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Black Friday: The Gathering (Vintage Vendetta)

Larry had been moping all afternoon. Xena was gone and he could not fill the void left behind. No matter how he reconnected his pieces he still had a big gap somewhere.

Yo had to listen to Larry whine all afternoon and it was killing him. It was time for some action, besides the only lubricant he had only worked on Yo-Yo(s).

“All right Larry quit your belly aching. It’s clear you are not going along with my ‘there is another XBox just around the corner’ philosophy. Besides I must admit, Xena had that certain whatever the French say she had.”

“A certain I don’t know,” replied Larry.

“Yea I don’t know either but you know what I mean,” said Yo.

“Um, sure.”

“My point is we need to go get her. You’re not the only one who had a narrow escape from that vintage collector Larry.”

“If I recall correctly his name is Vince,” said Larry.

“Vince? Like short for Vintage? Your kidding me,” exclaimed Yo.

“Hey I don’t make these names up . That’s some other guys job,” replied Larry.

“Well this Vince guy has put the fear of Mattel in a lot of old toys I know and quite a few would be willing to help,” said Yo.

“You don’t say. And you can round them up in a moment’s notice?” asked Larry.

“Yep,” said Yo as he winked. “They’re also living here on the down low.”

“How come I don’t know them Yo?”

“ Because as a box Larry you tend to be, um how do I put this, mobility challenged.”

“Fair enough. So who are these toys?”

“I’ll tell you what. I will go round them up and introduce you to them,” replied Yo.

“Ok Yo. I’ll be here moping.”
 said Larry.

“Ok but you better snap out of this funk by the time I get back or you won’t be able to inspire the other toys to march into the mouth of danger.”

“Mouth of danger?” asked Larry.

“Hey I don’t make up these metaphors. That’s some other guys job.” laughed Yo and added “I’ll be back.”

“Was that an Austrian accent?” asked Larry. But Yo was gone. I could have sworn that was an Austrian accent.

Before long Yo came back leading a parade of refugee toys. Larry took one look and thought he was suffering from flashbacks. If he listened carefully he could have sworn he heard either Wagner or maybe the theme to the three stooges playing in the background.

“Form up on me everyone.” ordered Yo.

It was clear he was either getting into the proper spirit of the moment or suffering from delusions of grandeur. Larry was voting for the latter.

There was a clatter of chaos and then from under a pile of what appeared to be every popular toy of the 70’s the voice of Yo could be heard screaming “I meant literally folks.”

“I think that’s figuratively Yo.” shouted Larry.

“Yea, they know what I mean.”

“No, it’s obvious they don’t. That’s why you are currently buried by them.” replied Larry.

A few moments later the pile had broken up and had formed a nice neat line.
Strutting in front of the line, as much as a Yo-Yo can strut, was Yo.

“Alright Larry, let me introduce our volunteer army or what I like to refer to a Yo-Yo’s little helpers.”

“Yo, you are starting to suffer delusions of grandeur.”

“What? Grand Illusion?” I didn’t know you were a Styx fan?” asked Yo.

“Um, up until they became a love ballad smorgasbord but I meant that you are starting to let your ego run away with you. Besides, you make them sound like elves and that is not going to inspire fear in anyone let alone Vince the collector”.

“Vince the collector. Sounds like a hit man.” laughed Yo.

“Well it’s definitely scarier than Yo-Yo’s little helpers.”

“Ill give you that. We can come up with a name later. Let me introduce them to you. Starting from your left and proceeding to your right…”

“Yo, I’m a box of legos I have no hands.” interrupted Larry.

“Yea, but you know what I mean. This here is Major Matt Mason. He is an astronaut toy from the 60’s. 1966 I believe. “

“He looks to be in good shape considering his age,” stated Larry.

“Larry, may I remind you that your shape is a box and you don’t have a right to comment on the shape of others”.

“Yea, that’s fair Yo. So what can he contribute to the effort?” asked Larry.

“Ahem, Let me answer that,” replied the Major as he step forward and saluted.

“I have years of space training at the Mattel Space Camp.” stated the Major.

“Well that’s nice Major but we won’t be going into to space,” replied Larry.

“Well I have a moon rover and a really cool Jet Pack that can move us along a zip line,” added the Major.

“Welcome aboard Major,” said a smiling Larry.

“Next we have Betsy Wetsy,” said Yo pointing to a baby.

“But Yo ,” whispered Larry. “She’s a baby and need we go into whether her name is literal or figurative?”

“Hmm, you have a point,” said Yo and added “Sorry Betsy. I think you could help us better on the home front.”

“Our next volunteers are brothers Jan and Stosh the Rock’em Sock’em Robots.
They’re Polish and they claim to have inspired a generation of Polish boxers. I don’t know if that’s true but I’m not going to question them. I think they will come in handy if we get in a bind and need some muscle.”

“That’s a good point Yo. Welcome aboard gentlemen.” Larry did a double take and asked Yo.” “Is it me or is his neck unusually long?”

Yo looked at the robots and said “Hey Stosh, or Jan, whichever; Please re-engage your neck spring. It’s freaking Larry out. Don’t worry Larry it goes back down. It’s part of their design.”

“Yo, who is that box there,” whispered Larry.

“Oh that there is Spirograph. He’s an artist.”

“We will not have time for art on this mission Yo,” stated Larry.

“Yea, I knew you would say something like that.” interrupted Spirograph. “No body appreciates art.”

“That’s not true,” uttered Larry. “I would love it if you could whip something up to inspire the troops.”

“You got it,” replied the Spirograph. “Do you have any drawing paper?”

“We’ll find you some in a moment,” replied Yo

The introductions carried on for a while and when they were done they had assembled a nice unit of specialists ready to mount an assault on Vince the collector and take back Xena.

“Larry I think you left out Mr. Potato Dude over there,” whispered Yo.

“Yes on purpose. We can’t afford the law suit that would entail,” replied Larry.

“Oh yea. I see your point.”

“Yo. You mentioned that several of these toys had some problems with Vince. Do they know where he lives?” asked Larry.

“You mean his lair,” replied a Batman action figure (of the Adam West variety).

“Um, yes I guess you could call it that.” replied Larry.

“Robin and I were once a captive of the one you call Vince the collector. I can lead you to his lair in the dark if I have to”.

“Yo, Who is this Robin that he speaks of?” asked Larry.

“Keep it down will you. That is a sore subject. They parted ways and it wasn’t pretty.”

“Oops, my bad,” said Larry and then added “That would be great Mr., um, Batman.”

“It’s just Batman my boxlike friend.” replied Batman.

“Very well, Batman. You will lead us to the collector’s lair.”

Larry looked upon the rag tag group of toys that represented his last hope of seeing Xena again and shuddered. They’re not the dirty dozen but their all I have, he thought.

Will Spirograph finally be recognized as a true artist?

Can Batman find Vince’s lair and if so will Xena trust her future to this collection of stooges?

Do Jan and Stosh speak english or will the author have to translate.*

What will Vince do when he finds out that Xena is not a vintage Pong game?

These answers and what ever the author dreams up after a late night snack to follow.

* He can if they just want to order lunch in a diner with soda water and/or beer.

Black Friday: Living On The Down-Low

A week had gone by at the local Big Box and Xena had managed to avoid being sold. They had been lucky thought Larry but their luck would run out soon. He was getting nervous.

Yo had the job of finding a suitable disguise for Xena. He was not exactly the brightest Yo- Yo on the planet, ok his string didn’t spin very fast on his hub if you know what I mean, but he could move around the store much faster than Larry and time was of the essence.

Larry was grateful that Yo was willing to take the risk of being out in the open during prime buying season. He could no longer move like, well, lets face he could never really move all that fast. It was probably because he was big boxed.

Yo had come back with several potential disguises but for one reason or another they all turned out to be bad ideas. The one idea that had come closest to solving their problem was when Yo brought back a box containing Hug Me Elmo. It wouldn’t take much to take out Elmo and dispose of the body. They also thought that he would not be in high demand given the scandal surrounding the Elmo puppeteer but Larry was worried the buying public had a short memory and since the Hug Me version did not sound as suspicious as the Tickle Me edition he did not want to take a chance on its marketability.

Larry was beginning to think it was time to think outside the box when Yo swung back from his latest expedition sounding triumphant. “You sound exuberant. You had some luck I take it?” asked Larry.

“Huh, no I don’t need any lubricant. What are you talking about?” replied Yo.

“I said exuberant, it means excited.”

“Oh yea. I am exited. I found a perfect disguise for Xena.” replied Yo.

“Well, where is it?” asked Larry.

“After the last couple of failures I was not going to go swinging halfway across the store with it. Its a box of some kind of ping-pong things.”

“Ping-Pong Paddles?” queried Larry.

“Yea, that it.” answered a proud Yo.

“So, no batteries required?”

“Nope,” answered Yo.

“Nothing to plugin?”

“Nope again,”replied Yo.

“So its something they could play in a power outage or the coming apocalypse?” asked Larry.

“The alpaca what?”, replied Yo.

“When the stuff hits the fan.” answered Larry.

“Oh. Yea, light a few candles and I suspect there wouldn’t be a problem.” said Yo.

“It’s perfect. They’ll never buy it.” said Larry with a big grin on his box and added “Will you need help getting the box over to Xena in the gadget section?”

“No, in the time it would take you to get there someone could take out your insides and put them together.” laughed Yo.

“You do know that this box is a disguise and inside I am legos and not a 10,000 piece mercator puzzle of the world don’t you?”

“Uh, yeah. Hey, it could take a while to put legos together.” “I’ll be fine,” he added and swung away toward the electronics department.

Sometime later Yo returned. “You can relax now Larry. Looking at Xena you would have no idea she’s the latest Xbox.”

“Just in the nick of time too. I just heard the manager saying they were going to put them on sale before we open today.” stated Larry. Just then the door chimed and signaled the store opening. The stampede had begun.

Having looped his string to the shelf unit Yo whispered “Quick Larry, toss me down behind the shelf”*. Larry did as he was told and then stayed in the back. His disguise had worked well but he wasn’t going to push his luck.

The sound of footsteps was soon accompanied by voices and the carnage began. Both Yo and Larry were sweating it out, well as much as toys could sweat, and the hours ticked by.

Larry was about to fall asleep when he heard a familiar voice in the electronic section say “Come here honey. Get a load of this.”

“What is it Harold?” replied a woman.

“I do believe it’s an old electronic Pong game Marge.”

“Yikes,” gasped Larry. “Now he recognized that voice. It was the vintage toy collector that he barely escaped from a few years back. Yo, you said you found a box of Ping Pong paddles.”

“Well it had the word pong on the box so I just figured that’s what it was.” replied Yo rather sheepishly.

“Swell, remind me to rewind your string extra tight.”

Larry and Yo listen as Harold and Marge excitedly carried away their find to the front desk. Soon they exited the store with a big bag containing Xena.

“We’ll never see Xena again Yo.” said a sad Larry.

“Don’t worry Larry, another sexy gadget is just around the corner.” replied Yo trying to comfort him.

“You don’t understand Yo. She was just my type.”

“Oh Larry, all big boxes are your type.”

“That’s not true Yo. There was something about Xena. No matter what box she was in she had a certain ju ne se qua.” lamented Larry.

“A june bug what?” asked Larry.

“It’s French. A certain I don’t know what.” replied Larry

Yo shook his head and replied “Yea I don’t know what those French are trying to say either.”

Stay tuned for the next installment of the Black Friday Adventures. Will Larry be convinced that all sexy gadgets are alike and a replacement for Xena is just around the corner?

Will Larry try to rescue Xena?

Will Yo get an French-English dictionary?

Answers to these questions and those being asked by the voices in the authors head are coming to this blog soon.

*Sure Yo could swing himself across the store but his fear of the dark prevented him from hiding behind the shelf without a little push.

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