Steady. Aim carefully. Squeeze the…
“I think we should talk.”
I hit pause and looked up at Beth, the pause/status screen for Halo2 flickering in the background. Well this doesn’t sound good.
“I don’t think you’re taking our relationship seriously enough.”
Is that all? I thought this was going to be difficult. Focusing my mental energy to talk her down from the ledge that was her addled female mind, I said:
“I think I’m taking our relationship very seriously. But first I think we need to define what we mean by ‘serious.’ I mean this isn’t like ‘buying a house’ serious.”
“No, it’s more like… ‘buying a can of soup’ serious.”
Beth put on her ‘Beth is furious’ face. “You’re saying our relationship is about as important to you as a typical soup purchase?”
I sensed I was falling into a trap, but could see no way out.
While Beth was extracting herself from my apartment, collecting her belongings and yelling hurtful things at me, I turned off the Xbox and wondered where I might have gone wrong. “You’re an asshole!” Beth suggested. “You’re such a loser!” she added. “You’re wasting your life!” She punctuated that last one by slamming the door. Hmmmmmmm.
On the list of my personal defects ex-girlfriends have seen fit to yell out at me while storming out of my house, the top 5 currently are:
5) I’m inconsiderate
4) I’m selfish
3) I’m stupid
2) I fart in my sleep
1) I might be gay
“You’re wasting your life” was a new one, and its originality is what made me take notice. The collective insanity of my ex-lovers is a widely understood fact, but Beth had always seemed very even-handed when she wasn’t obscenely upset with me. This “wasting your life” business stung coming from her. I stroked my chin for a solid 5 minutes considering what to do, but with no immediate solution presenting itself I did what all great minds do when faced with a quandary: I masturbated myself to sleep.
It was only by accident that I came across a catalog for the adult education centre two days later, while I was searching the living room for underpants. I dimly recalled Beth mentioning something about taking a pottery class together, but we never got around to it, possibly because she realized she hated me. Flipping through the catalog absent-mindedly, I stumbled upon:
How To Shoot An Apple Off Of A Man’s Head From A Hundred Yards
There was so much about this that intrigued me. The promise of gunplay. A cool literary/historical angle. Plus, I’ve always been a big fan of death-sports. And this episode of self improvement would be the perfect way to get back at Beth and her little you’re-wasting-your-life-and-you-masturbate-too-much speech. What’s that saying? “The best revenge is a life well-lived.” Well I would live a good life. I’d live it right up her ass!
Marching down to the community center with catalog in hand, I quickly navigated through the sea of self improvement & ex-girlfriend-revenge enthusiasts, and made my way to the registration desk.
“I’d like to register for a course please. The apple shooting one. This one.” I stabbed my finger into the catalog.
“I’m sorry sir, there’s no late registering allowed for tha…”
I lunged across the table and seized the registrar by his ears.
“Listen up cockmaster. I am on a critical mission today. You will sign me up for that course or I will beat you over the head with…” I paused, searching, “something that rhymes with ‘turgid penis.’”
He thought for second, then replied. “Nothing rhymes with turgid penis.”
A bead of sweat formed on his head.
“That will be 85 dollars please.”
Taking a seat near the back of the class, I surveyed the room. Not what I would call a typical gunplay and death sport crowd, but I am a notoriously bad judge of character. Turning to my right, I tried to strike up a conversation with my neighbor.
“So, apple-shooting huh?”
She gave me a blank look.
“Gonna shoot us some apples!”
Another blank look.
“Off some guys head! Boy I’d sure hate to be that guy. Ha Ha Ha!”
She finally opened her mouth. “I think maybe you have the wrong class.”
“Oh is that right? Maybe YOU have the wrong class! What are you here for anyways? A… mustache growing class?” I guessed.
I was stunned. “Fuck you.” I replied, astounded at her nerve. “Fuck You.” I added wittily.
Our verbal jousting was interrupted by the teacher entering the room. “Hello!” he said cheerfully. “Is everybody ready for some history!”
The class laughed. I did not.
“Let’s get started then! Ok, everyone thinks they know what a myth is, but what is the actual definition? Basically, a myth is…”
“Excuse me.” I said, standing up. “I think you have the wrong class. This is supposed to be the apple shooting class.”
“The apple shooting class? I don’t think…”
“The how to shoot an apple off a man’s head from a hundred yards class!” I shouted. “Class!” I yelled, holding up the catalog. “Room 208!” I added, gesturing at the sign on the door. “Apple!” I concluded, pointing at my neighbor.
The teacher stared at me, eyes wide with amazement. “I think there’s been some sort of misunderstanding.” He came over to my desk and pointed at the catalog. “See? That’s just the subtitle. It’s a joke.”
The Myths in History and the History in Myths
or How To Shoot An Apple Off a Man’s Head From A Hundred Yards
What happened next is open to interpretation, but in my defense, I felt that the laughter and mockery that rose up from the class was unnecessarily cruel. With that in mind, the turgid penis beatings I administered as I fought my way to the door were entirely justifiable and the decision to call the police unwarranted. My consequent half-naked flight from the law should thus be viewed more favorably than what the newspaper headlines would have you believe: “Pantsless Lunatic Evades Police.”