“This is so
Matrix,” Patch says. “Maybe you actually are a Laker fan, but your mind is imprisoned in an artificial reality constructed
by Celtics fans. So when you choose the red pill to see how deep the rabbit hole goes, you wake up in a bath of primordial ooze with electrodes all over your body and a plug in the back of your skull. When you pull the plug and open your eyes, you’re surrounded by evil leprechauns and magic shamrocks, and above you there’s a giant Celtics logo and a hologram of Red Auerbach smoking a cigar.” Patch looks thrilled and impressed with his own imagination. “Awesome,” he says.Well, it is Celtic green, and is that
the "Big Three" at the end of the hall?
“If we’re gonna get all sci-fi, why can’t he be a Bulls
fan?” Bandana says.
Tooth wears a coy, knowing grin. The rest of us all notice it at the same time.
“I think we’re all missing the bigger picture,” Tooth says. He follows this with silence, like we’re all supposed to get it. Of course, we don’t.
“You lost the game of Mastermind,” Tooth says to me. “You engaged in a competition, were beaten fairly, accepted your defeat with dignity, and moved on.” Tooth admires me like a proud coach. “I hate to break it to you,” he says, “but that sounds like progress.”
A person deserving of such a compliment would reply with a grateful Thank you
. I, however, do not. In fact, my body withers in shame.
“What,” Tooth says with apprehension.
I look around at the group, then at Tooth.
“I let him…continue,” I say.
Tooth leans forward, concerned. “Let who
” he says.
“I let Stuart keep eating the Mastermind pegs,” I say.
Tooth’s head and shoulders drop. “Oh, Doug, no,” he moans.
“He probably ate about 20 of ‘em,” I say. Others groan, wince, laugh, cringe.
“I know, I know,” I say. “It was probably dangerous – an old man with game pieces in his belly isn’t the safest thing – but I wanted to make my point. I’m not proud of it. Before I left, I said if he thought he was so smart, he might want to check what comes out of his ass in the next 24 hours.”
Laughter fills the room.
“Bet it looked like m&m cookie dough,” Patch says, his neck bulging with the force of his guffaws.Yummy.
Tooth is the only one not laughing. He looks disappointed in me.
“So was it worth it, Doug?” he says. “Was it worth humiliating an old man to make a point?”
“No,” I say.
“Are you just saying that because you know it’s what I want to hear?” Tooth says.
“Yes,” I say. “And it was totally
Tooth looks a little scared.
“So,” he says. “Game 7.”
“Yup,” I say.
“Should I be worried?” he says.
On the floor between us appears a chocolate cake with a neon green shamrock and bold letters that read:F*** L.A.
“I thought so,” Tooth says.
Links: Travelling: Intro / Book Jacket
, Chapter 1: Cribbagegate
, Chapter 2: Two e-mails
, Chapter 3: Pattern
, Chapter 4: Shattered
, Chapter 5: Hilarious Pee
, Chapter 6: Suicide
, Chapter 7/8: Coaching High school, Shark attacks and appetizers
, Chapter 9: June
, Chapter 10: 18 and oh no
, Chapter 11: DNA
, Chapter 12: Peanut Butter Sandwiches
, Chapter 13: Tom Brady and the McGuffin
, Chapter 14: Game 1
, Chapter 15: Who the H is John Havlicek?
, Chapters 16 - 17
, Chapter 18: Game 2: Great White
, Chapter 19: Pickle
, Chapter 20: Marty McFly
, Chapter 21 / 22: standard deviation, all the pretty flowers
, Chapter 23: Game 3: Black Hills
, Chapter 24: Twister
, Chapter 25: Game 4
, Chapter 26: Patriotic Agony
, Chapter 27: Locusts
, Chapter 28: skype
, Chapter 29: Click
, Chapter 30: Superman
, Chapter 30: Ass Brunch Chapter 32: Mammoth
, Chapter 33: Pathetic
, Chapter 34: Purple and Gold
, Chapter 35: Chowdah
, Chapter 36: Mastermind
, Chapter 37: m&m cookie dough
, Chapter 38: taste
, Chapter 39: Dance with the Devil
Labels: Chapter 37, traveling