Curse of the Ninja

Was reminded of this childhood memory by Melanie, after my previous post regarding childhood lies!

When I was in primary school, like most kids my age – I used to love The Power Rangers. The kicking, the punching, the flipping, the monsters, and the explosions…I mean, the whole package appealed really. So it wasn’t a rare sight to see me, and a couple of friends acting out crazy fight scenes in our school break times! We’d be jumping out of trees, doing killer rolls…the whole works…basically just battling evil wherever we found it…

And we didn’t skimp on any of the realism…oh no…we’d be using elaborate formations, working together to beat these savage creatures which had every intention of taking over the world. We’d jump in, one by one; “HIIII-YAHH! HUHH! PAAAH! KAPOWWW!” 

Power Rangers Boss GIF

It often took a few hits, especially if our foe was one of the big bosses – but we always, always triumphed…I mean, we’re The Power Rangers, we’re only ever going to win – that’s kinda the whole deal.

But one of these bouts stands out…you see, one of them was very, very different…

Which is odd, because it started out very much the same; we fought over who gets to be who, and then fought again over who gets which stick…just the same as every other time – but after these usual formalities, we were able to continue with our normal crime-fighting ways as per! …but this truce wasn’t to last – and before we knew it we found ourselves  arguing over something else…something which hadn’t ever been an issue before…

“YOU JUST SAID A SWEAR WORD!!!” protested one of my so called Power Ranger colleagues – wagging an accusing finger in my general direction.

“No…no, I didn’t!” I argued, unsure of what he was referring to. I assumed he had misheard one of my amazingly realistic “SHIPOWWWW!” sound effects as something more menacing. So I pleaded my case, I was innocent GODDDAMITTT!

Power Rangers Oh No GIF

“NO. NO. NO. I’M TELLING.” He smirked out the side of his mouth…the grin sent my blood boiling – did he really think I had swore, or was he just trying to fuck with me? I wasn’t sure…but for once, I hadn’t actually done a thing! So I tried to grab him, I had to keep him from spreading his lies – his arm alluded my clutches, and I found myself pulling desperately on his empty jumper sleeve…but with one big yank, he was free – albeit with a stretched bit of material that was now twice the length…

“YOU FUCKING BACK-STABBING PIECE OF SHIT!” I screamed after him, as he ran towards the classroom. Well obviously I didn’t really say that; I was eight or nine – so it was more likely I said “GET LOST, YOU BUM HEAD!” Which roughly translates to the same thing.

I ran away in the opposite direction, hoping that this would somehow make all of my problems go away – or at the very least bide me some time. It didn’t work. Before long I found myself in front of my teacher Mrs. Mc.Dermott…she was usually so friendly; she always appreciated my artwork – even the ones using paint which I constantly messed up. But she wasn’t friendly now, after all he had whispered his bullshit into her ear – and she had believed him.

He was sent away, and the interrogation began. Why had I said it?! What had driven me to use such horrible language?! Where had I learned it?! I tried to explain, tried to sputter out my defense – but she wasn’t buying it. So it was a stalemate. I didn’t know what to do…and hunger pains began to pulse through my body…urgh, now I come to think of it – I was STARVING…

“LISTEN, JOHN! You either own up, and apologise – and then go for your lunch. Or we just sit here. Your choice.” 

 Well obviously I admitted to it. It was like the carrot, and stick – except it wasn’t a carrot on the end of it…it was a lovely chocolate doughnut, apple juice, and whatever other goodies I had waiting for me in my bag. I’d probably do the same thing now, food trumps just about anything…for me anyways! 

You see I needed my energy. I’d be playing Power Rangers again in the afternoon break – and there was a new enemy I’d need every bit of strength to take down…“HIIIIII-YAHHHH!”

Power Rangers Beat GIF

www.facebook.com/storytimewithjohn

SANTA CLAUS IS REAL.

Well it’s beginning to look, a lot like Christmas…don’t worry, I am not about to break into song! I just love this time of year…that festive feel, that holiday spirit, that – well, whatever you call it! I just unashamedly still, love Christmas!

Patrick Bauble GIF

Unfortunately it has came to my attention recently, that many foolish souls have been spreading a rather hateful, and malicious message…something that isn’t Christmassy in the slightest! And this is something for which I will not stand…as a resolute Christmasist! 

What I’m raving about are those Scrooge-like fellows, who wildly claim that Santa Claus, is NOT repeat, NOT real! Which is of course crazy!  And I have a story to prove it!

I was six years old, possibly seven, when I found myself sitting on a train with my Aunt. I’d just visited her in London, so I had just enjoyed a couple of days of looking up at big things, and eating ice cream. I was quite content, just staring out of the window – and holding on to my new “Evil Cat” soft toy, that a nice lady in Pizza Hut had given me. You could squeeze his belly, and he would emit a chaotic “MUAHAHAHAHAHA” giggle.  Amusing for me, probably hell for all of the grown ups. 

Amidst all of this fun, someone caught my eye a few rows down. I instantly stopped squeezing Evil Cat’s belly, and stared. There was a man, he was maybe sixty…or eighty, well he was old anyway. And he was sat there reading his book, minding his own business…but for some reason I couldn’t look away. There was something special about him. But it is rude to stare so I tried my best to look down at the floor, and out of the window…but I just…couldn’t! I had to have one more peek..then one more peek…then one more…

Blackadder Stare GIF

It was strange, I definitely recognised him from somewhere. He wasn’t like everyone else, who were either sitting there with a bored expression…or eating a horrible looking sandwich, that smelled like sick. He had a little smile on his face. His cheeks were chubby, and red –  he actually looked comfortably relaxed in his seat, in between sips of his hot cocoa…

And that flowing white beard! Not many people have that, it’s usually jus-

“WAIT! …WAIT!” I shouted desperately,

“Shhhhhh, John! Try, and kee-“

“BUT…BUT IT’S-“

“John, people are trying to re-“

I didn’t let her finish whatever she was saying, and simply pointed (rude, I know!) at the man sitting a few rows down…Santa Claus”, I announced proudly.

Yes Santa GIF

She stared too, and I waited in anticipation for approval…“it is, isn’t it?!” I blurted out hastily without thinking. She then smiled, and said she wasn’t sure – and that perhaps it was best to just go up to him, and ask.

Now this sounded like utter madness, to me! But it seemed like a once in a lifetime opportunity, I mean…how many kids get to say that they met Santa while he was off duty, on a train heading to the North-East of England? I haven’t heard that said, EVER! So there was only one thing for it, I had to go for it! I mean the worst thing that could happen is that he says, no – and then I burst into flames due to a severe embarrassment overdose…

I pulled off the chair, and began to shuffle slowly over to him – I turned back a few times, and there was my Aunt grinning, and giving eager thumbs up. Once I got to his row, I just stood there – transfixed. Thankfully he smiled warmly, and said hello.

“ARE YOU SANTA CLAUS?!” 

I couldn’t help it, it just burst out without me knowing! He maintained his smile, but I instantly regretted it, I wished in that moment that I had just stayed seated…that I had just carried on squeezing Evil Cat’s belly. I shifted awkwardly on the spot, awaiting his answer…

“Yes. Yes, I am.” he whispered in a hushed tone. I didn’t say anything, instead I immediately fled back to HQ to report the news:

“IT’S HIM! IT IS! IT’S ACTUALLY HIM!” 

Santa GIF

She asked what he had said to me; “well – I came back here to tell you…so, nothing…” I suddenly realised how I had missed out on so much in that opportunity, I had let so much slip through my fingers! My Aunt agreed to come along with me, to make right my wrongs. 

We had a lovely chat; I asked him why he was on the train – he said even Santa needs a break sometimes, to which I thought fair enough. He showed me some photos, of him and the guys (his reindeer, and his elf friends). His wife looked friendly on the photos, he said he missed her a lot but he’d be back with her soon. He actually remembered my name, once I told him – he said I had been pretty good this year, which was such a relief because I was half expecting my poor performance in maths class to affect my present haul that year!

My Aunt said we best leave him alone, that he had a lot of things he had to do for all of the other children…I nodded, and walked back to my seat.

Just before Christmas a card arrived from him personally, with a photo of him, and his wife on the front – they certainly did look happy to be reunited. It was nice to know he hadn’t forgotten me, because I certainly didn’t ever forget him…

Have yourself a very merry Christmas!

www.facebook.com/storytimewithjohn

Bad hair day

Today has been, well, not the best. There were some good parts; like been put in touch with Samsung to do some editing work for them, and then there was warming up yesterday’s pizza for lunch (apparently my diet has…well…died.), oh and an old friend of mine from Georgia State, named Katie Adkins, suddenly found herself thrusted into internet fame due to her featuring in the comedy clip, Too Many Cooks, which according to my news feed became a viral sensation all of a sudden.

Not too shabby. 

Then I tried to leave the house, and all hell broke loose. I was already in a bit of a pissed off mood; I had messed with the caffeine levels too much – pushed myself too far, yes I had got to almost 25,000 words on my novel – but I hadn’t got the coffee balance right. So I was in one of those moods where everything seems like it is falling apart, and it also appears that the whole world (despite being inanimate objects) are out to get you, and only you! So you stub your toe on a chair, and kick it back which surprisingly hurts as well – so you then find yourself having some kind of physical altercation with the thing, littered with one-sided expletives, and probably more kicking, and punching – as it just stares at you all…“really, like really?” Then you go to pick out a shirt, and it is tangled up somehow, so the rest of the shirts fall…cue, huge almost suffocating sigh. You put the shirt on back to front, inside out, miss a button…you know the drill; sod’s law. Milk spills, handles come off in your hands, towels don’t cooperate and come flying off the rail for some reason. Everything was just going to shit basically, it was like a carnival crazy house today, except not fun. And I wasn’t paying with any form of currency, I was paying with my fucking SANITY.

It was then that I took a moment to just drink some water, breathe in, and breathe out. Clear my head.

Breathing Sponge GIF

I then lied to myself, saying “ahhh…that’s better.” Although clearly nothing had changed. 

The next few minutes went by pretty smoothly, as I was ultra careful, and extra polite to my surroundings. I got to the final stage of doing my hair, and I had decided that I wouldn’t wash it properly as with the way the day was going, I would probably squirt shampoo in my eyes, and make myself blind for life…or even worse, in one eye – and then everyone would call me a pirate…a sham-poo-pirate, a pirate made of poo, who is a sham, because he didn’t get his eye patch through banditry, but instead because he was an idiot who couldn’t wash his hair properly…oh, the gossip, and rumor that would circulate the galleons…I couldn’t cope with all of that. So, obviously I couldn’t let that happen. 

Shakes FInger GIF

So I just brushed it back, in an attempt to renew yesterday’s gel, and grabbed the hairspray to cement it in place. It looked shit, but it wasn’t like I was going anywhere important – just wanted to get out for fresh air, and then a coffee shop for a change of scenery, and hopefully more writing. But my hair wouldn’t agree with me, it kept sprouting up at regular intervals, and down-right refusing to stay down…I would press it, and spray, spray, SPRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY – but then, pop! It would be back up again…as if someone was holding an invisible balloon above my head, charged with static.

To combat this, I brushed it a different way – more spray, spray, spray-spray, SPRAAAAAAAAAAY! Again it would just pop! back up. I think it thought it was being fucking cute, but I can tell you now, I was not amused in the slightest. The room was starting to fill with this obnoxious spray, this horrible gas – it was filling my lungs up, and tasted like urgh…locker rooms.

Smell GIF

I tried to just breathe through my mouth instead, but I could taste it too…so I gave one last SPRAAAAAAAAAAY, then combed it back – and stared at this frustrated, and exhausted husk of a reflection that looked back at me. He was begging me to shoot him in the head, so that this day would be over…but instead I marched over to the other side of the room, and picked up a cap – and pulled it over my head.

Done.

As I was packing up my laptop, I decided I would throw out the useless hairspray that had given me so much hassle, I mean if it doesn’t do its job then I don’t need it, right? Well…that’s when I caught sight of the label…Nivea Men: 48 Hour Silver Protect. I threw it in the bin anyway, take that inanimate object – you’re not getting the better of me! And anyway, if I started getting hot-headed over minor details later on, at least I wouldn’t be all sweaty about it…

Well, I wish that was true – but instead I spent the rest of the day, thinking there was some smelly bastard behind me, or in the surrounding area…but each, and every time – it was me.

Like this story? Then why not like the page, at: www.facebook.com/storytimewithjohn