Dudley's Adventure in Sporting Goods
by Michael Lawrence
Dudley Parker was an accountant. An accountant bored with his job and bored with his life. He was walking home from the office cursing his damned mechanics who were late with his car. His tie fluttered wildly over his shoulder.
His car has been in the shop for five days getting an oil change where the mechanics inevitably discovered the tires needed rotation, braking fluid needed replacement, it needed a new transmission, and the dashboard needed a new icon (the Hawaiian girl's head quit jiggling).
He was passing Jim's Sporting Good's Store. That was one particular store he never had much of a desire to visit. Dudley was never a sports person - as a child, he was never a Boy Scout and he avoided all participation in gym class as much as he could. But today, Dudley had the sudden urge - the urge to be a real sporting man. He could picture himself wearing a fishing vest - feathery hooks sticking out of his hat, shirt, pockets, and boots, reeling in twelve astounding large basses in one of the 10,000 lakes in Minnesota. Fish are too slimy, but he liked the thought just the same. Sporting goods makes you a real man, and why shouldn't he live out the potential of his anatomy? Dudley marched into the store.
It was more commercial than he expected; the floor was made of white tile (not red-brown carpet), the walls were white plaster (not finished boards), and the first display he saw consisted of shiny dumbbells for women's aerobics. Dudley scanned the place and it wasn't long before he spotted the towering mass of fishing rods. He didn't particularly like fish, but he licked his lips in tasty anticipation.
Forget about fish! On his way to the fishing poles, Dudley approached a display of bows and arrows. Dudley ran his palm over the bow's smooth curvature. He could catch quite a bison with that baby. On the vast golden plains of Nebraska, Dudley could picture himself on bare horseback with that wooden, polished bow and bright orange arrow with color-coded fins - circling around the stampeding herd of bison, trying to single out the biggest and juiciest one. He's never had bison, but it must be good - the Indians sure liked it. Of course Dudley might lose his glasses during the hunt, but that can be fixed. All he needs is one of those strappy things that go around his head.
The glint of the mirror near a display of sunglasses soon caught his attention across the store. Those strappy things shouldn't be too far away. His attention was distracted, however, when he noticed the display of tents. The first one that caught his eye was one that could easily fit an SUV, but he didn't need that. He only needed that little tent - the one so short and narrow it could almost be confused with a sleeping bag. Dudley brushed his smooth chin. He could grow a bulky beard and become a real mountain man. He could find some isolated locale on the side of a mountain, along side a clean spring, living solely on what nature has to offer. There would be a nice bush of edible red berries nearby and, every once in a while, an unsuspecting mountain goat would meander in where Dudley could either choose to milk it or eat its meat.
Perhaps, one day if he grows sick of mountain life, Dudley could take one of those kayaks along that wall down-river simply to see where the spring goes. It would be quite an adventure! He would use one of those heavy plastic oars to dodge large boulders and floating logs. He could fall down a couple major waterfalls, but that's what the helmet's for.
Eventually, once the river considerably widens and slows down, Dudley would stop at an isolated village in the Amazon jungle. He could use his civilized know-how and introduce the primitives to such things as written language, charcoal, fruit juice, democracy, and safety pins. In fact, the natives would be so impressed that they would ask him to marry the chief's daughter. Quite a cute daughter, as most chiefs tend to possess. Dudley would be set for a happy life if it weren't for one thing - the villager's would throw both of them into a volcano as a sacrifice to a god named 'Xictrawrexazpetal.' Dudley would have to quickly free himself and his mate, from the ropes and then fight the chief's speared army. It would be easy. All he would need is a whip. But they don't sell whips here.
Dudley found himself near the checkout aisles, eyeing a display of yo-yos. He picked one up and bought it. He liked yo-yos; there never was a finer product.