|The Story||The Authors|
|"Do you need to get a life? Are you tired of sitting at home doing nothing?
Do you have no direction, no purpose?"
The false voice of a man with sparkling white teeth, bright blue eyes and thick head of blonde hair greeted him as he turned on the TV.
"Well, we have something for you!"
Hinkle smiled, this was exactly what he needed. He leapt off the couch with a bound, and picked up his phone.
Unfortunately, though it was only two o'clock in the afternoon, Matthew Hickey
had just finished his thirty-ninth beer of the day. Some results of this were:
dulled reflexes, a highly impaired sense of balance, and handicapped reasoning
and observing powers. And thus it was that he failed to grokk the
presence of the roller-skate (his sole relic of Felicity... how she had
cherished those rusty old skates, and never would evolve up to rollerblades...
sigh...) directly in his path as he reached for the phone and dialed even as
his foot came down on the skate, whose wheels did what wheel are supposed to
do, causing Matthew's legs to fly out from underneath him, even as the call
went through, and on its other end commenced to ring, while Matthew's body hung
in horizontal suspension in the air for an unnoted nanosecond before succumbing
to gravity and landing, with all its recent beer-acquired weight, directly on
the sensitive small of its back on the cheap formica coffee table, which
responded by folding unto itself beneath him, so that both of them, Matthew and
the coffee-table, lay collapsed and broken on the floor even as the call was
picked up on its nether end and a bold voice, full of pride and gumption and
good ol' American DIY pluck, rang out in Matthew's ear like the fabled trumpets
of Jericho --
"Brother Matthew!" it said in an impossible breakneck staccatto, seeming triply to inquire, bear witness, and concur all at the same time. "Brother Matthew I want you to tell all our listeners and viewers out there if you are ready to accept the word of God as the Truth the Whole Truth and Nothingbutthetruth as translated annotated abridged and channelled fifth-hand through the gorgeous body of my assistant Miss June Jean Jine will you look at the size of those hooters bet ya couldn't eat just one or my name ain't Bob Barker in the name of the FatherSonandHolyGhost my brethren I implore thee to open up your hearts and pray with me: Matthew Hickey! come! on! down! -- You're the next contestant on The Price Is Right!"
On the TV and in the phone receiver the audience went hogwild.
|On the floor, Hickey clenched his jaw in agony at the pain in his lower back as he shifted on the floor to better be able to see the TV screen, and was somehow able to reach the cooler next to the sofa and retrieve another ice-cold tallboy of Incipient Flatulence Lager.|
Gulping down the beer simply to take his mind off the immobilizing pain
radiating upwards and out from his coccyx, Hickey watched in horror at the
scene which was unfolding on the screen while the telephone upon which his ear
rested very nearly burst an eardrum as the line suddenly switched from cheering
crowd to overloud dial-tone.
"Matthew Hickey -- Come on dowwwwwwwwwwwn! You're the next contestant on The Prrrrrrrice Is Riiiiiiiight!" announced The Rev. Robert "Bob" Barker, an actual, honest-goodness-gracious, a real halo floating over his bald spot like an anti-gravity neon yarmulke, an unseen angelic choir backing his every utterance with medievel plainsong, the stigmata in his palms plainly weeping tears of real blood as he held them up in welcome to the man who rose from the milling throng of the audience, a man whose bearded physiognomy and bearish frame were all too familiar to Matthew Hickey as...
" Will ya take out the trash Matthew? " screamed his wife Melinda.
Hickey shook his head, he was sick and tired of Melinda always nagging him. He crushed the last remaining beer can with his hand.
" Melinda, I'm going to the watering hole, don't wait up for me!" He yelled.
Melinda grunted, " That figures, after three years of marriage you'd think you'd learn not to push my buttons."
Hickey stopped in front of the hallways mirror. He was tall, tan, brown hair, and blue eyes, a real charming man. He was still a ladies man. Hickey thought to himself, " Maybe if I get rid of her..."