• Jeff South

The Kilroy All-Star Christmas Spectacular: Rockin' Around the Chapter Tree

Someone Else's Books is more Tony's kind of place than mine. I like that it used to be an old house and that all the rooms in it are different genres of books. The smell of old books has a certain appeal, I guess. You can find just about anything you're looking for, too. Kevin, the owner, was a lifesaver when Tony and I both needed copies of Something Wicked This Way Comes for our junior year English class. Cool class, I guess. Teacher smelled like gin. Kevin is funny, too. Weird in a good way. And the dude knows how to handle the shit Herpezoids try to pull.


I walk through the front door. The only ones around appear to be Tony who is leaned against the counter that separates Kevin's office area from the store and Kevin, who is sitting at his desk in the office. Before greeting anyone I ask a very important question.


"What song is that playing right now?"


"It's a Christmas song about dysfunctional families," Kevin says. "By Dropkick Murphys."


"Cool name." "Cool band."


"About time you got here." Tony puts down the comic he was reading and gives me a hug. "Good to see you. How have you been?"


"Groovy." I hold up the remains of the Herpezoid who tried to pull some shenanigans at the park. Normally, he would be a special canister, but I didn't have any on me.


"Why is it in a large baggie?" Kevin takes it from me like I've handed him a pile of my own shit. He heads down the hall from the main room to depoou sit the goods.


"It's all I had." I look at Tony. "How's college life?"


"Great. Fine. Wonderful. Good."


"Partying a lot? That's what I would do. I'd party all the freaking time."


"No partying, really."


That's Tony in a nutshell. No partying. He's my best friend, but getting him to break out of shell and go a little crazy once in a while is like asking a llama for directions to the mall. I don't know that means. I'm tired. Kevin returns to his place behind the counter.


"College is for parties," I advise. "Have you learned nothing from movies and television?"


"I think I want to study philosophy," he announces. I'm not sure if he's needing approval but he's not going to get it from. Who studies philosophy?


"Then you should definitely do more partying." I step to the comics display and browse for nothing in particular. "Kev, did you go to college and party?"


"No," he calls out while checking something on his computer. "My college days consisted of having my heart curb-stomped by the love of my life after she introduced me to the existence of Herpezoids which is why I have ascended to the glorious life I have now."


See? He's weird in a good way.


"Listen you guys." He stands and steps to the counter. "I'm getting intel that Herpezoid traffic is picking up. Probably good that you guys are in town. Might need some help if something goes down."


"Aw, man," Tony says. "I was hoping to just have a quiet holiday."


"Just be prepared is all I'm saying."


This lifts my spirits. Hunting Herpezoids always gets my mojo rising. That is not a metaphor or euphemism for getting an erection. I'm not that kinky. I'm open-minded, yes, and willing to explore, but I'm not way out there with my interests. Herpezoid hunting gets my blood pumping and I relish the idea of taking some out with my pal. I throw my arm around his shoulder and pull him tight.


"Hot damn!" I say. "Kilroy and Mr. Roboto on the prowl again!"


He sighs and hangs his head. "Let's not start that again."




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