Living Out a Garth Brooks Song -Or- The Time His Shoes Melted


*The following is based on a true story that happened to a friend of mine. He was relaying this story to some of his friends and they doubted it happened, so he asked me to write it up so he could have backup on it. Naturally I added some dramatic flare, sent it over, and asked if I could post it here. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent*

Many years ago, my close personal… acquaintance, Charles “The Git” Jackson, set upon a quest to obtain tickets for what was to be one of the most epic and transformational movies of a generation, Star War: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Given the hype set around the movie and the clear precedent of greatness that surrounded this franchise, there was an urgency to make sure one could get in before some malcontent spoiled the movie before one’s own inaugural viewing.

How fortuitous it was for Charles that his senior year in high school could end on such a high note, but being able to camp out at the theatre for the ticket presales would be a feat conflicting with his educational obligations. The wheels began to turn in his head as a scheme, worthy of the Emperor himself, began to unfold. Perhaps these tickets could serve a dual purpose? Certainly, there were others who dreamed of seeing this masterpiece it’s opening weekend? Perhaps some of these individuals were his very own teachers? 

Methodically, Charles gathered intel on which of his teachers were equally stoked, but unequally available to camp out for tickets. After little consideration, some teachers fell to the Dark Side and gave in to the temptation. The deal had been struck, the die cast. In exchange for opening weekend tickets, Charles’s final exams would be waived. All that was left was securing his spot in line.

The day came for his scheme to unfold. Charles had planned out nearly every aspect of what was to come. His sidewalk accommodations were in order, his various tools to endear himself to his fellow fans; amongst them his British charm, unparalleled geekery for all things Star Wars, and an accoutrement of snacks if all else failed. The only accommodation that was left unaccounted for became apparent after the sunset as the wind picked up and the air became moist with what was expected to be a typical May night in Oklahoma. As the rain began to drop and the lightning began to strike, he knew it was going to be a rough night.

Failing to see any other options, Charles knew it was time to put his newly formed alliances to the test. He called out to his queue pals and announced that the time had come, he must venture across the street to the QuikTrip for nature had called. Perhaps some friends tried to warn him about the dangers of crossing the street during a downpour, perhaps the streaks of light and rattling thunder gave him a brief pause, but his mind was only focused on the end goal. 

Cautiously, he set out on his path via the quickest route, directly through the theatre parking lot. Sheltering himself as best as possible from the buckets pouring down on him, he made his way through the ponds that had formed on the ground. He was planning his street crossing method when his thoughts were suddenly struck, no wait, this was more than his thoughts! Perhaps he was imagining things? He shook it off and continued on. Uncertainty hung over him like the storm clouds above, but he completed his quest.

Once he returned to his sidewalk peers, they asked him if he was okay. He questioned why and their answers clued him in to what had occurred. His mind was not playing tricks on him, the might of Zeus had indeed visited him on his Odyssey. As he sat down to take it all in, his eyes were caught on what had saved his life. Running his fingers over the disfigured soles of his shoes, he jokingly wondered how many lives this cat had left.

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