For the next two months, I’ve decided to switch my workout up. Every morning, I head over to a playground before dawn and hit an intensive bodyweight circuit: plyos, dips, pull-ups, as well as some gymnastic holds interspersed with sprints. I like to do it before anyone gets there; it’s more peaceful, and I get a chance to focus on stuff without any background noise distracting me from my exercise.
Today I had to drive a friend to the airport, then another one to the doctor’s office, which means I have to do my workout a few hours late. Right now it’s a little before noon, and the playground is buzzing with a few dozen kids. Not a big deal—they’re not in the way. I have plenty of room and time to scamper between exercises, and the admiring glances thrown at me by bored moms is a welcome treat.
Then I see something that makes me uneasy: Chardonnay—real name Gladis—a stripper/soccer mom who I broke up with a few months ago. She’s there with her kid, staring fixedly at me as I knock out some pull-ups. Her little boy comes running up.
I transition to a dead hang, uncomfortably aware that I’m not wearing a shirt. “Uh, hey Travis. What’s up? How’s third grade? You still watching Sponge Bob?”
He stares flatly at me and deadpans, “Sponge Bob is for dickholes.”
I force an awkward laugh. “Um, yeah—he sure is. Where did you learn that word? Never mind. Look guy, I’m in the middle of a workout here, so if you don’t mind, then—”
“Mommy says you’re a dickhole too. She said that she’s going through Man Child withdrawal.” Unflinching stare.
I force another laugh. “Ah, that’s not polite to say buddy. And ‘Man Child withdrawal’ isn’t even a real thing. Look if there’s nothing you want from me, then—”
He smiles. “Oh there is, though.”
I drop from the bar. “Uh, what is it? Look I don’t have any money on me, and I—”
The smile grows sharklike. “No money. Revenge.”
He takes a deep gulp of air and screams, “HELP! POLICE! HEEEEELLLLPPPP!!!!”
A few cops on the edge of the playground snap their heads toward me. Oh fuckshit. Did I mention it’s Movember? Subsequently, I’ve grown a curly, old-school circus-strongman mustache. The only thing that could make this worse is if I was wearing clown makeup.
My mind flashes back to Dennis’s playground scene in Episode 11, Season 3 of “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” as the cops begin running toward me. One of them yells into his shoulder-mic: “ALL UNITS WHO WANT TO BEAT A MUSTACHED DEVIANT’S ASS, CONVERGE ON MY POSITION RIGHT THE FUCK NOW!”
I get on my knees and raise my hands in the air, babbling, “No I’ve been set up! It’s a misunderstanding—see that kid? I use to date his mom and now she hates me so—”
“SHUT UP! SHUT THE FUCK UP! HANDS BEHIND YOUR HEAD, FUCKO!”
Dozens of yards behind the cops, I see Chardonnay slip her boy some adderall and tousle his hair. She gives me an evil grin and they both start walking away. Four helicopters crest the horizon and begin hovering over me. Dozens of red laser sights dance across my chest.
Only one option left. I open my eReader to Echo. Magic flash.
The power unleashed from the eReader causes me to revert to my true Man Child form. Giant rips of muscle bulge from my torso and I morph into something that’s a cross between the Hulk and a silverback gorilla. Bullets plink off my ultra-tough hide as I start running on all fours, galloping through the streets of San Francisco, cracking the pavement with my mighty forepaws. I look up, and I see a gyrocopter manned by my loyal buddy and 10 lb. Terrier Extraordinaire, Bitefighter. He swoops in low and lets out an urgent “ROWF!”
I get the hint and I leap off the ground, bicycling my arms and legs to max out my distance. At the apex of my jump, I clamp one of my gnarled hands onto the landing skid of the copter, and Bitefighter banks away, quickly outdistancing our pursuers.
I breathe a weighted sigh of relief. Lesson learned: Never date strippers.
I’ve dated one stripper in my life, and she was crazy AF. If you ever need to escape their nefarious designs, I’ve got just the thing: Get Echo Vol. 1 on Kindle here: Vol. 1 on Kindle. Vol. 2 on Kindle here: Vol.2 on Kindle Vol. 3 on Kindle here: Vol. 3 on Kindle #kindle #kindleunlimited