…and we’re back in Theo’s New Age lounge. Goodbye, Tommy Carlton; hello, Goten-as-a-geek—aka, Theo’s original skin. Beta, Janny Boy, and Thrill-Kill are back in their everyday, ordinary skins as well. Bug Eyes is her usual jockette underwear model self.
Most importantly, I’m no longer a fucking elephant. I mean, what the hell? Skinning the fat kid as an elephant? The European kid as a Russian jewel thief? Meanwhile, Theo gets to prance around as the privileged white boy? That’s some seriously prejudiced SMN shit there.
“How does it feel to be back in your default skin?” Jan asks him.
Theo takes an uncertain step forward. “It’s like handling classic Mario in Super Mario Maker versus actual classic Mario on the NES. Familiar, but different.”
“What are you talking about?” I ask. “Joey was the exact same size as you, just not in color.”
“He was smaller.”
“Maybe in the wardrobe department.”
“Dude, he was ten. I’m twelve.”
“Whatever.” I shake my head. “At least we don’t have to put up with you running around showing off your precious little scrumptulatum everywhere you go.”
“The smooth patch of skin between your ballsack and your butthole.”
(Thrill-Kill raises an eyebrow. It’s hard to tell if she’s disturbed or impressed.)
“You mean the taint?” Mini asks.
“Taint is street talk. Scrumptulatum is the scientific term.”
Theo does the Asian-eyes thing at me. “Go home, Ernie.”
“Thank me first,” I tell him.
“Saving your life.”
“You just happened to be standing around in the right place at the right time for me to fall onto your back—”
“Thereby saving your life.”
“Does it matter? The fact that you’re standing here alive and are able to argue about it proves my point.”
Eva rolls her eyes, nudges Theo in the side. “Oh, just thank him before he throws a fit.”
“Fine. Thank you.”
Huh. Not as satisfying as I’d hoped. “Say it like you mean it.”
“I meant it.”
“Say it as a complete sentence.”
“‘Thank you’ is a complete sentence.”
“Say it as a more complete sentence.”
Theo frowns, looks at Beta.
Beta shrugs. “A well-composed sentence is a friend to everyone, little dude.”
Looking at me again, Theo sighs and says, “Thank you for saving my life, Tantor.” He takes Jan’s phone, taps the “send home” button.
But not before I flick him off.
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