I had a column prepared but it … well, we’ll get to that in a moment.
My usual snark is being pre-empted this week so that I can bravely share a harrowing, near death experience that has left me too traumatized to dissect pop culture minutia. With information supplied by a coauthor who helped fill in details lost to the stress of the event, I will relive the pain and fear, so that you have something to read, even if it effects my ability to heal.
This weekend I was one of a group of celebrities that… wait, what? How am I celebrity? I write on the internet; how many people can say that?
Anyway, I was one of a group of celebrities in a minivan taxi on our way home from several hours of reading to, feeding, and washing the feet of poor, blind orphans with diseases when…
A black Chevy Suburban screamed to a stop diagonally in front of the minivan as another did the same behind it, cutting off any means of escape. Six masked men armed with AK-47s streamed out of the SUVs and surrounded our taxi.
Almost everyone in the van was shaking; fear and adrenaline pumping through our veins. One of the other celebrities was hyperventilating, one had soiled himself, and one just sobbed uncontrollably. I can’t in good conscience give any of their names because I don’t want to embarrass them, but… a daytime-soap-heartthrob, an emo-rocker, and an NFL broadcaster in that order.
Anyway, one of them screamed, “Oh my God, they’re going to kill us!”
That’s when I heard a cool, confident voice from the back of the van say, “Jeah™… not on my watch…”
I looked over my shoulder to see the fifth member of our group, laconic behind mirrored sunglasses; wisps of blonde hair peaking out from under a black wool cap.
Outside, the leader of the gunmen fired several shots into the air and yelled, “Police! Everyone out of the taxi, or it will become your tomb!”
We exited the van with our hands raised. My heart pounded in my chest and that familiar falling feeling weakened my knees.
“Everyone facedown on the ground,” the gunman ordered.
We all complied… except the stoic man who stood defiantly. The gunman smiled and approached him as his accomplices collected our wallets, cellphones, and other valuables; including the text for this week’s installment of A Cinecle View.
“On the ground, tough guy”, he said dismissively.
“No, we didn’t do anything wrong,” our guy replied.
The gunman jammed the butt of the rifle into his midsection. But, instead of doubling over like a normal human, he stood firm; his abs hardened by years of brutal aquatic training. Undeterred, the gunman raised his AK-47, aiming it at the rebel’s face. As I watched the standoff unfold from the cold, hard asphalt, I heard emo-rocker yell, “Don’t be a hero!”
“Listen to your friend… Your money, NOW!” the gunman spat as he racked the slide on his rifle.
“I don’t have money… What I do have is a particular set of skills. I can pull a .32 rating on the E! television network…” our hero began while slowly removing his wool cap to reveal a shock of platinum-dyed hair.
“…I can make my hair look like something you’d eat off of a stick at a county fair…”
Languidly, he removed his sunglasses, revealing his identity to the gunman…
“… and I can win any swimming race that doesn’t include Michael Phelps…”
The gunman froze in panic for a split second, but it was the only opening Lochte needed. Like a beautiful yet deadly mix of Darth Maul, River Tam, and “Thong Song” recording artist Sisqo, Lochte became a blur; a Tasmanian Devil of swim-stroke inspired martial arts that disarmed ALL SIX of the gunman. As Ryan ran to check on the rest of us, the gunmen piled into their SUVs and fled with our belongings – including the text for my column this week.
“Does anyone still have a phone so that we can call the real police?” daytime-soap-heartthrob asked as he rose from the pavement.
“No, we don’t want to embarrass our hosts at the orphanage… And we don’t want to embarrass America with how all of you handled yourselves today. For the good of the orphans, the good of our country… we’ll carry this burden ourselves… Jeah™, that’s what we’ll do.”
So, that’s why I don’t have my column this week: It was taken by armed gunmen posing as police officers. I should be back on track next week.
Oh, and if surveillance footage from the orphanage should surface online showing Lochte and I destroying a child’s respirator while playing a drunken game of “keep away” with another orphan’s anti-seizure meds, and then trying to bribe the orphanage director with cash and the text for this week’s A Cinecle View, please know that the footage was heavily edited. And taken out of context. And orphans are filthy liars.
ABOUT MY CO-AUTHOR THIS WEEK…
Ryan Lochte likes swimming, drunken vandalization of gas station restrooms, causing international incidences, fleeing, and abandoning his teammates while they deal with the consequences.
What kind of egomaniacal asshole does something like that? The kind that trademarks a stupid one word catchphrase under the delusion that everyone will think that it’s cool because he said it (Jeah – Trademark #85692888, 8/1/12, Ryan Lochte, Seattle, WA, since abandoned).
You’re my hero, Ryan.
Tony Marion is a writer and filmmaker who splits time between Lancaster, PA and Baltimore, MD. He lives for the work of Descendents (the band), Chuck Palahniuk and Rian Johnson. Check out the digital embodiment of procrastination he calls his website here.