By Jack Keillor
I hate video games. Always have, always will, but my son loved the damn things. He couldn’t get enough of Mario, Duke Nukem or that Matrix guy. That’s video games, right? I guess it doesn’t matter. I’m not here to tell you what is and isn’t video games, I’m not only under-qualified, I don’t even care to find an answer. So you might rightly be asking yourself, “Why is this guy even reviewing a video game, then?” and to that my answer is that I have no idea.
I don’t even know why I bought the damn thing. I just found myself at the store looking for stuff while the lady friend I was with was stealing socks. This was our first date and things weren’t going great. Me, a former cop and her, a current criminal. It wasn’t so much the criminality the bothered me but the pettiness of her crimes. I get why someone would resort to crime, I do, even done it a few times myself, but doing it just for fun? That I didn’t understand. She didn’t need socks that badly, nobody did, and I would have bought some if she asked. It’s not like they’re expensive, but she told me that wasn’t the point. So there I was, shuffling around the electronics section when a little game called Overwatch caught my eye.
I wasn’t quite sure what it was about the game, but I knew just from the box art that I had to own it. So I was about to give the cashier my money in exchange for it, as one does to purchase goods from a store, when I see my date walk up to the counter next to me, her bra looking significantly more padded than before. When she saw that I was purchasing a video game she seemed disgusted and asked me to take her home. I understood, and after a subpar date of Arby’s and shoplifting I was more than ready to call it a night when she leaned forward to get a look at the new iPad and two tube socks fell out.
The cashier hit a hidden button under the desk and an alarm sounded, blaring intermittently and flashing red lights up and down the aisles of the store. Before I knew it the cashier had slapped a pair of cuffs on one of my wrists and I had him on the floor with my elbow crushing his windpipe before I had even realized what I was doing. I’d crushed the poor man with all of my weight, it wasn’t likely he’d survive a blow like that and I just couldn’t take the guilt of another cashier’s life on my hands so I leaped to my feet as he lie there struggling to breathe and I threw the money at him, grabbed the game and sprinted for the door as fast as I could. My lady friend had already taken off before the sock even hit the counter so luckily I needn’t worry about her.
By the time I got to the front of the store there were dozens of the burliest red-shirted employees you’ve ever seen and I did my best to not kill too many of them on my way out, but I’m not a man of half-measures, and when I put a man down he tends to stay there. When I was done it was hard to tell where their shirts ended and the blood-slicked floor began. I quickly made it to my car, gunned it for two blocks, dove out, wrapping the car around a large oak tree and booking it on foot from there. If they wanted to catch Jack Keillor they were damn well going to have to work for it.
I found a small but densely wooded area and lived off of berries and whatever animals I could kill for three weeks until I was out of cigarettes/sure that the coast was clear. I used blackberries to dye my hair and beard and fashioned a new pair of clothes out of pine cones, pebbles and super glue I found in an abandoned campsite. Why someone took super glue with them camping is anyone’s guess but I’ve gotta say that I’m glad that they did. I walked the sixteen miles home, saw that my front door was ajar and sitting there in my favorite chair was my lady friend.
Apparently she felt that since we had done the “score” together that she should get half of the haul. I hadn’t even realized what she was talking about until she nodded to the game still in my hands. I told her I paid for it and she didn’t believe me. I didn’t give a damn. She wasn’t getting this game. I worked for this game. I hid in dumb forest for three weeks and I’d be dealing with the guilt of possibly having killed yet again another innocent man for whatever the rest of my life looked like. I told her she’d have to kill me if she wanted the game. By the looks of the gun she pulled on me and the speed in which she did it, she’d already known this was how it was going to go down.
The first bullet hit me in the hip, the good hip, too. The second got me in the neck before I could close the distance and I make sure that the third went through the back of her skull. I never called the cops but a neighbor must have. They got there in time to save me, unfortunately, and here I am. Same old Jack with a new hip and a plastic tube running down my throat where my esophagus should be.
I still haven’t played the game as it didn’t seem to be compatible with my DVD player, but it’s sitting up there on my shelf looking damn fine. Just like it looked in the store.