“El Magnifico” I shall call him. That’s his name in my phone. He put it there himself… with his picture. This guy is my little brother. Not really — not by blood – but if you leave genetics out of it, that’s our relationship. Like no other person on earth, he makes me laugh. See? Just thinking about him brings an unwilling smile to my face.
El Magnifico came across the following poem one day – it might have even been me-myself-and-I who shared it with him, much to my dismay – and he could not, would not, did not ever let it go. Before I go on, here is the poem. It’s a parody of the rather famous “Footprints in the Sand” poem by Mary Stevenson.
Butt Prints in the Sand — Anonymous
One night I had a wondrous dream,
One set of footprints there was seen,
The footprints of my precious Lord,
But mine were not along the shore.
But then some stranger prints appeared,
And I asked the Lord, “What have we here?”
Those prints are large and round and neat,
“But Lord they are too big for feet.”
“My child,” He said in somber tones,
“For miles I carried you alone.
I challenged you to walk in faith,
But you refused and made me wait.”
“Because in life, there comes a time,
when one must fight, and one must climb.
When one must rise and take a stand,
or leave their butt prints in the sand.”
I can’t even begin to count the number of jokes and witty repartee that issued forth from the sharing of this poem… all day long. El Magnifico was in his element: immature boy humor. I think he was still snickering about it when he went home. Oh, his poor wife. But, that’s not all. Every time we met up the topic would arise: somehow, someway, in some form or another he would manage to bring it up, and whoever was lucky enough to be there left in stitches. There’s a group of us who actually still call him, “the Sandman”. “El Magnifico” is just between us kids.
So, remember the friend who walked on fire with me? (See Fire Walking.) I need to give her a name besides her real name to refer to her in this story. But it’s tough, because her real name is SO cool! Like, there’s cool… and then there’s REALLY super-cool! And then there’s this amazing person and her amazing name to boot! It’s practically ARCTIC in its coolness-factor. But, for the sake of her privacy, I shall merely refer to her as “Sprite.”
Sprite and I were there for all of El Magnifico’s persiflage in his “Sand in your britches” blue-period. We called him Sandman – which he LOVED – and the ribbing on both sides just escalated every time we saw each other. I do think he’s the clear winner, though. Truth be known. If nothing but for the fact that he simply would not let it go!
Shortly after the fire-walking episode, Sprite came up with this crazy idea to prank the Sandman by dumping a pile of sand on his porch and making a couple of prints from the backside of her Levi’s. I supported her in this, as I was anxious to score a few points against the Sandman myself, due to a clear victory he had gained in a verbal brawl we wallowed in earlier that day. Nevertheless, remember that I am crippled: still on crutches from my ACL surgery. I should probably also note here that due to some major swelling in my leg, I was wearing a pair of the most comfortable shoes I could lay hands on. They were at least two sizes too big for me and had plenty of room in them for fits of edema when they took me. I called them my “clown shoes,” on account of them being so big.
Under the cover of evening, Sprite and I drove over to the Sandman’s house. We hefted the uber-heavy bag of sand over to his front doorstep. Inside, we could hear a movie playing. It was an action flick with lots of explosions going on. Perfect!
We cut open the bag and only as we began to pour out the sand did we realize our fatal mistake. The bag was made of paper. What is the sound that sand makes on paper? Oh, wait! There’s even a home-improvement device that kinda makes the SAME sound: SANDPAPER!
We heard the TV go to “mute” for a second. Crap! They’re on to us! We both froze, standing like a bizarre pair of statues on the Magnifico’s front porch. We looked like a pair of oversized garden gnomes stealing a giant potato. Then, thankfully, the movie resumed. Whew! That was so close! Anxious to finish quickly and yet so hyper-aware of the scraping noise, we tried to pour quietly. The TV went off again and this time, we heard footsteps!
Now, if you haven’t read my “Fire Walking” post yet, this may be a bit of a spoiler for both stories. It just goes to show how even the most seemingly perfect person can have their… moments. We’re all human – I understand this – and subject to the weaknesses of this mortality. My friend: my bosom-buddy ol’ pal, ol’ friend who walked on fire with me – this friend – Sprite… took off like a frightened rabbit. Gone! …in the blink of an eye! Se cabo! Est parti! Bulshiňet! (больше нет) — It’s Russian, OK?
And there I stood. Lame leg, crutches, giant clown shoes, holding the bag – literally. I will never rob a bank with Sprite. Ever. I’ll never rob a bank, but if I were to think about it, Sprite would now be at the bottom of the list of accomplices.
As the footsteps lumbered toward the door, I looked around madly for any place close by where I could hide. Running was absolutely out of the question. It had to be close and it had to be secluded. There! I saw an outcropping in their brick home just a few feet away. It looked deep enough to conceal me in the darkness and besides, right now there was no other choice. I vaulted away, using my crutches like a pole-vaulter uses his pole to propel me away from the door and toward the outcropping. Just as I reached it, the front door opened.
I could hear the voices of El Magnifico and his dear sweet wife, Sna. Magnifico, talking; wondering about this sandy mess on their porch. They made their way out into the yard. I sucked in everything I had and flattened myself against the house, afraid to breathe.
Soon, I heard the tinkling laughter of Sna. Magnifico as she called to her husband. As El Magnifico drew near, his booming guffaw startled me. That’s it, the game’s up. Somehow, they’ve discovered me, I suppose. I peeked out from behind the outcropping to see both of them bent over in gales of mirth. They motioned for me to come out as neither could complete a sentence yet.
Sna. Magnifico recovered first explaining that they would have completely missed me had it not been for my clown shoes peeking out from behind the house. El Magnifico was now in tears. “There was nothing…” he stammered, still trying to catch his breath, “except these big shoes…” and he trailed off again, being joined by la Seňora.
“Sprite,” I yelled! “Get your Levied keister over here! I’m not doing this alone!” She was already on her way, but had apparently travelled far enough that it took her a moment to make it back. (I tell you: no bank robberies with this one.) She walked over and finished the job at the front porch, explanations flying from Sprites, Crabs and Magnificos all around. They invited us in and we enjoyed a few more tall tales over lemonade at each other’s expense.
Really, my life would be so boring without my sadistic Karma breathing down my neck. I’ve just decided to be grateful for bad luck. It’s much more interesting, don’t you think? Although next time, I’m using a gunny-sack for the sand and tying Sprite to the lamppost… right before ringing the doorbell and taking off… on my skate board.