BestAshEVAR2003, Episode #327: What I’ve Been Up To – Part 2


I take a peek, and I see this old-school cassette tape, right? It looks like one of my mom’s old mix tapes. Zoe asks me if I’ve got a cassette player, and I’m like, “I think my old boombox plays tapes.”

“Let’s listen to it, then!” Zoe squeals (don’t get me started on her squealing).

I’m like, “Um, the point being?”

And she says, “To hear what your mom listened to before music was invented.”

I know—har-har. So, I go over to my closet. (For a virtual tour, check out “BestAshEVAR2003, Episode #248: Ashley’s Bomb-Ass Closet,” linked below.) I pull out my beat-up old Memorex. Amazingly, it’s still got batteries in it, and even more amazingly, they still work. We load up the cassette tape, then sprawl ourselves asses up, tits down on the floor—because, you know, that’s the only correct way to listen to a boombox. We press play together. Literally, we count to three, it’s my hand over hers, cutest thing in the world. The first song kicks in, and it’s like, huh? I know my mom’s taste in music is meh at best, but this is some kind of Mexican mariachi band we’re listening to. Now, I’m not knocking Mexican mariachi music. It’s just, I’m a little—a lot—surprised that my mom ever deviated from her usual Christian-country-adult-contemporary roots.

Zoe’s expression says it all, and she shakes her head, sticks out her tongue. She’s like, “Ew. It sounds like that stuff you hear at Mexican birthday parties.”

Here’s the weird part: we keep listening. It’s not my thing, and it’s definitely not Zoe’s, but neither of us thinks to press the stop button. I swear we’re in some kind of trance. I can feel myself getting sleepy all of the sudden. I look over at Zoe. Her head’s all drooped forward with her hair covering her face. I’m guessing that’s why she’s not caring that there’s a strange something floating above her head. My first thought is that it’s a rogue ember. You hear about them all the time in the news, but you never really see them. Naturally, I start to freak, reaching for my spray bottle, calling out, “Zoe! Zoe! Rogue ember!” But everything’s in slow motion. My arms feel like they weigh a hundred pounds each. I manage to roll onto my side before my body just sort of gives out, and I just lie there watching as the ember flutters around Zoe’s head. The longer I watch, though, the more the ember seems to resemble a musical note. Crazy, right? It buzzes around her head, drifts down toward her butt, then back up again to her head, this…this glowing, insect-like musical note thingie. And poor Zoe, she’s just as frozen as I am, lying there naked and helpless. The note thingie hovers over her for a while longer—and then plunges itself hard into her ear. She goes all wide-eyed and rigid for a sec before passing out completely.

That’s when I notice a similar glowing note hovering over my own head. I can see it out of the corner of my eye, dancing down my torso and back up again, sizing me up like the other note had sized up Zoe. Studying me. Then there’s this sudden pain in my ear and…that’s the last thing I remember before waking up the next morning. I know, I’ve lost you, right? There’s more. The cassette tape is gone. Like, Zoe and me can’t find it anywhere. It’s as if it never existed. And…well, let me tilt the camera down so you can see…

…yeah. I’m nine months pregnant. Zoe, too. I’ll let her tell her own story. The doctors are calling it a spontaneous pregnancy, which is really just fancy speak for, “We have no idea how this happened.” But anyway, that’s why I haven’t been vlogging. I debated whether or not I was even going to talk about this at all. I mean, teenage mom-to-be blaming her baby on some kind of supernatural cassette tape…I don’t know if anyone watching this will believe me. I wouldn’t believe me, either. I don’t care, though. You know me. I don’t like to keep things to myself, and this is something I had to get off my chest. If there’s someone else who’s gone through the same thing, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. The dosequisvirus epidemic has everyone throwing around “we’re all in this together!” affirmations and all that. Maybe we can be in this together, too.

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Jesse Gordon

Geek. Writer. Supreme overlord of the SUPERMEGANET pseudoverse. Author of THE OATMEAL MAN, DOOKIE, and other such wasteful nonsense.