April 27, 2019. At 27th and Girard Ave. on the vacant lot, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
It started, as so many things do, with a call to arms. A valiant Philly native assessed the amount of food alive in his body and declared, “This jawn shall not stand.” Under cover of darkness, this unknown hero planted the following cipher in mailboxes all across the Delph:
And attend we did. This mysterious figure had tapped the zeitgeist of both Fairmountaineers and ex-first graders the world over, had given voice to their most secret, fondest wish: to be put under anesthesia and immolated in a steel furnace, only to be resolidified into an invulnerable statue, free from all pain and all food.
“Farewell,” I bid my loved ones. “My time has come. Catch me at the steel furnace thus:”
I got on my bike and rode, as Freddy Mercury commanded, across the dystopian Delphscape and out to the vacant lot, eager for my metallic ascendance. And what to my wondering eyes should appear?
Glorious. I shackled my faithful steed Rocinante to a rusted fence next to a dumpster full of wood and sallied forth, giddy with the anticipation of curing my body dysmorphia the old fashioned way.
what meeting would be complete without a DJ?
“Excuse me,” I asked the dude on the right, cutting in front of the reporter. “Are you the anesthesiologist?”
A fair question. “Will you be the one sedating us?”
He looked down at his colorful outfit, then back up at me.
“All right, sorry to bother you.”
I moved on.
This guy was cosplaying as a bulldozer. Not very effective, but his heart was true.
I believe this is what the kids call “squad goals”.
This guy brought a grill. Sadly, not a furnace, not hot enough to melt steel, and not large enough to immolate me. Think bigger, my friend.
DOG! DOG GET OUT OF THERE QUICK YOU’RE A SITTING DUCK
My heart bled for that fluffy champion but I wasn’t going to get caught in the crossfire until my soft, beautiful body had been replaced with hot, beautiful steel, so I made my way back up to the meeting DJ.
And lo, as it is foretold, so it became.
To my mortification, a socialist newspaper had chosen this venue, at this moment, to attempt to discuss the Green New Deal. At least, that’s what was on the newspapers they were waving. I obviously didn’t read them. I did eavesdrop on a conversation happening nearby, though:
Dude 1: “See, but that’s why we need free college! Everyone deserves to go to college!”
Dude 2: “Are you kidding me, dude? Half the kids at college are just there to party and be fuckin’ idiots. Most of them drop out in a couple months! You want everyone to do that?”
Dude 1: “No, I just… they deserve a chance!”
Dude 2: “They have a chance! It’s called loans!”
Dude 1: “We need debt forgiveness!”
Dude 2: “Why would we need that? The job market’s already saturated!”
It got mumbly after that, and if I really wanted to hear this debate to its conclusion, I could go into literally any Facebook group. Instead, I decided to get a beer.
Crime and Punishment Brewing Company across the street had made a jalapeno double IPA to commemorate the Fairmount denizens metamorphoses into the 21st century answer to the terracotta army. Since Abba was over, it seemed like now was the time.
I saw this ghoul as I crossed. As you can see, in my pursuit of journalistic integrity, I got close enough that he could have swiped me with whatever the hell is going on with his left hand there.
This was the man who wrote the letter. He had transubstantiated… but at what cost?
I’m ashamed to admit it, but I was starting to rethink the invincibility. I didn’t want to carry an umbrella! Umbrellas are for wimps!
A modern Buddha like this dude must have known that, and he must have been carrying it as an ironic statement — “I can no longer be harmed, yet I embrace the trappings of wussyhood, for who could challenge me”? An inspiration without saying a word. The Flower Sermon, reborn like a phoenix in concrete.
I waited in line for a thousand years and got the jalapeno beer. It tasted like how I remember New Mexico.
I was over it, though. The flesh husk had carried me this far, and I may as well see it through to its natural completion. Besides, it’s the future. The transhumanist movement is already surgically implanting magnets in their hands, and all of our high-profile billionaires are mad scientists hurling their limitless money at developing sci-fi tech. It’ll be the singularity in a couple years. I can wait.
And what Philly outdoor event would be complete without somebody climbing on top of shit?
Nobody stole Rocinante. I saddled up and went home. I’d nursed all the food in my body since first grade. Another year wouldn’t hurt.
But there’s always next year.
(note: To anyone I may have photographed or recorded, I took your leaping in front of my camera, grinning, as consent to be featured on my world renown and widely read blog. If this isn’t the case, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be glad to take it down. You fuckin’ crybaby.)