Frick Yeah: Part 1
A short story
“Woah, woah, woah, here we go! It’s Gary the Gullet back at it for FrickYeahFood. On this channel, we put the taste to the test with reviews, challenges and everything fast food. Make sure to smash that shubshcribe--”
Gary punched the steering wheel so hard the car shook.
“Woah, woah, woah, here we go! It’s Gary the Gullet back at it for FrickYeahFood. On this channel, we put the taste to the test with reviews, challenges and everything fast food. Make sure to smash that subscribe button and become a member of the Frick Yeah Family. Happy munching!”
Gary had experimented with a number of different introductions over the past few months. None were perfect, but he figured the wording itself mattered less than the consistency and gusto with which he delivered it.
“Today, we’ve got a new item from Costco to chow down on: Brie Larson’s Buff Chick Pizza. When I heard about this launch, I was pumped to see Costco enter the premium pizza category. And partnering with a beautiful star like Brie? That is major.”
Gary held the pizza slice up to the camera. A glob of buffalo sauce and coagulated grease dripped onto his pajama pants right between Stan and Cartman.
“Let’s see if we can get that to autofocus.”
He moved the slice in front of the lens, adjusting it forward and back in two-inch increments.
“Let me know in the comments if that worked, FrickYeahFam. I really want to get a better camera for you guys on Black Friday.”
His small eyes sunk even farther into his head, hiding between his puffy forehead and tender cheeks like abandoned kittens in a sewer drain. The parking lot was empty this time of night.
“So apparently this is called the Buff Chick Pizza not just because Brie Larson is such a badass boss buff chick, but because some of the profits are used to to make an app…”
Gary read the copy printed on the napkins.
“...that ‘teaches girls in the Third World basic self-defense and connects them with financial tools to reduce the global unbanked population.’ How cool is that? You know what that means: Brie is obviously our FrickYeah Fire Female of the episode.”
Gary made a mental note to tell Mehrab to include the “Fire Female” graphic and sound effect. Gary had hired Mehrab on Fiverr to edit the videos so he could focus on writing and producing. Mehrab lived in Dhaka, and though he usually took hours to message back due to the time difference, Gary considered him a loyal friend who was dedicated to growing FrickYeahFood. When he could afford it, Gary hoped to visit Mehrab and try Bangladeshi fast food together. It would be dope content for the channel.
He inserted the pizza into his mouth like a document into a shredder. Crumbs and goop careened down his prodigious torso like a rockslide and settled in his lap.
“The pizza is cooked perfectly. Buttery, chewy crust. Nice buffalo sauce. It’s tangy, sweet, yum. Yum. Yum. The chicken is awesome. Totally a level up on the regular pizza. I’m going to give this a…
Gary sipped from his Brisk Zero Sugar Kiwi Strawberry Zero Sugar Iced Tea to help him think.
“8.5 out of 10. The crust, the chicken, the buffalo sauce. Mmmm. And it’s good for the world! And gotta love Brie. This is absolutely a win for Costco. Congrats to Costco.”
He tapped the record button on his camera, coating it lightly with oil.
As he drove home, he cracked the windows for fresh air. He felt sticky. Making two videos a day was good for the channel and absolutely necessary to keep up with all the new menu items, but a full day of reviews caused Gary’s abdomen to ball up in hard, tight knots. He belched loud and long, sending hot stomach acid up through his esophageal sphincter, singing his chest cavity. He rubbed his solar plexus hard with his fist. His mouth filled up once again with buffalo flavor.
“Buffalo soldier! In the heart of America!” Gary sang softly to himself. “Stolen from Africa! Fighting for survival!” Gary decided that would be the first song he learned once he saved up enough for bass guitar lessons. Maybe he could do a song parody: “Buffalo pizza! New menu item at Costco!” It would be dope content for the channel.
He parked the car on the street in front of the house. His was the right side of a two-family unit, painted beige with taupe shutters and an ecru door. Next to the doormat, which released polypropylene husks into the watershed when it rained, stood a dead azalea in a polystyrene urn. Gary went straight up the stairs to his room. He had the whole top floor to himself, ever since his mother had moved downstairs after her fall.
He trudged into his private bathroom, pulled his pajama pants to his knees, sat down on the toilet, and wiggled until the broken seat was positioned correctly over the bowl. He sniffed the air. There was a stench, undeniably foul and fecal in nature. Strange; he had not produced yet.
Gary stood up and waddled around half-nude with his pants at his knees, sniffing the sink, the shower, the floor, the corners behind the toilet,, the areas of tile where the grout had turned black, his armpits, his fingernails, his shoes. His shoes! There, in the gutters of the rubber sole — rancid, brown… poop! Poop! On his good Adidas sandals! Poop, can you imagine? Right there on his good sandals. And so close to his Nyan Cat socks! His poor mother, only really herself just a few hours per day anymore after the fall, washing feces off his socks… how awful… The hard knot in his belly twisted around itself.
Gary knelt to his hands and knees and retraced his steps, sniffing the whole way, like an old tracking dog that an underfunded police department can’t afford to replace. He crawled out of the bathroom, down the stairs (Small speck of poop on one of the carpeted steps. Too small to worry about now, but worth telling Mom about.), out the door, over the doormat and past the dead azalea, out to the sidewalk.
Gary blushed slightly, realizing several inches of his gluteal canyon were exposed to the neighborhood. He stood, hiked up his waistband, and dusted dirt from his knees. There was the waste, brown and intact, kept chilled by the cool October night. Was it human? It seemed a little irregular, a little blobby to be from a person. But Lord knows Gary had not enjoyed a neat release since the day he quit Marshall’s and made FrickYeahFoods his life. He could not rule out it being human.
He surveyed the perimeter, scanning for the perpetrator, steeling himself mentally to ascertain, approach, arrest the urchin that had bespoiled his home with his frail mother sitting just inside, never quite herself anymore after the fall. The old her would not have tolerated filth in front of her house.
Uh oh: his bonguk geom (an 18th century Korean inlaid sword) was sitting pointlessly under his bed. Though it was labeled a replica on dhgate.com, Gary had to imagine it would be lethal in his hands. Why did he buy it, if not for a time like this?
The street was empty.
Gary pulled out his phone. 9:34 PM. Too late to call Boleslav (the landlord), so he sent a text.
Gary: hi Boleslav, no good way to say this but there is poop by the house
Boleslav was slow to respond because he still had a flip phone. He insisted smartphones were too dangerous. “Always listening,” he would say. “Hague people stop at nothing.”
Gary gave one final glance up and down the block, then went back inside. He bolted up the stairs to the bathroom, settling back down on the toilet. He strained upwards to twist the Glade PlugIn dial to “MAX”.
Boleslav: whos poop
Gary: idk it could be someone stalking me from my youtube channel. like a rival or a crazed fan
Boleslav: dog poop
Gary: it shouldn’t be there. i stepped in it. what if my mother slipped in it and fell again
Boleslav: your mother fell???
Gary declined an incoming call from Boleslav.
Gary: no but what if
Boleslav: scared me
Gary: what will you do about the poop
Boleslav: poop is on house?
Gary: no on the sidewalk
Boleslav: on walkway stones?
Gary: no on the sidewalk
Boleslav: within 30 ft of house?
Gary: no probably not
Boleslav: causing urgent health concern?
Gary: it got on my sandals
Boleslav: you have to deal with poop
Boleslav: goodnite Garie
… to be continued ...