Today is a Sunday, and a day off for UHTC. For The Winning Team, it began around 1am with the completion of duties in Halifax and for a pair, continued into perhaps the greatest zombie session known to humankind.
These days, the word epic is used widely, and in contexts unfitting; however I can assure you, Dan and I engaged in epic battles with the undead. Dan actually fell asleep mid-game — like the worst-case scenario of a long-distance trucker dozing a the wheel — and was ‘injured’, requiring assistance. Through gasp-worthy feats of speed and digital agility, I managed to patch him up, trailed closely by dozens of really angry icons of death. Receiving a gift of ammunition after completely running out of firepower, like a grant from all gods pertaining to excitement and mania, we rallied from hopelessness to grit-toothed patrons of horizontal lead rain, a screen of impassable, piercing, projectiles. Hundreds of undead, reborn, mindless “flesh addicts” were then cut down, mowed, beheaded, and electrocuted in a whooping orgy of lunacy. Inevitably, as is the case in every game, the players must die; it really is the only way the game ends. With a combined decayed-body-count of 2,123 in two games, surely Dan and I must be leaders in the under-50 category of this game.
And now come the dark times; there is a physical price to pay for this level of geekery — my neck, back, and shoulders are sore and complainy. There’s something about the posture of playing such a game, the position of the TV screen, and the stupid tension of my body that has caused some sort of ridiculous wear. I can’t look up very far, nor can I turn my head quickly. I have become a zombie. In time, I will tell my children I suffered a great sports injury, secretly ashamed of my non-athletic, slovenly endeavours. But come on! What an endeavour in the wee hours of the morning! Our total is now 32,571; with one more bus ride to go on this leg of the tour, we wonder if we can achieve a cool 35K.
After a penultimate, uncomfortable sleep in the bunk, we arrived in St. John, New Brunswick, not to be confused with St John’s in Newfoundland. They keep the apostrophe on an island. The buses pulled up (I think) around 10.30am; we were told rooms would be ready by 11.30, but t’was a lie. Many of us waited for hours; it was not until the threshold of 3pm when I got into my vast room. There’s enough space here to host a cheerleader rehearsal and it happens there are plenty of them available; or at least some sort of athletic troup. Dear, sober reader, there is nothing to make a normal (ish) grown, mature, married man feel like a dirty old scoundrel than a host of very young teenage girls in a hotel lobby with the shortest skirts seen in humanity. I feel confident that I can’t be labeled ‘a bit of a perv’ who was looking for it, because I have witnesses to confirm there were genuine, actual, easy-to-see bum-cheeks on display. I’m no prude, I can’t say what’s right or wrong, it’s pointless of me to judge, but really, who’s in charge of the dress code?
Moving the conversation elsewhere, I’m greatly enjoying a book suggested by Vicki Woodyard, Hope: A Tragedy by Shalom Auslander. If you ever enjoyed TV’s Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm, this is the book for you. I’m less than a third into it, but like Larry David’s style, I’d say Shalom Auslander is fearlessly Jewish. In under fifty pages, I was laughing, alone and aloud.
The underage lobby display of cheeks could have been the most interesting thing to happen all day, but as of 9.30pm I finished the first draft of my novel. I hadn’t set foot outside the hotel room (I arrived armed with snacks, you see) and after some blogging, faffing, video-chatting with loved ones, showering, and drinking tea, I told myself to get working and put the last framework together. Next, it’s back to the start; the editing, the rewriting, the face-palming, the realisation that it’s all wrong; you know, the usual stuff when you write a bunch of stuff.