|“||Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, to everyone's favorite game show: What's The Ugliest Part of Your Body! We're at code red folks, 100% sonic fury! It's crunch time for our lucky contestant, all the way from Plain Mills, North Dakota: please welcome back, Wayne!||”|
Wayne had never won anything in his life. He never won a contest, he never won at Candyland, he never won an argument. In his time, Wayne wanted nothing more than that beautiful moment of triumph, to be hoisted high on a pedestal of ivory, regaled by his peers as an undisputed winner. This night, on Studio Lot 15, adrenaline flowing through every vein in his body, Wayne was attempting to reverse 32 years of perpetual fail.
|“||Alright Wayne, now spin the Wheel of Appendages! and see what treasures await! Let's try to use our inside strength this time, ay pal?||”|
The studio audience was on edge, as was the shows production crew. Tonight was the culmination of a year long effort for Wayne, condensed down to two weeks of recurring twice-weekly gameplay on one of television's most popular programs. During last week's show, Wayne's terribly minor triumph into the semi-finals led to an unfortunate wheel-spinning incident which critically injured a lighting technician. When he got home on the night of the unfortunate plastic spoke impaling, Wayne sadly glanced at the pages of a large notebook labeled "My Big Book of Misfortunes (Revised 4th Edition)." "Damn it," Wayne thought to himself. "Skillfully editing a book of your own inadequacies probably isn't very healthy." He then went into the kitchen to see if he had any string cheese sticks left in the refrigerator.
|“||Jesus Mary and Joseph folks! It's time for the Frito-Lays Hickory Kettlechips® Million Dollar Jackpot Showdown! Alright Wayne, now step on down here into the circle and put on those 3D glasses, we're going to ask you the BIG! HICKORY! QUESTION!||”|
It was then that Wayne implemented his years of transcendental meditation training (which he knew would come in handy some day). Deep within his inner zen temple, Wayne mustered every ounce of strength in his 105-pound framework. Amidst the commotion of the crowd, the heat of the stage lights, and the roar of the in-studio fireplace, Wayne heard only the sweet sounds of silence. For the first time in his pitiful life, Wayne would find utter confidence, determination, and a will to move forward with the self-assurance that tonight was the night. Tonight he would become part of the elite group of people who called themselves Winners. Tonight, he'd conquer the Big Hickory Showdown.
|“||Ah.. Oh.. Hold on, hold the phone.. the judges are sayingggg.. Ahh! ...oh... I'm so sorry Wayne, but the correct answer was in fact, your mind. Yes, your mind, not your nose. So sorry there Wayne. But never fear! Harvey! Tell him what he's won!||”|
In his own mind, Harvey had become Wayne's mortal enemy long before entering into this odd televised spectacle. Harvey was everything that Wayne wasn't; he was successful. He was popular. He was a working voice actor. Harvey was the public service announcement that informed all the world of Wayne's disheveled losses. It may not have always been the same Harvey mocking Wayne's sadness, but the essence of Harvey was the common denominator that connected all people who'd brought Wayne down at one time or another. In fact, quite a few of them had really been named Harvey. If ever Wayne went on a killing spree of some sort, you could be sure that newscasters would be warning men with the name Harvey to get inside bomb-shelters, keeping a watchful eye out for a man that strongly resembled the human embodiment of losing. Harvey spoke.
|“||Well Wayne, though you didn't win the fifty-thousand dollars, or the trip to Tahiti, or the school bus fully stocked with fresh cheerleaders, you did wiiiiinnnn...! A LIFETIME SUPPLY OF LIMA BEANS! That's right Wayne, enjoy the entirely enjoyable taste of Gregor's Country-style lima beans, canned for freshness and delivered directly to your door. That's thanks to our friends and yours, Gregor's Family Produce!||”|
The terrible, stinging taste of lima beans wasn't awful for months one and two. It wasn't even terrible for three and four. Month five was less than pleasant. Month six, things began to change.
|“|| Ish-mas san aranoku Roshindo Russu chindan ban harimashto Dragaku Roto! Mon wagonasa chi Thundudomo oruganba watan kikaru sato! Sosai icho shai FUMI MASU! SHAI FUMI MASU MASURO CHIBA IKO!! Washaui kanno ona!?|
Welcome everyone to the Red Dragon opium den and world Russian Roulette Invitational! Much like Thunderdome, only one man shall leave alive! And it only takes ONE BULLET! ONE BULLET WILL BADLY DAMAGE! Who shall begin!?
Wayne didn't know that a planeride to Thailand would take 10 hours. Honestly it didn't matter to him. Three years of nothing but lima beans had eaten away at Wayne from the inside outwards. Lima bean soup, lima bean casserole. Lima beans with a side of lima beans in lima bean sauce. Have you ever forced yourself to try a lima bean smoothie? How about a lima bean and (lima bean) jelly sandwich? Every open canister mocking him day and night. Every off-green legume reflecting immense regret and shame in Wayne's eyes. Late nights Wayne would feel the pangs of insomnia, staring into his television set, remembering the Wheel of Appendages!, and the tens of thousands of other failures he'd endured. Panic, paranoia, and his serious gambling addiction began to noticeably affect Wayne's day-to-day life. No more lopsided racquetball games. No more embarrassment at carnival strength tests for Wayne. Three years was the impasse; in a lima green daze, he knew what had to be done. The ultimate win or lose. Opium-crazed Thai pistol roulette.
|“|| Hahaku no sama shindo! Shishen ma WAYNE-SU HOBOKU!|
It is decided then! Who will go first; WAYNE WILL!
"Safe for now" thought Wayne. "No one ever gets it on the first click!"
Wayne fell to the table. Gleefully the crowd cheered for their champion, a thrill-seeking Chinese business strategist named Naguro Hanagowa. Out of Wayne's palm fell a single green lima bean.
|“|| Ohh! Hanasu neho Wayne-su ona huan shoroku wandoju shinto! Inshmi fu nambu oriku Harvey-san!|
Ohh! So sorry for Wayne, but still, lovely parting gifts for you! Tell him what he's won Harvey!
Over the opium den's 1978 PA system came the infamous voice of Harvey.
|“||Well Shangi, Wayne's won himself a free boatride to the deepest stretch of lake Yamato! This all-inclusive deep sea body disposal is brought to you by the Kung Brothers: partners in crime since 1993!||”|
Wayne did so die in the Red Dragon opium den. But in losing, he finally won. Won the battle against society. Won the battle against himself. For once in his life, Wayne had a clear mind.