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Bob Eager

Bob Eager is a man who has experienced life. He knows that his experiences are the most important lessons you will ever learn. “I am here to help people, but sometimes you have to help people help them for themselves.” He started his career in the self -help motivational speaking industry.

Some people seem to think his messages are absurd. They point to a video where Mr. Eager argues with a potato. “The Potato Confrontation” is an example, some feel, because he confronts a potato as if it were a human being. This is a message about how to deal with difficult people. He explains why: “If ya wanna make em just shake em.”

One largely ignored (but brilliant) program is called “No Backtracking, the whole enchilada.” This is an infomercial where Bob shows you how to eat properly, literally. In this unique spiritual eating method, you move around the plate counterclockwise eating each food item individually. If you are having an enchilada, rice, and beans, eat the entree first, then eat the side items. ” Its not what you eat that counts, it’s how you eat that truly counts; remember that before you shove something into your mouth.”

His next speech comes from a one-night-only seminar entitled “Where’s It Coming From.” It is a wonderful speech on being aware of danger. He uses a boxing reference of keeping your hands out of your pockets and keeping your left foot forward so you can be ready for the fight. Also, he talks about playing baby football. The emphasis of his presentation is that we all get tossed around by life like a baby football. He carries a baby rushing around gaining yardage but then fumbles the baby. At the end, he remembers a story about helping a little person cross the street in a shopping cart. Thus reemphasizing you never know when you are confronted by a challenging experience

His speech “Malt Liquor Mayhem” is about that epidemic worse than refers madness: the threat of malt liquor in every demographic. There is some offensive rhetoric but this is necessary to understand the catastrophe we face if this continues. Everything is exposed as he details all the different kinds of liquor out there: Crazy Horse, 211 Steel Reserve, Colt 45, Johnny 3 Legs, and Country Club. Chances are, you have been confronted with at least the thought of purchasing this liquid demon.

He is best remembered for his early piece, “Don’t spend your life window shopping go in that store and buy yourself something.” Although remembered with fondness, it is a speech that is extremely hard to find. It can be a metaphor for a situation of career window  shopping. Or anything in your life where you keep on trying things and move on to the next thing never really grasping the steady hand of focus and direction which is necessary to become a successful, prosperous member of society

Since his early days, Mr. Eager has also branched out into the world of entertainment. He is the host of Charisma Corner and the acting Ceo of PGWF. No matter what medium, Mr. Eager stirs up excitement. We all need someone to guide us in our daily lives. Bob Eager will show us the way.


&(one-hundred and four)

This will be the story of loss and losing, failure and stretching arms when they reach out to hug and fall on the dust of saw blades and planks, boards and nails. Trees. This will be the story of fallen trees. And this will be the story of how a boy when he is born has a mother and then doesn’t, later, his mother missing, and how he tries to make a mother out of angles and lines, planks boards and nails, the limbs of forests. And this too will be the story of his limbs, his greying arms and their reach for a father who is without the shape of his name, a mother gone, a sister in bed at night and him, this boy, watching from the doorway of her room, his arms outstretched, his mind numbing, pinned. The sounds of night birds at the window, the summer, the green of leaves. This will be the story of that, how this boy exists and then doesn’t, how he dies, coughing, down in bed and reaching into himself, his heart taken out, placed in a chest, a box, a cedar womb to hold the sounds he never makes. He breathes in out, then no more in. Struggle and loss, the without, the lack. This will be the story of that, of him, this boy turned failure, the limited reach of his arms, the limbs of trees, the fallen fell trees, hollowing on forest floor, underneath moss and coverage, the decay and the going gone. This boy, this dying man, that story. This will be that story, the story of that, this story.


Mahi Mahi

They stood there, in the kitchen, looking at the plate she’d set on the counter.

She said, “Try it.”

And he said, “Why? What is it?”

“It’s fish.”

“It doesn’t look like any fish.”

“Trust me, it is. I caught it this morning.”

“You’re a liar.”

“No.”

“You don’t know the first thing about fishing.”

“Not me, the guy I bought it off of. He caught it this morning.”

Outside, the neighbor’s dog was barking, snarling. Inside, they continued on in this way.

She said, “Are you going to try it or aren’t you?”

He said, “Fine, I’ll try your stupid fish that doesn’t look like fish.”

Something like a fire truck was coming down the street. The same dogs still barking.

She said, “Well?”

He sucked on the tines of the fork.

“It’s good.”

“What does it taste like?”

“Like Mahi Mahi.”

“Really?”

He said, “No. It’s just the first thing that comes to mind when I think
fish.”

“But it tastes like it, like fish?”

“Sure, yes.”

The neighbor’s dog was growling through the fence and trying to get out. It was clawing in the dirt and reaching underneath the boards and prying one loose.

She said, “I need you to understand something. Something I’d forgotten, or tried to forget.”

He said, “What was it then that I ate? The fish?”

“People think we’re coming together nicely, our friends, family. They say we’re different, different from all the rest, that we’re something special. Did you know that?”

“Yeah.”

“What do you think about that?”

“I don’t know. What do you think?”

“I think we’re more like this fish here that isn’t fish.”

He said, “What’d I eat? I mean it now, tell me.”

“We’re like imitation crab, you and me. We’re like fake Mahi Mahi.”

Down the street there was the sound of a dog barking, further now, further and further.


Snapshots from a Clandestine Hell

The guard with the burn-scarred face throws today’s newspaper on the floor next to me. He turns towards the barred window, lights the tattered cigarette between his lips, and glares out at the jungle. The funk of his unwashed body hangs heavy in the stagnant air. I stretch my fever-ravaged limbs. The remnants of last night’s malaria delirium retreat to the depths of my body.

This ritual is replayed every few days. The snapshot of my progressively battered face is supposed to be incentive for the clandestine forces operating in their country to retreat. There is no “war” here, only furtive struggles where corporation-states use ignorant locals as pawns. They send in fresh-faced, bright-eyed bards who spread fables of revolution, utopia. Sheltered by the ensuing mayhem, the real takeover begins.

Reptile Man hurries in with a video camera. I’ve named him this for his scabby face and chartreuse eyeballs. He’ll soon be dead if his hepatitis isn’t treated. The snapshots haven’t made the media, as I suspected they wouldn’t. It would only bring unwanted attention to this part of the world. The rebels have had to resort to any method available. I imagine that now they’re demanding money for me. Each day they grow more confused by desperation. They weren’t supposed to be abandoned by their so-called saviors.

Scarface pulls me by the hair from my prone position. He pantomimes weeping and supplication as Reptile Man sets up the camera on a tripod. I swoon, and Scarface kicks me in the ribs for my weakness. Gritting my teeth against the pain, I force myself to kneel upright. Scarface puts the newspaper in my hands, the front page facing towards the camera. He pulls a hood over his head and wraps a bandanna around the lower part of his face. He aims his rifle at my head. Reptile Man pushes a button on the camera; the red light blinks like a tiny heartbeat.

I stare stone-faced into the lens. It used to annoy me when I saw journalists beg for their lives on the nightly news. No one forced me to come here. If torture were involved, I would beg for mercy, but these men hack down children like they’re overgrown weeds. I used to thrive on the danger. The deep, dull pound of my heart; the tingle of adrenalin saturating my cells. Every time I returned home, desolation set in. I’d end up hunched over a map, desperately scooping out the next high.

Agitated voices break the silence. The embodiment of corporate scourge appears in the doorway. He’s one of the many former mercenaries who litter this pillaged continent. Too old to do the dirty work, they act as intermediaries. His flat locust gaze lights up as he catches sight of me. A white woman is a delicacy in these parts. I meet his gaze with as much defiance as I can muster. His eye twitches, and he looks away.

Gunshots erupt in the jungle. The Locust tilts his chin up at Scarface, who cocks the rifle. A sob rises in me. This will be an execution video. Each second is now elongated and exquisitely vibrant—the percussive whir of the ceiling fan; the violin string tautness of Reptile Man’s neck muscles; the rich orange of the muddy footprint on the rough cement floor in front of me; the omnipresent stench of decaying bodies. I’m surprised to find that my tears are of relief. No more self-imposed responsibility; no more futile causes.

The Locust has triumph in his eyes, and also fear.

I turn my eyes away. He will not be the last image I see. I look out of the window into the equatorial hell that will soon devour my remains. My intentions were good, anyway.

I feel the cool circle of gunmetal pressed against my neck. Click. And for the slightest of instants, glorious warmth.


December

The minister had made some references to “clouds over Europe” in his sermon that morning, but Johnny felt good and didn’t want to hear any of it. All of that ugly business was surely months, perhaps a few years away. He would be graduating from law school in the spring and he hoped to start a practice and marry Rebecca before the war.

When it came, sure, he wanted to be the first to enlist. He even knew where he’d go to sign up—Williams Air Field, Chandler, Arizona—but for today he was playing tennis with Bill and had a date tonight with Rebecca. He had tickets for Tommy Dorsey and his band with Frank Sinatra at the Palladium. Nothing was going to ruin the day for him.

Getting home from church, he ignored the Life Magazine that he purposefully had left on the end table to read that afternoon, the December 8th issue with the cover of General  MacArthur. This wasn’t like him. Normally, he would have thumbed through it, at least looking for a picture of Lana Turner.

He didn’t know why and particularly he would never have guessed that by doing so, he would lose the last potential hour of his youth, but he was already getting into a dance mood. He flicked on his new Sears Roebuck Silvertone radio, the one with the mechanical push-button tuning. He loved the new technology.

There was no dance music on the air. He needed to hear only a few words and he dropped dejectedly into his favorite chair, where he still was an hour later when a much older sounding Rebecca telephoned to ask him if he had heard the news, if he was still playing tennis with Bill, if they should get married now.


Dad Ever Since He Retired

Something must be wrong, I tell Jessica. Dad called. He wouldn’t talk. Mom said he might be dying, or maybe it was just my dad being dad. Jessica suggests I stay in bed with her. She says it is Saturday morning.

I must get to the bottom of this. I drive up the driveway and throw open the front door. Dad is lying on the floor in his bedroom. I try to move him back into the living room. He can’t get up. I say, “Dad, can you get up?”

“Son, did the Yankees win the pennant? I can’t find my remote.”

“It isn’t over yet. They are winning.” Mom is making his breakfast—ham and eggs, toast, and biscuits and gravy. “The way your mom cooks, after sixty years it will kill you. Oh yes, that and love or I should say, the lack of it.”

“Dad, it is her way of dealing with things. She really shouldn’t be doing all that at her age.”

“Son, I want you to have my new Toro riding lawn mower. I won’t have space for it where I’m going. Yes, and keep all the good photographs in the family.”

I search his bedroom. I am looking for his papers. Someone will have to call the insurance company. I find a personal vibrator in the chest of drawers. I can’t tell Mom. She is a born-again Christian, but she thinks he too is going to heaven. He then gets up and goes and has his breakfast.

The phone rings. The coach is calling for me to replace my father in right field. It is in the ninth inning. I grab my glove. Someday it will be my son’s glove. This time, my grandson, I mean my son, might be back from the concession stand and watching from the bleachers. Other than that, every day is no different. I nudge Jessica, but she has fallen back to sleep.


The Old Avatar

Shopping (cheap) was his hobby. He spent summers at the flea markets along Route 1 in Searsport, Maine (salt air, old glass bottles and dishes, especially blue, rose, and green), and the rest of the year at the Odd Lots bargain emporium on Church and Chambers streets in lower Manhattan (thumb tacks, masking tape, traffic fumes).

Around the time he retired (from work, not shopping), e-bay put a serious dent in the non-virtual bargain business. Owing also to the events of September 11th, 2001, Odd Lots closed its doors, as did (also owing to e-bay) most of the Searsport fleas (their booths).

But e-bay did not do it for him—call him set in his ways—so he soldiered on at the few fleas left standing (or hopping) and at the extant New York schlock emporia. The latter, although they could never match the selection or deep discounts of Odd Lots, were harder to kill than Dracula. No sooner had market forces driven a stake through the heart of one of them than ten more popped up (like umbrellas when the rain starts to fall, or bats flitting into the evening sky).

“J’achete, donc je suis,” he waggishly quipped (to himself), paraphrasing René Des(shopping)cartes, although he did not subscribe to that philosopher’s pernicious mind-body dualism. Shopping, for example, was something you did from the heart, but the brain never said, “Stop!” at least not to the selective, joyous shopper like him.

It was a life (so to speak). He shopped in New York, drove up to Maine, shopped in Maine, drove back to New York, shopped in New York, drove up to ….

Eventually , he waxed (waned) old and (nothing special) died. Acceding to his wishes, his relations (family) had him (his corpse) cremated. But when the ashes were scattered, in a wooded area on the larboard side of Route 1 North, something inexplicable happened.

The dead shopper coalesced into a giant pâpier-maché sea captain (old avatar), wearing a yellow rain slicker, boots, and hat, smoking a corn cob pipe, and sitting in a giant wicker armchair in front of a diner on the starboard side of the highway just south of Searsport.

“Well, I’ll be darned,” said the owner of the diner when he arrived for work that morning. But he left him there. (Why not?)

The Captain’s advent took place (so to speak) several years ago. He still sits in his chair, holding his smokeless pipe, with the rain or snow dripping or melting down him (when it rains or snows), none the worse for wear, except for a few places where the paint has chipped off, creating white spots (like snow flakes) amidst the predominant yellow (rain gear) , white (hair), and rose (hands and face).

“Welcome,” calls the shopper-cum-salt to passing motorists (many from New York) as they whiz, hum, or creep past at the start of their summer vacations. “Up here to enjoy the sea air, are you, my friend? Why not stop for an hour? Grab a bite and a cuppa, browse a bit, maybe even buy a little something, then go on your way. Believe me, you’ll be the better for it” (stopping). “And later when you’re back in town, please remember to spare a thought for your old pal, Captain Nelson Billings.”