Two's Company

by Tom Chick

December 30, 2000

"Where is everyone?" Trevor asks.

He's eating the last of the Enteman's donuts he had brought. A recurring problem at Shoot Club is that there's no organization in terms of what people bring. Sometimes we end up with four cases of cheap beer, but no chips. Sometimes we have seven different flavors of Doritos and nothing to drink. Since Trevor is the only one here, we just have the box of donuts, now empty.

"Are you sure you don't have anything to drink but water?" he asks, shaking powdered sugar off his fingers.

"I haven't been to the store in a while. I have tomato soup."

"And the only water you have is tap water?"

"Yeah."

"Dude, no one drinks tap water. That stuff isn't good for you. Where is everyone?"

"It is the holidays." I give a 'what-can-you-do?' shrug.

"I know. You'd think all the guys would be here."

"A lot of them go home. They leave to visit families and stuff."

"Yeah, but how long can that take? You visit your family, then you're done. But it seems like everyone's AWOL." Trevor spells out the acronym -- Aye Double-U Oh El -- instead of pronouncing it 'ay-wall'. "What kind of Shoot Club is it with just two people."

"I know," I agree, "What am I supposed to write about this week?"

"Write about?"

"Yeah. For the column."

"What column?"

"I write a column about Shoot Club."

"You do?"

"Yeah, I've been doing it for about a month."

"You write about us?"

"Well, yeah."

"You don't put anything in it that would embarrass us, do you?"

"No, no, it's just about the games."

"Really?"

"Yeah, sure."

"You didn't write about that time I broke a pen in my mouth and I had ink all over my face and my teeth were blue for a week, did you?"

"Nope."

"You didn't write about the time my nephew Donny kept beating me when we were playing Perfect Dark? Because I'm telling you, I'm not used to the controller on the N64 and I'm pretty sure you gave me the broken one."

"No, I don't really talk about console games."

"You didn't write about the time I had the spastic bowel problem, did you?"

"No."

"You didn't write about that time I got sick on cherry wine coolers and threw up in the bathtub, did you?"

"No."

"You didn't write about that time my car got towed because I parked too far from the curb, did you?"

"You didn't even park. You left your car in the street."

"Yeah, but I meant to just run in and drop off the beer, but I got distracted because there was that new version of Counter-Strike. I meant to just play one game real quick."

"And then at four in the morning, you remembered you left your car out there. I had to drive you to the towing yard when it opened at 8am."

"Yeah, but it's not like you have a real job or anything," Trevor reminds me.

"I guess. You did buy us donuts that morning."

Trevor wipes some powdered sugar onto his pants and and makes smacking sounds. "Are you sure you don't have anything to drink?"

"I could cut the tomato soup with water and make tomato juice."

"Naw, not if you only have tap water. So you didn't write about my car getting towed?"

"No."

"You didn't write about the time I brought a date to Shoot Club, did you?"

"No," I say, making a mental note to cover that in a later column.

"Do you write about how at about ten o' clock, I use Rogaine and take my Fat Burner pills?"

"So that's what you're doing in the bathroom. I didn't know."

"What did you think I was doing?"

"I don't know," I say, "Some of those female player models are pretty hot. You always choose the topless chick in Unreal Tournament."

"It's not like I can see it while I'm playing. Besides, you're the one who downloaded it. Jeez. No, I'm in there because I don't want all the guys to see me doing that stuff. They might make fun of me."

"I understand."

"Because I think I'm losing weight from the pills. They're herbal you know."

"I didn't know that."

Cont'd