Star Wars — Episode IV: No Hope (or: “Paging Dr. Skywalker”)

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

…there was a young boy named Luke Skywalker. Like many boys his age, Luke dreamed of becoming a Jedi, just like his father. He would stare up at the sky and dream of adventures among the stars. At first, all signs seemed to indicate that Luke was on the correct path for living his dream. His skills as a pilot were increasing daily, his latest achievement being that he could bulls-eye womp rats in his T-16; and they’re no more than two meters in length. However, things quickly took an unfortunate turn for young Skywalker.

It was as normal a day as any. Luke was raking the sand at his neighbor’s house, a weekly chore assigned to him by his Aunt Beru, when he was approached by an unsavory character whose appearance was not all that dissimilar from a relatively large shanty, or bodega. The overgrown slug-like creature spoke in a language unfamiliar to Luke, but his side-kick, an albino Rastafarian, translated. “Jabba says that you must do a job for him. Or you will suffer the consequences.”

“What’s the job,” asked Luke. “Will this interfere with my plans to become a Jedi Knight like my father?”

The shack sized fellow let out a bellow, and spoke again in his odd language. The Rastaman again translated. “Jabba says that he is your father.”

“No!” exclaimed Luke. “No! That’s impossible.”

“Ah-ha-ha,” laughed the Rastaman. “Stupid kid. Of course it’s impossible. Look at this guy! He’s like a small house. Between you and me, I don’t think he even has a penis. Hell, the only way to kill the son-of-a-bitch is to choke him with the chain of an enslaved bikini girl.”

Just then, the lean-to known as Jabba spoke in perfect English, with perhaps just a bit of a New Jersey accent, “I can understand you, you know.” He turned to look at Luke. “This guy’s my brother-in-law. Favor for the wife. You know. So listen, kid, you wanna make a few thousand credits really fast? I need you to take this box, get in your T-16 over there, and deliver it to a guy I know. Think you can do that? Do it once a week and you’ll have more credits saved up than you’ll know what do with. You’ll be able to finance your own rebellion.”

Being the naive farm boy that he was, Luke accepted the job. And so it began. Every week Luke would make a pick-up at Jabba’s palace, and then make a drop at a certain location. It was pretty simple. And easy money. That is until the day the stormtroopers picked him in his landspeeder doing 77 in a 45 MPH zone.

“May I see your identification?” asked the trooper.

“You don’t need to see my identification,” responded Luke.

“Excuse me?” said the trooper.

“I’m not the anthropoid you’re looking for,” said Luke.

“Outta the car, sir,” said the stormtrooper as he removed his sidearm from its holster.

“Move along,” said Luke.

“That’s it, you’re coming with me,” said the trooper as he set his weapon to stun.

When Luke awoke, he found himself in a holding cell. He could hear the voice of his Uncle Owen bellowing somewhere in the distance, clearly trying to barter for his release. But frankly, Luke didn’t want to be released. His chances of joining the rebellion now were no better than the odds of successfully navigating an asteroid field: approximately 3,720 to 1. And if he couldn’t pilot a fighter among the glimmering stars that surrounded those two magnificent suns, then life just wasn’t worth living.

But he was released. Not only that, but he was released a second time just three weeks later. After his first arrest, Luke knew he’d never be a Jedi, so instead he started mainlining Essence of Sarlaac — the trendy drug of choice among kids his age. He was back in the local lockup within a month. Things were going downhill for Luke, and they were going downhill fast.

Once he was released for the second time, Luke moved out of his Aunt and Uncle’s hole in the ground and moved into a much cheaper high-rise on the wrong side of the Sand People tracks. Down on his luck, and nearly broke, it didn’t take much for Jabba to convince young Skywalker that his T-16 skills made him the perfect candidate to transport large quantities of controlled substances across the sandy dunes of Tatooine. Jabba’s interplanetary contacts, Indiana Solo and some Wookiee named Huey or Louie, would drop the main shipment at a rendezvous point, Skywalker would pick up the merchandise and bring it to the designated warehouse. It was going to be a walk in the park.

Unfortunately for young Skywalker, it was a very short walk. Unbeknownst to Jabba, Solo, or the Wookiee, Imperial Agents had been wire-tapping Jabba for years. Luke Skywalker got caught in the middle. As you probably know, Tatooine had recently passed a 3-strikes/no-tolerance law. This meant that Luke had to serve no less than ten years in prison. There was no escaping his fate now, his destiny lay in a cell.

It was during this time of incarceration that Luke found an interest in medicine. He began meditating. He put his faith in his knowledge of an unknown force called pilates. It was with this strength of body and mind that Luke was able to transform himself from a youth-gone-astray to a full-fledged educated pre-med student. Within weeks of his release from prison, Luke was able to take his medical board exams. He passed with flying colors.

Luke encountered another setback, however, when he attempted to look for a job. Unfortunately for young Dr. Skywalker, he lived in a time when all medical professionals were actually robots. In fact, there hadn’t been a non-robotic doctor of the non-proctology practice in well over 300-billion parsecs. This left Luke with just one option: become a proctologist.

Oddly, due to many individuals’ fear of being examined rectally by a robot, business was booming for Dr. Skywalker. He became so famous throughout all of Tatooine, that people started referring to him as Dr. Luke. He even had his own self-help television show for a period.

Which brings us to the sad conclusion to our story. On one particular afternoon, Dr. Luke was treating a pair of Siamese twins. It seems that they were suffering from a pretty severe case of hemorrhoids, exacerbated by the fact that they were congenitally joined at the sphincter. These were his last patients of the day, so after treating them for their affliction, Dr. Skywalker suggested that he take them to the local cantina where he might buy them a couple drinks. In this age of disconnected robotic medical treatment, Dr. Luke found that taking the “human” approach was a nice touch that his patients always appreciated.  The twins agreed to accompany Dr. Luke to the cantina, and with their inflatable donut pillows, they set out on the short walk.

Upon entering the cantina, the trio was enveloped by the echo of the familiar music that became sort of the theme to this particular establishment. Luke always liked the tune, personally, but frankly, on karaoke night it got a little old. On this night, however, things weren’t fated to go as usual. Before they could even descend the steps into the main bar, the bartender yelled up at Luke and his companions.

“Hey, we don’t serve their kind here,” said the bartender sternly.

“Huh?” said a confused Dr. Luke.

“Your ‘roids. We don’t want them here. They’ll have to wait outside.”

That was the final straw. Dr. Luke reached beneath his white lab robe, next to his stethoscope, and he pulled out his lighted rectal examination sabre. His intention was to demonstrate to this bartender that his companions did not, in fact, have “‘roids” (as he so callously referred to them), for he had cured them of that affliction.

In a moment of tragic misunderstanding, however, Dr. Luke’s world changed in a heartbeat. First, he heard the bartender scream, “Help me Obi Wan Kenobi! You’re my only hope!” That was followed by a searing pain in his right shoulder. But when he looked down, he did not see his shoulder. Rather, Luke saw only the floor below; upon which laid his severed arm.  Standing over it was an old man in a brown robe.

Luke screamed out in pain, “My arm! What have you done, you fool?”

“Who’s the more foolish?” said Obi Wan calmly. “The fool? Or the fool who follows him?”

“What? What the hell are you talking about, old man!? You just sliced off my arm! You just sliced off my examining arm! I’m finished! Ruined!”

“Your eyes can deceive you, don’t trust them,” said Obi Wan.

“My eyes can WHAT!?” screamed Luke. “My arm is laying on the floor, just between your feet there. See it? What’s deceiving about that, you sick bastard?”

Luke moved as if to strike the old man with his remaining arm, but the old man was too quick for a weakening, one-armed doctor of proctology.

“If you strike me down, I will be become more powerful than you can imagine,” said Obi Wan.

“Shut up, psycho!” yelled Luke. “Get me to a doctor! Please! Leia! LEIA!”

Just then the sound of a blaster rang throughout the cantina, and Luke fell to the ground, dead.

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid,” said the shooter. “Besides, proctology is for assholes.”

With that, the cantina band began playing again. Obi Wan returned to his bar stool and ordered another Rob Roy. The Siamese twin/former hemmorhoid sufferers quietly backed out of the bar. And as the cocky shooter headed toward the exit the bartender called his name.

“Hey! Dr. Richard Kimball! Who’s gonna clean this up?”

The man just flipped a credit coin in the direction of the bartender.

“Sorry ’bout the mess,” he deadpanned. “But it was the one-armed man’s fault.”

THE
END

Encouragement for Marathoners

I just got an email from my cousin Jess. Her husband Chris ran in a Seattle Marathon recently and she sent a pic of him with some of the family after the race. It’s always sort of inspiring to me to hear of people accomplishing physical feats such as a marathon or a triathlon. I’m impressed with these individuals because they’re doing something that I’m pretty sure that I’ll never achieve. Feats of strength and endurance simply aren’t for me. I tend to gravitate more toward feats of discontinuance. Like that week where I left every beer I opened with about three or four mouthfuls still at the bottom. It was a difficult task to attempt. And needless to say, I couldn’t stay with it. Once I got into the second week, I had to start finishing those beers.

Anyway, after reading my cousin’s email, I felt like I wanted to be involved in Chris’s next marathon experience. So I volunteered myself to be his personal motivator. I thought that it might be helpful to have someone there to offer up encouragement. So my idea is to rent a moped for the day, and follow him along on the marathon route.

I’m keeping a list of things to yell out that will be sure to push Chris as he toils in the race. Here are some examples of what I’m coming up with:

“Run faster you lazy-gaited sissy-strider!”

“You call that running? I’ve seen 75-year-old refrigerators run better than that!”

“My moped is running outta gas. Let’s stop at that Marathon gas station over there. Here’s 20 bucks. Run in and get me 10 bucks of gas and a Red Bull. And I want my change!”

“From back here you sorta look like Melanie Griffith.”

“Left. Right. Left. Right. Left. Right. Right. Right. Get up, slacker!”

“So then in my third senior year of college I was sorta dating this chick named Sparkles. Her eyes really did sparkle, too! But that was more on account of the bad case of Fungal Keratitis that she acquired somehow. But as a result of her poor eye sight, her other senses were heightened dramatically. Especially her sense of entitlement. Eventually, we had to go our separate ways, but I’ll never forget her scent. She emanated an odor not unlike a rose bush covered with stink bugs, lit on fire, thrown into a bathtub full of hair, and extinguished with a spray of the juice drained from fifty cans of tuna. I miss Sparkles.”

“Pick up the pace, there Prancer. Rudolph is waitin’ for you!”

“Ever hear the song by Bruce Springsteen called ‘Born to Run?’ Yeah. I didn’t think so.”

“Gettin’ tired yet? C’mon, I know you are. Look, there’s an Applebee’s. Let’s get some margaritas.”

“Your shoelace is untied! Just kidding. No, really, it is. Ha. Just kidding.”

“Remember that lady in the Olympics that ran with no shoes on? Remember when she knocked down Mary Decker Slaney and Mary Decker Slaney fell to the infield and started crying? Remember that? The lady without the shoes was named Zola Budd. Remember that? Zola Budd. What a great name. Maybe you should change your name to Zola Budd. You’ll have to take off your shoes though. Remember that Olympics though? It was ’84. You know what else happened in ’84? Yep. That’s right! The Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers played the longest game in MLB history! The 25-inning affair was played over a two day period and lasted 8 hours and 6 minutes. That’s almost as long as it took you to get through the first three miles of this race! How ’bout less slacking and crying and more running, Mary Decker! I’m starving!”

“You run like Nathan Lane with both legs asleep.”

“Push it! C’mon! You can do it! You’re doing great! That’s it. You look great from back here! You should be proud. Keep up with those long strides. Fantastic! That’s it, keep it — Chris, will you shut it back there! I’m helping this young lady with her form — that’s it! Long strides. Let your body rise and fall heavily with each step! Great! That’s just great! Oh yeah!”

“Dude! I’m so bored back here! Lemme use that walkman for awhile, will you? I’ve got a Lionel Ritchie cassette I’d like to listen to.”

“Oh, sweet! There’s a UPS store over there. Let’s run in and pick up some bubble wrap.”

“Aw, look! You just got lapped by Cate!” (Chris’s three-and-three-quarter year old daughter.)

Doesn’t it sorta bring a tear to your eye to think about one man doing so much to help and encourage a fellow man as he participates in a grueling event that tests the body, along with the mind and spirit. But please, don’t embarrass me with praise for my efforts. Just pay it forward. Use these gems of encouragement to help along someone that you love.

Pay it forward.
And let us remember what a wise man once said:

“Sorry about the mess”
-Han Solo

Band name: Use The Force

 

Awesome

Originally uploaded by agendacide.

This was on Glenda’s Flickr page and I thought it truly was one of the greatest pictures I’ve ever seen. All that’s missing is Yoda on cow bell.

However, after taking a slightly closer look at it, did they actually draw in wires to lift up Darth Vadar? Seems to me he’d be able to levitate without the use of stage wires. But whatever, I’m just nitpicking.

I’m pretty sure that they’re covering “If I Had a Hammer,” by The Carpenters.