It occurred to me that I could, with little effort, do a compact humor book called Meatheads Say the Craziest Things: Satire from the End of Civilization. In each chapter/scene/vignette, a meathead or meatheads is involved in some undertaking, or at some place. Chaperoning a field trip. Attending the symphony. At a high school sport reunion. In surgery. Delivering a eulogy. At a corn maze. At a Christmas party. Participating in a book club. Meeting a sports hero. Bobbing for apples. Getting divorced. Taking a music appreciation course with their wife at an arts center. Participating in a bar fight. Going back to college. Attending Comic-con. Babysitting. On a first date. Buying tampons for a spouse. At a sleep study. Substitute teaching. At the gym. At the jazz bar. Giving an interview on the news. Calling talk radio. Diversity training. Getting diagnosed for depression. Trying to organize a threesome. Going to the museum. Or, in this case, making a phone call. This is the first chapter of what, right now, I expect will be thirty-something such chapters.
“Bro,” a meathead said to his mom whom he had phoned. “I need to talk to you. For real this time.”
She hesitated, then asked him if it was not for pretend.
This was confusing.
“What are you talking about, ma? This is really me and this is really you. We aren’t pretend.”
He was worried that maybe he was a twin of himself in a different dimension. Like the ghost dimension.
“Stop it, ma. For real.”
This meathead’s name was Chad. It was a good meathead name. Lots of meatheads went by it.
Chad liked his name because in middle school he was Rad Chad. At football with his teammates he was known as Chad the Gonad. Some science doofus in high school called him Chad the Impaler because he hooked up with lots of girls but he didn’t get that one.
“Come on, ma. I didn’t do nothing. Is this because I word blasted you last time?”
He liked his new term. It sounded smart. But it made him think of the video he had watched the night before to cheer himself up.
A man called the Blaster stood back from a woman he had been with and looked at her face with his arms spread open like he had just finished hugging a super-sized apple, and said, approvingly, “now that’s richly coated.”
Chad shuddered. The pain was too new. But he almost laughed. That was a start, anyway.
His mother pointed out that he had told her not to call him again until she was terminal.
“I called you, ma.”
He was informed that was not the point.
This made it important to become very serious.
“Look, bro, I meant when you hit terminal velocity. Like when you really got it going on. When you are your best self. Love live laugh. You know me, ma.”
But he still didn’t like his mother’s question.
“Yeah, ma, Karen dumped the C-Note”—that was another nickname—“and we were doing so good.”
He thought it would be best to show how hurt he was by revealing more of himself than usual. He imagined his neck had been twisted into a knot.
“Ma, we were tight. I plugged all of her holes. But I didn’t plug her mouth. I kept her mouth free.”
Chad’s mother found this at best worrisome, and at second best felonious. The astrophysicist that she told Chad was his father taught her all she needed to know about the axiom that a scientist and a child should never mix.
“Because that was the one hole that bad stuff came out, ma. The hurting stuff. Like, ‘Chad, we can’t do this anymore. And I know that you’re going to call me baby girl, but we are past that.’ You see, ma? Past even that. Oh my baby girl. If I could have just plugged that hole too…”
“She hole blasted me, ma. Blasted a hole…”
Was he going to say it?
“…in my heart.”
Then he thought for a moment.
“Ma, I shouldn’t have word blasted you. You know when my feelz kick in, I am a rhino. Hehaw, huff huff hut.”
His mother asked him if he had watched the Patriots game the other day, but Chad said “not now, ma, it’s time to heal. Some day my rhino horn may grow again. Good talking to you, ma. Stay terminal.”
He thought about watching the Blaster’s video again—actually, he had a full channel of similarly themed videos—but he decided he would call his friend Ungar instead. Or maybe do both at the same time.
“Yo, Ung Man, it’s Impaler.”
“Why you calling me ma, bro?”
“Why are you waking my ass up at noon on a Saturday, ma?”
Ungar was crazy.
“Look, Ung Man, I have to tell you something. It’s about me and my baby girl, Karen. She blasted me, bro. She hole blasted me. Blasted a hole…” He paused, sniffed, imagined he was in Metallica, then continued. “…made a hole. In my heart.”
“You need to fill that hole,” Ungar replied.
Chad felt his breaths become shorter and his heart beat faster as he waited for Ungar to continue.
“And you know what you need to fill it with?”
He had the right answer waiting for this one.
“Yeah, bro. Fill that shit. You a warrior, my rhino. Huff huff hut.”
“Later, Ungar. Cheers.” That was another one that made you sound smart.
Ungar rolled onto his back, and waited.
“Who was that?” Karen asked.
“That was my boy.”