I’d just returned from the Himalayas and was brewing tea.
The kettle whistled.
The doorbell rang.
I poured water into my mug, on top of a bag of Hairy Guy in the Tea Bush tea. The bell rang again. I answered the door.
Two happy-looking people stood on my porch — all smiles and nodding.
“HI,” said the man. “I’M DICK RICHARD AND THIS IS MY FRIEND AND LOVER RICHEENA DICKERSON. WE’RE WITH THE WELCOME WAGON WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD CAN WE COME IN THANKS!”
Before I knew it, Richeena and Dick were smiling and nodding in my living room.
Richeena handed me a huge, cellophane-wrapped basket. “YES IT IS GOOD THAT YOU MOVED TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD. HERE IS A BASKET TO WELCOME YOU. TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD. WELCOME.”
Dick pulled his pipe from his mouth and said, “YEAH, PARD. YOU SHOULD LOOK IN THE WELCOME BASKET THAT WE BROUGHT YOU.”
“But I’ve lived here for ten years.” I looked at the basket.
Richeena smashed me on the back of the head with something like a gold brick.
I awoke sometime later, tied spread-eagle in the bottom of an empty wading pool, facing the dark ceiling of a musty warehouse. A huge, black plastic tarp hung above me — tied off under metal rafters. It bulged and roiled. Something sloshed inside it.
Dick spoke when I found him and Richeena staring down at me. “HELLO VICTIM WE ARE GLAD THAT YOU ARE AWAKE. WE ARE NOW GOING TO SHOW YOU A LETTER FROM YOUR CAPTOR.”
Richeena held a note above me. It read:
Dear cuzin Cyril, you are reeding this becuz I have capshured you. I’m givin ya the chois of facin me in my secret lare or dyin right now. My henchmen will tell ya what’s the way you’ll die, no matter what yer choice. Screw you, ya poof. Either way I’ve got you!
~Capp. Haggis MacMack.
Dick continued, “WE ARE GOING TO DUMP THE CONTENTS OF THE TARP ON YOU AND YOU WILL DROWN OR BE KILLED BY SOMETHING IN THE TARP. OR YOU CAN COME WITH US TO CRAZY DEVIL MAD PIRATE RABID WEASEL GHOST GHOUL MAD MAD CRAZY HORROR ISLAND, WHERE YOU WILL FACE HAGGIS IN HAND-TO-HAND COMBAT WHERE YOU ARE STANDING IN A POOL OF SHARKS WITH NO CLOTHES AND HAGGIS IS STANDING OUTSIDE THE POOL WITH A LONG POINTY STICK AND TWO GUNS.”
“What’s in the tarp?”
The tarp lurched. I saw something long and thick slide across the bottom.
Richeena said, “I WILL TELL YOU WHAT IS IN THERE AND THEN YOU WILL HAVE TEN SECONDS TO CHOOSE YOUR FATE. THERE ARE EIGHTY-SEVEN GALLONS OF ALLIGATOR URINE, ONE HUNDRED POUNDS OF BOILED BACON, SOME BEETLES, THIRTY MOUTHFULS OF BABOON EAR WAX, TWO HIGHLY POISONOUS SEA SNAKES, EIGHTY UNDERWATER VAMPIRE BATS, TWO LIVE GRENADES DUCT-TAPED TO A MUTE GRIZZLY BEAR, SOME RAZOR BLADES, A TACK, ASSORTED SURGICAL WASTES, CHEESE, SAUSAGE, MUSHROOMS, ONIONS, LEECHES, SOME NIGHT CRAWLERS THAT WE THOUGHT WERE LEECHES, A SCORPION RIDING A FROG, NINETY-THREE POUNDS OF WORM CASTINGS, BARBARA WALTERS, CUMIN, EIGHTY BALLOONS FILLED WITH SKUNK JUICE, SOME HAIKU, URINAL CAKES, A VERY ANGRY CHICKEN, LIQUID MEAT, AND A DVD OF MONICA LEWINSKY AND TONYA HARDING FIGHTING IN A SECRET BATTLE ARENA IN YAKUTSK. YOUR TEN SECONDS STARTS NOW.”
I told them quickly that I’d go fight Haggis. I figured I’d escape somewhere along the way.
They untied me.
I jumped up and kicked Dick in the balls. He didn’t flinch. I kicked him again. No reaction.
I looked to Richeena, who grinned. I kicked Dick again.
“YOU HAD BETTER QUIT KICKING ME IN MY BALLSACK,” Dick told me.
“YES, DO NOT KICK DICK’S BALLSACK.”
“What the hell?” I kicked Dick again.
“DO NOT KICK MY BALLSACK AND WE WILL TELL YOU WHAT THE HELL.”
“OKAY,” they said together. And they popped off their faces.
Yep. They reached up, grabbed their chins and eye-sockets and pulled their faces off.
There were not brains, blood and boogers inside their heads. There were chinchillas!
Two little chinchillas sat inside the faces of Dick and Richeena. Chinchillas with headsets, joysticks, foot-pedals, and microphones.
“I AM NOT REALLY DICK RICHARD AND THIS IS NOT RICHEENA DICKERSON,” said the chinchilla in Dick’s face. He spoke into a microphone and his voice came out from a speaker where Dick’s teeth would have been.
“YES, WE ARE CHINCHILLAS,” said the chinchilla in Richeena’s face.
“Wow,”I said, “I love chinchillas! My friend Mariette lives with a chinchilla.”
The two exchanged a weighted glance.
“YOU KNOW MARIETTE?” asked Richeena Chinchilla.
“WHAT IS THE MARIETTE YOU KNOW’S LAST NAME?” Dick Chinchilla asked into the mic.
“___________,” I said. (Mariette’s last name has been turned invisible to protect the identity of the chinchilla that lives with her, as that chinchilla is a secret agent in the Dominican Republic Secret Engagement Xyloforce.)
“You do know Mariette!” Richeena Chinchilla shouted in her regular chinchilla voice. She climbed out of her personmobile.
Soon Dick Chinchilla was on the ground slappin’ me low fives, and talking about how much he loves Mariette and his sister, the chinchilla who lives with Mariette.
So the chinchillas and I ditched the whole going to Crazy Devil Mad Pirate Rabid Weasel Ghost Ghoul Mad Mad Crazy Horror Island thing and went instead to the Secret Chinchilla Sweet Times All-You-Can-Eat Party Island for two weeks.
This is where the chinchillas told me of how my wickedly stupid cousin Haggis and his evil partner Mr. Sneaky took over — and renamed — the island of Happy Loving Chinchilla Love Land and are kidnapping chinchillas and performing horrible consumerism-zombification experiments on them. Haggis and Sneaky then extort favors from the chinchillas in exchange for flat-screen TVs and cell phones.
We plan on rounding up some yeti, the Libyan giraffes, my orangutan gang and that giant squid to get us there. Then we’re freeing the chinchillas and their renamed island. We go next weekend. Commandos and Navy dudes are welcome.
Kevin Shamel is in his thirties, married, has two kids, a dog and a cat, and lives in an old haunted house in the Pacific Northwest. He spends his days playing with the aforementioned critters, practicing joyful oddness, and writing. You will rarely find him speaking (or writing) about himself in third person because it’s a very odd practice, even for him. Visit his blog at Shameless Stuff for links to more of his stories and whatever else is going on.