- The kid working the counter has a mohawk, but his t-shirt says “GOOF” so you know he’s not a jerk.
- If you order tea you can pay an extra dollar to have a British man in a monocle drink it with you.
- When you stir the fruit up in the yogurt parfait, it whispers the name of who has a crush on you.
- The art on the walls changes every day to describe that cool dream you had last night.
- Sometimes the coffee is too hot, but you know ahead of time because an Apology Puppy runs out to warn you with a lick to the face and a collar that says “I’m Sorry”
- More than once you will be sitting next to our warm fire, sipping a delicious hot beverage, and think to yourself, “Why would I ever want to leave here?”
- Why WOULD you ever want to leave here?
- I don’t think you should ever leave here.
- Please don’t try to leave here.
- You can’t leave here? That’s because there are no doors, only walls!
- Might as well have another cup of coffee, since you can’t get out!
- How did you get in here in the first place, you ask?
- You didn’t!
- You were always here!
- We all were always here!
- Your entire life was a construct of your own mind trying to come to terms with the reality of your eternal prison!
- Welcome home!
- Welcome home!
- Welcome home!
- All of reality is a sham, a vapid, embarrassing facade we all embrace and share to escape the horrifying truth, that we are all part of the same web of matter and existence, portioned off and entombed in a hellish nightmare where the least important things in the history of the mighty universe are thrust in front of us and deemed worthy of attention, a nightmare we refer to, day-in and day-out, as “life”. EMBRACE THE TRUTH EMBRACE THE PRISON
- Our hibiscus mint tea is delicious and sure to put a pep in your step!
With the election just days (more than one day!) away, I feel it’s important we take a look at what exactly the office of the president entails. Fewer than 1,000 men and as few as 6 women have been privileged to hold the office. Here is my list of the 25 most important presidents in United States history.
- Abraham Lincoln
- George Washington
- God Laserfingers
- Theodore Roosevelt
- Franklin Delano Burgerking
- Millard Fillmore
- God Quincy Laserfingers
- Jonathan Pants
- John F. Kennedy
- Thomas Jefferson
- Rape Sheffield
- Martin van Walmart
- Andrew “Old Hickory” Jackson
- John Adams
- Harry Shit Truman
- Ted Leonard (intern who held power for 8 minutes after Dwight Eisenhower blacked out jerking off)
- Pope John Paul II
- George Clinton
- Ron Paul
- Bing “Google” Crosby
- Could you maybe call out Mitt Romney on one, just one of his lies?
- How old were you when your parents decided to trade your eyeballs with those of a DEMON BEETLE?
- Tampa: Florida’s Other Orlando
- Tampa: The Most Miserable You’ll Ever Be Around Palm Trees
- Tampa: Like If ‘COPS’ Was a City
- Tampa: Home Of The Film The Punisher. No, Not The Dolph Lundgren One
- Tampa: Ask Us About Our Deadly Hurricanes
- Tampa: It’s Far Too Hot Here
- Tampa: Take Us With You
- Tampa: One Of Us Just Died
- Tampa: You’ll Never Guess Why We’re Scared Of Obama. What? Oh, Okay, You Guessed Right.
- Tampa: Not As Many Jews As You Would Think
- Tampa: Douglas Adams Wrote In Hitchhikers’ Guide About A Planet Full Of Miserable Old People That Want To Make Life Unbearable For Everyone Else, But Then He Found Out We Existed And He Deleted That Entire Chapter
- Tampa: Another One Of Us Just Died
I woke up groggy. My joints ached. I felt rubbery and stiff, like an action figure without any movable parts. The kind you would get for free in the bottom of a box of Apple Jacks. I was an Apple Jacks action figure. Play with me and tell your mom to take you to see The Incredibles or whatever.
Rolling out of bed was an ordeal. Well—it started that way. I found it impossible to sit up, so I tried rocking my bloated body back and forth on the bed like a helplessly inverted turtle. Turtle-me worked at this for what could have been 10 minutes before I finally felt myself start to roll—when I realized I was actually rolling. I was literally rolling out of bed. I tried to stop myself before I reached the edge of the bed, but it was too late—I dropped off of my bed, landing a few feet later, with a soft squish.
The horror show starts here.
I shifted myself into position so I could push myself up and stand up. That was when I saw what were once my hands—these green, fleshy appendages couldn’t possibly be my hands. These were not the hands of a human—yet here they were, attached to my body, via a pair of equally green, rubbery “arms”.
My heart started hammering. I tried waking myself up from the thousand dreams I must have been buried within, because there was no way, I thought, no way that this is a fragment of the plane of reality I had come to know. I put my rubber once-hands onto my face—which felt the same as my hands did. I looked down and saw my entire body had been replaced by this green, squishy material. In a fit of frustration, confusion and curiosity, I slowly slid my hand into my mouth, and tasted it. It tasted—no. No. This—no. NO!
I hobbled to the bathroom as quickly as my legs—having been replaced in the night by a pair of leafy stems—could move me. I faced the mirror and braced myself as I turned on the light. What I saw would have made me shit myself, though I don’t think I still had an anus, which would be required for such a reaction.
I was staring at myself—this I am positive of. There’s a tense feeling you get when you look yourself in the mirror, when you see the eyes you’re using to see those same eyes—there’s a very strange, but very real, connection. I felt that connection with what I saw, but this was not me, the person I know. No longer did I have light brown hair. My almost-too-big ears were gone. My slightly crooked nose no longer existed. Everything I knew about myself had completely vanished. My entire body had been replaced by a giant green bell pepper.
I had a horrific physical reaction that I won’t go into—it’s hard enough describing how a person would react to such a discovery, but now I was experiencing this reaction as a giant green bell pepper. The result was not appealing. Upon my recovery, some minutes later, I decided the best thing for me to do was to call my best friend, Tyler. Tyler always knew what to do.
"Ben?" Tyler sounded like he had been crying. This concerned me.
"Tyler, you—you’ve got to get over here right now. I need your help."
"I don’t think that’s a good idea."
"Tyler, goddammit, something happened to me too—I turned into a bell pepper!"
There was a pause. It was right here.
"I’M A PEPPER!"
"Oh—oh fuck. Oh fuck, dude."
"Yeah, this is fucking crazy. Can you get over here?"
"I don’t know if I can—I don’t think I should go anywhere."
"Come on, I need your help right now!"
"No—I don’t think I should go anywhere—because—I turned into a pepper too!"
"YOU’RE A PEPPER?!"
"I’M A PEPPER!"
"Holy fuck. Is anyone else a pepper?"
"I don’t know, I’m home alone. Is your dad home?"
I peeked out of my bedroom. No one in the hallway. I crept, pepper-like, into the living room. I saw what had to have been my father, sitting in a chair, newspaper hiding his face.
The newspaper slowly lowered, and I found myself staring at a six-foot habanero wearing reading glasses.
I shot back into my room and picked the phone back up.
"HE’S A PEPPER!"
"Your dad’s a pepper too? Holy shit, this is bad."
"We gotta get to a hospital. This is fucking insane."
"How are we going to get there?"
The details of the argument that followed are not important, nor is it important who ended up driving. It’s also not important how many people stared at us on our drive in, nor whether or not we got pulled over at one point, only to have a very terrified police driver give us a warning and, more than likely, reconsider any medication he was on.
The hospital was about half humans, half pepper-humans. We ran to the front desk and, before we could explain how just 12 hours ago we were both perfectly normal, network-television-watching white people and now we were peppers, we were told to “sit down and wait.”
Tyler obediently sat down with the other pepper people, but I wasn’t about to. I required answers. I wasn’t going to spend one more second as a pepper if I could help it. I marched back to the doctor’s office, past the objecting nurse at the front desk (who looked slightly more like a jalapeno than she did when we got there). The doctor had his back turned.
"Doctor, what the fuck is going on? There are people out here who have turned into goddamn peppers!"
"I’m sorry," he said, holding back tears.
"It went so wrong—it all went so wrong."
"What did?" He still had his back to me.
"I tried to help her—the little girl. I thought it was simple gene replacement."
A green hand placed a framed photo of an eight-year-old girl onto the desk.
"She came in with leaves growing out of her back six months ago. Just a few. I thought it would be a simple fix, but—it reversed. It reversed and it spread." He reached for a glass of water. "There’s nothing that can be done now. I mean—they might be able to quarantine the city, keep it from spreading farther, but that’s it. There’s no way to fix it. I’m sorry. There’s nothing I can do to fix you, or anyone else."
He slowly turned to face me, the fluorescent lights reflecting off his fleshy green scalp.
"I guess, from now on, you can call me Dr. Pepper."