The space satellite Fred called a left hand lingered on my face for what seemed like five hundred and thirty-two days as my still developing brain tried to process what had just happened. I could still imagine the site of Queen Briana squirting at me and I was pretty sure King George was all over my face. Panic reigned supreme as the Danish crowd screamed in shock and horror. If you’ve never heard a bunch of Danish people freaking out, imagine the sound produced by a Chinese guy playing the accordion.
It was horrible.
The sound was exacerbated due to the acoustic modifications made to the hall by King George years ago due to his hearing loss. Back then he believed if he could increase the sound ringing off the walls it would counter the failings inside his ears. His design gave birth to the first building ever created where it was impossible to whisper. Everything was amplified. Whispering became regular noise, normal levels of speech became shouting and anything above a surprised whelp could shatter the eardrums of a normal person. The only sound immune was the blaring of trumpets. There was something behind the tremble coming out of the trumpet that made the noise pleasing to the ear and convenient to my tale.
For years the design worked and King George could maintain the illusion of normal hearing. It was only in the last eight months when he went completely deaf, thus giving birth to the system of sophisticated winks that had resulted in a six-year-old inadvertently causing the demise of the central ruling power of Denmark. Of course this design was also now threatening to cause the skulls of every single person there to explode like a watermelon at a Gallagher concert.
Fred was tired of standing with his sperm whale of a left hand over my mouth so he took his mundane right hand and smacked a brick directly over my head, causing me to fall backwards into a dark, musty hallway. I fell with a thud, smacking my bottom, the pain bringing forth my bottom lip and an intense desire to cry. Fred, though, would have none of it. He got right in my face and said,
“Man the fuck up. You caused this, you caused the chaos don’t you dare go to shit on me because baby wants his binky.”
I squeezed my eyes shut and tried to imagine what a “binky” was. Maybe it was something like Mary the butterfly I had seen back in the forest. I liked Mary, she was pretty and…
My lovely train of thought was rudely interrupted by a toaster oven smacking the back of my head. Upon closer examination it was just the left hand of Fred. He was growing more and more impatient.
“No more dreams, no more wandering off in that feeble little mind of yours. The King and Queen are dead and the vacuum of power leaves us vulnerable to outside forces taking advantage.”
I sat on the filthy floor and looked up at Fred. There was no thinking on my part now, just reacting.
“But the princess is still alive and we defeated the Alan Thicke and his army of man-owls, what other threat could there be?”
“You fool. Ancient Denmarkian tradition states that no woman could ever rule our glorious nation without a man by her side. Until you marry the Princess we have no one leading us.”
That didn’t seem like an unreasonable request. Sure she was a girl and I would have to get inoculated from cooties but I was sure Denmark’s medicinal field had advanced to the point where cooties was no longer the scourge it had once been.
“Okay, so I’ll marry her.”
“I wish it was so easy. A wedding cannot come together that fast. This isn’t a wacky sitcom where intricate details come together seemingly out of happenstance. Every detail must be planned, every possible scenario accounted for. Most importantly, the bidding rights must be sold. We don’t want to give E! a bargain just because they know how to present ham weddings.”
To be honest, the slight accent Fred possessed made me think he referred to my future wedding as a sham and I grew insulted.
“My wedding will not be a sham! Sure the Princess and I don’t know each other. Sure there’s a sixteen year age difference. And sure I don’t know if she watched Friends and thought Rachel should have wound up with Joey but I don’t care, ours is a true…”
“Not sham, HAM, a HAM wedding,” he said with great impatience.
“Yes ham. Royal tradition states that every royal wedding must be ham-infused. The wedding dress, your shoes, the radio, the garland hanging from the walls, the DJ equipment, even the gifts, everything must be ham related.”
“And like I was trying to tell you before you decided to hijack the scene with unnecessary dramatics this type of event can’t be done all willy-nilly. It will take months to prepare. Hell, it will take weeks alone to train our soldiers to guard against the biggest threat to Denmark’s sovereign independence.”
“If you thought I was going to rip off that joke from the movie “Airplane” where I explain what sovereign independence is you can quit listening and get the fuck out of here right now.”
I was confused and slowly repeated the word,
“Oh right you’re six and probably haven’t seen the movie.”
“What are you…”
“The biggest threat to Denmark isn’t a vague idea or a subversive group. It’s much, much worse…Zebra YAHTZEEs.”
A shudder passed through me as I tried to imagine what type of unspeakable creature was a Zebra YAHTZEE. I was going to continue the conversation down that road before deciding I would probably learn soon enough what a Zebra YAHTZEE was. Unfortunately for me I was right and to this day it, and its horrible guttural wails still haunt my dreams.
“So what do we do now?”
“We will go down this tunnel until we are three doors down from the Princess’ room. Then you will stand outside, for you are not allowed to gaze at even one of her eyelashes until the blessed day. I will tell her everything and we will commence the wedding process.”
“And what of the devastation and destruction still going on inside the Royal Hall.”
“Due to the acoustical vibrations we can do nothing for them for another twenty-five hours. Then anyone who hasn’t died or gone mad will walk backwards out the Hall and resume their lives.”
“Denmark is a fu—“
“Six-year-olds cannot drop f-bombs, Tom.”
“Denmark is a screwed up place.”
“How perfect then that a tyke with a screwed up childhood shall lead us all. Now come, enough of this exposition designed to explain to anyone eavesdropping what has happened and what will take place so that they can better understand and follow along with this tale of yours. It is time to go.”
I cringed at the thought of placing my dainty little right hand in Fred’s Sandusky of a left. Instead, Fred used that hand to reach up to a shelf above me and scooped up a giant mason jar. Before I could ask him what for he shook the contents inside and produced a bright amber glow. Inside the jar were three million fireflies. They would light our path down the dark tunnel and towards a future I could barely comprehend. A future filled with ham and Zebra YAHTZEEs!