Monday, October 02, 2006


In Which Someone Goes Ape...

About five weeks later, BB was over the days of being helped to the bathroom and of changing smelly, crusty gauze several times a day. His burns were horrific--he has scars to this day--but he had reached a point where he was able to wear bandages on only the worst spots. In a rare moment of luck, he called the catering kitchen where he worked and found out that the person who had taken his job was going to be leaving in another week, which meant BB could go back to work there.

I was still messing about with Bobo, but BB had become desensitized to my monkeyshines, which meant that as the weeks went on, I had to come up with more elaborate schemes. For example, one time, just a week or so before my mom was scheduled to come get me, I hung Bobo in BB's closet, but stuck a wire hanger up Bobo's sleeve, then tied one end of that hanger to the doorknob. Thus when BB opened the door, it would appear as though the ape was reaching a sinister gloved hand out for him. That one worked better than expected, owing to the fact that BB had a nasty, nasty habit of waddling around the apartment in the nude. Thus when he came out of the bathroom that morning and went to his closet to get clothes, Bobo's hand came up low and cupped his genitalia. After swearing and thrashing furiously, BB yanked our roommate out of the closet and cast him into a corner of his room. I stayed well barricaded in the back bedroom until BB went out.

I deliberately left Bobo there in a heap for a few days, so BB would get used to him. Finally, one Friday, just a day or two before I was leaving, BB went out to buy cigarettes (he was smoking like a chimney back then and I had refused to buy smokes for him, so he had been mostly relaying on old stale butts he found around his room). He was still a little sore and so drove slowly to avoid injuring himself on a bumpy road. I figured I had a good 10 or 15 minutes before he came back, so as soon as I saw the car pull away in the street out front, I went to the kitchen and wrote out a note: "GONE TO COMIC SHOP--MM" which I hung on the front door. Then I ran to BB's room and took Bobo apart.

I unstuffed him of all the old pillows and wadded newspaper and secreted that in my bedroom. Then I put the oversized camouflage fatigues on over my clothes and pulled the gloves and mask on. I stared into the bathroom mirror. I looked like Bobo, but only after he'd been in a prison camp. I went back and grabbed a couple pillows plus some newspaper, then shambled to BB's room.

I threw myself into the corner and stuffed one of the pillows under the fatigue jacket. That seemed to look better. I cast the extra pillow away and began stuffing newspaper down my sleeves and up my pantlegs, leaving the newsprint to stick out just a little bit. Then I slumped into the corner, splaying my legs at more or less the same angle that Bobo had been left in. The oversize combat boots caused my feet to loll to either side, which actually completed the effect.

The only problem, I realized after a moment, was that I was still wearing my glasses under the mask. Their glare would be all too easy to spot, even through the eyeholes. Much as I wanted to see my brother's face, I felt I'd have to lose the glasses. I whipped the mask off and removed my specs, shoving them under the nightstand by my brother's bed.

And not a moment too soon. Because a second later, I heard the telltale creaking of heavy footfalls coming up the stairs. I went as limp as I could, breathing shallowly, my heart beating in my ears.

It was hot in that get-up, let me tell you. The apartment was pretty sultry to begin with and almost unbearable if you're wearing two layers of clothes, black winter gloves and a latex gorilla mask. Sweat was streaming down my face as I heard BB wrestle with the lock before finally getting the door to open. It was hard to hear with the mask on, but it sounded like he was going to the bathroom first. Yep. Sure enough, I heard the flushing of the toilet after a few minutes and the running of water. Finally, I could hear him lumber my way.

The bedroom door opened and I heard a gasp.

"Oh fucker! That goddamn thing!" a nervous voice whispered. Then I heard a high, sneezing laugh and my sweat turned cold.

It wasn't BB. It was Ellie.

Oh Jesus, oh jesus, oh jesus, get me out of here, I silently prayed, as Ellie crossed the room and settled herself on the bed with an alarming creak, her ample derriere about three feet from my head. I felt trapped as surely as if I was locked in the closet.

Oh god, dear god, she thinks I'm gone to the comic store and she's going to take her clothes off and try to seduce my brother and I'm going to have to lie here like a fucking dummy and suffer through it, I thought.

I know, I know: I was perfectly free to jump up and run out of the room at any moment, but I can't explain it. It was like there was some kind of spell on me and I was powerless to move until someone did something to break the spell.

The minutes ticked by, the sun grew lower, the room grew fractionally darker. Ellie began to flop around impatiently on the bed. Finally, she got up and went over to a tiny shelf where BB kept what few books and periodicals he could read--a few Mack Bolan novels, some gun magazines and a short stack of comics I had brought him. She grabbed something--without my glasses, I couldn't tell what, and turned back to the bed. She gasped afresh at the sight of Bobo/MM in the corner and muttered to herself. Then she grabbed one of BB's smelly, slightly damp towels and threw it over my head. "Thing gives me the creeps," she muttered.

That broke the spell.

I pulled the towel off and jumped up as fast as I could. "Well, ex-ca-yooose me for breathing!" I cried in a deep, gorilla-like note of wounded pride.

But she didn't hear me. There was a sudden loud creaking noise, which I at first thought was a floorboard breaking beneath Ellie's weight, but then realized the noise was coming from Ellie herself. It was a deep, unexpected fart of surprise. Then she screamed.

If I never hear a woman scream like that again, it'll be too soon. It was a combination of pain and rage and...something else. An animal bleating. I had meant to dash out the door, but she was between me and it, and I had--almost--scared the crap out of her. She shoved me in the gut and sent me into the wall so hard I left a crack in the plaster. Then she thundered out of the room, screaming and wailing all the way out the door, down the stairs, and onto the porch, where poor, unsuspecting BB was just returning with his cigarettes.

Well, for some reason I can't fathom--perhaps because she really did believe I was at the comic store--Ellie must have made up her mind there and then that BB had masterminded this terrible prank.

Because she beat the living shit out of him.

I'm not kidding, we almost had to go back to the hospital. Aside from bloddying my brother's nose and leaving an impressively deep fingernail gash on his neck, she also had the presence of mind to batter him about his injured legs, which caused some of his wounds to split open, effectively defeating BB. He curled into a protective ball after that and stayed that way until several minutes after Ellie had finished with him and gone tearing down the street in her own car, swearing at him the whole way that he was the world's biggest asshole and that she would never forgive him for such a dirty trick.

I went down the stairs and peered out onto the darkened porch. That is, I did that after first putting Bobo back where I found him. And wiping off the sweat and bits of monkey fur stuck to my face.

"Jesus, what happened?" I asked, all solicitous. "You okay?" My brother just uttered a syrupy groan in reply. Then I helped him up the stairs and into his bed.

It was on the tip of my tongue to tell BB what had happened, really it was. But the next morning, as I was making breakfast for the both of us, I heard a dragging noise as BB came out of the room with Bobo in his arms. "Get rid of this fucking thing!" he snarled at me. "Take the mask if you want it. But don't let me see that fucking gorilla again!" I nodded simperingly and did as he asked. Evidently, BB decided that Ellie had been scared by the lifeless Bobo and thought BB had positioned Bobo there as a prank.

I didn't offer an alternative theory, and for that I now feel profound guilt (no, really).

But let me also assure you that my last 48 hours in that apartment were an absolute agony. I kept waiting for Ellie to come back and actually speak to my brother, at which time they'd compare notes, realize what I'd done, and team up to squash me to death with their own body weight. But then my mom arrived on Sunday and I was gone, taking Bobo with me. To top it off, Ellie never spoke to my brother again, and he gave her a wide berth.

So it was a while--seven years, if you want to know the truth--before I ever fessed up to what happened (and when I did, I did it over the phone).

I don't know what happened to Ellie after that summer, but if she's out there reading this now, and she recognizes herself in this story, I want her to know how sorry I am. I also want to thank her for beating the shit out of my brother. Over the years, he has surely done plenty to deserve it.

As for the rest of our cast: BB went back to work a week later and earned the rest of his practical credit. He finally finished up his degree later that year.

I went to New Hampshire with my mom and worked the rest of the summer for my uncle. In August, I returned to school for my sophomore year.

And Bobo? He became very large in my imagination. BB's too. When I got my first video camera a year later, Bobo came to life once more, this time as a villain in the series of videos I mentioned in my last post, the violent ones I let my brother direct.

The title of his first movie?

Gorilla Warfare.

From Somewhere on the Masthead

Oh. My. God....i seriously almost died laughing. It's not *really* funny, considering Ellie really was scared and your brother got his ass kicked...but still. Classic.
I absolutely love the video. You have so totally nailed the behind the scenes, director's take that I can only laugh when I see the three second shot after each three minute set-up. Why, it's almost as if this were a parody of that very thing :)
I think I hurt myself trying to contain my laughter. Damn that was funny.
Doesn't it make you want to resurrect Bobo the next time BB comes around? I'm sure Thomas would be willing to videotape it for you.
It's nice to see how much your video editing skills have improved! God bless your parents for putting up with you two!
That is flippin' hilarious. I'm shocked she didn't really drop a load in her panties. A video camera set up in the bedroom and hidden would have made this even better.
bwahahahaa (hiccup hiccup) bwahahahahaha

Oh god that was good. First the bit about Bobo reaching out and cupping BB's nuts had me in riots and then "the unexpected fart of surprise" put me right back.

Need to wait will I get home before I can watch the video though. Now the hours are going to pass like days...
hahahahahaa... gasping for air...

That was SO hilarious - even though poor Ellie is probably still trying to recover from her run-in with Bobo. I think Sharfa's got a great plan about resurrecting him for a visit (and the fact that your parents must be living saints) ;)

Great video too btw - what home movie is complete without fight scenes with a gorrila and a flying head at the end... heeheehee
That was great! I half expected to see Hal Sparks make a comment from the left side of the screen.
That was just brutally funny. I can just imagine your self-torture as you waited for the two of them to glom onto the fact that you were Bobo that day. And the video... hawesome!
I've been reading your blog for a long time now and I have to say this is one of your many wonderful stories and I'm loving your videos and also as a side note, you have and awesome voice. ^_^
You and your family antics had me in stitches! When you fell in the bushes, I almost choked laughing- Your dad at the table was priceless- and I had to excuse myself and make a quick trot to the pot. After all this time, I guess I should know better and be prepared for your posts, but I never am- thanks for the wonderful laugh. It is appreciated.
the unexpected fart of surprise. genius.
I'm finally caught up, MM. Read about how you almost drowned in a sea of decaying lawn to save the life of a not-so-hardworking teenager. Then, caught up on the gorilla prank, which was flipping hilarious. I can't get the video to work properly for some reason (my internet connection is dodgy), but I'm sure that's flipping hilarious as well.

I'm with Sharfa about the Bobo resurrection. That was too good of a prank to not use it on BB.
Your dad is the pièce de résistance. What a tremendously good sport.

For the behind-the-scenes interview, who was the camera operator (or was it sans operator?) and who was the interviewer?
I should have known better than to have read this at work. Dear Lord, I think I broke something.

Poor Ellie!

But as pranks go, this one totally rocked!

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