk tsk…"
When it became obvious that Android was waiting for a better answer, I simply said. "We were discussing the intricacies of the latest installments in the Pokemon franchise. Care to join us?"
"Ew." said Android. And he walked away.
"Problem solved", I thought.
Polygon regarded me with a look of horror. "What the hell did you just do!?!"
"He asked what we were discussing, and so I told him?"
"Yeah, but now he thinks that I’m-"
I cut him off. "Yes," I said. "Now Android, someone at the very bottom of the lower class, considers you to be a loser. I fail to see the negative impact of this scenario."
"Yeah, but…" He trailed off, and we spoke no more of it until later in the day.
On the way home, Polygon was speaking with another friend about the particulars of the previously mentioned franchise. Confused as to why he was suddenly able to speak about this subject when he hadn’t been earlier, I asked him why.
"Because no one else can here us here." he said shortly.
"And what does it matter if someone hears you or not?"
He remained silent, and the truth of the matter dawned on me.
"You’re embarrassed then? Why should that be so?"
Again, silence. I turned to his friend.
"And you too? You’re ashamed of your hobby?"
"Yeah, why wouldn’t I be?" He responded.
"Because you thoroughly enjoy it. Why else would you play?" I fired back.
"Because I’m addicted."
"I fail to see how that would make you ashamed. It’s not a drug, and even if it were, it’s still a part of who you are. You can’t be ashamed of that."
No response.
Now then, Polygon and his friend are the same two people whom Kakunaman had some trouble with on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago. So, sensing a pattern of futility approaching, I decided to drop the conversation there.
There is NO room in life for being ashamed of yourself, no matter who you are, or where you are. Upper, middle, or lower class, it matters not. You need to be proud of who you are and what you are. In reality, your only true possession is yourself. Others have said it before me, and they have said it better than I ever could:
"This above all: to thine own self be true

And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
"For what is a man? What has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels,
And not the words of one who kneels."
My friends, never sell your conscience for someone else’s confidence. To thine own self be true.


What’s this?
Like we used to have, but different somehow… how is it different? I…
It’s mine for the taking..
Remember when we were 2nd in the world? Only one man could have touched us, and he was number one, but didn’t see us as a threat. We had nearly friendly relations with him, actually. So we were invincible. Invincible…
And then we lost it all, slowly but surely. 
But here it is again, after what seems like ages…
The power that we once had. Right in front of my eyes.  
Well… We’ll just have to see where this takes us, shan’t we?
For E3 2007, which would be going on right now had faceless corporate executives not pulled the plug on the show after last years.
Yeah, it still exists, but in a smallified, pussified, Julyified form.
And it’s now called the "E3 Media and Business Summit"
Let’s face it. E3 is dead.
Take time now to remember E3 as it was, and the great moments it brought us.
Requisante in Pace
E3 1995-2006
May your child, E for All, carry on the legacy that you began.

The Second Task

The Union has had, since its beginning over 3 years ago, one home. This Temple.
Although it is a rather large structure, it leaves me with a desire to see more. In my lifetime, I have traveled far outside the Temple only three times. Two of those were to outlying camps, and so I don’t count those as "travelling". The third instance was very early in my life, when I visited the land of Cuba, but I did not take that trip with my dear friends, which took away from much of the fun.
In the history of The Union, there has been only one chance for us to travel with our friends, and this came at the end of the Good Old Days. The Screwup had described this trip as the best time of his life.
And I… I wanted to experience this for myself. It was truly one of my deepest wishes. And so, back in October of this year, when the opportunity to go to Chicago with my friends presented itself, I leaped at the opportunity.
And now that the trip is over, I can say that it truly was all that it was supposed to be.
During the first night, I was not asleep as Kakunaman thought I was. I was listening. And what did I hear? I heard the Runner, Kid, and the Silent One all talking to each other. Despite the fact that these three are all allies of The Union, they rarely speak to each other. So when I heard them all conversing and enjoying themselves, it brought me such… joy. Right then I knew that this trip was a success.
As for the Wrigley Field incident, I regret my actions entirely. What I did was a mistake, and it really put a damper on what would’ve been an ever better trip.
Regardless, the trip still turned out great.

The Second Task, traveling with friends, is complete. There is but one task left to complete.

Well kiddies, we’re back. Actually we’ve been back for over a week now, but this blog took a long fricking time to type out, and I didn’t have much web access. So sue me.
Anyways, there were good times to be had, there were jokes to be made, and some people did some stuff that was incredibly out of character. More on that later.
For now, let’s run it down. s3h did something like this over a year and a half ago for Wanakita, and I figure I could pwn him at Old Entries too, so here goes:
DAY #1:
So, we board the buses at around 7am or so. The bus ride can be summarized as "long". I had my iPod blasting profane language into my ears, so all was well. There were also movies. Anchorman was the first of them, and to be honest, Will Ferret is a fag, so I continued listening to the aforementioned profanities, and did my best to drown out that movie.
When Anchorman was finished, we were just about at the border. We were stopped by the tyrannical American Border Guards. A duo of them confiscated all our fruit and asked us what our business was. We told the lady that we were here for a music trip.
"Oh, y’all play music?"
"Yes, we do."
"Wow, y’all are the biggest boy band I’ve ever seen!"
At which point the bus full of 95 dudes swarmed upon her and with a collective loud roar beat her into a pulp, causing an international crisis, and prompting a formal apology and various "PLEASE DON’T NUKE US!" pleas by the Prime Minister.
…at least that’s what would have happened if not for the previously mentioned international crisis.
Once we cleared the border, I thought that I was gonna finally have some silence, but no.
Through some sort of satanic conspiracy, the next movie to be played was "Are We Done Yet?", the sequel to the shittiest piece of crap ever to be called a movie. The fact that the movie was on 10 different screens with the audio being transmitted throughout the bus was proof that satan himself was tormenting me. I tuned the profanity up considerably.
3rd and final movie was Pirates of the Caribbean 2. It was better than anything else, so I stopped listening to songs about fucking goats, and decided to watch.
ANYWAYS, we get to Chicago about 12 hours later, at 6pm. (but Kak! That doesn’t add up!  Yeah, the fuck it doesn’t. Central time, fags.)
We stop at Giordano’s Italian Restaurant. The look on peoples’ faces when their quiet dinners at a quiet restaurant are suddenly disturbed by 95 adolescent dudes stampeding through the doorway is priceless. Shoulda taken a picture, really. Anyways, I thought that the pizza here was shitty, but hey that’s only my opinion. Of course, I’m not used to seeing pizza made with the sauce ON TOP of the fricking cheese. Call me picky, but…
Alrighty, then we went to the Hancock Observatory in the Sears Tower. I’m trying REALLY hard to not make a joke about that name right now. We went up to the 94th floor, and got a nice view of the city from above. Next time you’re up at the CN Tower, or your local Really-Tall-Building, try this: When someone is looking down at the view, leaning on a railing or something,  give them a little push from behind. You’ll scare the shit out of them.
Mariott O’Hare. Again, no jokes about that name.
Our room was made up of me, s3c0ndh4nd, The Runner, Kid, and The Silent One.
Now, a few things you kids should know: The Silent One really wasn’t silent during this trip. He spoke a single word in 5 days the last time I shared a room with him. I had fears of him being anti-social, but he surprised me in a good way.
Kid, on the other hand, was an anti-social prick for most of the trip. He brought his Xbox, tried and failed to set it up in the hotel, and was uncharacteristically quiet for the remainder of the trip. He also turns out to be a homophobe.
The Runner once again showed his utter determination to run no matter the circumstances, and continued his routine throughout the trip. The crazy sonuvabitch actually went out of his way every night to go and run on the treadmill for 40 minutes each night. Said I: "Dude, this is supposed to be a fucking vacation! Relax for Christ’s sake!" and said he "This IS relaxing. Running on a treadmill isn’t real running. There aren’t enough distractions." Crazy fuck. I really admire his determination though.
Anyways, so when we arrived in the room, s3c0ndh4nd goes to call his comrades, the Runner says "I’m going for a run.", the Silent One says "I’m calling my family.", Kid says "AHHHHH! TWO BEDS!" and I say "Kid, you fucking homophobe. If this were war, there would be no bed, and you’d have 6 men sleeping in that same area. Grow the fuck up. I’m going to shower."
When I return, the Runner is a sweaty piece of shit, Kid is taking up the whole bed, s3c0ndh4nd is asleep on the floor, and the Silent One is speaking Cantonese to someone on the hotel’s phone. Kid freaked out when I took my rightful half of the bed, but I said " Alright buddy, we’ve got two beds to spilt here. I get at least half of this one. I don’t give a shit whether you decide to take your half or donate it to me by sleeping on the floor, alright?" He chose to sleep on the bed, but inverted, so that his feet were in my face. Not pleasant. The Runner also decided to sleep on the floor, for whatever reason. We discussed shit, mainly about which teachers are alcoholics and why certain students deserve to have a white-hot rod inserted into their stomach. Priests and religion teachers got the brunt of our lashings, for some reason, but I won’t go into much detail on what was said, ‘cuz what happens in Chi-town stays in Chi-town, yo.
DAY #2:
So, I get up early the next morning, s3c0ndh4nd and the Silent One are already up. The Runner wakes up shortly after that, and Kid is a sleepy shit, and refuses to get up until 5 minutes before breakfast.
We eat. The food is ok, but there isn’t enough. I’m forced to eat things such as bananas and drink fricking skim milk because that’s all there was.
Then, it was "time to kick some American ass", also known as "performance time". We boarded the buses and, after passing the town of Aurora, we entered the town of Woodridge. (I shit you not.)
We were introduced to the kids by this lady who I can only describe as "Delightfully fruity." She was, without a doubt, a fruit, but at the same time she was so bubbly and happy and smiling that you couldn’t help but actually enjoy her fruitiness. She was the type of woman who probably goes home everyday and paints "I love life!" collages. Wonderful, really. We need more people like that here, they’d brighten life up a ton.
Anyways, since this was a performance at a little newbie school, the old people had to do something to make it interesting for the young fucks, right? So they did some Canadian Trivia: "What’s our $1 coin called?" "What’s the capital of Canada?" and my personal favourite, "Name a Canadian band or artist." This was my favourite because there was a full minute of wrong answers and silence, followed by a little girl in the back standing up proudly, pointing at us, and saying "You guys!" She won teh_prize. Then we performed. No, wait. As the conductor raised his arms, another girl in the front row raised her hand, and asked "Do you like my socks?" We did. THEN we performed. It went decent. Coulda been better, but hey, they’re kids, they don’t know what sounds good or not. They were excited when they heard tunes that they knew, so it was all good.
Alright, we boarded the buses and headed to Wrigley Field. The game itself was pretty lame. 2-1 Cardinals was the final score. 2-1 in any sport is usually boring, and especially so in baseball. Now, the ump fucked up a call which cost the home team the game, and the crowd got pissed and threw debris all over the field, but that was about the most interesting thing that happened with regards to the actual game.
Alright, so bear with me, ‘cuz I don’t know this whole story. I was sitting a few rows behind s3c0ndh4nd, who had Kid to his right. Behind him were two faggots. These were the type of faggots who find tapping the person in front of you and then looking away to be the greatest entertainment on earth. So they poked s3c0ndh4nd and looked away. And again, and again, for about 45 minutes, all told. Then out of nowhere, Kid slaps s3c0ndh4nd on the side of the face. It didn’t look like a really strong blow.
Now get this: within a split second, s3c0ndh4nd turns and fires a fucking murderous punch at Kid’s face, impacting him straight on the nose. I have no fucking idea who taught him to throw a punch like that, but damn, it was a good one. Kid was too busy bleeding to say anything in response, and fuck… did he ever bleed. Literally fountains of blood were gushing from Kid’s nose. It’s one thing when you beat the crap out of someone, but s3h just threw one punch! I’ve never seen a single punch do that much damage. It was surreal, really. s3c0ndh4nd knows the details, I’m sure he’ll explain exactly what happened later… but damn what a punch…
After the game, we ate at some shitty restaurant which was clearly ill-prepared to serve 95 people, as there was barely enough food for 20 people there. The Mediator managed to get the phone number of a random girl there… Fucking pimp…
Afterwards, we saw some topless black street performers beating on overturned plastic containers with drumsticks. Far better than the street performers back home. I gave them a few greenbacks for providing some entertainment.
Then we went to go see the Blue Man Group. Fucking amazing. I can’t even describe how fucking brilliant it was. If you’re ever in Chicago or one of the other cities where they perform, go watch them, trust me.
Now, this night was far different from the last. I went to shower as per my rountine, and the Runner went for a run, as per his routine. On this particular night, for whatever reason, Kid decided to accompany the runner on a run. He did this DESPITE the fact that I haven’t seen him volunteer for any physical activity in the last 2 years. Perhaps he was pissed at s3c0ndh4nd and couldn’t stand being around him? Probably. Pussy. Anyways, I came out of the shower and looked around the room. Evidently Kid and the Runner weren’t back yet, because the Silent One was alone sitting on the bed, watching T.V. Now tell me comrades… What was the Silent One watching on T.V.? TELL ME! Ah… Comrades, he was watching, of all things, Pokemon. Now kiddies, I could write an entire blog on my history with Pokemon. My name bears a stunning resemblance to a certain Pokemon, and although that’s not where it comes from, it still comes from something else Pokemon related. So basically I’m a huge fan. I sat down and watched with the Silent One, and my respect for him grew exponentially in that half hour. As if on cue, Kid and the Runner entered a few minutes after the show ended. Kid proclaimed that he was ordering Borat to watch, and without consulting anyone to see if that choice was acceptable to all, he did so. Now, let me make one thing clear here mates. You might think that I’m the type of person who would appriciate the humour in Borat. I don’t, alright? It actually makes me want to strangle myself with a shoelace. Kid made a point of laughing every 5 seconds, even when nothing humourous had happened. He did this to piss off s3c0ndh4nd, who was trying to sleep, but also ending up pissing off me and the Silent One. The Runner was fortunate enough to fall asleep during Borat, as he spared himself the most fucking annoying two hours in the history of the world.
Kid decided he would keep everyone awake all night by talking to us. And if we didn’t listen, he talked to himself. I seriously wanted to add another dent to his face, but I restrained myself. Actually, he did do one funny thing. He would tickle the Runners ear and watch him squirm and make random noises. Also, he would ask the Runner questions in an attempt to wake him up, and the semi-concious Runner would reply with some entirely irrelevant murmur. Of course, eventually the novelty of this wore off, and the Silent One and I wanted, well, silence, but Kid relented, no matter how many times we told him to shut the fuck up. And yes, the Silent One said "Fuck", something which I’ve never heard him say before. s3c0ndh4nd decided on a new, more passive tactic. We all remained silent, no matter what blasphemies he threw upon our mothers, and eventually he fell asleep out of sheer boredom. The battle was won, and we celebrated by joining him and also sleeping.
DAY #3:
The next morning, we woke up in the same order. On this day, Kid decided to miss breakfast entirely. opting to sleep. The fucker… Apparently this was his way of getting back at s3h. Yeah. Moving on…
We had a music clinic thingy to go to at 7:30 in the morning. Pretty fricking gay. Ask any music student if they’d enjoy waking up at 7:30 to blow on a horn, and they’ll likely ask you "Would you enjoy it if I kicked you in the balls at 7:30???" (Now, that’s a pretty crappy analogy, cuz it doesn’t matter what time you kick someone in the balls, it still hurts…) The point is, I’d much rather be asleep at 7:30, and evidently everyone else agreed, because we were crappy at this clinic, or so we were told. To be honest, I thought we were pretty damned good, but the admins didn’t agree.
Alright, so after that fun experience, we went to Magnificant Mile. For those of you not familiar, it’s basically a whole fucking mile of street full of malls, stores, and people trying to convert you to Buddhism, Christianity, Homosexuality, etc. Chick Heaven, basically. They basically said "kk-it’s-12-be-back-here-at-5-stay-in-groups-of-4-ready-go!" and ZOOOOOOOOM people darted off in various directions. Me and s3h went with 2 dudes who I figured wouldn’t be fags and go into gay stores. We walked to the first mall on the street, chatting about the release of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl on this day. I stopped chatting when the first store they went into was Abercrombie and Fitch.
I can sum up my thoughts during the next 45 minutes as increasing loud variations of "FOR FUCKS SAKE!". The dudes looked at a shirt, and said "$80? LOL! I CUD GET DIS FO $30 BACK HOME!"
"Great," says I. "Let’s go."
"Nono, Let’s see these pants… $50!?! ROFL! RIPOFF!"
"GREAT!" says I, sensing a pattern already. "LET’S GO!"
"No… Let’s see this shirt… $60?! FOMCROFFLE!"
"Wait, let’s see how much these are…"
All told, it took 45 minutes for us to get out of the store. Only 2 articles of clothing were purchased. I decided then and there to officially excommunicate Abercrombie and Fitch, resolving to never step into such a store again. For the record, only one other store possesses this status: Garage.
The dudes then decide to go into Hollister.

Sensing yet another pattern, I ditched the dudes and s3h and headed off solo. I figured I’d get to more than 6 stores flying solo, so I flew. I went to the Apple Store, the Disney Store, the Tribune store, among others. All told, I covered about 30% of the Mile in an hour. More than 6 stores, to be sure.

Eventually I entered the Virgin Store. I almost was going to skip over it, but I figured, fuck it, I’ve made up for lost time already. I made a good choice. The store was heaven, plain and simple. Music AND games AND t-shirts AND books? Well fuck me with a ten-pole, I could’ve lived in the place. While in this paradise, I saw some comrades, Squirrel and Frone among them, and I figured that I’d had enough solo action and decided to join their party. Once we left the store, I realised that this wasn’t a group of 4, but a full-out hardcore posse of 12. Pretty damned sick. So me and ma hardcore posse pimped our shit on da streets of Chi-town, yo. We went to a few stores, including the Hershey store, passed a few homos, passed Gino’s Restaurant, went to more stores, etc. Not a whole lot of specifics to tell about this trip, save two:
Firstly, McDonald’s. Holy fuck, honestly the biggest and coolest McDonald’s in the history of the world. 2 floors, Plasma screen TVs, cool lighting, the works. It looked 21st centuryish, which is not something you’d say about McDonald’s often.
Secondly, I passed by one of the scariest sights I’ve ever seen. On the way back to the buses, I saw two blonde women talking to each other on some steps outside the door. Typical sight, right? Wrong. Upon getting closer, I noticed that their voices were deep, well into the territory of being dudes’ voices. On even closer inspection, I could see the beginnings of 5-o’clock shadow forming on their faces. I quickly ran to the nearest science laboratory and injected sulfuric acid into my eyes.
So eventually 5:00 came, we boarded the buses and off we went to Chicagoland Paintball. Personally, I’ll take a sword over a gun any day, but hey, mindless violence is still mindless violence, right? The main problem with this game was that my team was full of fucking TK’ing n00bs. I got shot from behind by a teammate 2 times out of 4 games. Typically, that should happen NEVER times out of 4, BUT NOOOOOOOOOO, my team had to be full of fags. Whatever. s3c0ndh4nd actually snuck up on a guy and popped him in the back from point-blank range (which isn’t very far with the crappy rental guns…) as revenge for a little insult after the Wrigley Field Incident. When it came time to face the teacher’s team, well… We kicked their asses. There were four of us left against one of them, and we were all staying behind cover. I called out to the remnants of my team for a rush. I went over the top first to draw his fire, and the other three followed. I was quickly shot, but as my enemy peeked out to see who he had just shot (he was blind-firing…), it turned out that he was actually a member of our team, making it THREE times out of 4 that I was shot by a teammate, though this one came after the game was technically over. Our team didn’t suck, but we didn’t do well either. We ate some pizza afterward, and then it was time for one final night at the hotel.
So on this night, Kid decides to sleep right away, which was a blessing for everyone. s3h and the Runner debated some political crap for a while (Which I overheard… I think that the Runner is probably a fucking commie fag, though he denies it.)
(And for the love of fucking Christ, just because I call people "Comrade" doesn’t make me a commie fag, just as me calling people mate doesn’t make me an Australian. The words are pretty damned sick, so I use them. No word in the English language is monopolized.)
(Oh, and as a post note, I’d MUCH rather live in a fascist state than a commie one, but that’s just me…)
(And as a post post note, the Silent One was oddly silent for this conversation, despite the fact that he hails from a Communist country.)
Anyways, when the Runner decided to stop advocating Communism over Fascism, we all decided to sleep. Now, allegedly the Runner likes to sleep with ESPN radio on, but the Silent One doesn’t like it, and so conflict ensued. The Silent One would only be content with FM radio, because the AM radio was full of "buzzing".
Now, it’s pretty weird for the Silent One to say stupid shit. On the rare occasion that he does open his mouth, it’s usually something well thought out and intelligent sounding that escapes. "Silent One," I says, "What the hell is wrong with you? Not only are you TALKING, but you dropped an F-bomb last night, and you just refered to radio static as ‘buzzing’." In typical Silent One fashion, he replied "Oh, all I’ve had to drink here is unfiltered water. It must be affecting my brain cells." I was about to inform him that this wasn’t the Dominican Republic, and that the water here was the exact same as back home, but I stopped myself. It’s not my place to argue with someone who has a 94 average. He might even be right.
Eventually, a compromise was reached. 10 minutes of no radio so that the Silent One could sleep. Amazingly, he did get to sleep within 10 minutes. s3h was also lulled to sleep. "Runner!" says I, "Let’s see that iPod!" He handed it to me, and I noticed a stunning similarity to my own iPod. Now, as some backround info, the Runner has a habit of refering to me as "emo". So when I saw his iPod, I says "Well well well, you hypocritic son of a bitch! You accuse me of being emo, and yet you listen to the same music as me. Who’s emo now?"
"What you listen to doesn’t have anything to do with what you are, Kak."
"Uh… Actually I’d say there’s a pretty damned strong correlation there."
"No there isn’t."
"Yes, actually there is."
"No, there isn’t. You just take a negative outlook on so much. That’s why you’re emo."

"Runner. Buddy. I enjoy life way too much to be emo."

"No you don’t."
I laughed "And what makes you so sure?"
"’Cuz I own you. Don’t worry, you’re just emo."
Now, having sensed 2 patterns already in the last 12 hours, I was getting really good at sensing them. I decided to avoid this one entirely. My brilliant response was "And you’re just a Communist."
"I’m not a Communist!" was the inevitable reply.
And so we argued on this point for a while, but eventually we both fell asleep.
DAY: #4
Once again, Kid didn’t want to eat breakfast. This time we didn’t even try to wake him up. We let him sleep.
After breakfast, we packed up our luggages and headed onto the buses for the trip back home… Except for the Runner. Somehow, he lost his luggage, including a $500 clarinet and several hundred dollars worth of clothing, and probably close to $200,000 worth of shoes, being a Runner. He boarded the bus without it. (Now, fortunately, they later found it, and it’s back in his posession as of Tuesday. A good thing indeed, as the music teacher was preparing to accept his soul as payment for the lost instrument.)
Before we went home, we went to church first. We had our elite group of 20 musicians (A.K.A. the Asians.) perform the hymn music, And rather crappily too, I must say. Fortunately the congregation lacked ears.
The actual church was amazing. Statues and paintings everywhere. Everything was big and shiny. Again, it was one of those things that I can’t really describe. You’d have to have seen it yourself.
The sermon itself was pretty good. Better than back home, at the very least, but maybe that was only because the priest could barely go 5 minutes without mentioning "The group of young men from Toronto, Canada that we are honoured to have with us today." Besides that, it was something about vocations and being called to either the priesthood, single life, or married life. He loved us though. He finished with "This is your home away from home, boys. We’ll be glad to have you back anytime!" Good man.
As I was about to leave the church, a little old lady came up to me. She asked where we were from, what we were here for, and how long we were staying. I told her Toronto, Canada, for a music trip, and that we were just leaving now actually.
"Oh, well how did you like the city?"
"It was very nice, much busier than Toronto."

"Ah, what did you boys go see?"

"Well, we did a performance in Woodridge, we went to Northwestern University for a clinic, we went by the Hancock centre, spent time on the Magnificant Mile, watched the Blue Man Group, And watched a Cubs game." (For whatever reason, the paintballing slipped my mind. Maybe that was for the best, since old ladies usually don’t enjoy paintball.)
"Oh wow! That sounds lovely!" *Smiles*

"It was, actually." *Smiles back*

"Well, I’ll be praying for a safe trip home for you boys, and that you find your vocations soon. Have a nice trip home!"
"Thank you very much ma’am! Have a nice day!"
Yeah… There were some really nice people there. We really need more nice little old ladies here. And I’m not using "little" in an offensive way; she wasn’t even 5 feet tall.
We left the church, but stopped for a group photo outside of it. Then we boarded the buses and headed for home. The trip back was pretty uneventful. We stopped at some McDonalds, and drove the staff insane because of our sheer numbers. Back on the buses, the movie was Blackhawk Down. "W00t!" thought I. "Finally, some good ol fashioned war, Amerikan style!"
But it wasn’t good. Long story short, the Americans got their asses kicked by some black dudes, and had to retreat to their base to regroup. And that was it. Done. No great American victory, just a pussy retreat and a promise to return, but they never do. A really WTF ending. When we hit the border again, we were confronted by the Canadian Border Guards, who for some reason were even more tyrannical than their American cousins. Maybe because these ones were working the night shift? Who knows. We finally got across the border, but people were getting hungry (fat shits).
DAY: #5
Well the bus ride back home took so fucking long that it extended into a 5th day.
Nothing really happened on the 5th day though. We were turned down by several restaurants, as they were closed, but Tim Hortons took us in. The fat shits were hungry, and demanded food at 12:30 AM. Whatever. I still ordered a triple chocolate muffin, because they taste like Jesus. We got back on the bus, and there was general sleeping everywhere. I was only disturbed once at around 1:30, when I was given the sad news that the Calgary Flames had been eliminated from playoff contention. At the time, I was too tired to get depressed.
We arrived back at the school around 2am. I said so long to my comrades, I got home around 2:30. I got to sleep around 3. I had to wake up around 6:30. Do the math. I was cranky the next day. We were supposed to arrive home around 11 the previous day, but alas, because the fat shits HAD to eat, we lost about half an hour searching for a place to eat, and an hour eating. The other hour and a half was lost to general incompetance.
All in all kids, a good trip. There’s gonna be another one next year, but that’s slowly losing its allure… Uh… Yeah. That’s all. This was one for the long-term memory bin. There were good times, there were bad times, but the times were mostly good. As I look back, I don’t think that I’ve ever had an experience like that before. It was… fun. Will there ever be another trip as great? Only time will tell. Until then, so long kiddies, it’s been real. Just remember: Any way you want it, that’s the way you need it, any way you want it. Hold tight.