May 18, 2005


By Bob Respert © 2005

Cleotis was incensed.

He was also confused.

When his buddy Jay told him that he looked incensed about something, he wanted to ring his neck. He doesn’t have a sister, and even if he did he wouldn’t have sex with her. It wasn’t until he said those exact words did Cleotis realize that Jay hadn’t said incest, but instead a word that sounds familiar and apparently means angry.

Stupid words.

Maybe finishing college wouldn’t be such a bad idea. People seem to like using big words and stuff. One of these days, he thought. A time when he wasn’t in such a good place, maybe.

Get yourself a sweet studio apartment right down the street from work and your favorite hangout, and you’ve got yourself something sweeter than Yoohoo. Damn he loved that movie Kingpin. It sorta hit close to home for him. Cleotis lived in a small town, he hung out at the bowling alley every waking moment, and he was the best in his town at a game you played inside those walls. No, I’m not talking about bowling.

I’m talking about Dance Dance Revolution.

Nobody was better. In fact, he had battled every kid in that puny town of his and won. Early in his career he was still an unknown, able to fleece unsuspecting punks out of a few bucks in a challenge match. Some of the money he saved, but most of it he spent to pimp out his ride. He owned a phat ride, a 1996 Dodge Neon. This wasn’t your ordinary Neon though. He spent hundreds of dollars on the right fin (2 feet high), the perfect decals (flames and such), a new hood with one of those humps in it designed to allow for more engine to fit (still has the original engine), and special lettering to announce to everyone how much of a badass he and his car are (Turbo, Loco, etc.)

He was the shit, and he knew that everyone knew it.

Evenings were spent leaning up against his baby, the DDR machine, gently pulling swigs from a Miller High Life, and waiting for challengers. Most were in their early teens but he didn’t mind. He wasn’t looking for big scores in this shitty town any longer. He’d outgrown it. He was waiting for his Neon to get out of the shop so he could head to LA, the premier DDR battleground, and the site where they film Dance 360 Degrees.

Cleotis was going to make it big, he just had to wait for his $300 muffler to be installed. It’s a special muffler that is specifically designed to sound as if there is no muffler on the car. He was pumped.

But like I said before, he was incensed. Not from his car taking longer than expected. Not from his baby’s moms getting pissed off that he hadn’t paid child support for 6 years either.

Nope. He was pissed from losing his first battle in over 8 years. To a girl no less.

Nobody beats Cleotis. Worse yet, she didn’t even offer a rematch. Even worse than that, he was strangely attracted to her. He thought she looked a bit familiar, and it wasn’t the fact that she was trying desperately to rip off Britney Spears’ wardrobe and persona.

Maybe that was why he lost. He couldn’t concentrate because he was constantly trying to place her face. He chuckled as he thought of where else he might like to place her face. He needed a rematch.

In a small town you can track people down. She wasn’t from around here, but generally you don’t make it to the local lanes if you don’t at least have friends or family in the area. Cleotis started asking around. He was able to decipher what type of car she arrived in from Louie up front. Louie stands on a chair and waves to cars all day long from just outside the bowling alley’s doorway. He’s gotta be retarded. At least a little bit. Nevertheless, when asked which car the cute girl drove, Louie muttered “Neon…Neon.”

Damn, a woman after his own heart. There were only two other Neons in all of the town so he set off on his bike looking for the odd Dodge out. He found it quickly, parked in front of the towns only motel. Door 1A.

He could tell that little Cleotis was excited to see her Neon jazzed up with a drop kit, sweet rims, and a brand new exhaust system similar to what he was waiting on. Little Cleotis fueled him to the door and he knocked.

Answering in just a long softball jersey, she looked at him seductively.

Cleotis regained his composure in time to ask if he could come in.

“Only if you promise to play nice” she said softly, as she pulled him in by grabbing the top waistband of his jeans and deftly moving him in while swinging the door shut.

They tore at each other like wild animals, each frantically trying to get down to business as soon as possible. Cleotis helped with his tighty whiteys, the last barrier to what lay ahead. Immersed in a Tazmanian Devil-like cloud of clothes, sheets, and bodies, they made sweet love for upwards of three minutes. A personal best for Cleotis, and she seemed quite pleased with his efforts.

As they lay together catching their breath, Cleotis realized he hadn’t asked her name yet. Nor had he placed why she looked familiar.

“I woulda asked sooner, but you know…I never got your name.”

“Jesse. Jesse Collins. I’m from up in Otsego.”

“Otsego? Collins? Are you related to Earle Collins from A & C Lumber?”

“Yeah, that’s my dad! Do you know him?”

And at that precise moment, Cleotis knew the difference between incest and incensed, and he was both.

Bob Respert is a drug salesman from Michigan.

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