The Rango ‘What Stage Of Life Are You In’ Guide (spoilers) – and a lost fork

I’ll be honest with you, rare reader. I am currently working on two other posts which revolve around sharing your sentiments about my whining problem but suddenly something happened and I simply must get this off my chest.

First.

I know you don’t really care but secretly, I hope you do even though I know you really don’t.

Did you know that I have a seriously ridiculous tendency to contradict myself?

Anyway, you are aware by now of what a little shit I am at getting things out quickly. To call this a ‘spoiler’ is nothing short of laughable. See, my mother says I am worse than a snail. I think I am worse than snail poo.

But that’s not the point of this post. Or maybe it will be.

I know for a fact that my horoscope depicts me as a drama queen who can cook beautifully. I am listening to Coldplay’s Lost as I write this so at least half of that is true.

I am so fucking lost.

Sure, it’s a feeling that comes with being out of school and jobless like how puke comes with alcohol, and you would expect a fresh grad to be smart enough to be at least a tad prepared for this. I can’t blame you for generalising because I used to think the same. Before I got out of school, that was.

Come to think of it, I was so not prepared for it that I wasted no time in scoring my first job; probably just so I can get to pass off as some sort of a hardworking model citizen with some sort of a direction in life. Screw the circus, I would say. Let me do something real full-time for real money and then we can talk about freelancing. Hells yeah, here’s mah story. It was the circus that I majored in back in school, and I was supposedly taught things about the circus. Precious, useful things that would help me secure a job. In the circus. And yes, it’s a metaphor.

And a pretty good one at that.

I must say though. Till today, I have no idea exactly what I was doing in circus training. I know shit about clowns, fire and freak shows. I know now it has something to do with juggling but that’s about it. I blame it on my lack of competence resulting in a contradiction that created an apparent disinterest leading to an actual lack of competence.

Which explains why I’m not in the circus yet. Why I can’t find my way in yet. How I ended up in the desert. What a big-ass fork is doing in the middle of the road. Why this post is running so high on drama queen metaphors. What in the world am I thinking. Why I can’t even tell myself. Shouldn’t I already have thought about all this before leaving my job as a cleaner wrasse? At least it paid donkeys. Now I don’t even get monkeys. And I am stuck, in a godforsaken, freaking desert, with a giant, big-ass fork in my way.

A fork in the road. Literally.

On a lighter note, have you watched Rango yet? I’m sure you have. If you haven’t, it is amazing. If you have, it’s amazing, isn’t it? Go watch it. Go watch it again. Get the DVD. I’m already waiting. In the meantime, that’s what the rest of this thing is going to be about. You see, apart from Ace Ventura and Gollum, I’ve never been able to relate to a movie character so well. And the pet lizard in a touristy floral shirt definitely tops my charts.

Think about it. Chameleon with an identity issue lost in the middle of nowhere. It’s like watching myself on screen. And as Rango got himself into deeper and deeper shit, I couldn’t help wondering. Which pile of shit am I in right now?

As Johnny Depp voiced it, “Who am I? I could be anyone!”

In this bloody case, I could be anywhere. But I must find out. Check this guide with me, and see where exactly do you stand now:

Stage 1) In the pile of shit where Rango just got thrown off his owner’s car

The show’s just about to start. If we’re here, it means nothing but a hell lot more coming our way. It might seem like an exciting adventure at first but we better buckle up, amigos. Losing that sheltered tank and imaginary wide-eyed friend will soon come to mean nothing. Our minds and scales will be fried off by the scorching desert heat, and until we finally manage to get a grip and on with our lives, there’s no way we’re gonna get out of there. Alive. We must move.

But as we walk, we start to hear something. Someone talking. Voices. They’re talking about us. Almost like commentary. ‘Live’. Narrating our every move. Watching us.

Like owls.

But they’re not exactly friendly though. As we start to tune in to these voices that can only be heard by our own ears (or brains), we realise that it’s death they’re singing us to.

Oh my.

Stage 2) In the pile of shit where Rango first met Roadkill the armadillo

Stuff happens.

We just witnessed Roadkill almost ending up as roadkill and we are so scared that we are about to piss in our pants. Only that we don’t actually have any on. Roadkill then calms us down by letting us know that this happens all the time and if you are someone on a brave quest, this should mean nothing too. Finally, we are told an inspiring story about seeking the mystical Spirit of the West, and soon we find ourselves on the same quest for reasons you’re not really sure of yourself.

Perhaps there’s nothing else better to do in a desert.

Stage 3) In the pile of shit where Rango hides after narrowly escaping the hawk

Ahh!!!

We were almost killed by a giant bird that eats other birds. Prior to that, we were played with, tormented, traumatised, chased, poked, thrown, abandoned, and bullied into non-existence. Being lost and having no direction means nothing now. It’s all about survival, baby. And nothing matters more than getting the hell out. Anywhere is better off than being stuck in the middle of a freakin’ desert. There’s no way we’re getting back out there again. I would rather go swim in a toilet. I can complain later.

Only to know later that I will soon be flushed out of hiding by sewage water into a little town named Dirt. Where I will think it’s safe to settle only to know later again that it really isn’t. It never will be.

Stage 4) In the pile of shit where Rango finally finds something to be but it’s not really him

Look at me Ma, I’m a blender!

So we’re in Dirt now. We first stood out like Gaga at the Grammys but we found something to be in order to blend in. Play by the rules first then find a way to break it later. We’re not entirely convinced by ourselves though, but it doesn’t matter because the townsfolk are. And because they are, it finally seems like we’re on somewhat of a right track. It’s been a long time coming.

But things happen. Things always happen. First of all, the hawk shows up again. We almost get killed again. We screw up again. We make up things. We meet new people. New responsibilities. We screw up. We lie. We get along. We impress. We fail miserably. We make friends. We make enemies. A snake comes along. Dirt gets into trouble. We try to help. We impress. We screw up. We impress. We screw up. We blow our cover. We wonder who we are. We wonder about our act. We wonder why we have to lie in the first place. We wonder if it was all worth it.

Who am I? I could be anyone.

Yeah. But who?

I have no idea.

And as we wander back into the desert more lost than ever, we finally come into a spiritual encounter with the long-awaited Spirit of the West, who tells us that no man can ever walk out on his own story. Or something like that.

So with that, we carry on. Again. Because if we don’t get it together, we will never. To better tomorrows. That will come.

It better.

Now, the rest of Rango is pretty predictable: he figures out a clever scheme to bring his enemies down and save his town at the same time. He wins back respect from the townsfolk and they proclaim him their hero. Happily ever after. La la la. Nothing much to say about that. We can only hope that it will happen to us too. Someday.

To life.

Stage 0) Crunchy creamy cookie candy cupcake

Zero amigo. Good luck to us if this is where we are. For crying out loud, the tank’s not even broken yet. If we are still here, it’s still pretend that we’re playing. Somehow somewhere, we know that we are meant for better things, and we can hardly wait to get out there to explore our great future. Don’t worry though, it will come, plus the shit as well. But until it happens, hang tight.

Name’s…Johnny.

So there you have it. It’s all in the name of lighthearted fun – nothing too serious. It’s just life. And ain’t life about seeking answers? I know I need some desperately. I have way too many questions. Like, why am I still here. Is the circus really where I want to be or am I just attracted to funny makeup? Can funny makeup earn me enough donkeys for the ride? Can I live with doing something else instead that has nothing to do with juggling? Can I really live with that again? Is this really about the circus? Or is it something else? What does this have to do with a lost fork, actually?

And then it all becomes clear. I am that goddamn fork. If I don’t get out of my own way, I will always be there. Here. Whatever.

Oh my.

A little old lady once said to me

“Honey, you’re so lucky to be lost.”

I smiled and to youth we raised a toast.

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