Finding Myself: Why I Joined A Gang Of Sewer-Dwelling Martial Artists
If I’m being honest, becoming a full-time lifestyle blogger was never one of my career goals. I originally wanted to do immersive gonzo testimonials of counterculture experiences. I wanted to go out and do drugs with weird, intentional communities and write what about what I learned living among them.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my job. I just felt something was … missing. At a meeting with Shawn, Elijah, and Craig the Intern for some reason, I told them how I was feeling. They told me to take a week or so off to do some soul-searching. At the very least, they assured me, I would gather some positive life experience that would help bring back my spark. Also, they wouldn’t have to pay me.
I left on my journey with their blessing and also a stack of “must-have” ska albums, per Shawn’s request. I’m the proverbial small-town girl on a midnight train to anywhere. I probably should have taken this on in the morning, but who actually wakes up in the morning anymore?
How I Found Myself
In a particularly sleazy neighborhood, I heard echoes of a driving punk rock guitar riff. “Oh, sweet!” I thought. “Maybe it’s a house party or some kids practicing for an album or tour. Perhaps they have a keg they’re willing to share!”
As I searched for the source of the sound, my face turned sour when I realized it was coming from the sewer. Despite my instinct to recoil, I got down on one knee and peered down the sewer drain, where I saw three mysterious, turtle-like figures dancing around a barrel fire, singing what seemed to be a theme song.
GEN X LIZARD VIGILANTES! (repeated 3x)
NOSTALGIA IS A POISON! LIZARD POWER!
The song then dropped to a half-tempo ska riff where the creatures rattled off their names.
FOUCALT! HE’S GOT THE BLACK BILE!
DERRIDA IS PHLEGMATIC!
BAUDRILLARD BRINGS CHOLERIC!
AND WE’RE LOOKING FOR THE SANGUINE!
I must have slipped or something, because the lizards were suddenly aware of my voyeurism. I screamed as they dragged me down the sewer drain and, unbeknownst to me, away from the topside world forever. My life was never going to be the same.
They took me back to their lair and explained their backstories. Originally, they were the pets of an avid 1980s comic book fan that were flushed down the toilet by his parents, who then sold off the comic book collection. Upon gaining consciousness, their first act was to track down all the comic books they remembered their owner having, which were hung up all over the enclave where they slept. In fact, the whole room was decorated to resemble that of a young boy from the late 1980s.
They handed me a plate of mushy goo and insisted I dig in. When I asked what it was, they explained it was Gak mixed with Ecto Cooler. “Everything we eat down here is nostalgic!” explained Foucalt, and I realized his voice sounded exactly like Shawn. In fact, all three lizards sounded exactly like my coworkers at Bunny Ears.
“You should join us!” Baudrillard, who sounded like Craig the Intern, suddenly exclaimed. “We can call you Raphael!” I objected because 1) I am a woman, and 2) Didn’t they have a thing going? Wouldn’t Heidegger or something be more appropriate? “Naw,” replied Derrida, who sounded like Elijah.
“That’s A Terrible Action Figure Name”
Through a bunch of subsequent adventures, I realized I felt more comfortable around these lizards than I ever have around anyone else. This was finally my home. We spent our off days watching retro television and discussing all our favorite toys.
Then, one day, I woke up, and I was back in the office at Bunny Ears.
“I had the strangest dream!” I exclaimed. “You were there, and you were there!” Shawn, Elijah, and Craig the Intern just smiled at each other knowingly. Apparently, that wasn’t coffee in my cup at the meeting. I was apparently tripping with them for nearly a week on a heroic dose of Owsley-grade acid while they listened to Operation Ivy and watched ’80s Nickelodeon shows on old VHS tapes. This is what’s known as a “team-building exercise” at Bunny Ears.
Oh, you guys.