Issue #3 TaD writing prompt winner
Twenty-three percent of all photocopier faults are caused by people sitting on them and photocopying their buttocks.
Don't ask me how I know. Just accept the fact that the art of butt-copying (as I so eloquently have dubbed it) is a more common practice than you may think.
Which is why I was currently perched on top of my local public library photocopier, half praying I didn't contribute to the lucky twenty-three percent, and half hoping that no one would walk past and find me with my rear-end smashed up against the scanner.
An important note: It's not what you think.
I don't have some kind of weird fetish with pictures of my ass, nor do I enjoy shoving assorted body parts into office equipment. This uncomfortable (read: humiliating) situation was a direct result of one too many Cokes, a twenty-four hour only-pause-if-your-bladder-is-sending-out-an-urgent-SOS-signal game of Halo, and a stupid challenge from my 'supposed' best friend James Anderson.
The challenge? One picture of my aforementioned rear end on public display by Monday morning.
My initial reaction: Dude, have you lost the freaking plot?
Now take a minute to think about the consequences. Students would return from their weekend refreshed and energised, eagerly awaiting the fun in store from a double period of Calculus or a two-hour lecture on Aristotle, only to be psychologically scarred by scandalous images of my derrière. Indecent exposure anyone?
His response: What? Are you not man enough or something?
A handy hint: If a guy refuses to take part in any activity, threaten his masculinity. Even if it's going to be the most degrading experience of his entire existence he'll do it, stupidly believing that it will restore his manhood. Trust me. I'm living proof.
So because I am clearly a brainless, impressionable idiot (if in disagreement please re-read the above paragraph) and the fact that my masculinity was in question, I indignantly agreed to James' ridiculous dare – only to have him grin slowly and throw me a pair of hot pink, Disney Princess patterned, silk boxers.
The whir of the machine signalled the printing stage and I took two deep calming breaths. One more minute and I was out of here.
My head snapped up and my eyes fell upon a girl clutching a tattered paperback to her chest looking, well, shocked. (Who wouldn't be?) You know the sick feeling you get when you're five and your mum has just caught you with your hand in the cookie jar? Well times that feeling by about two hundred and you might come close to what I was experiencing at this very moment.
Because the girl currently standing right in front of me with her big green eyes wide, staring at me like she'd stumbled upon the sweet old grandpa next door performing X-rated acts with his garden hose, was The One.
She was the girl with the gorgeous smile that could make me forget my own name. The girl that reduced me to monosyllables with just one glance in my direction. The girl that made me want to exit my game of Warcraft, even if I was one hit away from defeating my opponent, just to watch her walk by. The girl that, in my love-struck eyes, made me want to throw down with the Terminator whilst ending global warming and climbing Mount Everest, just to make her happy.
She was the girl that I'd been absolutely, one hundred percent crazy about since third grade, who was now under the misguided impression that I was some kind of sick pervert.
James calls it 'a case of insanity even worse than Britney's shaving head phase'. I call it true love.
God I am such a pussy.
Next I'll start spouting Browning. Then you'll know I've officially lost it.
One minute had probably gone past and still neither of us had moved. It felt like I'd been caught with my pants down, doing the chicken dance to a Lady Gaga song. And the sad thing was – the first part of that sentence wasn't even metaphoric.
"Bryan?" she repeated, just as the machine beeped indicating the end of the printing process.
I took one look at the incriminating A4 photocopy of my butt sitting innocently in the output tray and one look at her still-shell-shocked expression.
It now came down to the age old battle of human instinct – fight or flight?
Correction: stay here, try to explain the situation and incriminate myself even more, or get the hell out of here as fast as possible, potentially saving myself from further embarrassment (if that was even possible).
It only took a split second.
I snatched up the paper with one hand, grabbed my pants with the other, and bolted from the room so fast I'd probably broken a world record.
Run, run, as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm the photocopy man.
I recounted the entire humiliating experience to James who laughed so hard I considered dialling emergency services, before remembering that this dimwit was the one who got me into this mess in the first place.
Time span: approximately ten minutes.
James: still pissing himself laughing.
Me: seriously contemplating strangulation via my shoelace.
Have I mentioned he's a dimwit?
"I . . . can't believe . . . you . . . actually did it." Cue: five hundred and seventy-sixth bout of laughter. By now he sounded more like a cow being run over by a bus.
I sat there, picking at my lunch and continued to wait it out. Once he started going, not even an army of chipmunks equipped with nuclear weaponry could stop him.
He stopped shaking and sucked in a deep breath. "Let's see it then."
I paused to shoot him a warning look. (Translation: laugh and I will castrate you with a paperclip) He just raised a brow and held out a hand. Disgruntled, I passed over the photocopy.
He studied the picture for a moment before sniggering, "Not bad. Anyone ever mention you're pretty photogenic?" Can you hear that scratching noise? It's the sound of me sharpening my paperclip.
Chuckling, he slapped my back. "Chill. Just for laughs, yeah?"
"Easy for you to say. You weren't the one caught photocopying their ass," I muttered darkly.
His frowned for a moment before smirking. "Oh right. Her. No worries man. Think of the bright side. She noticed you. And probably knows that it was all a friggin' awesome dare. I mean, she's one of those smart ones right? She'll figure it out. All you have to be concerned about is how to win her over. Once you do that then this whole incident will just be an insignificant speck in the fairytale of your life." He grinned encouragingly.
Hm. Shockingly, he had a point. Minus the whole fairytale thing.
I mean, I've known her since kindergarten. She should know I'm just not that kind of guy. And James had always had a knack for motivation (which explains how he convinced me to take up his dare).
Maybe it was all going to be okay.
With his words in mind, I clenched my fist feeling a surge of empowerment. "You're right. I am a phoenix rising from the ashes!"I announced, even beating my chest for extra effect. After all, there's nothing like a bit of chest beating to get your blood pumping.
I don't think James shared my opinion because he stared at me like I'd just declared I'd seen Jesus in my cheeseburger. "Have you been up late watching Bambi again? I told you to stay off the Disney Channel. Crap like that screws with your brain."
In my defence, I only watch it with my little sister when she begs me to. It's her all-time favourite movie.
Ignoring his statement, I grinned maniacally and clasped his shoulder. "Dude, you are a freaking genius!" I beamed, before racing out the door leaving him scratching his head and muttering on about 'PMS becoming a world epidemic'.
Masking tape? Check.
Black Sharpie? Check.
Twelve by eight inch full colour photocopy of my Disney Princess adorned ass? Check.
I strode purposefully along the hallway, head held high, equipment clutched firmly in one hand, pointedly ignoring the whispers of gossip that my fellow peers indulged in to substitute for their lack of social life.
"Did you hear about the streaker in the library on Sunday? I bet it was one of those sex-crazed psychopaths we always hear about in the news!"
"Really? I heard it was the cross-dressing homeless guy on Fort Street who has a fetish for Disney and hot pink!"
"No way! Maybe it was a homeless, cross-dressing, sex-crazed psychopath obsessed with hot pink Walt Disney!"
"Douchebags," I muttered whilst mentally breathing a sigh of relief that the real identity of the 'streaker' remained undiscovered.
And just for the record I was not 'streaking', as they so crudely have put it. I was merely preserving my dignity. (Not that there was any left to save.)
Reaching the lockers, I found the place deserted. Feeling like a member of the CIA, I crept up to locker number thirty-seven, tore off a piece of tape, and attached the two-dimensional replica of my butt to the front. After glancing furtively to left and right, I uncapped my Sharpie and scrawled the words 'Go out with me?' across Snow White's forehead and Cinderella's ball gown. (Forgive me Walt Disney, but desperate times call for desperate measures.)
My alibi: I was a pothead, low on cash, attempting to get high on texta fumes.
Foolproof – if I do say so myself.
I took a precious moment to lean back and admire my handiwork. (Not bad.) But it was missing something. Frowning, I added 'P.S. I can explain' as an afterthought – just in case she was still under the impression that I was an IDI (translation: incredibly disturbed individual – not to be confused with illegally disguised imp.) There. It was perfect.
"So I went straight up to her and said: 'Are those space pants you're wearing? Because that ass is out of this world!'"
"She slapped me."
"Was she hot?"
"Hot? Dude, that girl was on fire!"
"So it was worth it then?"
"Are you kidding me?! She touched me! What more could I ask for?"
Exhibit A: two juniors discussing a party they attended Saturday night.
Me: with sinking feeling that I was probably one step away from ending up just like them.
Three days, two hours, forty-seven minutes, nine seconds and still nothing. No smile, no wave, no acknowledgement that I even existed. I was dying here. And it seemed like she didn't give a damn.
James materialised out of thin air, clutching a hand theatrically to his chest and sighed dramatically, "Oh Juliet! Juliet! Wherefore art thou Juliet?"
Considering the girl I was crazy about thought I was some kind of sick pervert, I didn't appreciate his moment of 'hilarity'. "Gee Anderson, never took you for a drama queen."
My sarcasm must have penetrated because he slapped my shoulder sympathetically. "Hey! Don't worry about it. Maybe she's just not that into you?"
And to think I was wondering why it was that I felt as if I'd been transported into a chick flick where I was the female protagonist, in the midst of an emotional crisis because the guy I hooked up with three days ago still hadn't called me.
How . . . unmanly.
"Thanks. I feel so much better now," I glowered.
He held his arms up defensively and shrugged. "Sorry man. You know I'm not good at this comfort shit."
Sighing, I felt the energy drain out of me. "It's cool. I don't even like her that much anyway."
He raised his eyebrows but didn't say a word. Let's just say I'm not the world's best liar.
We continued walking; discussing fascinating topics which plagued the male mind like how many hotdogs was it humanly possible to consume in five minutes and the blinding awesomeness of Guitar Hero World Tour, when something caught my eye.
There was a note on my locker.
A picture of Dora the Explorer underpants with something written across the top.
My heart skipped a beat. For a flickering second, a part of me thought that maybe, just maybe, I had a chance.
'Prince Charming called. He wants his boxers back.'
Brain: Processing information.
"You okay man?"
Brain: Still processing.
Brain: Shit. I've just been rejected haven't I?
Cue: moment of realisation.
Heart: crushed by the brutal fist of reality.
What was I thinking; sticking my butt-replica and love declaration on her locker for the whole world to see? I should have known. If there was ever a moment to exile myself to Mars and live amongst extraterrestrials who accepted my idiotic behaviour, it was now.
I lifted my hand, ready to rip the picture off my locker – preferably to run it through a paper shredder, burn the pieces with a flamethrower, and distribute the ashes on three separate continents.
As I reached forward, James raised an arm to stop me. I looked at him, confused. Grinning, he gestured to the corner of the page.
I stopped breathing.
'P.S. I'm free on Saturday.'
A/N: I'd just like to say a big thank you to TaD and an even bigger thank you to Jules (the awesome prompt Judge)! Still cannot believe I won. My first attempt at a guy's p.o.v. so I hope you all like it :)