Messing with Marcus
By Kelly Crigger
“Know why I’m wearing these duds?”
I didn’t look at him hoping he’d go away. No such luck.
“It’s Disco Night at that bar in Westport. Come on.”
Resistance was futile. Roach was, and still is, an irresistible force when his phasers were locked on target. And the target this evening was a disco night in Kansas City. In less than an hour we were in a thrift store followed by a wig shop and 15 more Captains from our CAS3 class at Fort Leavenworth were confirmed to be doing the same.
Before my mirror mirror on the wall could say “who’s the mack daddiest dude of all?” I was in a lime green suit with a patent leather white belt, white shoes, and a white headband over my giant afro. My shirt was wide open and a gold medallion the size of Tom Jones’ scrotum dangled freely. It was as pimp as pimp gets and I even memorized the lines to Fly Guy’s infamous poem, “My bitch betta have my money” for the occasion.
There was only one problem. It wasn’t disco night. It was Ladies Eighties Night, a thinly veiled attempt to water down the ratio of swinging dicks to swinging tits, which didn’t work. It was a Kansas City sausage fest and Boogie Nights just walked in. It took a private conversation from Benjamin Franklin to convince the DJ that it really was Disco Night after all. He’s so persuasive.
It must be a supernatural phenomenon that girls can sense when men are harmless because somehow I turned around and two of the only girls in the place were talking up my friend Chuck. Chuck was a devoted husband with kids and had no game whatsoever so they flocked to him like sheep looking for the protection of a sheepdog.
If I sucked at picking out hippie attire then Chuck was horrible at it (and really…who isn’t? The whole decade sucked). He’d chosen a wig that barely covered up his high and tight and looked like a ridiculous hairpiece. He looked like a bald man trying to cover up…
A dim light went off in my head. Looking back on it, I’m glad I didn’t turn it off. Chuck left the table to hit the pisser and I leaned in.
“You know why we’re all dressed up like this?” I said to the girls.
“We were going to ask.”
“Well, Chuck there is a survivor. See how he’s got no hair under his wig?” They whip around to look at his head as he walked away. Their jaws dropped and I knew they were hooked. In my defense I never uttered the words cancer or chemotherapy though I will admit to being the seeing eye dog that lead them to that conclusion.
“He’s real self-conscious about it so we told him if he put on a wig and some disco clothes we would all do the same and he could finally go out and have some fun without having to…you know…feel like people were looking at him.”
“You guys are so cool!” They exclaimed. “It’s so touching that you would do that for your friend.”
“Well, that’s what brothers do for each other.”
Somewhere in hell Hitler patted a seat, inviting me to join him. If they could have threesomed him on that table I swear they would have tried. For the next few hours they were Oreo cookies on his cream filling and he had no idea why.
But there was a problem. As I watched Chuck getting Lambada’d on the dance floor (with the stupidest grin ever) I caught sight of a redneck just behind him wind up and throw a huge haymaker at someone in a corduroy suit. This guy had bad intentions for a friend in my group so I sprinted across the floor as 14 other disco dudes swarmed him from every corner of the bar at the same time. You’ve never seen a man so utterly befuckled as a redneck being held down by 14 guys in leisure suits while one (me) yells “everyone stop Kung Fu fighting!” Absolutely priceless.
The fracas cleared and a familiar face entered the bar. And by familiar I don’t mean an old friend I hadn’t seen since we were CIA agents dancing “The Forbidden Dance of the Seven Veils” in Pyongtaek for the Dear Leader, but Kansas City Chiefs running back Marcus Allen! Dude is a legend and I’m star struck by the Heisman Trophy winner, but before I could shake his hand I had to piss. Bad. On my way out of the latrine I heard his silky smooth voice.
I turn and it’s Allen. No shit. Marcus Allen was commenting on my afro. Somewhere a black hole tore inside a black hole and then I said something I didn’t even know was in me.
“Know why we’re dressed up like this?”
“See that guy on the dance floor?”
I tell Chuck’s sad story.
“You guys are so cool.”
I literally had no idea such nefarious tendencies lived inside me until that moment. As I walked away I heard Marcus tell one of his entourage to send Chuck a beer. My seat in hell was getting warmer and I only hoped I wouldn’t be filling it anytime soon.
“You mother fucker!”
Maybe not. The girls were pissed. “I can’t believe we blah blah blah.” It’s callous to say I tuned her out but I knew exactly what she was saying without hearing it. I apologized with a grin and they stormed off leaving me to think maybe my spot in hell wasn’t going to be mine after all.
“So I have cancer, you dick?”
“Dude…you gotta admit that was funny,” I plead guilty and tried to get him to laugh it off. Chuck was never in danger. He was an eternal family man, so the intense female attention, albeit under false pretenses, was welcome admiration that he hadn’t known in eons. He loved it whether he admitted it or not. Chuck eventually smiled and all was good with the world though my penance was to buy him several beers. Small price to pay for the story of a lifetime. The beers Marcus bought us only added to the glory.
But it didn’t end there. During the evening a number of Marines in dress blues had been wandering the bar fresh from a Toys for Tots drive. One unruly patron decided he wanted to grab a ribbon off a Marine’s dress blues to show his Brokeback Mountain buddies. Bad idea. You think Army guys dressed up in leisure suits can swarm an intrusive cancer? We got nothing compared to those Devil Dogs. Even the bouncers were like, “Um…is he alive?” when they finally arrived on the scene. I was in awe and felt the veteran pride swelling up inside me.
“We got your back if something like that happens again,” I tell one of them as I buy Chuck yet another beer.
“Who are you?” a Gunny asked me. I explained.
“You’re…Army Captains?” Shit. I knew right away that I had just fueled an ‘Officers and Army guys are walrus shit’ attitude. Luckily every Marine I’ve ever known is a softie for a hard luck story, so I played the only card I had left.
“Know why we’re dressed up like this?”