So, I’m driving home from work. It’s sunny and beautiful, almost spring like, even though it’s still March; the wind is up, as usual, and the swirling dust only makes me sneeze twice in a row, rather than the usual forty times. And nothing flies from my nose and hits the windshield, as if a bug were squashed from the inside. Hooray for that.
I’m listening to Glenn Gould on the radio. It triggers a memory back to a 1986 music class that I attended with a guy named Dustin (took me a few A,B,C,Ds trying to remember his name – thank goodness his name wasn’t Zach – or I’d miss the story all together). Whatever happened to Dustin? A great guy. I saw him once in the early nineties. It was in a bar and he wasn't looking too good. Whatever happened to the fella?
Dustin barely made it through university, but luckily he had his grandparents to help him – not only financially, but morally. Dustin’s parents died in a horrific car crash when he was only three. They left him a lot of money, but he could only have it after he graduated from university. He relied on his grandparents for everything – from candy to why he shouldn’t burn ants with a magnifying glass.
It was very hard for Dustin to concentrate on university when he had such a large pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. He made it, but he owed a lot of money to a large white guy named Lie Fat – university beer and dope are not cheap. The obese white guy was fascinated with Asian culture, even to the point where he wore big diapers and put a chop stick in his hair.
Anyway, Dustin thought Lie Fat would forget about the debt. At his graduation ceremony Dustin proudly walked off the stage, sat down on his flowing gown and opened up his prized degree, but inside, to his moral blunder, was a note from Lie Fat, stating he’d better pay up or his grandparents would pay the consequences. Dustin jumped up and surveyed the large crowd. He found his grandparents sitting next to Lie Fat who had the courtesy to wave at Dustin as he stood up.
But Dustin had no worries. The money would come tomorrow. He’d pay Lie Fat. End of story. But it’s never the end, is it? At Dustin’s graduation party, he asked about the money. His grandparents asked him to sit down. Dustin knew he was in deep shit. Then came the news. Your grandfather lost a of of money in the recession, bla, bla, bla …. the high cost of bla, bla, bla…. Dustin was up the proverbial you know what without a bla, bla, bla…
Dustin went to bed that night, but of course sleep wouldn’t come. He kept thinking about a huge, sweaty white guy in diapers stuffing his grandparents into a drum full of Mexican acid. What was he to do? Lie Fat had to go, but how?
The plan came easy. Drive to Lie Fat’s house in Chinatown and with a giant silver hammer and smack his fat brains out – squish him like an ugly bug on the windshield. Dustin waited until dark. He quietly stole out of bed(not that this was necessary because his grandparents were deafer than bats) went to the garage, put his grandparents Volvo into neutral and quietly glided down the street. When it was safe, he ignited the Swedish pistons and headed for his date with destiny.
For the whole trip, Dustin was able to rationalize his nefarious intents with a simple cliche – “it’s either us or them.” Us, of course, being his grandparents, the moral fabric of his world.
But when he arrived at Lie Fat’s he got the shock of his life. As he was secretly looking through his nemesis’s window, he noticed his grandparents sitting on the couch watching “The Brady Bunch” on TV. Upon closer inspection, Dustin noticed many family pictures with his grandparents and Lie Fat – arms wrapped around each other with the Grand Canyon in the background or a shot of Lie Fat next to the Statue of Liberty. Dustin felt cheated, remembering all those summers spent at that boring summer camp on Lake Whatchama-callit.
He pulled out his hammer and pounded on the door. Lie Fat opened it and let him in. His grandparents didn’t even look up from the TV (Marsha was on some kind of rant).
With his childhood in ruins, Dustin took the hammer and smashed Lie Fat’s brains out. Then he got in the Volvo and drove home, but before he went to bed, he poked his head in the master bedroom doorway and blew a kiss to his sleeping parents.