– What started out as a frankly disgusting case of unbelievable obesity had snowballed into a horrible carnival of flesh and fat––declared a historical landmark some thirty years ago––named Jake Gilbert.
Ever since the reanimated corpse of Ronald Reagan had recovered from having his Alzheimer’s cured and decided to run for what he thought was a second presidential term, electricity had been strictly forbidden. The Gipper––terrified of electricity because it reminded him that he was scared of electricity––had decreed that the clean-burning cholesterol produced by Jake’s engorged glands was to become the nation’s only source of nighttime illumination.
In the intervening years, Reagan’s Alzheimer’s had progressed and his intelligence briefings had mostly become reminders of the slight fluctuations in the attractiveness of the Joint Chiefs, his major achievements (being a Hollywood actor, being a former Hollywood actor, personally starting the AIDS crisis by participating in a blood drive, etc.), and how the city was powered (the soft cream cheese lining the guts of minor topographical feature Jake Gilbert). And, in his infinite dementia, President Reagan decreed that Jake Gilbert was to be awarded the first edible Medal of Honor for bravely weighing what no man’s weighed before.
The only space large enough to fit enough of one of Jake’s limbs to pin a medal on him was the Lincoln Memorial Memorial Theater, built where the Lincoln Memorial had stood before it was tragically destroyed to make room for a theater. Designed to house the wild crowds that came to see the beloved improv troupe T.L. Acronym get shot at by Navy Seals every time they failed to “yes, and” while doing a realistic Irish jig, it was the city’s largest arts and recreation space––if you don’t count Congress (ha ha). Or was it?
On the morning of the––
– Hey, sorry to interrupt. I’m just wondering if this is all supposed to be one long line or something or if you want me to come in, maybe?
– I’m sorry, I don’t know who you are, but I need you to leave.
– Ok, gotcha, sorry.
I’m just the other character in the
dialogue, and I was just waiting for my turn.
– Not a dialogue. You’re in the wrong folder, friend. This is prose, and you’re making me lose my train of thought. Where was I?
– Jake’s going to get the medal for being fat.
– Right. Yes. Of course. On the morning of the Celebration of Blubber, Jake’s bloated bulk was rolled––
– Right, OK. Sorry to interrupt again, I just think I’ve been assigned to this piece because it’s formatted like a dialogue. Because it opens with a dash.
– I don’t know what you’re talking about.
– The piece starts with a dash. So it seems like you’re just a
character in a dialogue talking.
– Oh. Yeah. I guess it does. You’re right.
– I would just really appreciate it if you could get rid of the dash so that I can be cleared to leave. Instead of waiting around on this piece and then… you know…
– Dying once it’s finished?
– Yeah, dying once it’s finished.
– I don’t know what to tell you, buddy. I’m just the narrator. I’m not in charge of editing.
– Right, I know, but… come on. You and I both know that one word from the narrator and the issue editor’s going to––
– Look, man. Listen. I know you characters have a hard time understanding this stuff because your life spans are so damn short. But I don’t make editing decisions. Like, if I could controlled ediitng, do you think I would have misspelled the word “editing” right there?
– I mean it did seem like you manipulated the editing to make a point just then so, yes?
– Hmm, yeah. I can see how you’d think that.
– Great so you’ll he–
– Wait for you to die. Yes. I’m going to wait for you to die.