This is the last one of these here pajama jammy-jams I'm going to be posting here in the ol' oneirophrenia collection, as I now prefer to use this LJ thing just to stay in touch with the poor saps who choose to be my friends and to bitch about my miserable, Gothickal life. BUT! There's still room for another episode of Storytime with Uncle Pegritz before the whole shebang packs up the Microbus and detours over to Pegritz.com
and assumes a new identity under the moniker NONFICTION!
. So, to whet thy appetites for the forthcoming feast of frolicksome silliness and sacrilege to come, I present to thee but a small final oneirophrenic offering--a vignettes that shall eventually be subsumed together into a greater piece most likely to be entitled "Shootin' Stick with the Slackjaws at J. C. Video." But for now, enjoy this quick li'l preliminary drafts!
J. C. Video was, indeed, a video store--but much like the Book Store where I once worked was, in fact, a video
store, so was J. C. Video in fact something else: in this case, an all-ages poolhall. The building was a tan, hangar-like structure--a gigantic oil drum laid on its side and buried halfway in the gritty earth just off of Connellsville Street. The video store was a grimy room at the front, through which you passed, squinted at all the while by the aged troll of indifferent teen behind the checkout counter, to get to the back room, an even dingier chamber in which stood six piebald pool tables, felt nicked and torn and snuff-spit-stained, pockets always jammed with candywrappers, condomwrappers, napkins on which random numbers were scrawled, and other mysterious detritus. It was a dive in ever sense of the word: just stepping through the door you felt like you'd just leaped from a high board and were plummeting headfirst into a pool of human scum and petty villainy. But. It was cheap as hell. It was
fun, despite the fact that you wanted to shower for an hour after you left the joint. And the place itself was just a short drive, a right turn and a left turn, away from Jamie's place on Gallatin Avenue...and, since Joe and I and most of our crew spent a great deal of time at Jamie's, we also found ourselves often making that right-left jaunt to the ol' J. C. for the purposes of shootin' some stick with the slackjawed mutations (male, female, young and old) from Lemont Furnace that frequented the back room of J. C. Video for the cheap, 25-cent billiards. This often led, naturally, to various Strange Occurrences, one of which I shall now relate to you.
Mayhap the Strangest of these Occurrences was the Night of the Spoon-Boy. Our whole crew was at J. C. Video this night: Joe, Myself, Lenny and Rhonda, Jamie and Little Danielle (better known as Nad or, occasionally, Go-Nad due to a previous experience with a certain one-nutted inhabitant of Joe's apartment building, of which more later). We had a table all to ourselves and, of course, Lenny was kicking all of our asses, because Lenny was the Billiard Master of our group. No one
could outshoot Lenny. But we all took our turns getting smeared across the baize by Lenny because, hell, it was all in good fun and we just wanted to kill a number of early-evening hours before absconding to our primary hangout, the Eat n' Park, for the remainder of the night (and I literally mean the remainder
of the night: we very often saw the sun rise from that damned restaurant). We were having a great time: Lenny was potting ball after ball, Joe was being loud as hell and annoying random dumbasses for amusement, Rhonda and Jamie were showing off for the yokels at the other tables--all of whom were goggle-eyed at the sight of two truly fine
women both of whom possessed all of their teeth, both eyes, and had figures that were recognizably human as opposed to crocodilian or worse--and Nad and I were just...well, hanging around, making fun of people, and occasionally dancing with our pool cues to the stale old Classic Rock sneezing from the fitfull jukebox in the corner.
At some point, I caught sight of Jamie talking to this one fellow who obviously looked a great deal better-dressed than the other folks: he wasn't wearing a filthy flannel shirt or a t-shirt with a farming or NASCAR logo on it--in fact, he just seemed like your average highschool-aged boy hanging out in a plain ol' shirt and jeans and...a spoon. The kid was holding a silver spoon in one hand, and was gesticulating about with it as though it were a baton or wand of +2 Skeezing On Jamie Power. J was eating up his attention, of course, for gods know the girl liked to tease the boys...usually to our grand amusement. But there was something about this kid with the spoon....I don't know if J was hot for him, or just amused by
him, but for some reason she was chatting him up royally and, man, that spoon was flying around as he talked and his hands danced to the rhythm of his words.
That spoon. That fucking spoon
just caught my attention and completely arrested it. The guy didn't have anything
on him to justify the usage of said spoon: for instance, a cup of pudding or anything like that. The spoon was entirely without reason! It existed like a mysterious artifact dropped by the Jeep God Himself into this boy's hand for No Reason Whatsoever, and as such, it seemed to be the justification of his entire existence: he
was there because the spoon
was there (and, yes, many years later, when I was watching The Matrix
for the first time I was thinking of the Spoon-Boy the entire time). He didn't seem to have a head, in my mind's eye...just a giant spoon sticking up out of his collar, Jamie's face reflected weirdly in its bowled face....
Anyway. I digress. At some point, I looked over and the spoon was no longer in the guy's hand--it was in his mouth. He was walking around, mumbling to people with the handle of that goddamned world-destroying evil dining implement sticking out of his gob and...and...J was still talking to him! Why?
Did she know this guy from school or something? Who knew? I just pointed him out to Joe, who laughed uproariously and in that gargantuan, sasquatchewan Joe-voice roared out, "He's a SPOON-BOY!" The name instantly stuck.
Well...we laughed at Spoon-Boy a great bit that night, and also laughed at Jamie for talking to him. Eventually, however, J tired of the conversation or the game or whatever, and returned to our group. "Oh, no!" I said. "Spoon-Boy's gonna be devastated!"
Joe clamped his hand on my shoulder then and said, "LOOK.
Spoony-Boy was standing with his friends, looking over at us with a sort-of despondent sag to his features....But something was missing. Something vital.
His friends all seemed normal as could be over at their pool table, but...why did he suddenly look so weird? OH! THE SPOON WAS GONE!
"Did that fucker just swallow that spoon?!
" Joe asked in disbelief, his eyes lighting up with the particular expression that I just knew the evening's Theme of Humor has been officially discovered.
"By George!" I cried. "I believe he did! In his tragick upset over being jilted by the fair J, he hath swallowed his totem!"
For the remainder of the night, we viciously
made fun of Spoon-Boy, inventing all manner of insane reasons he may have had for swallowing that spoon. He probably didn't
, of course--probably just flipped it aside or stuffed it into a table's pocket with the other mysterious wrack and ruin--but that did not matter one iota: in our eyes, Spoon-Boy had clearly consumed his own mysterious artifact! And why not? He'd just been spun about aimlessly by one of the most attractive women on earth!
Many a time in the future would I
consider swallowing a spoon when in similar situations...and such is the enudring majesty of the Spoon-Boy. We saw him out and about a few times after that, and I do believe at some point we all learned his name from J, who, it turned out, had
gone to highschool with him and had known him for a number of years as a random acquaintance--but never once did we ever refer to the fella as anything but
the astonishing! terrifying! utensil-gobbling SPOOOOOOON-BOOOOOOOYYYY!!!!! We'd be driving along of a summer's evening and there he'd be walking along the sidewalk in front of the Mall, and we'd all greet him together in harmonic unison: "SPOON-BOY!" We'd see boys we recognized as friends of his around town and, of course, these were referred to as The Friends of Spoon-Boy and nothing else. In fact, we built an entire mythology out of the strangeness of Spoon-Boy and his random spoon-fixation: weird weather was a result of the Spoon-Boy, rejection by women or jobs was the vengeance of the Spoon-Boy, and so forth....Eventually, we stopped making light
of the kid and seemed to be hallowing
him, almost, by making him an integral part of the D.I.Y. mythology we were building for ourselves there in Uniontown, and even though we never hung out with the guy, never even really talked to him, the Spoon-Boy became a odd little star in our spiralling constellation of self-obsessed Golden Boughing. "Spoon-Boy" eventually became a term that we used for any
oddball person with either a strange fixation on a personal totem--i.e., a key ring, a sacred bottlecap, a car, etc.--or just any random dork who seemed
like somebody who would, perhaps, eat a spoon after talking to a pretty woman.
Bizarre! But...that's the kind of folk you encountered at J. C. Video, which has since moved from its old location to a place buried deeper in the dark interior of nearby Lemont Furnace, where the monsters dwell. I wonder if the legendary Spoon-Boy still wanders the poolhall of the new J. C., and any of the glow we imparted to him still follows him like a luminous shadow through the cruddy confines of the poolhall, and I wonder if, truly, the spoons of Uniontown still rattle in their drawers at night for fear of the champing maw of...
(OK...I know this thing is full of factual inconsistencies and various things I just flatout got wrong or completely imagined, because, until Joe reminded me of the Spoon-Boy a few weeks ago, I'd almost entirely forgotten him! So Joe, J, and the rest...if you're reading this, comment with your appropriate emendations for the final version to be incorporated into the bigger piece. Other fuckers can comment, too, though--I mean, c'mon...give me some feedback here, yo!)