A smelly New Ager accosts me on the street, promising me instant Enlightenment and the ability to throw a Dim Mak chi blast if I attend a free class at Karate Sal’s Supremo School for Spirituality.
“Sure.” I shrug. “Why not?”
We walk into a dingy strip mall unit. Stacks of Ritz crackers—topped with pepperoni and cheese whiz—are piled atop spotted paper plates. Hand-written placards reading “AMUSE-BOUCHE” are arranged in front of them.
Amuse-bouche my ass, but whatevs. I’m a Man Child; I can appreciate cheese whiz and pepperoni as much as any beer-swilling troglodyte. I start stuffing my suck with mouthfuls of processed Noms.
As I’m eating I look toward the center of the room, where Karate Sal’s giving a demonstration of his Seven Heaven Holed, Divine-Angled Punch. He places his hands on an awestruck mouth-breather and palms the dude’s chest. The guy tumbles to the ground, twitching and spasming.
“There ya go,” Sal grunts. “Distract ’em with a #2 backfist, visualize da eternal flow of da universe as a fruity lightning bolt running t’rough ya fingertips, and now your assailant is wishin’ he stayed home, watchin’ reruns of Mama’s Family. Dat’ll be a hunnert dollars from each a’ youse.”
Everyone besides me opens their wallets and pulls out hundos, shoving them at Sal. He grasps them between his sausage-fingered fists, licks the tip of a digit, and starts ruffling through the bills, counting the money under his breath. When he’s finished, he gives the crowd a curt nod. “Who wants to hang out wit’ some dragon-faced Buddhas? When they breathe on ya, ya cum in ya’ pants.”
Dozens of hands shoot up. Sal nods approvingly as he scans the room. When his eyes lock on mine, they narrow in suspicion.
“What about you there, muscle-guy? I noticed you ain’t donated like the rest a’ these mooks, and yet here you are, continuing to eat my amuse-bouches.”
“I’m sorry,” I manage around a mouthful of crackers and cheese (it comes out as: “Om forry”) “I don’t have a hundred dollars, and I personally know a bunch of soccer moms; I really don’t need a dragon-human hybrid to help me ejaculate.”
“WHAT???” Sal’s eyes widen in fury. He levels a quivering finger at me. “TEAR THIS JAMOKE A NEW ASSHOLE!”
Hordes of New Agers surge toward me, baring their teeth in savage fury. I grab a can of cheese whiz off the table and blast some in my mouth (never waste an opportunity for a mouthful of cheese!) and start swinging. I ain’t no Conor Mcgregor, but I got a few tricks up my sleeve; I lay out five of these crystal-fucking tree-molesters before they dogpile me and force me to the floor. Before I can attempt a reversal, more of them grab my limbs, stretching me out and pinning me down.
Only one option left. I rip an arm free and reach into my pocket, opening my eReader to Echo and activating its reality distortion powers. Magic flash.
Tony Robbins—all six foot seven inches of him—comes floating in on a cloud of light. His palms are turned toward the sky, his head tilted back, and a choir of angels heralds his arrival. Everyone stops and stares.
He touches down, opens his eyes, and gives us all a big grin. “Hello,” he says in his booming, don’t-fuck-with-me voice. “You all look like a bunch of typical, critical-thinking-devoid New Agers. Perhaps you’d like to buy one of my bestselling books?”
His question is greeted by quizzical stares.
He starts chuckling. He dips his head, and a band of shadow falls across his eyes. “My favorite one is…”
He looks up. A malicious grin widens his lips. “ ‘Awaken the Giant Within.’ ”
Then he rears back, grunting and screaming. Rippling muscle explodes across him, tearing his clothes down to a raggedy pair of shorts—just like the Hulk’s when he gets mad. Six-inch fangs erupt from his jaw, and his pie-wide eyes light with sickly yellow glow. After he grows to his new height of ten feet, he begins mowing through New Agers; he splits one completely in half with a downward chop, then rips the face off another with cracked, blackened nails that are as big as small business cards.
Sal attempts to throw a flying sidekick, but Tony grabs the offending leg by the ankle and employs him as an impromptu war-club. Sal’s features go from shit-your-pants frightened to bloody and unrecognizable as his face mashes into scores of bodies at two hundred mph. Tony chucks the remains up through the ceiling, breaking through drywall and letting in dusty shafts of hazy sunlight.
As I beat a hasty retreat out of Karate Sal’s Supremo School for Spirituality, I clap my hands in glee.
“Awaken the Giant Within”—NOW I get it, hahaha! 😀
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