Have you ever found yourself with the urge to get up out of your chair, walk over to the window, open it up with swift and vigorous force, and then close it again suddenly whilst humming the theme song to some long since canceled prime-time television sit-com? I have, just now, found myself with that very urge. And, let me tell you, it’s not something I would wish to experience again any time soon. Such notions rushing to the forefront of my psyche never fail to immediately bring me directly back to my past — a very dark time indeed.
I’m speaking of course about the early nineteen-eighties. For me, those were years of incredible discontent. You see, in the summer of nineteen-eighty two I had just purchased my very first roller-skate wheel. And, as I am sure you are more than capable of imagining, following the purchase, I was heart-broken and filled with buyer’s remorse. This was, of course, due to three primary reasons. The first being that I didn’t actually own a pair of roller-skates at the time. My sister did, but she had refused to share them with me ever since she had caught me attempting to train her pet chinchilla to mercilessly taunt the neighbor’s dog. The second reason was that I happened to be deathly allergic to roller-skate wheels. And, the third, but probably not the least important reason, was that, at the time, I was completely unaware of a rather shady, and particularly dangerous, organized crime syndicate active in my very city — a syndicate which tracked the sale of orphaned roller-skate wheels and, with the intention of holding them for ransom, kidnapped the purchasers of such items.
If you’ve never heard of such a syndicate, I’m sure that you probably now suspect that I must be somewhat insane. Let me assure you, my friend, that for the most part, you are very probably almost not entirely incorrect! Let me also assure you that such syndicates are positively real — at least as far as I can be certain. And, I can promise you that I very definitely may not be quite certain at all!
So, with this fearsome syndicate now hot on my trail, I decided that the safest option for me was to go underground. I hitchhiked to Sesquatallahatchee, Florida — a town which I may, or may not, have almost entirely made up. If I didn’t, don’t bother looking for it on any map. The syndicate has long since erased all traces of it from any earthly record.
After arriving in town, I immediately boarded a train back to where I had come from, and once there, hitchhiked back to Sesquatallahatchee yet again. I was sure that this sort of ample deviousness would be more than enough to throw the syndicate off my trail. I was incorrect however. It wasn’t long thereafter that I spotted one of their dastardly agents at a used-Popsicle stand just out front of the Sesquatallahatchee city hall. I hurriedly began to strip off all of my clothes and yell loudly for someone to assist me, but this action only seemed to alert the agent to my presence. The agent began his pursuit!
After chasing me for many blocks through lower mid-town, the agent finally caught up with me in the recesses of a small, garbage strewn alley-way. I had been tackled! The agent pummeled me relentlessly. I had no choice — my resolve was broken. I could stand no further pummeling. I betrayed my roller-skate wheel and informed the agent as to its exact location.
The agent rose to his feet.
“You’ll never see it again.” He smirked.
Just then, from somewhere close behind me, someone opened a window in that alley way. They opened it with swift and vigorous force. Then, they closed it again suddenly. And, from somewhere further down that God forsaken alley, I could hear the faint but unmistakable humming of the theme song from Welcome Back Kotter.