by Jon Plester
I've followed your instructions as they were given to me: I didn’t contact the police, I wired four million dollars into your bank account, and I thoroughly complied with every step of this hostage negotiation. You damn cyber terrorists have gotten what you want from me and now it’s time to fulfill your side of the deal. Give me back my son, Brian. Please, we’ve been so worried about him. He’s my boy and I want him back.
Don’t worry about my other son, Connor. You can keep him if you want, or let him loose into the wild. It doesn’t matter to me, I just want to make sure I’ll be getting Brian back.
Listen, I know what you’re thinking, Connor isn’t a bad kid. Frankly, he’s just not my type. Lately, he’s been getting really into trains for whatever reason. Connor demands I take him down to the tracks to watch different types of trains pass by, and he babbles on and on about their differences and I zone out. I have zero interest in the differences between two freight trains and I have zero interest in Connor’s milquetoast personality.
Come to think of it, my issue doesn’t lie solely with his obsession with trains, it’s his attitude about everything. For some reason, he thinks it’s funny to keep calling me Gungo instead of Dad. Brian has four or five good nicknames for me and none of them are Gungo. Did he call any of you Gungo, or even refer to anything as gungo? If he did then maybe he’s using gungo and its derivatives as both nouns and verbs, like “I gungoed over there” or “I’m feeling like I want to gungo today” or “Take me to see those damn trains, Gungo!”
Maybe I would feel a different way if Brian didn’t exist, but when you compare the two of them Connor doesn’t look too good - Brian is a real man’s man, a real man’s son, a real son’s son. I love the crap out of Brian and I would do anything for him, including giving up the fortune I made in refined oil. He showed me how to love and also how to dunk a basketball.
How about this, you guys keep Connor and in return I’ll allow you to see Brian on the weekends. It will be great, I’ll drive Brian around to your compound every Friday night and pick him up on Sunday nights. Connor will stay with you indefinitely. But you guys will always have Brian to look forward to on weekends. The kid crushes a Barack Obama impersonation that’s both hilarious and poignant. Just so you know, the only impersonation Connor can do is of a character he made up, Sniggledorf, who spits in the open mouths of “naughty fathers”.
It might actually be best if you hold on to Connor for a little while. His needs, more often than not, fall by the wayside while I’m doing other things with Brian. I feel like he may get more individualized attention if he stays with you cyberterrorists than if he comes back home with me. Heck, learning about computers would probably be good for him, there are a lot of viable career options in that field. Anything to get him away from those damn trains.
If you don’t want Connor, you can pay me to take him from you. How about that? You pay me back the two million dollars I gave to you that would guarantee the safety of my Brian, and I’ll take Connor with me. I think that’s a fair number, as my love for Brian is monetarily equal to my disdain for Connor.
Actually, I’m going to play hardball. You guys had your turn, it’s my time to make demands.
Cyberterrorists, either you give me back Brian and two million dollars or you will be stuck with Connor for good. Those are my demands, plain and simple. You have until 5 o’clock on Friday to make a decision. I want a gym bag filled with unmarked bills that can’t be traced left at the top of the old parking garage on 5th and Delancey.
The clock is ticking, gungos.
Jon Plester is a writer, improviser, filmmaker, and all-around bad boy from Philadelphia.