Monday, November 17, 2014

Fifty Shades of Parody (Chapter 14f)

"Hey, Annie, sweetheart, I'm so glad we finally caught up with each other," my stepfather croons. "I was beginning to think you were sneaking out the window to avoid me."
     "Oh, Da-aad," I say, avoiding eye contact.
     "I like it when you call me dad."
     "You do?"
     "Not really, I prefer Ray."
     To celebrate my college graduation, Ray has brought me to the fanciest restaurant in El Paso, Bulimia's. "A Meal So Nice, You Can Eat It Twice" is their motto.
     "Order anything you want, sweetheart," he tells me, as he looks up and down his menu. "Nothing's too good for my little girl."
     "Well," I say, also perusing all the yummy entrees. No Cleveland Steamers on this menu. "I've never had caviar or lobster before."
     "She'll have the cheese sandwich," Ray tells the waiter as he hands back the menu. "And bring her the check."
      While we wait for our food to arrive, Ray turns serious.
     "You know, sweetheart," he says, "it broke my heart when you left home. I know you were on your way to college, but it still hurt. I remember when I first moved out of my parent's house. The first thing I wanted to do was buy myself the fastest motorcycle I could find, but my brother, you see, had just died the year before in a horrible accident, so my mom told me no."
     "Because she loved you and was afraid for your safety?"
     "Because my brother had a motorcycle, and she wanted to sell that one to me. On that note, I want to give--not sell--you something precious. Some land that's been in my family for generations."
     He reaches into his jacket pocket for--what?--a deed?
     It was a jar filled with dirt.
     "This is for you, sweetheart, you've earned it. It's for you, for your children, but not your children's children, because I don't believe children should be having sex."
     I take the jar and hold it up to my eyes to get a closer look. I shake it up and down.
     Yeah, it's dirt all right.
     "Uh, gee... thanks dad," I say, my bank account feeling emptier than ever.
     My cheese sandwich is delicious. It's just the right amount of cheese. Not too much cheese. Not too little. Who knew cheese could be so... cheesy.
     Aw, who am I I kidding? Cheese sucks.
     "How's your sandwich, sweetheart?"
     "It's delicious, Ray."
     After such a fancy dinner, my stepfather drives me back to my apartment. I roll down the car window and enjoy the fresh air it lets in. I had forgotten the restaurant's cheese and my lactose intolerance wouldn't mix.
     "Well, it's been a big old day, hasn't it?" he says, when he's finally able to breathe. He pulls up to a stop in front of my apartment building.
     "It sure has, Ray," I agree. "Come back when you can't stay so long."
     "Want me to come in and make you some tea?" he asks, but he's too late.
     I've already snuck out the window.

     I wander listlessly back into my apartment. First thing I want to do is check my cell phone for messages. I guess I could have checked it at any time during the evening, or even on the walk to my apartment, but when have I ever done anything that's made any sense?
     Hmm, the battery is low. I suppose I have to find my charger to charge it before I can collect my messages. That really has nothing to do with the story, but it sure... does... eat... up... space.
     I have four missed calls, one voice message, and two texts. Three of the missed calls are from Christian. Boy, for a billionaire playboy, that guy sure does come across as desperate, but in a rich, self-confident kind of way. One of the calls is from Jose. He's also left me a voicemail.
     "Can you lend me five bucks, Ana?" he asks me via the recorded message. I press delete.
     That Jose. What a joker. A broke joker.
     I open the texts.
"Where are you, Ana? Why aren't you answering my calls?"
"Um, don't get the idea that I'm desperate or anything. I've got plenty of billionaire stuff to do. Believe me, PLENTY of billionaire stuff."
     They're both from Christian. You would have thought he would have put two and two together and realized I'd be with my stepfather, especially since I told him.
     I better get in touch with him right away. Forget the phone, which I have in my hand. That would be too slow. I'd better get on the computer and contact him with an email. Talking with him personally is too impersonal for something so personal.
     I see that he's already sent me several.
"Ana, are you there?"
"Ana, are you there? If you're there, why aren't you answering me?"
"Ana, where are you?"
"Where are you, Ana?"
"Why aren't you answering me?"
     What does this guy do, sit by his computer sending emails all day long?
     I quickly fire back an email to him.
From: Anastasia Steele
Subject: I Just Got Home
I just got home. I went to dinner with Ray, my stepfather. He treated me to a nice cheese sandwich and gave me a jar of dirt. I can't wait to show it to you.
     I hit the "send" button and receive a reply almost immediately.
From: Christian Grey
Subject: Not That I'm Desperate Or Anything But...
...why wait? I'll be right there.
     And, sure enough, there's a knock at the door.
Fifty Shades of Humor

Monday, November 3, 2014

Fifty Shades of Parody (Chapter 14e)

"That was the worse college graduation I've ever been to," Christian tells me back stage, "and that includes mine. It was interrupted by a malcontent ex-student with a grievance against the headmaster, Professor Doubledork."
     I try to imagine Christian as a college student. I imagine Twinkies instead.
     "That's funny," I say. "I can't picture you as a student throwing your graduation cap up into the air."
     "I didn't. Those things cost money."
     He looks at me.
     "And," he says, "speaking of money..."
     He's had one hand hidden behind his back the whole time. What has he been hiding? Could it be a graduation gift? For me? Ooh, what can it be? A ring? One that I wear on my finger?
     He brings out a bird cage from behind his back and proudly holds it up. It's covered by a shiny black cloth, perfectly tailored to the cage.
     "...I bought you a gift for your graduation. A rare Liberian parrot from west Africa. It's rare because it doesn't have Ebola. It was very expensive."
     He removes the cloth.
     "His name is Monty," he tells me.
     I look into the cage. The parrot is laying on the bottom of the cage on newspaper and mangy feathers. Its legs are sticking stiffly straight up into the air. Like Kate, only with less enthusiasm.
     "Is he, um... okay?" I ask, not wanting to get too close.
     Christian cocks his head and gives his gift a quizzical look. Unfortunately, that's the only thing he's cocked lately.
     "Hmm..." he says, and arches an eyebrow.
     He gives his chin a thoughtful rub, shakes the cage from side to side, then up and down. Nothing.
     "He's just resting, dear," he tells me.
     "Are you sure?"
     "Of course I'm sure. He's just had a busy day."
     He sticks his index finger between the bars and gives the motionless bird a little push.
     "See?" he says. "It moved."
     "No, it didn't."
     "Yes, it did."
     "No, it didn't."
     "Yes, it did."
     "No, it didn't. I saw you. You pushed it with your finger."
     "I was just giving him a massage, my dear. He likes that. It relaxes him. See? He's taking a nap now. Nighty-night, Monty."
     He hands me the cage.
     "He likes to take long, long naps," he says softly, almost whispering. "Try not to wake him."
     Just then, a man with a gun runs up to us.
     "This is a stick-up," the man yells, thrusting his gun forward. "Your money or your life!"
     I grab Christian's arm, and try to hide behind him. He beats me to it.
     "What?" Christian says, peeking out from around my delicate girth.
     "I said, your money OR YOUR LIFE!"
     Christian stands there, thoughtfully thinking, putting a forefinger on his temple to thoughtfully think some more.
     "Well?" the robber says.
     "WELL?" I say.
     "Give me a second," Christian says. "I'm trying to decide."
     Fortunately, Christian doesn't have to think for too much longer. The robber gets tired of waiting, grabs the cage from my hand, and runs off.
     "Oh, my gosh, Christian," I exclaim, practically in tears. "I was so scared."
     "Nonsense, my dear. You were in good hands."
     "Yes, I was, and you can them off my ass now."
     He comes around from behind me and I give him a grateful hug, trying to absorb some of his courage. He grabs me gently by the arm and leads me into a janitor closet located convienently close by.
     "Christian," I say, "you were so brave, so brave."
     "Yes, I was, wasn't I?"
     "What's that smell?" I ask, crinkling my nose distastefully.
     "That's the smell of bravery, dear one."
     "You were so brave you deserve a reward."
     "I do?"
     "You do. I'm going to sign your contract, Christian," I tell him, and I rest my head against his chest. "I'm yours, all yours."
     "All mine?"
     "All yours."
     "All mine?"
     "Yes, all yours."
     "Dear Ana, I'd just like to say that you may not be the prettiest, you may not be the thinnest, and you may not be the funnest..."
     He pauses.
     I wait.
     Somewhere in the distance, a dog howls.
     "And?" I say, encouragingly.
     "And what?"
     "Aren't you going to complete your thought?"
     "I thought I did."
     He looks at me. There's something he wants to say, but he can't quite get it out.
     "I don't want you to worry, Ana," he says, finally. "I'm not talking about pre-marital sex..."
     My heart leaps in my chest.
     "...because I don't plan on marrying you."
     "Christian," I swoon, "I'd just like to tell you..."
     "Let me interrupt for a second here, Ana," Christian says, interrupting me for a second. "Why is it you constantly feel the need to introduce everything you're going to tell me? 'Christian, I want to tell you something...' 'Christian, you won't believe this...' 'Christian, of course it's edible...' Why don't you just tell me straight out so I can get back to ignoring you?"
     I love his honesty, his compassion.
     "Please be tender, Christian," I say to him, hoping this doesn't turn into some kind of horrible monkey paw wish.
     He must see my vulnerability, because he takes my hand in his and tells me, "Don't worry, Ana. I promise you I'll be tender. Do you know why?"
     I shake my head. That means no.
     "Because of your heart," he explains. "You have the biggest heart I've ever come across. No, wait... I was thinking of something else."
     "Ana! Ana!" I turn around, hearing a familiar voice calling me from a distance. It's my stepfather, Ray. The man who's sacrificed so much for me.
     I turn back around in time to see Christian quietly sneaking out a window.
Fifty Shades of Funny