billions to be served
Maybe it was the fact that it was the 4th of July. Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it had just been lying dormant inside me, building up. Waiting for a spark.
So I’m standing in line at Burger King this morning. Waiting and watching this little kid drop dimes into this bucket-thing on the counter. If one of them lands on these little platforms he gets a free Whopper or something. If they don’t all the money goes to some charity that Burger King supports… probably something to do with helping all the fat kids that BK created.
Anyway, this cute little kid actually has one of his dimes land on the tiny platform (against long odds) and he gets all excited and tells his Dad. His Dad acts like he could give a crap and tells him to go get a manager to claim his prize. So what happens? The kid does just that but while he’s waiting to get the managers attention his Dad leans over and jostles the bucket-thing until the dime falls off the platform.
When the manager finally comes over the kid can’t believe it.
No free Whopper for him.
What the fuck would make a man do that to his own son?!
What would you have done?
I grabbed a tray from the stack on the garbage can and tapped the guy on the shoulder. When he turns I smash him right in the face with it.
Given that they are plastic it didn’t have the dramatic knockout effect I was looking for. Not like one of those ol’ metal prison serving trays I’d have rather been wielding. Instead it just stunned him and made a nice loud whacking noise that had everyone in the restaurant (do you call a BK a restaurant?) looking at us.
No worries. A twist of the wrist and I followed up with the tray going whistling through the air sideways into his Adam’s Apple.
That worked much better.
Long story short a few more shots and the villainous father collapsed to the ground gasping and holding his neck. Blah blah blah… you get the idea.
I left. I’d lost my appetite.
So I headed for the pool to cool off with a quick swim.
Nothing better than a quick dip and a little people watching.
I’m watching this kid play with someone that is obviously his younger brother and a few friends his own age. The little boy just followed his every move with adulation, enjoying the attention of the older kids and the feeling that his brother was taking care of them.
Then they all decided to play hide and seek. The little guy was the first to look and while he closed his eyes and counted all the other boys, laughing to themselves as they did it, got out of the kiddie pool and went to swim in the big kids pool. Needless to say when the smaller lad looked up to see they had all abandoned him he was heartbroken.
The older brother gave a quick look back and then made some comment that had his friends all looking at his younger brother and laughing.
Now the most difficult thing to believe out of all that I am about to tell you is this:
I was still carrying that plastic brown tray from Burger King. I had never dropped it for some reason.
Whatever the reason I was about to put it to good use again.
I swam over to the group of boys, I couldn’t help but hear the music from Jaws in my head as I did it, and began beating them about the face and neck with my tray.
My Tray of Justice.
The sound of it hitting wet flesh was invigorating and I highly recommend it to anyone with a hankering for a little righteousness mixed in with their normal aquatic endeavors.
I was, of course, asked to leave but isn’t that always the case with the misunderstood hero. I accepted my fate, dressed and departed.
Luckily for me that allowed me to catch the end of a set by Keb’ Mo’ at a local blues festival. Funny how things always work out.
Thing is, near the end he does a Junior Wells (written by Mel London) song called Messin’ With the Kid. Happens to be one of my favorites. Anyway, the real cool part of the song is when Keb’ Mo’ playfully asks everyone in the audience if they want to mess with the kid and we all yell back “No!”.
All of us but this one guy in back.
He yells “yes!” like a complete douche.
Nobody really noticed, least of all Keb’, but it really irked me. He couldn’t just play along could he? He had to be different.
He wanted to mess with the kid.
Can you imagine anything as silly as having security at a big fest like that and force everyone to wait in a long line while they frisked everybody one at a time and then let someone walk in with a plastic serving tray? What exactly constitutes a weapon these days anyway? What does it take to arouse a little suspicion from the bouncers these days? The sloppy attitude towards crowd safety almost earned these rent-a-cops a taste of my Tray of Justice but in the end I was glad I had held my fury in check.
I put it to better use on the man who wanted to mess with the kid.
Today I was that kid. And the kid brought with him a brown plastic tray. A BK tray.
A Tray of Justice.
Lesson learned Mr. Yell-The-Wrong-Thing-On-Purpose-At-A-Concert?
I hope so.
When I got the call it all suddenly fell into place. Why I had gone into the Burger King this morning. Why I had picked up that tray among all others. Thor has his hammer, Captain America…. his shield. This town has a new protector… and with him comes his trusty Tray of Justice.
I flipped down the front of my cell phone and knew what I had to do.
My agent needed a beatdown of the highest magnitude.
You see I’m an actor. Well… I’m trying to be an actor. Mostly community theater, although you might remember me as the 3rd admiring friend on the right in the Smilin’ Bob commercials for Enzyte natural male enhancement.
Anyway. I just tried out for something and got the part but it wasn’t exactly the part that I had been trying out for.
My agent had told me that, much like the Blue Man Group does, there was this Australian show that was looking to open a branch in Los Angeles. So I spent countless hours in front of the mirror preparing myself for it. Physically and mentally… although mostly physically.
You see, he had told me that I was auditioning for the West Coast troupe of Puppetry of the Penis.
He had sent me a thick book with ‘dick tricks’ I needed to master.
I knew the audition had been a hit because all of the 30 or so men in the room had been very supportive. The man running the audition, a Mr. Johnson, told me I could audition again right afterwards but I’d felt I’d nailed it the first time. The hooting and hollering men certainly agreed with me.
Anyway… it turns out it wasn’t an audition for Puppetry of the Penis after all.
So now I’m sitting in a taxi, with my tray sitting on my very sore lap, on my way over to see him. It’s been a full day of dispensing justice but I have one final stop… maybe 2 if Mr. Johnson is unwilling to sell me back the audition tape(s) that I saw being made.
It’s the 4th of July… and I’m bringing the fireworks.