Chapter 2: A Chump Among the Chickens

Day 1

My first day in Mineral Town. Don't know how that ugly cow Rhianwen did it, but I woke up this morning and I was the Chicken Loser.

But way cooler, because I don't have stupid hair and ugly classes.

Okay, so I do right now, but that's the Chicken Loser's fault. What a loser. He's so fuckin' ugly. And he's stupid. I bet that's because he's gay. I don't know how a loser like that got a hot girlfriend like Karen, while cool guys like me get turned down.

I bet he has some kind of Chicken Loser mind control. She totally shouldn't be with him. Maybe I'll tell her what's really going on, and tell her she should dump him.

And he's a total jerk to his sister, too. What kind of asshole tries to tell people who to date? No wonder she always yells at him when he tries to talk to her.

So far, things are cool. Kind of sucked when Mom came upstairs and pounded on the door to wake me up – it was only 12:30.

Looked in the mirror, and almost threw up. Hair is clean. Wearing glasses. And colours.

Never felt like such a sell-out.

Chicken Loser doesn't have anything cool in his closet. Wearing a dark blue three-piece suit and a trench coat because it was the only thing that wasn't orange or green or brown or some shit.

Everyone knows brown is for losers.

No one in the house has any hair gel, so my clothes look kind of normal, but my hair

Spent the rest of the day hanging out at the beach, but Karen didn't show. Going to be a pretty relaxing week, but boring as hell. No computer, or Xbox 360, or roleplaying books, or PS3, or anything. Chicken Loser doesn't even have any CDs. Just records, and they're all totally gay. Simon and Garfunkle, and the Beatles, and Herman's Hermits, and shit like that. He had some Stones, but like I'm gonna touch his records. I might get stupid Chicken Loser germs.

I'll bet Rick's the sort of asshole who wouldn't buy his kid the two-hundred dollar combat boots they really, really want, just because he already bought them a lousy full-length leather coat last month. The kind of creep who tells his kid that if they want to buy role playing guides, crucial to creating the perfect character, they've gotta take a job to earn the money themselves.

Yeah, right, Dad. I'm not gonna be a fuckin' sellout like you. I'll sell my internal organs before I'll be a corporate puppet.

It took a while, getting used to only having one kidney, but that's just how dark and dangerous I am.

Don't even have my own TV here.

Repeat: no TV in my bedroom. What the hell does the Chicken Loser do all day, fuck chickens? He sure doesn't, like, do anything important. Who actually buys chickens in this game?

Chickens are for losers. Cows are where it's at.

At least the Chicken Loser is old enough to drink. I'm totally getting fuckin' loaded tonight.

Day 2

Got up way too early this morning. Mom sent Popuri.

She's a lot cooler when you don't live with her. She just kept pounding and pounding on the door and yelling at me with her stupid, annoying voice. Like I didn't have enough of a goddamn headache.

Told her to fuck off, and she ran downstairs to cry to Mom.

Mom shouted up the stairs that if I wasn't downstairs in ten minutes she was letting the chickens loose in my room.

Thought she might let me go back to bed when she saw how sick I was, but she just started nagging me. She said Doug had been by to talk to her about my disgraceful behaviour last night or some shit, and how he's letting it slide this time because I've never been a problem before. I thought she said something about Karen too, but I wasn't really listening.

I don't know what the hell she was talking about; I just had a couple drinks. I don't really remember how I got home, but I'm all in one piece, right? Couldn't have been that bad.

She finally left me alone, so I went to the Supermarket to find Karen.

What's the point of having a hot girlfriend if you don't even get to talk to her?

Guess she's pretty busy, though, because her mom said she couldn't come out to talk, and told me to leave if I didn't have any business.

She seemed kind of pissy about it. Holy shit, you cow, I know the Chicken Loser is ugly, but it's not my fault. And your daughter's dating him, however the hell that happened. Maybe you should quit trying to tell Karen who is and isn't good enough for her.

What kind of shallow ho treats someone like crap just because they're ugly?

So I just went back home and started making up some character sheets. Did it all from memory, too. Bet the Chicken Loser couldn't do that.

I figure, I should bring something useful back from this.

I don't think I'll hit Doug's tonight; I still feel kind of queasy.

Day 3

I better go home soon. Seems like every day I'm here, Mom gets me up earlier and earlier. And finds something to bitch at me about.

Today, she was mad because I haven't been feeding the chickens and cleaning the coops. Hey, it's one thing for Rick to play in chicken crap, since that's what he is – man, even I don't know where I get this material! – but she can't expect me to do it. I'm a dark, dangerous badass, not some fat-cat corporate sellout who works. Told her to do it her damn self, and she started bitching again.

I don't get it; she seemed so cool when I was playing the game.

While I was feeding the dumb birds, Popuri spent the whole time getting on my case about doing it wrong, just because I might have missed some of the feedboxes a little. There were, like, sixty to fill – what'd she expect?

Then Mom came out and told me that Karen was waiting for me outside the Supermarket.

So I take off, thinking, yeah, finally, I get to the best part of living this loser's stupid life, hang out with a hot girl and show her what it's like to date a cool guy for once!

Didn't go too good.

Tried to apologize for being late and explain that it was because Mom was being a dumb bitch this morning.

She got really pissed, asked what the hell was wrong with me lately, so I told her how Mom and Popuri were both being fuckin' chore-Nazis. She gave me the same look Mom did when I told her to do the chores herself, and said she didn't just mean today.

So then she starts bitching at me! Something about night before last at Doug's. She said I really upset Doug with what I said about Ann's mom.

Yeah, right. I bet she was just imagining it. Karen does kind of drink a lot, after all. And even if I said something, who the hell cares? Doug's a loser if he thinks that some old broad is going to make the futility and despair of life any better. If his wife carking it is all it takes to upset him, he should just fuckin' kill himself too, because he's a wuss.

So Karen's going on and on, we've been friends for years, and I've never seen this side of you before, I don't think I like it, I'm really worried about you but I can't stick around to bail you out if you're not even going to tell me what's wrong.

I tried to joke around, said that maybe it was just the stress of realizing I was the ugliest sonofabitch ever to walk the face of the earth, and she just rolled her eyes and said she was going for a walk.

I mean, we're dating and all, and I didn't want her to walk away mad, so I grabbed her, dragged her back, and kissed her, and she threw me across the street!

I thought my girlfriend was supposed to stick up for me, not break my goddamn nose.

I don't think she meant to push me that hard, because she seemed kind of surprised when I flew across the street and into a fence.

I guess she just doesn't know her own strength.

Then she dragged me inside the Clinic and told the nurse to get her boss to patch me up, then told me that if I tried that caveman crap with her again, she'd throw me off the pier into a jet engine, not into a fence.

God, she's hot!

So she left, and Elli, the nurse chick, said the doctor would be with me soon. But I guess soon means something different here, because it was at least five minutes before the doctor finished with Barley.

While I was waiting, I told Elli that her hair looked kind of like a helmet, and asked if she had any hair gel I could borrow, so she gave me some Vick's brand stuff. I thought they just did medicine, but I guess not. It smells a little weird, but at least my hair doesn't look so gay anymore. Which is good, because the white plaster thing on my nose does.

Would have gone back to Doug's tonight, but my nose fuckin' hurt. Stupid doctor should have told me this would happen when the shot he gave me wore off.

Day 4

Spent most of today working the farm's financial records. I asked Mom why the hell I had to do it, and she gave me a funny look and said that I always did it, and I said last week that I was going to do it today.

Stupid Chicken Loser. I bet he knew I was going to come here, and he went out of his way to make his life especially miserable just for me.

Then Mom said maybe I had a point, and I've been acting strangely today and maybe it's stress, so she'd take care of it.

But shit, if Chicken Loser normally does it, it must be easy. Because he's stupid. Huh-huh-huh.

So I said I'd do it, but like I know what the hell do with a huge pile of receipts and books. I just kind of faked it, you know, wrote whatever in all those little spaces, but it still took me two hours. My pens kept running out of ink.

And like it wasn't enough of a pain in the ass, Mom told me to look over them again, because there was no way it could all be accurate if I did it that fast. See? Rick's just a stupid idiot loser who can't even add up some numbers. But I guess being sick makes you a real drama queen, so I humoured her.

Hell no, I didn't actually look at it. That would have taken, like, another two hours. I just flipped through everything and pretended to read it, then gave it back again.

Great. Now what am I supposed to do? I still have this stupid thing on my nose, and there's nothing good on TV. I'm not finished my new character sheets, but it's not the same without the guides. I need the pictures or I just can't head-click with my character.

Maybe I'll go to Doug's again.

Day 5

Goddammit! Why does wine give me such a headache the next day? I'm a seasoned drinker – I steal my dad's beer all the time - hey, I'm not trying to hide it. I don't pretty myself up for anyone, and if I'm too damn real for you, that's your problem, not mine.

See? Like that. I didn't have to say damn to prove my point, but the spirit just moved me, and I don't pretty up my language, either.

Head still hurts, though.

Bought a dog today. Rick hates dogs. That's one of the reasons he's such a fuckin' loser. Any idiot knows that dogs are man's best friend.

But I guess he's a Chicken Loser, not a man.

The dog's a big German Shepherd, and I named him Anakin. Popuri won't come near him. Maybe she doesn't want to get dog hair all over her or something. I guess that's fair. But what kind of stupid loser won't let a dog on the property because it might hurt the chickens?

Spent most of today with Anakin. Even took him to see Karen at the Supermarket, and she admitted he was pretty cute, although she got kind of mad off when he jumped on her and got mud all over her shirt.

Then I took him to see Elli, kind of saying thank you for finding me the only goddamn jar of hair gel in Mineral Town. She didn't look too happy – just because Anakin got a little mud on the floor and chewed up some papers.

What a snob. But she found me hair gel, so she's cool.

Mom let me bring him in the house tonight, but she made me clean his paws first. What the hell? Am I the only one around here who understands that dirt and grime are part of nature, and you should embrace the good with the bad?

Didn't get around to cleaning the chicken coops or feeding the birds today, but I figure, there's no one around coddling the damn things in the wild, so they can fend for themselves for a while.

Day 6

Stupid fuckin' dog.

He slept on my suit and trench coat last night, so Mom made me change and put everything in the bag for the dry cleaners.

So now I'm stuck in some gay-looking brown pants and orange sweater, because no one bothered to clean the mud off Anakin's tail and fur.

Then I get downstairs and find out that while I was busy putting the finishing touches on my Dark Knight, Anakin was running around killing half the chickens.

And Mom says I have to pay for them out of my own pocket! I told her, it's his nature to hunt. He's not some docile little poodle, he's a man's dog, and he's just getting in touch with his instincts. She said that's why we don't keep poorly trained men's dogs unattended in the yard with a flock of chickens, and she was keeping my spending money until they were all replaced.

At least Popuri was too upset to come out of her room. I've had enough of that stupid cow.

Day 7

I don't fuckin' believe this.

The second I got downstairs today, Mom started lecturing me about responsibility, and duty, and how asking for help is the most mature thing you can do.

I asked what the hell she was going on about now, and she gave me this evil glare and said that after I was finished replacing the chickens, I could pay for the medicine bills for another eight that were pretty seriously sick.

She thinks it's my fault because I forgot to feed them for a couple days, and I haven't cleaned the coops in a while. She said Popuri tried to do what she could, but she couldn't manage to get to everything without completely overworking herself.

I asked why the hell she thought I should have to overwork myself then, and she started actually shouting at me that she's tried to hire help before and I asked her not to, because I could take care of it and there was no need to spend the money.

Bullshit. I'd never say something that stupid.

Goddamn Chicken Loser.

I've had it with his stupid life. I have to go home. I might be surrounded by sell-outs, but at least I have TV and my computer to salve the pain of being the only one who knows anything about anything.

I'm making The Signal.

The first thing #26 became aware of when the smoke settled was that the world looked distinctly less pixelated than it had.

"One week?" a familiar voice asked sternly. "You lasted one week?"

"Everyone in town was being tough on me because I was the new guy," he muttered sulkily.

"No dice, Bunky," Rhianwen cackled, hauling the strongly scented, trench coat-clad boy from the floor. "No one in town knew that you were anyone other than their own dear Rick. They treated you exactly as they would have treated him. At least, as they would have treated him if he had suddenly morphed into a mindlessly petulant, rude, offensive, horrifically lazy little wombat."

"Why does your hair smell like Vick's Vapo-Rub?" Elli-Bashing Doctor Fangirl #89 was meanwhile asking, nose wrinkled.

#26 looked up.

"It's the Vick's brand hair gel Elli gave me. She's the only person in town who even tried to be nice to me. She's really not that bad."

"How true, how true," Rhianwen sighed, a sentimental tear forming in the corner of her eye, as #89 rolled her eyes in disgust. "I've never loved Elli more than I do at this moment." Then she cleared her throat. "You did manage to find some time in your busy schedule of being Dark and Dangerous to record some observations, didn't you?"

"Yeah, here," he muttered, cheek resting listlessly on one fist, pulling the little hardcover scribbler from his pocket with his free hand and tossing it across the table at her. "What the hell took you so long to get me out of there, anyway?"

Rhianwen looked up, startled.

"Uh, what? I got you out as soon as you made the signal."

"No way! I was making the signal for, like, half an hour before you did anything!"

She sighed.

"Are you sure you were making the signal the right way? Because you know, writhing in the sublime angst of your very being and shouting Metallica lyrics at the ceiling doesn't translate very well into pixel. For most of the time before you finally made the signal, you just looked kind of like a constipated wiener dog."

"Whatever," #26 huffed. "Can I go now?"

"Yeah, I guess," Rhianwen pouted. "But before you do, did you learn anything from this experience?"

#26 rolled his eyes, arms crossed, leaning back in his chair until #13, #46, and #89 whispered between themselves bets on how long it would take before it shot completely out from under him.

"Yeah; I learned that Rick's a stupid loser who fucked up his own life so badly that even someone like me can't fix it."

Rhianwen rubbed her eyes wearily behind her glasses.

"I doubt someone like you could fix a meal of two peanut butter sandwiches and a glass of milk without a cookbook."

"Peanut butter's for sellouts," #26 scoffed.

Rhianwen stared, utterly lost, for a few seconds, then shook her head.

"Look, Take your Whitewolf book and go."

"Later, losers," he smirked, departing.

"Um, Rhianwen?" #89 piped up. "Can I go next? I really want to see the Doctor..."

A toothy, rather frightening grin crossed Rhianwen's face.

"Ah! We have a volunteer..."

End Notes: Okay, so I was lying through my teeth when I said that Rhianwen wouldn't appear in the story again. What can I say? Even bad fan authors like them their screentime. XD

Also, once again, I do not own #26. Everything about him was shamelessly lifted from 90 of the Rick-bashing Karen fanboy community.

Oh, and one last thing: I might do a few more characters. Popuri, because I kind of like her when she's not being Sueified to justify bashing Rick; Muffy, because I have to wonder if other people were playing the same game as me with some of the idiotic descriptions I've seen of her; and maybe Bob, if I feel like it.