“Bobby Dean is a national treasure.”
— Cancer Jiles’ Diary (probably)
The walls of the War Room of the eGG Carton are now adorned with newly acquired plaques, courtesy of PRIME and one Coral Avalon. There is also a single piece of paper taped to the wood paneling of the walls amongst the professionally made plaques, and that piece of paper simply states:
Class of 2024
Hall of Fame Nominee:
“Beautiful” Bobby Dean
Needless to say, the Bandits have never been as successful as they are right now. Not since their inception. And with the newest addition about to complete his cryo treatment, the Bandits are only going to get stronger. Perhaps it’s because of the new meat added to the carton, or perhaps it’s the new captain helming the wheel?
Whatever the case may be, it’s now 2024 and I feel like a new man.
I’ve got a victory under my belt, ending the driest of dry streaks ever known to man. I now can walk down the street with my head held high, my shoulders pulled back, my chest puffed out. I’m full of so much overwhelming confidence one might even misconstrue it with arrogance. I haven’t felt this way since… Well, it’s been so long that I honestly can’t remember the last time I felt this good.
Cancer says it’s because of the gym routine.
I know, surprise surprise, I’m STILL going to the gym. And it’s not just to perv on yoga pants and gender fluid saunas. Wait, no, that’s not right. Unisex, the sauna is unisex. My daughter is gender fluid, which I’m assuming means she identifies as a liquid? Maybe a herbal green tea? Or a Diet Coke? Maybe she’ll identify as Vodka when she turns 21? I think Cancer identifies as Miller Light, as long as he’s no Bud Light Mojito we’re good.
That’s what gender fluid means right?
Anyway, I digress. With the start of the New Year I’ve decided to embrace the new Bobby Dean. Perhaps it’s time to bring the “Beautiful” back to “Beautiful” Bobby Dean, and the first stop on my journey is a new haircut.
I suppose it’s time for a change. Can’t keep asking for the Little Boy special anymore, perhaps I shall spice things up. Don’t judge me, ever since I was 4 years old and my mom took me to get a haircut she’d ask for the Little Boy special, and I am a creature of habit, despite the curious looks I receive in return.
Sitting in the salon chair is an intimidating endeavor for someone of my size. They can never lower it low enough, so they make you scoot down in an uncomfortable position where your ass is on the edge of the seat and you’re struggling not to fall completely to the floor. The bib they drape around your neck can never be fully closed, it’s like an airplane seat belt, it needs an extension. So you have to watch them fasten two bibs together and float them over your head like it’s a fishing net and you’re the catch of the day. And let’s not forget that the damn chair creaks with strain any time the stylist “spins” it. I kind of miss the days when my mom would simply put a bowl over my head and cut the loose strands away, but Jiles says I’m not allowed to bring that look back. He thinks that look is more fitting for someone like Jared Sykes.
I guess the only perk of being a hefty boy during a haircut is the ever present boob on the shoulder. I’m a simple man enjoying the simple pleasures of life wherever I can find them. But don’t you worry, she’ll get a big tip for her great customer service when it’s all said and done. Two dollars is still considered a big tip these days, right?
“Are we sure about this?” the stylist asks as she holds a bowl of mixed dye in one hand and a brush in the other. “I mean, it’s a temporary dye, but you’ll still be stuck with it for a good week nonetheless.”
Taking a big breath to settle my nerves, I stare into her green eyes through the reflection in the mirror and give her a confident nod of the head, and a dazzling smile. “It’ll be Beautiful!”
Have you ever seen the opening of Saturday Night Fever?
You know, with John Travolta before he got weird? Particularly the scene with him walking down the street, strutting like a peacock while the Bee Gees serenade him with Stayin’ Alive? Well that’s the exact thing I find myself doing as I walk through the door of the salon and out into the world. Every eye turns my way as the phone in my pocket blares out Barry Gibb’s voice.
“Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk
I’m a woman’s man, no time to talk”
It’s not every day you see a 400+ pound man in skinny jeans and a loose v-neck tee walking out of a hair salon with bright red hair and blonde streaks…
What? I’ve got a Hall of Fame acceptance appearance to make soon!
Gotta love the New Year, New Me approach to life!
Embracing this whole “New Me” thing, I have to wonder what else can I do? I mean, there has to be limits here, I don’t want to end up going full Zion. Can you imagine? You keep being yourself, but then demand that everyone who knows you by one name, now have to suddenly call you by a completely different name. Then to pick a name no one can pronounce!?
Hell, if I were to really go full Zion, I’d take it a step further. I’d commit to this bit 100%! First I’d sneak into The Average Loser’s locker room and steal his generic luchador mask while he was in the shower. Then I’d change my whole persona and characteristics and re-introduce myself to the word as The Gordo Blanco Luchador.
Buuuuuuut, my mind stops and realizes just how dumb that idea really is and it simply goes back to thinking what other “normal” things a person could do to reinvent themselves, but still stay the same person. And once again a lightbulb shines over my head as an idea strikes me.
New look, new attitude, new outlook on life, new me. Perhaps I need to give new love another try? Maybe it’s time to forget the horrendous blind date I tried last year and actually put some effort into it?
Smiling, I whip my phone out and hit speed dial #1.
“Good day, Captain, what can I do for you?” the voice of Cancer Jiles calls out from the small gadget in my palm.
“Oh shit!” I exclaim, as I look closer at the screen realizing I had called the wrong number. “Sorry buddy, I meant to call my kiddo. I guess I forgot I hadn’t changed my speed dial options. Anywho, thanks, bye!”
Hitting END as he is in the middle of responding, I turn my attention back to speed dial #2. Waiting a minute as the ringing sound chimes.
“Booooooooby!” another familiar voice greets me, causing me to groan.
I mumble into the phone, “Hey Doozer! Bye, Doozer!”
Speed dial #3, fingers crossed.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” I pause for a second, it sounds like something my kid would say, but the pitch is way off. She doesn’t normally sound like an ornery bald, 88 year old blind man. I wonder if I just woke her up from her 3 o’clock nap? “I hear you’re telling people you’ve been nominated for my Hall of Fame? What kind of shit is that? I would never even contemplate adding your name to the ballot, let alone allowing you into these esteemed halls!”
“Merry Christmas Lee! Happy New Year! Love you! Bye!” I call out, clicking the button once more, the whole while thinking, I’ve really got to go through my phone and purge some of these contacts.
After hitting every speed dial option available to me I’ve finally given up and simply dialed her number directly. “Hey dad, what the fuck do you think you’re doing?”
“Uhm… I’m going to need more info than that?” I offer, confused, as I try to think through the myriad of things I’ve done recently.
“You were supposed to come and pick me up Christmas weekend, and I was going to spend the next few months with you!” Annabelle argues, fury quite evident in her tone. “LT even said I can intern in the social media department again once the shows pick up again in a few weeks.”
“Oh, uhm, ooops.” I stammer, at a complete loss for words. “How about I could and get you in the next day or two?”
“What were you doing that you forgot about me?” she demands with hurt evident in her voice. Her question causes me to think back a few weeks…
*Cue Wayne’s World Out of Focus effects*
“Okay Mr. Dean, we’re going to begin your procedure, please inhale deeply and start counting.” the nurse instructs with a heavy Hispanic accent.
I begin to count, “Uno. Dos. Tres. Uhm, Quatro. Cinnnnn.” Halfway through cinco I begin to snore, and the doctor hovering above me begins to cut.
A couple hours later I’m waking up with Cancer Jiles seated at my bedside eating a Chamoy covered pickle. He looks at me and smirks, “How ya feelin’ Captain? You already look skinny, you beautiful bastard.”
“Ugggggh.” I groan in a weird combination of discomfort and what my brain thinks should be pain, but oddly enough I don’t really feel like I’m *in* pain. There is a tightness in my midsection, like I’ve just done two thousand crunches, and oddly enough, I don’t feel hungry…
Wait, I don’t feel hungry… I haven’t *not* felt hungry in so long, this feeling has got my mind spinning.
“Don’t worry Cap, you’ll be back on your feet in no time.” Jiles says, patting me on the shoulder with his chamoy covered fingers.
*Cue the Wayne’s World Out of Focus Effects*
“I was down in Mexico with Uncle Cancer, uhhh, he had a surgery.” I stammer, afraid to tell her what we were really doing.
“Oh no, is he okay?” Belle immediately asks, as the phone is pulled away from her mouth and the sound of her typing away on her phone bleeds through.
My phone chirps, drawing my attention away from whatever my child is saying as I look and see a text from ole Mr. COOL himself.
COOL: Why is Belle texting me that she hopes I feel better?
Me: I told her you had a procedure done in Mexico.
Me: My brain farted.
COOL: Makes sense.
“Dad?” Annabelle asks, probably not for the first time, causing me to grunt. “Can I still come stay with you for the next couple months and help PRIME out?”
“Of course, I’ll head on your way in the next few hours.” I promise, thinking about the drive I’m about to be forced to make. Ugh.
“YAY!” She cheers into the phone happily, causing me to smile. Perhaps the drive isn’t sooooo bad… “Oh, why did you call?” she asks, reminding me of the original purpose of the call.
“Oh yeah,” I say with a little trepidation in my voice. “What is the current dating app of choice out there?”
“Daaaaaaaad,” she draws out as if scandalized. “What are you up to?”
My name is Bobby Dean, and according to my profile options it appears that I’m a Big Beautiful Woman. I guess it’s not PC to give us the option: “Fat as Fuck”? Anyway, a little about me, I’ve always wanted to be the stunt man to Jonah Hill, and I’ve trained very hard to get to this point where I could body double as him only to find out the fucker went and lost all his weight. Plus, I heard he doesn’t really do stunts, so now I’m just a glorified fall guy looking for someone to fall for.
– Bobby Dean
Today is the day!
First match of the new year, this match will set the standard for the rest of the year. Do we set a new record with two wins in a row? Starting a new, never before seen win streak? Or do I shit the bed and give Crash Bandicoot his much needed time in the spotlight?
I feel sort of bad for the guy. I mean, running around with a long time Bandit without even knowing it. Max Shell must be up to his old tricks again, lulling Crash into a sense of camaraderie and belonging before turning on him, and retaking his spot amongst us in the carton. I’ll have to ask Doozer to return his Tupperware with an apology for causing him a flat tire.
Can’t feel too sorry for the guy, as I realize, one of us has to lose for the other to win. And I really want to win! I’m the Captain, I can’t be expected to steer us to victory if I can’t manage to win myself.
My thoughts are interrupted as a knock on the bathroom stall door sounds. I start to wonder how anyone could find me, but then I remember, everyone knows I use the third stall from the left. “Uhm, hello?”
“Bobby? I’ve got something for you,” the voice of some unnamed NPC of the backstage minions calls out from the opposite side of the stall door. “I think a fan dropped it off, but it’s addressed to you.”
With that being said, an envelope slowly appears through the crack of the door. I take it hesitantly, flipping it over and seeing my name handwritten across the front. Confused, but also excited, as I love getting things, I carefully peel the flap open and pull out a piece of paper covered in various letters cut from magazines. The font and size are all different, and make my skin crawl.
Very Dahmer-esque vibes, but I read the letter nonetheless.
19 YeaRs. I’Ve beEn waiTing tO meet You.
mY wisH wiLL coMe True sOOn.
– B B D”
Flipping the paper over to see if there is anything written on the back, I am left disappointed, as it’s completely empty. Reading it three more times I’m filled with a mixture of excited confusion, mixed with anxious anticipation. The last time I got a letter like this it was from a crazy stalker fan who wanted to cut a piece of me off to keep for herself. I should probably see if she’s still locked away in the asylum…
Great. How am I supposed to focus on the Crash course ahead of me when I’m now going to be thinking about my willy getting chopped off.