Chawkservation Archives

Here's a short story I'm Writing. It'll be updated regularly.

Sorry, Tripod won't copy the indentations. No material on this page may be reproduced for commercial purposes without written consent of the author.



7:30 AM of July 12th found Brendon Sherm sleeping. Sleeping and slightly drooling, and perhaps dreaming, though not of anything consequential. If Brendon had any thought running through his head, which given his expression was highly doubtful, it would be a thought of how soft his pillow felt, how glad he was that he had nowhere to be this morning, and how much he would like it if the phone didn't ring.
"Hello?" came a voice that could definitely not be described as belonging to someone interested in whatever the caller had to say.
"Ah, glad you're up, dude."
The reply came from Chandler Palmer, a good friend of Brendon's, who was at the moment seeming less good and less friendly than usual.
"Chandler? Th-! Gah-! What are you doing?"
"I'm eating Cocoa Crispies and watching cartoons . . ." said Chandler, in a tone of voice that seemed to indicate he thought Brendon had just asked a question on par with "How do you make water out of ice?"
"No, I mean, what are you doing calling me at 7:30?" asked Brendon, masking his frustration with a successfulness acquired through experience.
"Oh yeah. Hey! Let's go to the movies."
"What?! Why did you have to call my at 7 friggin 30 to ask?"
"The matinee's cheaper. A penny saved is a penny earned, Brendon."
"Dude, the matinee doesn't start for another five hours!"
"Hence the advantage of waking you up at 7:30." And as Brendon tried to make sense of this, he added "It'll take us the better part of the morning to just get the supplies."
"Hold on, what supplies? We don't need supplies. Movie theatres come with concession stands. And cup holders. That's all we need. No supplies."
"You know me better than that."
"Well what movie do you want to see?"
"I don't care. You pick." This is exactly what Brendon didn't want to hear. He knew that Chandler really didn't care, that whatever movie Brendon picked, he would spend the show making fun of it, and spend the trip home making fun of Brendon for having picked it.
"I kind of want to see the new James Bond flic."
"You would." said Chandler, but not with spite. "But you'd better get up if you wanna get all the stuff. I just E-mailed you the list."
"Wha-! How much-? How come I have to get the stuff?" Brendon managed to pose.
"Hello! Because you're the one with the car."
"Dib! Gat! Bot!" said Brendon, not masking squat.
Chandler pulled the phone away from his head to weaken Brendon's trademark stream of unintelligible syllables, and just before hanging up shouted "I'll meet you at my house at half past ten!"
"But- I didn't- I mean!" Brendon pleaded with the less than understanding dial tone. Oh well, thought Brendon, as he stumbled to the shower. He found himself thinking that a lot lately.
Chandler set his alarm for 10:30 and went back to sleep.

* * *

To understand Chandler's cinema peculiarities (for he had many other peculiarities), or rather, to even mount the wild stallion that is understanding them, it is necessary to look back to his fifth birthday, preferably in a flashback sequence:

The town was abuzz with the grand opening of the Cinemaplex, a magnificent 35 screened movie theatre behemoth, equipped with stadium seating, an endless line of bathroom stalls, and 12 full concession bars. (Of course, as is standard in the theatre business, at most 25% of the registers were manned at any given time) It wasn't a particularly interesting town, as indicated by the level to which it was impressed by the movie theatre and also by its citizen's tendency to use words like "abuzz", and let me tell you, to a budding five year old, the Cinemaplex was the biggest thing to hit the planet in their entire memory (this time period spanned a little over a year to most budding five year olds).
As chance would have it, Chandler's birthday coincided with the opening, and so it was agreed upon by all that it would be a good idea to involve the Cinemaplex in the festivities of the day. So Chandler's dad took him and all of his friends (basically every kid he knew, because all kids are friends at five) to the first showing in the new theatre. To Chandler, this was pure magic. The luxurious look of the new carpets, the unmistakable scent of truly fresh plastic plants, the warm feeling of knowing that you were the first to pee in a public urinal: Pure magic.
But the experience did not end, or begin I suppose, with the mere viewing of the movie. You see, Chandler's dad was no accountant, but he knew that theatre concessions are priced in such a way that large popcorns are often paid for in monthly installments. And so, just like any red blooded American would, he had the kids sneak gas station candy bars into the movies. Actually, Chandler's dad was an accountant, but it makes little difference.
Now, the act of sneaking snacks into a theatre may seem quite mundane to the reader, and indeed to Chandler's dad and most of the guests it was the same. However, whether it was his age, his navet, his relatively clean history, or something in his meatloaf, to Chandler the sneaking of a Butterfinger into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 was comparable to sneaking a telegram out of Nazi Germany, or perhaps more like sneaking a look at Brendon's sister's underwear. The Butterfinger shaped lump in his pocket (for five year olds wore much tighter pants back then) filled him with a nervous excitement that touched his very soul and plagued his mind and infested his heart and encrusted his spleen. Wait, scratch that last one.
And O the glory, the sweet, sweet glory of devouring the spoils of his feat, and the magnificent triumph of besting the ushers shone in his eye as he exited the Cinemaplex, and he knew what it was truly like to be five. (In truth, the spoils were considerably crumbly, but the glory was genuine) Brendon asked him why he looked so funny, and Chandler said I'll tell you when you're five and Brendon stuttered some agitated word fragments in his high, prepubescent voice.
Knowing of that experience might give reason, no not reason, motive for the actions of Chandler today.

* * *

"Let's see, I've got the candy bars, the tacos, the burgers, the two-liters . . ." Brendon muttered to himself as he pulled out of Burger Palace, list in his right hand, fries in his left and, regrettably, steering wheel under his right knee. If you were one of the dozens ill-fated enough to be around this particular shopping center at this particular time, you probably would have remembered one particular minivan as being the most erratic self propelled body you'd ever had the misfortune to be in the vicinity of. "Here we go. One large sausage pizza." He looked up just in time to catch his turn, which was an immediate left because he was five feet from hitting the flower shop.
Brendon pulled into Papa Ezekiel's, a favorite local pizza joint and hangout for the town's hip young fat people. Brendon parked the minivan (miraculously) and walked in. Had he been extremely observant he would have noticed that the help wanted sign had been taken down. But Brendon wasn't known for his observantness.
Brendon didn't have to wait in line long because not many people buy pizzas at quarter past nine.
"Welcome to Papa Ezekiel's" said a very cute green eyed brunette behind the counter. "May I take your order?"
"Yes, I'd like a large pizza, please." Brendon said. At least, that's what he planned to say. At the moment he was too busy dropping his jaw, rolling out his tongue, turning his pupils into big red hearts and just all around acting like a moron. More so than usual, that is. Brendon was absolutely caught off guard by this very cute green eyed brunette behind the counter, and had no time to prepare himself. Very suavely, he put on his cool shades. Realizing this was a silly thing to do inside a pizza parlor, he very smoothly took them off again and with the utmost charm hit his head on the wall four times.
"Yeah, I'd like to order a large sau-er mushroom pizza." He luckily chanced to notice the large yellow sign saying:
"That'll be $11.23." At the moment, Brendon would have paid $11 thousand, such was his affection for very cute green eyed brunette behind the counter. "Your pizza will be ready in ten minutes, or your money back." Brendon would have waited 10 thousand minutes before asking for his money back.
She withdrew to the kitchen shouting some kind of pizza parlor code (for we all know the 9 'o' clock pizza hour is far too frenzied and rushed for real words to be used) as Brendon followed her with his eyes, longing to follow her with his feet, and his hand, and his . . . other hand. Brendon does not typically react in such a manner when he comes across cute girls. But this was one of those head-over-heels-no-holds-barred-fifty-megaton infatuations that are typically reserved for movies and short stories and definitely not for an average guy like Brendon often appeared to be. Brendon immediately set to making himself look cooler and by this I mean what Brendon thought was cooler and by this I mean what most people thought was comical.
What Brendon didn't know was that much the same thing was happening in the kitchen. You see, the very cute green eyed brunette behind the counter (known to most people as Becky O'Neil) was very much reciprocating the interest, and when their eyes met, what was running through her head was much the same as what was running down Brendon's chin. However, Becky was somewhat more collected than Brendon Sherm (believe it or not) and so she was able to contain herself in that mysterious ways that all women do. All was released as she entered the kitchen and clued in her coworker and good friend Denise.
"Oh my god Denise! The cutest guy in the world just ordered a mushroom pizza!" she hollered in a voice characteristic to someone more vapid of the head than she.
"What size?" came the unconcerned response.
"About 5'10". You've got to see him!"
Sensing something amiss about her normally more composed comrade, she decided to take a peek out of a small window.
"Where? Behind the doofus with his hair in the water fountain?"
"He's got the coolest chin and his eyes are so dreamy and his nose is so shapely and, um his ears are so, of normal proportions."
"His head doesn't look quite so immense if you compare it to his humungous neck." came the best compliment Denise could come up with as she threw the pizza in the oven.
But Becky didn't hear her, for she was still swimming through a unfathomable ocean of affection for this guy, an ocean that the reader will be pleased to know will not be described any further, as it tends to churn the writers innards in a way that only pleasant metaphors of Brendon can do.
"I'd better go out and talk to him." It's comforting to know that Becky O'Neil's sense of responsibility kicks in after 7 minutes of leaving the register unmanned.
"Might be a good idea."
And as Becky passed through the doors, feverish Becky was once again replaced with serene Becky. What she forgot to consider was the completely inevitable awkward silence that seems to always pop up when it is the most quiet and awkward. For a few painful seconds they stood, two feet apart, each trying not to make eye contact with the other, so as to seem disinterested, which modern society tells us is the secret to sex appeal. Becky finally decided to break the silence, which was very fortunate, because Brendon had just decided to say something so utterly stupid that it would have not only forfeited the admiration of his new love, but also potentially caused major power outages in the surrounding cities. (Brendon was not known for his rhetoric, and had once been voted "Most likely to marry a deaf chick" in a superlative.)
"So, why are you buying a pizza at nine thirty?" Becky ventured, in a frank and friendly way that is so effective for starting a conversation, I've noticed.
"Oh, I'm going to the, uh, movies," replied a relieved, and then somewhat uneasy Brendon. And then, so as not to seem like a glutton, he added "With my friend."
Becky's eyes lit up, as she completely ignored the enigmatic holes in his explanation, and she endeavored to say "Hey, I'm going to the movies too! What are you seeing?"
"We thought we'd catch the matinee for the Bond flic at the Cinemaplex" came the answer, as Brendon dared not hope she might say the same.
"The same!" she replied, coincidentally. "I'm going to the same show with, Denise!" For Denise had just walked out with the pizza. "Here's Denise now. Denise, this is, I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name."
Brendon was about to drop a cool line he heard from a musical, but then he reminded himself that nobody likes puns, and simply replied "I'm Brendon."
"No, Brendon."
"No, BrenDON, with an 'o'."
"Huh. I don't think I've ever heard that name before."
Brendon silently cursed his mom. "So I guess I'll see you at the movies, then." He searched for something else to say. "Thanks for the pizza!" And then a desperate "Mmm. Smells good." And finally a last ditch. "I lo-o-ove mushrooms."
Then it was all he could do to keep from screaming as he ran out the door.
When he got to the minivan, he remembered that he was driving a minivan, and kept walking. By some stroke of luck, there was a costume shop in the shopping center, and Brendon presently bought himself an elaborate wig, which he donned on the way back to the van so as not to arouse suspicion that he was not in fact some other guy with a pizza box.
Let's now stop and take a second and analyze the situation at hand. As is almost always the case in any relationship, the girl definitely holds all the cards. While Becky has remained merely amiable on the surface and has successfully masked her feelings, Brendon's thoughts were betrayed the second he wet his pants. He is now left in what we in the profession have deemed the state of "I-have-absolutely-no-idea-what-she's-thinking-save-that-I'm-a-moron." Becky, however, realizes exactly Brendon's feelings for her, and moreover, she knows exactly how inept he is at all manners of courting her, or at all manners in general when she's even in his immediate vicinity. Now, of course, she will do as any other girl in the world would do in this situation. She'll play with his feeble little head for as long as his inner functions will permit. (Sorry, that was an unfair description of Brendon; his head is actually quite large) Also, she knows his name, while Brendon, in his haste to eat his foot, forgot to ask for hers.
"Denise, we're going to the Bond matinee at the Cinemaplex," said Becky, in a decisive tone that would have reminded anyone present of a Republican national convention.
"Meh," said Denise, in an apathetic tone that would have reminded anyone present of the Green party on election day.

* * *

Chandler Palmer awoke to the deep, cheery rumblings of distant thunder. He peered out of his rain-splattered window to see the entire sky a jolly dark gray, with absolutely jovial storm clouds stretching to the horizon. "Ahhh, what a morning." It's true, storms are typically perceived as ominous and gloomy symbols, representing impending doom and everything dismal, but Chandler's perception was far from typical. A stormy day meant that he wasn't expected to mow the lawn, that there was no reason to wash the car, that people would say "Oh, don't walk in the rain, Chandler, let me give you a lift." It was a celestial excuse for Chandler to be lazy. But moreover, he got a great sense of relief in knowing that something massive and bothersome was taking place, and he could in no way be blamed for it. In fact, it was not seldom that, on particularly sunny days, Chandler would cancel his plans and spend the day watching television.
Chandler climbed out of bed in an all around pleasant mood, filled with the content of a full nights rest, a feeling very similar to that which most young people never have. He bounded into the shower, wherein was presently sung one of histories most moving renditions of "Runaround Sue." He made no attempt to comb his hair, for it was long and wavy to the extent that a proper combing would leave him looking like Dagwood Bumstead. He popped in his contacts and applied a refreshing layer of Old Spice to those places where he tended to get odorant. After much flexing in the mirror, he slipped on yesterdays blue jeans and a tee shirt that he inexplicably found in his laundry and adopted as his own.
Chandler sat down for breakfast and went over his mental plan for the exploit. This was to be the most food he'd snuck into a theatre since the doughnut incident of '99, and this time he was doing it in broad day light. The sheer mass of his contraband was going to require some thick costuming. He would personally carry the tacos and the burgers, and so he decided to pose as a hunchbacked Hindu, giving him ample room for tacos in his turban, and hamburgers in his hump. (The alliteration was intentional, for Chandler liked to put a certain stylistic irony on these situations.) The real problem was where to put the two liters. After much pondering on the subject, a revelation came to him as he watched an absolutely tasteless phone company commercial. He immediately began to rummage through his proverbial bag of tricks to put together an extravagant cross dressers ensemble for Brendon's smuggling purposes. When he had finally located a large enough brassiere and returned to his cereal, an idea came up for the pizza obstacle that was so mean I'm not even going to write it.
Chandler was on his third bowl of Cocoa Crispies when Brendon showed up at his house. Well, parked in his yard.
"Dude, I got the stuff!"
Chandler surveyed the armloads of junk food Brendon haphazardly laid out across the living room. He was pleased. Very pleased. Brendon had done far better than he had given him credit for. (He had half expected another Amelia Badelia episode from Brendon, like the pianist fiasco of '97) "This is fantastic! You got everything I asked for. Twelve tacos, twenty Three Musketeers, ten, well nine cheeseburgers."
"Yeah, they, uh, ran out," explained Brendon, unaware that the pickle he had dropped was still stuck to his shirt.
"Mushrooms? Ah, you must have gone to Papa Ezekiel's."
Brendon's face turned red, his eyes rolled back, he batted his lashes and an outrageous smile enveloped his face. "Yes. Yes I did." And he frolicked around the room humming.
Chandler had known Brendon for as long as he could walk, talk, and make fun of him, and he could read him like an open book. Not so much an open book; more like a book whose cover has long been torn off and lost, and that's falling apart at the spines, and you would throw it away because it's just an old picture book but it's got sentimental value and it drives you places. And so Brendon's frolicking and humming did not go unnoticed by the all-seeing eye of the best friend.
"What the hell are you doing?"
Brendon gurgled.
"You've met a girl, haven't you?" asked a somewhat curious Chandler (though there are many who would argue that Chandler is always somewhat curious).
"Hhhyeahhh, I met a girrrrl," sighed Brendon.
"Well what's her name?"
"I don't know. She's got green eyes, and she works at the pizza place."
"Ah, so when you say you 'met' her, what you mean is you didn't meet her at all."
"No, no. I met her. I bought a pizza from her. I met her. I just don't know her name."
"Right. We've met a lot of girls in that manner. So what's so great about this chick?" asked Chandler, noting that Brendon's head was spinning much faster than it does for most pizza parlor girls.
"You'll see. I'm meeting her at the theatre."
Chandler quickly opened the soda and took a swig, just so he could now spit it out. "P-b-b-b-t! You got a date with a girl you don't know when you're supposed to be having a glorious escapade with myself?"
"It's not a date, is it? Do you think it's a date? I just said- it might be a date. Maybe it is. Wow, what should I wear?"
"Certainly not what I had intended for you to wear." Now, Chandler may seem moderately assertive. And at times, his zeal and conviction have, on occasion, been thought to make him slightly, slightly bossy. And it has been whispered among some, from time to time, that Chandler may possibly have less than infinite consideration for Brendon's personal interests. But there was no way that Chandler was going to insist that his best friend Brendon completely disgrace himself before the anonymous object of his affection in a fiery transsexual eruption so that Chandler can laugh at the fact that he snuck a Pepsi into some Bond flic. Not for a matinee, anyway.
"I better bring my sunglasses," said his still stupefied and somewhat illogical comrade to no one in particular.
"Listen, let's scrap the smuggling today, and just go see the movie."
"Yeahhh." Brendon thought it was a wonderful idea. Chandler expected to hear something more along the lines of "Dip! Gat! Blot!", but at the moment Brendon would have thought that even shaving his eyebrows off was a wonderful idea.
"Help me eat these tacos and I'll figure out what I'm going to do with you," said Chandler as his grinning amigo attempted to consume a chalupa with the wrong facial feature entirely.

* * *

By noon, Chandler and Brendon were lounging in the theatre, on a sofa in a corner of the lobby which they had long since claimed for themselves in a quite indisputable sense. They had left early, as a safeguard for Brendon's mildly unpredictable driving, for Chandler knew that they could easily wind up in Pittsburgh or, more likely, heaven. Brendon had gathered his wits (that is, what wits he typically possessed) and was now actively trying to seem very non chalant, for he was in fact tres chalant. Chandler attempted some idle chit chat (though in truth, he never considered any chit chat idle, and placed equal importance on all subjects of conversation, from political theory to how it would be really weird if people had sideways asses), but Brendon was too preoccupied with making his eyebrows look frumpy enough to contribute anything more than an occasional nod.
Of course, Chandler thought that Brendon's wooing methods were ridiculous, even bordering on alarming, but the feeling was very mutual. You would suspect that they would prefer not to be associated with one another while the charming was taking place, but they actually favored it. The idea was this: because of the absurdity of their counterpart, each figured that he could only seem exceptionally hip by comparison. Or if not, he may at least be able to pick up a sympathy date.
"Well, if it isn't gorilla face and chimpanzee lips," came a nasty voice that was all too familiar to the loungers. He walked up to them in his $40 flip flops, with his red Cinemaplex employee collared shirt tucked into the front of his Abercrombie cargo shorts (pre-worn, to simulate sentimental value). As he ran his fingers through his blonde streaked hair, he seemed to fill the whole lobby with the rank of 21st century phat.
"Speak of the devil! Jason!" replied Chandler. "We were just talking about how much we abhorred you." Jason was a Cinemaplex employee who had a particular fondness for assigning Chandler and Brendon primate related epithets, among other things. He was the head supervisor of the multiplex, and was in charge of making sure the bathrooms were clean, making sure the concession lines were orderly, and making sure that the movie goers actually paid for their movie going. He was a jackass just for sport.
"So what's on the loser agenda today? Gonna wait around for someone to drop their popcorn."
Brendon withdrew his foot from in front of the little kid just in time. "Noooo."
"I'll have you know we're meeting a couple ladies to see a movie." Chandler flashed the tickets in a matter of fact kind of way, partly to show that he wasn't up to one of his usual stunts.
"Is that right? How much are you paying them? Ha ha!" Jason laughed to himself as Brendon thought how nice it was that jerks always got the most dim-witted and predictable lines.
"Look, don't you have some middle schoolers to be hitting on or something?" Chandler wasn't about to let him forget about that party.
"Yeah, screw you. Omma go take my break." (the reader will remember that 'omma' is a contraction for 'I am going to') "Catch you later, Chimpler. Have fun with your 'Ladies'. Ha ha!" And with that he strutted off to the break room, only stopping once to harass a janitor.
"What a maroon," said Chandler in a tone indicative of his many hours of cartoon viewing.
But there came no response from Brendon, for the girls had just arrived. Or, more particularly, because she had arrived. No, she was not yet within his field of vision, but her presence was revealed to Brendon in that strange way peculiar to infatuated youth. Chandler knew as well, but in that somewhat less strange way peculiar to people with gawking friends.
"Brendon! Hey! How are you?" She walked with step of a Spice Girl, and a smile to melt Scandinavia.
Brendon fumbled with his lips for a second, and then surreptitiously pulled out a small note card from his back pocket. "Fine. How are you?"
"Just great. And who's your friend?"
Chandler stepped in and extended his hand, a) so that, by introducing himself directly he would make this girl feel obligated to do the same thus revealing her name which Brendon had implored him to oblige her to tell, and b) because he didn't trust Brendon to remember his name correctly while in this state. "Chandler Palmer. Nice to meet you."
"Becky O'Neil. The pleasure's mine."
What a beautiful name, thought Brendon. The perfect blend of consonants, the ideal number of syllables, the amusing O, the wonderful stresses, um, it rhymes with, uh, techie. And as Brendon fathomed these choice words within the deepest recesses of his mind, the conversation continued.
"And this is my friend Denise."
Another cordial hand shake from Chandler. "Charmed." Chandler noticed that Denise seemed somewhat amused by Brendon's glazed over eyes, and he was rather relieved to know that at least one of them regarded Brendon's habits with simple amusement.
Realizing (with much insight) that a brief exchange was probably the best option in this case, Becky suggested "Let's go get some pop corn."
Brendon and Chandler stood behind the girls in line. Brendon was still wondering whether this was a date or not. If it was, he ought to buy the pop corn. But it could seem too forward if he paid for the pop corn and it wasn't a date. What about Denise's pop corn? Should he buy that too? Pop corn's expensive at a theatre. She can buy her own damn pop corn. Ah, she's getting a drink. A large! She's trying to clean me out. She's not gonna drink all of that. Dr. Pepper doesn't grow on trees, you know. Oh wait, they're getting their wallets out. It's not a date. Crap.
Meanwhile Chandler was trying to remember where he'd heard that name. O'Neil. He couldn't think of who it was, but he knew it was ringing some unpleasant bells, and he knew that in this town, there wasn't likely to be two families of O'Neils.
"Brendon, get me some Peanut Butter M&M's."
"Right. Hey, what?"

* * *

The girls saved them a seat on the front row, which was incidentally Chandler's second favorite place to sit. Chandler opted for the end and Brendon sat by Becky. Brendon thought it was very decent of Chandler to grant him that seat. Chandler thought about how much he liked being assured at least one arm rest. The silent previews were showing over soft rock from the theatre chain's radio station, and the mood was set for some serious mingling.
Brendon had the gumption to start it this time. "So, you like movies, eh?" Chandler was reminded of every forty year old that he had ever had the misfortune to chat with.
"Yeah. They're okay," came Becky's reply in a tone that suggested that not all of her cards were on the table. Chandler was hit with another shot of suspicion. He shrugged it off.
"I've been waiting all summer to see this movie," chimed in Denise. "Pierce Brosnan is such a babe!"
"Yeah," Brendon agreed, trying to seem personable. "Wait, no," Brendon corrected himself, trying to seem heterosexual. "Maybe for a guy," he added, trying to seem open-minded. He then furrowed his brow in a decisive manner, trying to seem sure of himself.
His actions were not unnoticed by the furtive eyes of Becky. "So Brendon, do you have a girlfriend?" she asked in that seemingly innocent manner that girls use for the most malicious purposes.
"Noooo," he answered with a grin, inadvertently spelling 'no' with far too many 'o's.
She left it at that, because that's what girls like to do.
"So Becky," Chandler ventured. "What are you into? Music? Sports? Trafficking illegal drugs?"
"I like cats."
"Ever robbed a bank?"
"Ever stabbed a guy?"
"Ever done time?"
"No. I spent June at the beach."
"Nude beach?"
"Miami. We've got a summer house there."
"Ah, how nice."
"It really is. And I get to see my gammy when I'm down there."
Chandler gave up. He couldn't imagine a kind of criminal that calls her grandmother 'gammy'. Brendon would have been embarrassed to be stuck in between this exchange, but he was merely grateful for the time it bought him to think up something intelligent to say.
"I like orange Skittles the best."
"I like green," replied Becky.
"Oh, that's my second favorite!" lied Brendon.
"Skittles suck," argued Denise. "They're like colored pellets of sugar clusters. I like peanut butter M&M's."
"My favorite M&M's color is green," gambled Brendon.
"M&M's all taste the same, moron," replied Denise. Chandler popped a few M&M's in his mouth and was pleased that at least some one in the group had some taste.
Just then, Brendon thought of something to say, something so insightful and valid and full of profound truth that his saying it surely would have gained him the utmost admiration and respect from each member in his company, and possibly have landed him on the morning talk shows and maybe even have gotten him a movie deal, but most unfortunately, the lights dimmed, and some dip behind him told him to shut up before he got the chance to say anything.
And so the movie started, and along with it, Chandler's endless stream of predictions.
"She's not a Russian. That's not his real face, he's wearing a mask. Look, he's going to turn out to be the bad guy. Did you hear that line? They're gonna kill that guy off for sure. Yep, see? I told you."
"Dude, I'm trying to watch the movie!"
"SSSSHHHH!!!" came the dip.
"Gat-! Blut-! Spa-!" Brendon whispered to himself.
"Look at her!" continued Chandler. "Wow, he'll be sleeping with her before the movie's out. Whoa! Is she naked? I think I saw something! Dude, did you see something?"
"Shut UP!" Brendon breathed.
"Becky, did you see something?"
"Denise, did you see something?"
"I think I saw something."
"Dude, Denise says she saw something!"
"It's over! It doesn't matter!" Brendon hollered under his breathe.
The dip grabbed his ear. "Look, I'm not gonna tell you again!"
"Ah! I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" Brendon cradled his ears and sunk into his chair, whimpering ever so slightly. Brendon was sure he was ruining the date. The not-date. Why can't I be more like Bond. He never has trouble with girls.
As if on cue, Bond's lover puts a bullet in his shoulder.
Brendon looked to his left and saw a smile on Becky's face that made him somewhat uneasy. She looked over and so Brendon looked back at the movie until he thought it she wasn't looking anymore. He peripherally peeked around to find her doing the same. Some species of penguins present females with pebbles as part of their mating ritual. Certain spiders will perform dances to show potential mates their interest. Human's, sadly, must depend on furtive glances.
Of course, nothing was hidden from the eyes of the best friend. Chandler took in the exchange, and stored the observations for further analysis. His immediate concern was Brendon's popcorn.
"Hey, give me some popcorn."
"No way."
"I gave you some of my popcorn last time."
"I paid for it! And no you didn't!"
"You were busy. You were talking to someone."
"That's because you planted that vulgar bumper sticker on my car. I was being arrested."
"Ha ha! Oh yeah." He tried to grab some without Brendon noticing.
"Hey, give that back." Chandler put it back in the bag, only all smushed up. "Sick!"
"Brendon, be quiet!" Becky reproached.
"Gat-! Blot-! He took my popcorn."
"He gave it back."
"Yeah, only all smushed up."
"Brendon, don't be so callous."
"Sorry." He humbly handed a wad to Chandler, who's hands were already full of the popcorn he managed to snatch during Brendon's chastisement. Man, I'm really fudging up. Why can't I be more like Bond? He doesn't take crap from his friends.
Mr. Bond, let me borrow your weed whacker.
But Francis, the last time you borrowed it, you broke the little orange cord and I had to put a new one in, and that's a smashing bother!
Oh, shut up and give me the weed whacker.
Ooooh, okay.
"This isn't a particularly interesting Bond movie," commented Denise. She remembered having doubts when she found out it was titled The Lawn Doesn't Mow Itself.
"Hey!" Brendon again. Becky had just pushed his elbow off of the arm rest. He put his right arm on his other armrest.
"You're dreaming," said Chandler, under Brendon's right arm. He removed it.
"Brendon, I dropped my Skittles," Becky announced. "Would you get them for me?"
"Sure," said Brendon, assuming she had dropped a bag, and regrettably finding out that she had instead scattered many individual Skittles across the floor. Confused, he crawled around picking them up. "Are you sure you wanna eat these?"
"No, of course not. They were all over the floor."
"Gah-! Well why'd you want me to pick them up?"
"I don't want to litter, Brendon. The Earth is the only home we have."
"We're in a movie theatre!"
"Every little bit helps, Brendon."
"Der-! Well here you go."
"Whoa, I don't want them. You keep them."
Brendon sighed and put the Skittles in his pocket. He was about to remark something about wanting to be more like Bond, but just now on the screen Bond was carrying a tray of cookies and slipping on a roller skate and Brendon decided to hold his tongue.
Of course, what was really going on was obvious to Chandler. Becky was using the antagonistic approach for wooing on Brendon, who was too thick-skulled to figure it out. But Chandler wasn't going to help him out any. Not yet, at least. He rather enjoyed watching Brendon brood.

More later

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