Twenty-One of Infinite Realities:
For Rick Chandler this was a dream that had virtually come true. Darren was right. Even though this experience didn’t happen in his default reality, he could feel the emotional rush exactly as if it was really happening. What was even better was that Rick was able to experience this adventure from a fourteen years olds perspective. He had all the energy and hormones of a real teenager. For a brief period in time he would be able to enter another dimension where he was no longer living in an old person’s body and was suffering all the aches and pains that seemed inevitably to accompany living to the age of sixty-two.
Rick’s sexual desire was back in a way that he had long forgotten. This was another insult that one had to endure as they reached their golden years. He was almost mesmerized by the sexiness of Mikaela, their road manager and chauffeur for the evening. Mikaela had beautiful long strawberry blond hair. She was wearing a cherry red tank top and very tight stone wash jeans. Mikaela wore shimmering silver earrings that almost blinded Rick when a ray of reflected sunlight reflected off them. Rick knew that he was too young for Mikaela. Girls in high school always dated guys a couple of years older than they were. But what the heck, Rick would enjoy his daydream while it lasted.
The white van pulled up to the back entrance of River Heights Community Club. The recreation center’s part time caretaker, Slim Owens guided Mikaela as she backed the van to a spot where the band would have just enough room to unload the equipment. Slim was in his early seventies and he still enjoyed working at the community center. He liked young people and figured that keeping in regular contact with youth would increase his own longevity.
The band even had an unofficial volunteer roadie named Adam Roberts. Adam was a big kid about fifteen years old. Just last year Adam’s parents had bought him a bench press and a set of weights for Christmas as well as a Joe Weider resistance training manual. From this guide Adam learned all the basic exercises to turn himself into a weight lifter. As Adam had good genetics and his testosterone levels were high, within two months and with a lot of hard training, Adam had started to develop an impressive muscular physique. This made him a natural choice to be a band’s roadie. Adam liked being a roadie as it gave him some extra status in his local high school. He felt pride when kids would say that the big gut was ‘with The Band’. Adam also felt a strong attraction to Mikaela.
“You guys just go in the club and get yourselves a Coke. I can get all your gear in myself,” Adam said.
Bill walked over to the coffee table and picked up the tablet. As he examined it he knew that this electronic device was very new and advanced technology and could not as yet be purchased at your local Best Buy or Future Shop. He could not recognize any of the apps or icons on the tablet. Bill wondered how the disheveled old man he saw in the hall acquired such a sophisticated piece of technology. Was he the inventor? And why would he give it to Bill, a total stranger?
Bill decided that he didn’t need to know the answers to these questions right now. He needed to see how the tablet worked and what it could do. It didn’t come with an owner’s manual so Bill would have to figure things out by randomly touching the icons on the screen.
Bill looked forward to the challenge. He didn’t consider himself to be a geek, but he was very interested in technology. Bill owned an HP desktop PC, a Dell laptop, a PS4, a smart phone and a Samsung Galaxy tablet. When he wasn’t working or spending time with Blake, Bill was usually engaged with one of his electronic toys.
Bill Hainsey was forty-four years old. He was five feet ten inches tall and weighed approximately two hundred ten pounds. He was in the best shape of his life due to his extreme dedication to his self- created physical training program. He did resistance training and worked a different body part every day. Bill took every Sunday off to rest. This was also his cheat day in which he would eat anything he wanted. He usually treated himself to a hamburger or a pizza. During the rest of the week he ate only healthy foods. During the rest of the week he ate only healthy foods. This was known as ‘eating clean’. Bill also loved riding his Giant mountain bike through a local park. It usually took forty-five minutes for Bill to complete his route.
Bill was on long term disability. His wife Janine had dumped him about the same time that Bill encountered the most difficult class of his twenty-year teaching career. Like a perfect storm of stress, Bill’s life and mental health began to fall apart. His principal was aware that Bill was struggling with his new class of grade eights called Bill into his office. Worried about Bill’s health he told him that he should definitely go on stress leave.
“Yeah I know what you mean,” replied Matt. “I mean I love cars and all that but not sure I want to dedicate my whole life fixing them either. I’m not so sure I’m going to stick with this trade.”
“Well, well my friend, it sounds like were both in the same boat. Remember four-thirty tomorrow at the gym.”
“I’ll be there.” replied Matt.
The next day the two friends met at the gym. They decided it was going to be their arms day. The two guys had advanced to the stage in their workouts where they specialize in one body part per day. When they had finished changing and got to the gym floor they headed straight for the biceps curl machine. As Mike was starting his first set of bicep curls, Matt noticed two guys they had seen before enter the gym. “Hey, Mike. Get a load of those two dudes who just came in.”
“What is this?A circus?” Mike observed.
The two new guys that walked in did appear to be a bit strange. One of them had blue hair styled like a Mohawk. The other one had short orange hair on his head but had a pointed green goatee for a beard. They were both big guys. The one with the blue Mohawk probably weighed about 260 pounds. The one with the short orange hair and pointed green goatee probably weighed in at around 280 pounds. The two new guys appeared to know what they were doing. They headed straight for the bench press. One of them started warming up with a 45 pound dumbbell in each hand. He began to do a set of dumbbell chest presses. Both Mike and Matt were impressed at the ease with which the Blue Hair lifted the dumbbells. At the end of his first set of ten repetitions there wasn’t a bead of sweat on him. He didn’t sound out of breath either.
“I wonder what those two guys do for a living or if they even have jobs,” queried Mike.
“Beats me but they probably don’t sell cars or life insurance,” Matt joked.
“Those two guys are really getting me curious,” said Mike. “What if we asked them what they do for a living after they’ve finished working out?”
“I just hope those two dudes are friendly,” laughed Matt.
Monique arrived at Aunt Meg’s cottage at around 10:00 AM. Before Monique left yesterday evening she and Ryan had agreed to check out The University of British Columbia. I think they both knew that something was going on between them and that they might decide to pursue their educations on the same campus. After taking a leisurely walk outside the campus, Ryan and Monique decided to go for lunch at the university’s cafeteria. They thought that they might meet some of the university’s students and be able to ask them some questions.
They found a table just across from where Kyle Winter and his friends were sitting. As Kyle had a loud voice Ryan and Monique could not help but overhear the conversation at the adjoining table.
“I’ve got our time and date set for our meeting with Dr. Phelge and Dean Sanderson. It will take place at 10:00 next Tuesday.” As usual Kyle was taking charge.
“ I’ll need all of you guys there on time and I want you to come dressed in business style clothing. We need to look professional and look like we’re taking this project very seriously.”
“What do you think Dean Anderson will think of our Ogopogo project?” asked Keesha.
Ryan spat out his coffee when he heard Keesha say, ‘Ogopogo project.’ As there were still a couple of open spaces at Kyle’s table, Ryan signaled for Monique to move her chair to the university students’ table.
“Could we join you guys for lunch?” asked Ryan. “We overheard you talking about Ogopogo.”
“Sure, come join us.” said Keesha.
Ryan and Monique moved their chairs right beside the group of UBC students. “We should introduce ourselves. I’m Ryan and this is Monique.”
“Is Monique your partner or girlfriend?” asked Ian.
“I wish,” answered Ryan. This made Monique blush. Kyle and his friends then made all their introductions.
“Are you guys students here?” asked Brendon.
“No, we’re both here on summer vacation. Ryan’s from Winnipeg and I’m from Montreal. Both our parents are separated so we only come here to live with our other parent during the summer months,” replied Monique.
“That’s cool,” said Kyle.
“So why are you interested in Ogopogo?” asked Jasmine.
“Well, I’ve always been interested in cryptozoology. I can’t speak for Monique,” said Ryan.
“If I wasn’t interested in cryptozoology before I certainly am now,” said Monique.
“Why’s that?” asked Ian.
“Because Ryan and I saw the creature yesterday morning,” answered Monique,”
“Whoa! You had a close encounter?” asked Kyle.
“It wasn’t that close an encounter, but it definitely was an unusual experience,” Ryan replied.
“Okay, give us all the details,” said Keesha.
“It started when Ryan and I went out for a jog on a trail that runs along the lake.
“What part of Lake Okanogan are we talking about?” asked Keesha.
“We were close to Squally Point,” said Ryan.
“All right. Go on,” insisted Kyle.
“As I was saying we were running along the trail when I saw something weird on the lake. I asked Ryan to stop and have a look where I was pointing,” said Monique.
“Well, I stopped jogging and looked over towards the lake,” said Ryan. “There appeared to be a large dark object undulating rapidly. Monique was able to take a couple of photos of it.”
“What did you think it was?” asked Brendon shuffling around in his chair.
“If it wasn’t Ogopogo I don’t know what the heck it was,” said Monique with a quick swish of her ponytail.
“What did you think it was Ryan?” asked Kyle.
“At first I wasn’t sure but once I saw its head break the surface I was certain that it had to be Ogopogo,” said Ryan sitting straight up in his chair.
“Wow! Have you got the pictures you took with you?” asked Keesha rolling up the sleeves on her University of British Columbia jacket.
“We let a local reporter borrow them so that he could get them examined by an expert in photographic analysis,” answered Ryan.
“Which reporter and from which newspaper?” asked Ian.
“Bobby O’Connor from The Kelowna Sun,” replied Monique.
“Bobby O’Connor, the sports writer? That guy’s a drunk. Anytime I go to a hockey game I see Bobby half in the bag,” said Kyle.
“Look, this whole group is going to be doing a research project on Ogopogo. We’re planning to organize an expedition to actually find the creature.”
“And I’d love to record an interview with you and see those pictures that you took of the creature,” said Keesha.
“We can do that,” said Ryan. “We are wondering. Is there any way we could be of more help to you such as joining you on this expedition?”
“You two are keeners, aren’t you?” Kyle said with a laugh. “I’ll tell you what. This whole group has a meeting scheduled with Dr. Lionel Phelge, a marine biology prof and the dean of UBC. The meeting takes place at 10:00 AM Tuesday morning in Dean Sanderson’s office. We’d love to see you guys to the meeting.”
“You can count us in,” said Ryan. “Oh sorry, Monique. I haven’t asked you yet?”
“Of course I’ll be coming to the meeting,” said Monique sounding a little indignant.
“It’s all settled then,” said Ryan. “Welcome aboard, the Good Ship Ogopogo.”
Steroids entered the picture in Al’s fifth year as a pro wrestler.
In his early career, appearing to be out of shape and overweight was common for wrestlers. There were one or two bodybuilders in the business, but they were somewhat of a novelty. Al felt intense pressure to start pumping iron and take steroids in order to prolong his career.
Al finally made the decision to start taking steroids. He also developed a punishing weight training routine. Within the first month Al could already see results. He was definitely gaining lean muscle mass and his muscles were starting to show definition.
After a couple more months of taking steroids and training extremely hard, Al’s booker started to take notice. The promoter had been primarily using Al as a jobber. A jobber is a term used in wrestling to describe a wrestlers whose main function is to be the opponent for wrestlers that are considered headliners. The booker wants to give the star wrestlers an opportunity to show off their skills. In order to accomplish this goal jobbers must be employed to lose matches to the headliners and make them look good in the eyes of the audience.
The promoter started to try taking Al out of his jobber role and make him into a potential mid-card attraction. The problem was that the personas and storylines that were created for Al never really ‘got over’ with the wrestling audience. During this time Al’s marriage was in serious trouble. Al’s wife had had enough of Al being on the road so much, neglecting his family and the recurrent mood swings caused by the steroids and the rigors of the wrestling lifestyle. Al’s wife also told him that his kids were growing up without a father.
Al loved his family very much but he also loved wrestling and couldn’t see himself leaving the business completely. One night as Al was lying in bed, the answer came to him. He would start up his own independent wrestling school and indie promotion. He would hire some good staff to help him out and this would give him more time for his family. As he would only be running a locally based wrestling promotion he would not need to spend as much time on the road away from his family. He ran his idea by his wife and she agreed to let her husband give it a try.
Stream of Consciousness
I still remember the phrase, stream of consciousness from studying The Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man by James Joyce. This term describes my life about as close as anything else. In other words it appears to be a series of random activities. When I think about it there is some method to my madness. There are some goals that I want to accomplish. For example, I want to lose weight and get into better physical condition. Therefore, I try to work out at the gym every day and take my dogs for a walk in the dog park as part of my daily routine. I would love to tell you that this physical activity has resulted in a massive loss of weight. Truth is I haven’t lost any weight but I would probably gain more if I wasn’t doing all the physical activity that I am doing now. Hopefully, the aerobic exercise is keeping my heart good shape.
I am a retired teacher who has always valued learning. I’m a firm believer in continuous learning. I am always looking for ways to educate myself. Yesterday my wife bought me some computer Bible software. This software is actually very cool as it has commentaries, maps and all sorts of facts about the Bible in one package. I go through periods of time in my life when I’m interested in reading the Bible and times when I barely go near it. I am presently going through season when I am studying from it once again. My favorite books in the Bible are Job, Psalms, Romans and Ecclesiastes. I also enjoy the imagery in the book of Ezekiel. I would never describe myself as being a good Christian. I simply have too many weaknesses of the flesh. I tried to correct some of my defects of character but I am usually left frustrated by my lack of progress.
Lately, I have been listening to podcasts by Joel Osteen. What I like about Joel’s messages is that they are very positive and encouraging in nature. Too many times I have attended church services where I have felt worse about myself coming out than I was going in. Fortunately, I do not feel this way after listening to Joel Osteen sermon’s.