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Wooly & Unruly. Embrace it or disgrace it.
"Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither." Benjamin Franklin
Why Mr. Tumnus is Such a Prick
On the way back from a soccer game, my mother, knowing it was time for a midday meal, stopped at a Mickey D's to get me a Happy Meal, the carbohydrate-filled contents of which I happily and gluttonously devoured. (This was before it turned into that apple crisp, whole milk bullshit.) Oh, I was a sick, sick child. Still am, still am, actually. To preoccupy my interest on the ride home, I fiddled with the 'Made In China'-labeled toy that had come in the little plastic bag under my French fries. I frustratedly tried to erect a paper fold-up display of Mr. Tumnus the faun's living quarters, eventually triumphant. Perhaps the simpler component of the model, I then focused on the key part to the toy- A little Mr. Tumnus whistle, shaped in the form of the goat-legged character with a bright red mouthpiece on the back.
Little did I know, as I gazed at and tooted on this whistle, that I was playing noisemaker with the Antichrist itself.
Now, the next part of this anecdote that I will relay to you may cause you and others with ostensive mindsets to question as to whose fault it was exactly that the outcome of this entire state of affairs was what it was back then and is what it is today. You may even suggest, in a politely withheld, surreptitious manner, that it was in fact my fault that the ragged, altercated nature of these circumstances escalated to the degree it did. Well, come now, my children, the story isn't quite finished, now is it? Oh, no, far from it.
You see, over the next few weeks, a 'love-hate relationship', as it's collectively referred to, developed between- for the sake of time and convenience we'll just call him Mr. Tumnus- and I. I would take Mr. Tumnus and just go absolutely apeshit with him, physically abusing him in multiple ways while masquerading as an enraged drill sergeant afflicted with barbaric mannerisms. Among the things I would do: Spank him, toss him down the hallway, slam him against walls, slap him, sit on him, bang his head on the brickwork of the mantel, and repeatedly call him a "BAD SOLDIER!!!” Did I mention I was a sick child? I think I did. It's not exactly clear, even to myself- the supposed instigator, as you are most likely thinking- why I did these things, although I can tell you that they were on a direct belt feed to my humor. I laughed with delight at Mr. Tumnus's punishment. My father warned me again and again that karma would come back and strike me for my quote-unquote "wrongdoings" against innocent Mr. Tumnus, but let me point out that he was encouraging me to inflict these penalties half the time, and was the one who came up with the drill sergeant bit. Bad soldier? His idea.
There came a day, as I recall, that I took punishment to a whole new level. I buried Mr. Tumnus out in my backyard, near an old oak stump that is no longer there today as it has been burned down and reduced to little more than ashes and dust. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, correct? My father might also have had something to do with it. Oh, the cold, smoky, Blair Witch-filled memories are coming back to me. But I digress. I left Mr. Tumnus out in this two inch hole I had hand-dug in the dirt, piled the dirt back on, and stacked several stones on top of it, to ensure that escape became impossible. I left him there for the remainder of that day and all that night, and it was not until noontime the next day that Mr. Tumnus was unearthed. As soon as I unearthed him, I smiled at him, a merciless smirk, and said "Bad soldier."
Looking back on it now, I do declare that Mr. Tumnus, though he spoke not a word, had changed. Somehow, in some way, he had changed. Along the psychological trauma-filled road he had taken, whatever head trip of nightmarish self-realization he had that night in the earth was ultimately the feather that broke the camel's back. If only I had known the course that history, for myself and for the world, would take from the point onward... Dear God, things would have been different... I would've prepared... I would've had time to ready myself for...the disappearance.
To put it plainly, one day Mr. Tumnus just...disappeared.
No trace of where he went.
Only memories of hatred and disobedience were left behind.
I don't remember the days between Mr. Tumnus's voyage of punishment underground to his disappearance, but I'm sure there weren't that many. I checked my closet, my cabinets, and my toy chest. But that damnation-worthy piece of plastic was gone.
Where did he go?
Where did Mr. Tumnus the faun, like the little shitbag he is, scamper off to?
The answer remained a mystery for around two years. My father had suggested several preposterous possibilities as to the conclusion of Mr. Tumnus's fate and/or whereabouts, such as that he had been thrown in the fireplace or burn pile, taken out to the local shooting range and exploded to bits, or that he was in cahoots with my uncle, who apparently had prophetic knowledge of his mistreatment and hid him away. My father then claimed that when I was old enough and mature enough to look after Mr. Tumnus and to not abuse or neglect him, he would give the whistle back. Ah ha! As if that man really had the satyr in his possession! No, no, I refused to give in to such outrageous hogwash. Mr. Tumnus was out there. I could feel it in my gut. Call it an unexpected development of the aforementioned love-hate relationship.
Of course, up until that day, I had been blind. At least, I might as well have been. Because on that day, my innocence, my obliviousness to the reality of the situation and of the impending battle, was shattered.
June 11, 2008. My father needed to go to the Home Depot- or the Home Depression, as he likes to call it, since it never seems to have what he needs- for some home improvement component or another, and being his son and right-hand man, I was invited to go with him. Like a leaf dancing in the street before a tornado, I had foolishly agreed to come along, as thoughts of the coffee shop out front and of a delightfully pleasant banana-peach smoothie sprouted in my head. I realize, as I write this, that I should not be so harsh on myself, as no mistake was made, and it was bound to happen sooner or later.
I just...I just wish it could have been preventable, dammit...
We entered the warehouse building through the large, sliding glass doors, and an air of subtle hostility and dementedness greeted me, a small spider crawling down my spine. As we walked through the many aisles of tools, construction material and price tags, I looked amongst the cracks of the lumber piles and metal support beams, in those places where darkness, dust and loose screws had settled and made home. Yes, perhaps these tendencies were childish in nature, but I couldn't shake the feeling that something was waiting behind these stocks of material, watching my every movement. I was all but relieved when my father (who, evidently, was insensible to the antagonistic feeling of the environment) finally found what he wanted. We then made our way to the checkout counter farthest to the store's right, right in front of the entrance we had come in. It had seemed so peaceful, the 12:00 sunshine beaming down on the concrete, the Mexicans in the parking lot watching big trucks roll by and telling the cleverest of jokes in Spanish. It was a dream fit for a suburbanite.
And then it hit me, hit me so fast I thought Jesus accidentally ran me over with his Maserati.
Out of the corner of my eye, a flash of red. And suddenly I was on the ground. I got up on my knees, choking, trying to regain my breath and wondering if I had a broken rib or two when suddenly a pain came across my forehead. I reeled back into the counter. At first I thought it was because of the pain, but the rest of the world, fuzzy as it was, seemed gray and distorted, like TV static in slow motion. I felt warm drops coming down over my eyes, and my forehead felt like fire ants were gnawing on it. A gash, two inches across, split my forehead’s skin open. I wiped the blood away and got up to try and defend myself, and despite all of the sight-impairing injuries that had been inflicted upon me, no image could have been clearer than the assailant I saw before me.
It was Mr. Tumnus.
Great Mother of God, did he look angry.
He stood as tall as I did, perhaps a few inches more so. A vibrant, sulfurous aura, like an accompaniment of dull red hellfire, surrounded him, seeming to radiate from his skin. His eyes were fixed upon my own, and I swear to God, if it had been anyone other than me, an individual so used to having Mr. Tumnus’s gaze conferred upon himself, they would have felt their eyes chemically melting and their souls departing through the barren sockets.
I knew what the faun bastard wanted as soon as I saw him. Revenge. Revenge on behalf of every shred of abuse he had endured during our time spent together. I recall an old French proverb that goes something like this: Write injuries in sand, kindnesses in marble. Well, I’d imagine that, at that point, Mr. Tumnus’s marble block had remained considerably unsculpted because, believe you me, the sensation of hatred surrounding him was prodigiously overwhelming. Truly surprising was the fact that he had the audacity to so forcefully forget everything I had done for him, from building that awful little grease-stinking home of his to taking him into the love and comfort of my own. These indignations would not be suffered in silence. I struck a noble stance of boldness, ready to fight my opponent to the death.
I was but a foolish monkey in doing this, as Mr. Tumnus had the exact same intentions.
He came at me with an ungodly amount of metaphysical energy. Attacking me from the left, right, front, behind, it didn’t matter where I turned, there he was, bombarding me with pummeling blows. I blocked with strapping defense, and- if I do say so myself- I believe I got a few hits in on the damn goat. But I couldn’t hold out forever. Surely infused with the supernatural powers of Hell, Mr. Tumnus let forth one final rage-driven strike with a ferocity that could only be matched by the bitch-slap of a gargoyle which broke my arms in half and sent me flying into the lumber stacks. The pain, the incredible, impossible pain, was almost more than I could handle. However, as that hairy, satanic hell spawn approached me, ready to follow his own invented, blind faith and do away with the one who had subjected him to what he considered staggering amounts of maltreatment, I grabbed whatever object had been nearest to my head and chucked it at him. This object was a pack of bubblegum- not the sugarless kind either, for sugarless cannot even compare. I am not sure of the manufacturer, but the brand wasn’t important, for this pack of bubblegum held in it a sacred power of blessedness stronger than anything I had seen before. It struck Mr. Tumnus square in his demented, glowering face. The goat-man stopped for a second, a sense of bewilderment on his face, and then suddenly…a miracle.
An unseen force violently grabbed Mr. Tumnus by his horns, yanking him into the air while he screeched like an Amityville banshee. Slowly, he was pulled back into the shadows from which he came, all the short while growling at me and uttering malicious curses. And then everything caught up. I realized at that point that, during this hectic brawl, no one else in the store had been moving. In fact, no one and nothing in the world had been moving. It was as if time itself had specifically frozen for this crucial day to go down in history as the day that marked the presentiment of the forthcoming battle. My father was finishing his transaction with the clerk, and I was on my knees, on the ground, enraged, scared, baffled, and humbled by the experience that had I had just lived through. As soon as time had resumed its normal pace, the throbbing pain with which I had been afflicted slowly vanished, though I will admit that I was a bit wobbly in my proceeding to stand up.
My initial thought was…
Holy shit, Tumnus, it’s on.
Since that day I have been preparing for the final battle. I always keep a pack of non-sugarless bubblegum around. I have become a connoisseur of root beer, as this divine drink imbues me with the powers of the gods. I have also met with Mr. Tumnus’s cousin, Mr. Clooney (no relation to George Clooney), who lives inWashingtonstate, amongst the forests which line the highway running between Seattle and Olympia. Mr. Clooney revealed to me two ways to gain the upper hand over his cousin, whom he also feels is a major douchebag, as he rightfully should. These two ways are: purchase the Mr. Tumnus whistle off of eBay, or find the real Mr. Tumnus in the Home Depot and commence the final showdown. There was no way I was taking the eBay route; respectable enemies must have respectable ends.
And so we will.
On my side, the forces of good who will help me in the Armageddon: Chewbacca (without whom I don’t think I would stand a chance), Bear Grylls of Man vs. Wild, The Monkey, and The Game (which loves me and wants me to win).
Joining Mr. Tumnus in his dark mission, our enemies: Old Man Fouts, Chuck E. Cheese, The Outback Steakhouse Order Which Took Way Too Long to Get to Our Fucking Table and For Which I Was Half-Asleep by the Time it Arrived, and Diablo from the Diablo PC games made by Blizzard Entertainment.
The mediators, or impartial judges of the battle, are: Peter Griffin from Family Guy (Ah! Ah! He said it!) and Hedda from Hoyle Board Games.
I suppose you, my dear reader, are wondering how these characters came to be the chosen ones. But you see, if you look inside your heart/soul/other internal cheesy touchy-feely place, you’ll find you’ve known the answer all along. And that answer is that I don’t want to fucking explain it anymore.
So there you have it. Judge me as you will. Decide what you think is right for the universe.
But know this:
It will not go unstated that Mr. Tumnus is such a prick.
Roses are red
Roses are red
Roses are red