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YOU THINK MR T IS FUNNY? YOU COME HERE TO MOCK MR T?!
Several years ago, whilst living in the squalor between my college dropout and 'found my niche' years, my fellow heavy drinker/late sleeper roommate louis tippy toed into my room around 7:30 and gave me a nudge.
"Scott? It's time to get up. Today we meet Mr. T!"
I grumbled and rolled out of bed, my pours reeking of the malt liquor consumed the previous evening...had some aspirin and hopped into Lou's honda civic.
When we got to Southeastern Furniture Warehouse ("Thaynk yew") the parking lot was filled with tens of not so eager 7 year olds being pushed along by their over zealous parents. It couldn't have been the kids' idea - what 7 year old in 1995 knew who the hell Mr T was?
So anyway, saying "tens" was probably an exaggeration - I'd say perhaps 12 kids were there, with a parent or two each. And in the middle of all of them, were myself and louis - stinking to high heaven and feeling like ass, but smiling with anticipation that we were actually going to meet one of our childhood heroes.
We went inside and THERE HE WAS! Still pimped out in gold crap, still sporting the mohawk and scowl. So we stood and watched him "speak" amidst Couches upholstered in the finest floral-printed polymers, end tables, bedroom suites, and forklifts.
"IS EVERYONE HERE IN SCHOOL?"
Me and louis, having just dropped out of college for whatever reason, looked to the floor and shoveled our feet.
"MR T SAYS STAY AWAY FROM ALCOHOL AND CIGARETTES".
Shit! It was like he was speaking directly TO US. I was currently breaking every golden rule Mr T had to offer, and it felt awful. Just kidding. the whole thing was pretty hilarious, the kids were unmoved, the parents nodded enthusiastically. Anyways, at the end of the MAYBE 8 minute speech it was photo/autograph time, louis pulls a 'Mr T Experience' LP from his backpack - I noted that it was unlikely that Mr T possessed either the sense of humor or irony necessary to handle such an offering but he persisted. Louis hands him the LP cover, Mr T flips it over, studies it carefully, and hands it to one of his henchmen
"Joey, what is this? What is this all about? LOOK INTO THIS!" then he turns his attention to us.
"YOU THINK MR T IS FUNNY? YOU COME HERE TO MOCK MR T?!"
Louis sheepishly replies.."no man, the record - that's homage. they, we aren't mocking you (LIES!!! ALL LIES!!!) this is about respect.. "
"RESPECT?! YOU ARE HERE TO MAKE FUN OF MR T"
I cleverly reply "look man, louis and scott aren't here to make fun of mr t. can you sign the record or at least give it back?"
He grumbles, says no, and Joey holds the record until we leave, then hands it to us sort of discreetly, with a kind of "he's always doin crazy shit like that" look on his face.
And then it was photograph time..I guess Mr T didn't want to have this battle in front of the kids so he grudgingly obliged. Somewhere there is a polaroid of a terribly unhappy Mr T scowling at the ground while we grin like cheshire cats with our arms around his big, manly shoulders...