Nerds never say die

I recently read a book called Ready Player One that’ll soon be a movie.
Which got me thinking how growing up nerd was absurd.
So yeah, go ahead, shoot me.
Cos I get it.
Everyone’s obsessed with the 80s.
Which I confess, is so crazy.
As when we look back, we just remember the gravy.
Nostalgia goggles set to rose-tinted and hazy.
But it is what it is.
So let’s begin.
Now I could lie and say this begins in a violent and bloody way with our hero of the silver screen, Lucky Day.
Stealing scenes in Little Neddy Goes to War.
As telling you this, My Little Buttercup, would help settle a score.
But it’s not really true.
So I should start with when you and I got robbed.
By that bastard El Guapo.
Cos he wanted us to die like dogs.
But I confused him with moves more sly like fox.
And could define the word plethora.
(But I’ll keep that under my fedora.)
Next thing, I’d been smacked on my Dusty Bottoms.
And sent Back to the Future for being a loser.
Left in a flux, with no capacitor to be a true challenger to the powers that be.
Seduced by Delirium.
Fearing the Sandman had devoured my dreams.
Leaving behind his punk rock sister.
Till it was all I could do not to cower and scream.
But, somehow, she took pity.
And I found a reprieve.
So yeah, my life, until recently, has not been much fun.
I mean, everyone’s so serious.
Forever telling me that there can be only one.
But am I really deserving?
Lately, I’ve been fearing the Kurgen and when he’s returning.
As he’s the most devious type of vicious baddie.
Incidentally, shout out the mighty Mr Miyagi.
The way he taught me to treat my enemies was a gift and so savvy and kind of uncanny.
I remember how he and I would have a laugh in that amusement park.
Scaring the crap out of Scooby and Shaggy.
But to step back for a sec.
For most of my youth, I’d keep my mask in place.
Praying for an intervention at detention.
Because, in principle, I was a basket case.
But also a brain, an athlete, and a criminal.
So my teens were pivotal and perhaps my pinnacle.
Cos it meant so much to be part of that club.
A group where I could express and be free.
Which leads me to say, please… Don’t You (forget about me).
But remember when Jake and I ate cake when I was sweet sixteen.
Or when science helped me create a woman from my wildest dreams.
Or that time I gave jewellery to Hoggle cos he liked its gleam.
Forgotten that?
You know… it’s when we hung with Ludo and got our rocks off.
Before playing ‘let the wookie win’ got me stranded on that Starship Destroyer.
Oddly, dressed as Inigo Montoya.
Which resulted in a fight with the man in black.
Telling him, with conviction, that I’ll be back.
Cos his boss, the Emporer, had killed my father and should prepare to die.
Which didn’t have the effect I had come to expect.
Cos I’m a T-800.
I don’t have the flair to lie.
Even though I’m the scary type.
But bad things do happen when I embrace my machismo.
Think food after midnight, a glass of water, and a face-off with Gizmo.
But as you’d expect.
The point came when I started getting too old for this shit.
I’m a family man.
Fair cop, I’m good at my job.
But I can’t be bolder than Riggs.
He’s a mad man, with dark undertones.
I should have known something was up when he invited me to his vast thunderdome.
But anyway.
Maybe I’m better off freezing enemies in carbonite.
But if their force is strong.
There’s only really a half chance they’ll die.
Simpler to knock ’em out and toss ’em to the sarlacc.
See how far they fly.
Yet the obvious solution for a nerf herder like me, always seems to be the last to try.
So I tend to end up surrounded by bad guys.
Which gets me all pent up.
Makes me want to rip off my shirt.
Phone box style, like Clarke Kent does.
But yeah, there’s bad guys.
And then there’s me, a joker with my rifle and my gun.
Ready for fighting and ready for fun.
Cos I’m a ticking time bomb type of package.
Shouting Good Morning Vietnam to motivate the troops.
Trying to minimise their damage.
Cos I can’t help it.
I’m a funny guy, and a devil of habit.
Ready to travel to battle, all g’eed up in my Full Metal Jacket.
Hoping I can save Toon Town from these clowns and clear the name of Roger Rabbit.
But missions go wrong.
So I often spend time lying low.
Playing cards with my buddy Lion-O.
But he’s too good.
So I cheat harder.
Which doesn’t cut it with Cheetara.
Cos she’s smarter.
So I tell her it’s cool.
That we’re having a laugh.
And this behaviour is in no way damaging Snarf.
But any good will she has, at this point, vanishes fast.
Cos he’s so impressionable.
And we do lead him astray in a silly way.
Which makes me want to trade places.
Like Winthorpe and Billy Ray.
Then take a flight back in time as the navigator.
Till I end up clashing Nazis in a fight cos I’m the raider.
But as I was named after the dog, I won’t excuse my behaviour.
Even though, in archaeological circles, my methods have kinda fallen out of favour.
So I’ll just say this.
Remember that, there, up there, it’s their time.
Down here, it’s our time.
It’s our time, down here.
So with life it’s best just to plunge in, have adventures and say fuck it.
Cos it’ll all be over the second we choose to ride up Troy’s bucket.

Trash culture

Hey hey, I’m feeling low today.
When did our culture become so throwaway?
There I was, on display in the shop.
Best of the bunch on the shelf at the top.
And this kid comes in, Damien was his name.
A little devil clearly destined for fame.
Then there he goes, he snatched me quick fast.
In his podgy hands I’m never gonna last.

But off we went, back to his lair.
Me with a looming sense of despair.
I’ve been a good toy this just isn’t fair.
But hey, what can you do?
Very soon I’ll be part of this mad kid’s zoo.
Yes it’s true I was once top of the line.
Until what happened was less than devine.
Years of abuse at the hands of Damien.
Until he threw me out, like he thought I was maybe done.

Sitting proud on a heap ‘o trash.
It’s hardly a leap to say I’ve crashed.
Then, like a bolt, a thought struck me hard.
I’m the dealer and now hold all the cards.
This trash heap, this is my Kingdom.
Now I rule I can have some real fun.

As other toys arrive I lay down the law.
‘Wherever you’re from it won’t be like before’.
The message is clear, they want me to rule.
They know as a leader I’ll be super cool.
But one, like a fool, rises against me.
‘If you lead we’ll never be free!’ he cries.
I stand to face him and see fear in his eyes.

My God, is this what I’ve become?
In my efforts to evolve I’ve turned into Damien.
This makes me freeze and go weak at the knees.
‘Please!’ I implore. ‘It won’t be like that.
Together we’re strong and that’s a fact.’
Slowly, as one, they all come around.

And that became the start of Toy Trash Town.

Over time we’ve built a community.
Part of the world where we can be free.
We had to scrap for it though, battling each day.
Fighting those that became so throwaway.

The backpacker

Snapping straps at the airport giving little thought when you hear the last call.
Brimming with hope and ambition, yet suddenly feeling so small.
On a mission to meet new people, see new things, to experience the world and whatever it brings. The more you see the more your heart sings.

That first foot off the plane feels insane yet so right. You’re on your own now as your ride takes flight.
So… Where do you go now? What do you do?
You’d better find a place to stay pronto, that much is true.

Straps cutting your shoulders and weighing you down, you step out the airport and get lost in the crowd.
Accosted by sellers hawking their goods, but it’s nighttime now and everyone’s strange, cloaked in mysterious hoods.

The sights! The smells!

It’s a heady rush. You embrace the crowd and join the steady crush.
The onslaught of new sensations turns your mind to mush… but in a good way.
Discovering places new has turned your world Technicolor, when it used to be grey.

You’re travelling now.

This is the perfect excuse to change, to use your brain, to rearrange the way you think.
But now isn’t the time, you’re on a packed bus overwhelmed by the stink.
Opening your eyes to the sunrise you realise, to your surprise, you’ve just witnessed the demise of your old life.
This thought strikes you like a cold knife and sets you free.
You rattle the foreign coins in your pocket. Reassuringly, feeling them fills you with glee.

The world is your oyster. You’re staring at the harbour now, feeling boisterous.
Which boat do you take? Where do you go?
Sailing down this river will be another string to add to your travel bow.
You check your pockets and tighten your straps.
It’s time to go.
You don’t look back.