Monday, December 8, 2014

Meet Fartus, a Child Possesed

My recent posts have been, admittedly, a bit dark and self-pitying. What can I say? This is my journal, this is my life, and I have my ups and downs. I didn't realize that I was in a down (or, rather, how much of a downer I've been), till several close friends pulled me aside in bars, asking, "dude, are you okay? I've been reading the blog and, well, I just wanna make sure you're okay."

I assure you, I'm fine. I took a week off from work, took a break from writing for a few weeks, and now I'm recharged. The new Doorman episodes will air at the end of the month. We're drawing interest from various auspicious prospects. The ball is rolling on numerous things. So, sorry if I've been a downer. Onto something funny: 

I don't know what made me remember this fucking kid. And I honestly don't know what took me so long to write about him. Maybe because the interaction was so brief, but fuck, did this little bastard make an impression on me in a matter of minutes. 

'Twas about two years ago, and I was working an overnight as a bellman. At about 4am, I get a call for a bags-down from a name that started with "Al-" and ended with a series of consonants that I couldn't fathomably pronounce. I groaned loudly, because, not to sugarcoat stuff, Arab people don't fucking tip. 

I stomp like a child to the nearest bell-cart and hop in the elevator.

I get to the room. Before I could knock, I hear a man pleading through the door: 

Man - "Fartus, stop it. Fartus, get down. Fartus. Fartus! FARTUS!" 

Knock, knock. 

The door opens. A wiry-thin, crestfallen man answers the door. The bags under his eyes accentuate and sag so heavily on his olive skin that I had to fight the urge to stab them with my pen to see how much fluid would squirt out of them. He looks as if he'd just gotten done walking across Asia, and he'd met the devil along the way. Judging by the look on his face, I'm not sure if he wants me to help him with his bags or kill him, putting him out of his misery.

I look behind him. The room looks like a fucking grenade hit it. There's candy wrappers everywhere, toys scattered about, some smashed to pieces, a few stuffed animals with their heads pulled off. There's one of those phallic-looking inflatable stadium noise-makers that you bang together (better know as "thundersticks") on the floor next to him, which looks it was bitten till it popped.  

Man - "Hello, sir. Please - can you call for me a taxi and help with the bags?" 

Before I could step inside, I see a shadowy-figure quickly pitter-patter behind the Man, hiding being the door. This terrifies him as he gestures for me to come inside. 

I wheel the cart in, making my way toward the four large suitcases. The door closes. I hear the pitter-patter creep up behind me. I feel a slight whip of wind sail past my left ear. Startled, my eyes jolt up just in time to spot an action figure exploding onto the wall in front of me. 

I quickly turn around, hearing the pitter-patter zip elsewhere in the room. No one behind me. 

Man - "Fartus! Stop it!" 

What the fuck just happened? 

I freeze in my tracks. I'm under attack.

I turn to the Man for an explanation. The moment my eyes lock his, a life-sized, stuffed Stewie Griffin plasters him in the side of the face. He barely reacts to the impact, as though it's something that happens on a minute-to-minute basis. His saggy eyes look to the corner of the room.

Man - "Fartus! Pick that up!"

That's when he emerged from behind the bed.

"Fartus" (I spell it exactly like I heard it), was three feet of unabashed fury, with a menacing mop of black, curly hair atop a candy-tweaking, object-hurling hell-spawn. His black pupils darted about the room, constantly looking for the next toy to destroy, or the next blunt object he could use to assault any and every adult in the room. I've seen some poorly-behaved children in my time working in hotels, but Fartus was in a league of his own. He has a chocolate all over his face. And not just a smidgen, no, I mean all over his fucking face. Like war paint.

Fartus takes one look at me. I avert my eyes immediately. Rookie mistake. He immediately sniffs weakness, then gets a running start and kicks Stewie Griffin in my direction. It connects with my chest before I could put my hands up.

I again turn to the Man for an explanation. He returns an, "if I go to the bathroom for a few minutes, return and Fartus isn't here, I'll give you a million dollars" look back at me.

Man - "Fartus, please. Do not kick the man."

I look at Fartus, knowing all he heard was, "kick the man".

Fartus runs towards me like a locomotive. I defend myself by putting my leg up in the air and extend one arm down, like a Heisman Trophy. Luckily, the Man catches him before he could get to me.

Man - "Fartus, clean this mess up!"

Fartus grabs a second inflatable thunderstick from under the bed. He then jumps, in one fluid motion, on top of a chair. He takes the thunderstick, tucks it between his legs, and begins demonstrating the act of a well-endowed man urinating all over the room.

Fartus - "PSSSSSSSSS!!!! PSSSSSS!!!! PSSSSSSS!!!!!!!"

Man - "Fartus, get down! Stop that!"

He jumps off the chair, whacks his father in the testicles with the thunderstick, then bites the noisemaker, growling and snarling as he attempts to make it pop. The Man grabs it and a tug-of-war ensues. Fartus's lockjaw is not match for his feeble, exhausted father. The thunderstick explodes, sending pieces lying about the room. Fartus begins chewing on the remnants of the destroyed plastic toy.

Man - "Fartus, spit that out!"

The Man puts his fingers in Fartus's mouth to recover the tiny pieces of plastic. Now, I've known this kid for three minutes. I could have told this fucking idiot what was about to happen.

Fartus clamps his teeth down on his father's fingers. The Man screams and yanks them out. Fartus runs towards me. I hide behind the bell cart. The Man gives chase and grabs his son before he could assault me. Fartus does the patented back-arch that children do to slink out of the grasps of their parent's clutches. I begin furiously loading the suitcases on the cart. Fartus his the floor and begins screaming. I yell over them:

Doorman - "Okay, sir! I'm going to bring this stuff downstair call you a taxi!" 

Man - "Thank you, sir!"

Fartus breaks free, climbs on top of the bed, and starts rigorously jumping. I load the last piece of luggage onto the cart, then quickly head towards the door. Before I could leave, I hear a gurgling sound, followed by a splash onto the carpet.

I turn to see a puddle choco-vomit on the floor, and Fartus continuing to jump on the bed with an increasing ferocity. Projectile vomiting didn't deter him from jumping for a fucking nanosecond.

Man - "Fartus, look what you did!"

I scurry out of there before the next bad thing could happen. I close the door, push the cart down the hall a few feet, and press the elevator button. I hear the Man's muffled please from the other side of the door.

Man - "Fartus, please! Fartus, put your shoes on! Fartus, come back here! Fartus! FARTUS!!!"

My God. 

I get to the lobby and leave the cart a few feet away from the bell desk. I get on the horn for a car service, because I'm positive that I won't be getting tipped and want to salvage some money from this interaction.

Seeing that it's 4am, I have a difficult time getting a dispatcher on the phone. After a few attempts with no success, Fartus and his father exit the elevator. Without hesitation, Fartus darts to the bell cart and begins to climb it like King Kong.

The Man approaches me with a five dollar bill in his hand. I tuck the ringing phone receiver between my shoulder and jaw and graciously accept.

Man - "Thank you, sir."

Oh, wow. Okay. 

The driver answers the phone on the other hand.

Driver - "Hello?"

I look up and see Fartus atop the cart. King Kong has come and conquered.

Doorman - "Hey, are you close? I have a job. Newark, two people."

Driver - "Yes, I'm pulling up now."

Double whammy! 

That's another ten bucks. What I thought would be a giant goose-egg just turned into a $15 job. I nod to the Man.

Doorman - "Great, I'll bring them right out!"

I hang up the phone and begin to walk around the desk to the cart.

That's when I saw it unfold.

Fartus, in an attempt to swing himself from one side of the cart to the other, loses his balance and begins his decent down to the floor.

Now, this may be a stretch of a reference, but fuck it, I'll give it a shot:

There's a live-action film from the 80's about a cat and dog called The Adventures of Milo and Otis that's narrated by Dudley Moore. We watched it often when we were kids. I don't remember much about the film, other than one part that my brother and I would repeatedly rewind while howling with laughter: At some point, Milo the Cat gets into a pickle and is forced to jump off a cliff, landing safely into a body of water. The filmmakers, much to our amusement, opted to capture this in super slow-motion (after a bit of digging, I found said moment at the 2:26 mark of this video). We would sit there and watch this poor cat flailing it's legs and summersaulting off the cliff over and over and over again, laughing uncontrollably as our worried mother looked on and wondered if she was raising two imbeciles (she wasn't, he's in medical school and I'm a, well, ... fuck you).

But I digress. Maybe it was the length of time that I'd been awake, or maybe it was that I secretly wanted it to happen, but I watched Fartus fall from the bell cart in super slow-motion, just as little Milo did off the cliff.

He lands on his back, with his disproportionate dome smacking the carpeted floor of the lobby with a loud thud. He immediately tries to get up, though staggers to the side like a drunkard and topples over again.

Fartus lay lifeless on the floor. His father and I run over immediately.

Man - "Fartus! Fartus!"

The Man picks up his son. The scattered people in the lobby all rush to the attention of little, limp Fartus. After a moment, his eyes boggle open... and he slaps his father in the mouth.

The Man, defeated, immediately and carelessly drops him. Fartus lands on his feet, like a cat. He proceeds on with running around in circles and wreaking havoc.

I bring the luggage out to the car, thank the Man and wish him luck on his trip home. I never saw them again.  

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