The Red Stick

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The Red Stick

Postby lfucker » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:36 pm

It's 1995. You're in first grade, and it's lunch time at your elementary school. Your stomach rumbles in fretful anticipation, your arms hefting the weight of your blue Arctic Zone lunchbox onto the fake wood tables. What's it going to be this time, mom? Did we switch the mayo for ranch on the turkey sandwich again? Or are we looking at salami, the most wreched of all lunchmeats? You unzip the blue fabric, expecting dismay, only to-

Your youthful cynicism vanishes in a heartbeat. Deep feelings of love and admiration pour out to your sainted mother, the sweet and wonderful woman who has provided you:


Oh man. Oh man oh man. It's like finding out Christmas is happening in fifth period. The box positively glows at you under the fluorescent lighting. There's TEN pepperoni! TEN. What are you going to do with ten whole pepperonis?! Are you going to put three on the first two, then four on the last one? Or are you going to be a greedy son of a gun and put four on the first pizza? The choices are endless! AND it's one of the deluxe ones, too! You get a Capri Sun and a little dessert. It's official. You're king of your lunch period. Other kids are coming over to admire the neon yellow packaging, complimenting you on your amazing taste. You play it cool, because the best is yet to begin.

You start creating your pizza. Everyone stands back. Your hands move deftly, arranging your crusts with practiced ease. You separate your pepperoni into the 3-3-4 formation (greed be darned). You apply the sauce onto the pizza in sleek rows, even adding a little flourish on the third pizza. Tina Mayersmith, the cute girl from the second grade that you secretly have a crush on but not really because girls are gross, swoons in awe. Because you just brought out The Stick.

The tool of your trade. Lawyers have briefcases. Firemen have dalmatians. And you? You have The Red Stick. The Sauce Spreader. The Finger Preserver. The Last Argument of Kings. It goes by many names, but the only name that truly matters is Awesome. Like a doctor rescuing a patient on death's doorstop, you begin the operation. One edge, and ONLY one edge, smoothes the tomatoey substance across the crust. Sweat forms on your brow. Back and forth, back and forth, carefully and precisely, you distribute your precious cargo, all carried upon the righteous edge of The Red Stick. One of the spectators faints from the tension. In the distance, you hear a scream.

After seconds, seconds that feel like an entire lunch period, you finish. The sauce is perfectly even, like water, like glass, not so much as a drop slipping off the side. With a final wipe, you finish the third pizza... And the crowd goes wild. The clapping is deafening. There are cheers. You apply the cheese and the pepperoni, and pick up your first flawless creation. It's almost a crime to eat something so beautiful, so perfect. Tina Mayersmith asks if she can sit next to you. You take the first bite, smiling at her, at a loss for words.

And you feel like those kids in the commercials.

But now, it's 2010. You've lived through two wars, the collapse of the international economy, and the creation of Lady Gaga. You have seen things that cannot be unseen, and it has broken you. Dragging yourself through the barren wastelands of modern America, you finally reach a 7-Eleven that has not been ransacked by starving travelers. You reach the back of the store, the broken freezer hissing toxic freon into the air. You gaze upon rows and rows of $1.99 breakfast sandwiches, feeling that gnawing ache in your stomach, only to-

Can it be? Can it possibly be?

Yes. It is a Pizza Lunchable. Pepperoni. Your prayers have been answered. Your shaking hands rip open the package. It's all there. Cheese. Pepperoni. Sauce. Just as you remembered. Dirty fingers hold the fragile crusts, fragile as you once were, and as you unzip the sauce, fleeting memories of former glories passing your mind. And as you reach for The Stick, the last link you have to a more innocent time...

Wait. Where's The Stick?


Your heart stops. You frantically search throughout the box. Airheads and excess cheese are scattered to the four winds. No. No, this cannot be. Where did they hide it?! Where did those vile hot dog peddlers hide The Stick?!?! You search the ground, grubbing, hoping, begging that this is some kind of mistake, that you just dropped it, that their black hearts did not take your perfect instrument away from you. But, your search is fruitless. There is no Stick to be found in this world any longer.

Racked with sobs, you fling the box against the shell of the Slurpee machine, casting sauce and faux-bread across the white tile of the store. The tears stream down your face. It's gone. It's gone. The Red Stick is gone, and it's never coming back. Slumped against the Coca-Cola display, one final thought passes your shattered mind, before fading to unconsciousness.

Was... Was it all a dream?
The one and only.
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 5:39 am

Re: The Red Stick

Postby pablohunny » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:54 am

Can't believe I'm saying this (over two forums, I believe this is the first time I can say it :) ), but I really enjoyed reading that.

Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:10 pm

Re: The Red Stick

Postby Olli » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:59 pm

I have to admit I concur. ;-)

found it or wrote it? if the first, then who did the second?
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:33 am

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