Shut up you guys. If there was a “band camp” video game, I’d OWN.
Sure, the kids from the band trip picked on me, but I think I came out ahead at the end. While the other kids were partying it up for Spring Break, me and the rest of the Seneca Valley Jr. High School marching band were piling into the bus for a week of band performances in Washington, DC. Most kids thought it was an excuse to party it up without their parents, but I saw it as a good way to bone up on my Pokemon game.
Lemme tell you, it’s a jungle on the back of that bus. I was afraid to fall asleep ‘cuz that leaves you open for the wedgies and the shaving. Everyone kept pickin’ on me and sayin’ I was a dork ‘cuz all I could do was play Pokemon. And I said, nunh-unh. I’m a musician, meaning I will be dripping with babes and money by the time I was 23, at which point I would also date Courtney Love. Nobody believed me. They said tuba players can’t make any money. I told ‘em I’d prove them all wrong.
So, when the bus dropped everyone off at the Smithsonian, I snuck around the back of the museum and started to play my tuba on the street for cash. I was in the middle of my stirring rendition of “M1-A1” from the Gorillaz (“M1-A1!” Oom-pah oom-pah “Thousand miles an hour!” oom-pah oom-pah) when I heard the bus pull away. Those jerks had left me behind on purpose! I grabbed my tuba case and ran, but all I got was a faceful of exhaust. Meanwhile, the sun was setting, and I ended up in a bad part of town.
Here, you know, the survival instincts kicked in. My career as a street musician scored me only a buck twenty-five, a dollar of which I spent on ice cream while I figured things out. All I had to work with was my tuba and my Pokemon deck.
But back in some shady alley I found a gaming hall, the kind of place where smelly bearded wargamers hang out. I busted down the door and tol’ ‘em I would take on any one of ‘em for CASH MONEY. None of them believed that a kid could take them on at Pokemon, but, I have the skillz.
So by three in the morning I stepped out of there with a tuba, my Pokemon deck, and about $3600 in small bills. By this time, though, the dark alley was filled with hookers. “Hey baby you wants some?” said this veiny woman in fishnet stockings. “Don’t bug him, he’s just a kid, he don’t got no money,” said another.
“No way!” I bawled. “I just scored $3600 playing Pokemon.” Maybe hookers are just jaded people because they didn’t believe that anyone could make more money than them just by playin’ Pokemon. So I showed them some of my tricks, you know, how to use the trainer cards and plant pokemon to really beat somebody down. They even invited me into the back of their van. I’m pretty sure I lost my virginity, whatever that means.
Suddenly, the back doors of the van flew open, and on the other side was a tall dude in sunglasses and a pink fuzzy hat. He was pretty mad. Then the one girl says to him, “We’re not gonna be hookers anymore, we’re gonna play POKEMON.” That made the man with the pink fuzzy hat furious. He pulled out one of those … whatchacallits … those little guns that shoot a whole lot of bullets? Oozies? Yeah, one of those. But, I managed to jump out of the front of the van, and pulled my tuba after me, and he was chasing me, and I jumped into this side door of some really smoky place.
Turns out I’d stepped into a bar. The air was filled with smoke and there were neon lights everywhere. I could see them reflecting off of the chains of all the mean-lookin’ long-haired tatooed guys who were in there drinkin’. I think they were doctors, because a bunch of them were givin’ each other shots. In the back some big guys in leather were playing pool next to a beaten-up Zaxxon machine. They all turned to look at me, snarling.
Then the man in the pink fuzzy hat busted in, and froze in his tracks, because the bartender pulled out a shotgun. The man in the fuzzy hat smiled a fake smile with a gold tooth, hiding his oozie. “I don’t wants no trouble now,” he said. “I’s just here to pick up my son. C’mon, son, let’s … go home.” He reached out his hand.
So I said, “C’mon dad! You promised! Just one game of Zaxxon!” The man in the purple hat called me dirty names, which I guess just made the guys in the bar laugh, ‘cuz they all took my side. “Yeah, let the kid play a game!” “Just one game!” “Yeah!”
So, I stepped up to the game and put in a quarter. I knew that it was gonna be my last game EVER, so I had to make it last. Fortunately, I’m a Zaxxon MASTAH. I beat the first level, then the second level, then the robot. And the third level. And the second robot. And more levels. And extra guys. And more levels. After the first hour, the guys thought it was pretty funny, because the man in the pink fuzzy hat was PISSED. Then, after the second hour, they started buying the guy with the pink fuzzy hat a lot of drinks. By the time I’d played for my third hour on one quarter, it was like a big party. They asked me what else I could do, so I stood on top of a table and played an instrumental version of “Clint Eastwood” on my tuba while they threw quarters at me. There was some kind of riot and some kind of fire, too. And like, as we were running away, the man in the fuzzy hat told me to see him for “free hooches for life” or something.
But the sun was already coming up and I told him I had to go to band camp, instead. He dropped my off at the field in a stretch limo. But the kids gave me a wedgie anyways. I’m telling you, if there was a band camp video game? I would OWN.
Well, screw them. Tonight I’m buying $3600 worth of Pokemon cards.
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