Monday, December 2, 2013

Manboy & Boss: An Excerpt

Author's Note: The characters of Manboy and Boss were created by Chase Menen ("Manboy") and Chase Ruiz ("Boss"). This piece was intended for a radio show interview with Jake Kilroy and Scott Barman that never materialized.

The following is an excerpt from "Chapter 14: The Mean Ol' Jungles Of India," from the soon-to-be-published autobiography Manboy & Boss.

“Boss, I think I have jungle fever,” Manboy croaked.

Now, in my heyday, I was quite a ladies man, often bopping with the best of the players, so I naturally assumed he meant he was after the chocolate babes. As it turns out, jungle fever is what the locals called getting a fever in the jungle, which, granted, makes more sense.

After several confusing moments of Manboy making choking motions and me bustling through my mental rolodex in the game of what I presumed to be charades (“Halle Berry? Beyonce? Rosario Dawson?" I bellowed, though, to be fair, the latter is a halfie), I finally realized my beautiful mocha man was dying beneath a canopy of birds that truly, no matter how many rocks I hit them with, wouldn’t shut the fuck up.

“Manboy!” I cried, hoping my face wouldn't become the waterfall I knew it could be, though, honestly, I hadn't cried since the ending of Hellboy.

My dear assistant, who had come to save my life on several occasions (including repeated instances of me falling overboard), was now asking – nay, begging – for me to return the favor. His face darkened as he made frantic motions that I believed to be obscene. As I considered fulfilling Manboy’s strange last request of indecently pleasing him, it became quite obvious that he was, in fact, mimicking the action of a hypodermic needle in his satchel.

In his bag, I found the needle, but not after rooting through Manboy’s other belongings, which included several bananas, a pouch of opiates, two severed yet preserved monkey hand-wands, and a surprisingly pristine copy of the novella Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

Taking the medical instruction I received from that one Pulp Fiction scene, I jammed the needle into Manboy’s chest, a move that he later explained nearly killed him, since I was only supposed to treat it like a vaccine shot. He gave me a book of medicine the following Christmas, an item I’ve come to cherish but have never so much as glanced at. Sorry, Manboy, those Dan Brown epics aren’t going to reread themselves.

Once the medicine coursed through his lanky, dark body, Manboy sprung up, alive and excited. He hugged me, visibly grateful for my saving his life, though, due to the manner that I injected him with the medicine, he immediately complained of chest pains and collapsed.

When he awoke a day later in what I thought was a dilapidated hospital but turned out to be an upscale roadside cafĂ©, Manboy said, “Boss, you are good man.”

To which, I answered, “And you are a good Manboy,” and then patted him on the head.

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