The desert. A place where no living thing can survive. The sands dance in the wind. The blazing sun burns a hole in the retinas of anyone nearby. A tiny tumbleweed flies in the mouth of our hero: Gun Man.
“Pfft! Pfft! Nasty!” Gun Man yells, pulling the tumbleweed out of his mouth. “Man, I hate those guys!” he says, referring to the tumbleweed that had just flown into his mouth.
In the beginning of this story, I told you nothing could live in the desert. Well, turns out something can: Gun Man, a man made completely of guns.
Cut to our hero in his rundown trailer in the desert. He is eating a bowl of cereal and watching daytime TV. He struggles to grasp the spoon with his gun fingers. Oh right, Gun Man? He has gun fingers.
After struggling to eat his cereal, he finally holds the spoon in his hand, close to his lips. The cereal dribbles down his masculine chin and onto his abs. (He’s shirtless.)
“Damn it all to hell!” he yells alone in his dirty trailer. “I hate having a body made of guns!” But he knows. He knows he has a bigger purpose in life. “There’s got to be a way I can use this gun body in a useful way!”
Gun Man decided to ride into town, in his old beat-up truck. As he walked out of the house, he removed a gun he found under his tongue. “Boy, I hope I don’t need this buddy today. It’s cutting up my mouth, so I better put it away.” He proceeded to take the gun out of his mouth with his not-at-all nimble gun fingers. “I gotta put this in the truck,” he said to no one.
As Gun Man opened the car door, at least 100 guns fell to the ground below, a few of them shooting stray bullets, one of them through the windshield, shattering the glass completely. One of the bullets goes through all four of his tires.
“I hate it when this happens…” Gun Man climbed into the driver’s seat, sitting on a pile of broken glass. It didn’t bother him, because his ass was also made of guns.
An hour later, he had arrived. As he irregularly bumped into town in his truck (the tires were all flat by then), he was greeted by passersby. “Hey Joe!” he shouted gregariously, “How’s the family? How’s Shad?”
“He’s doing great, Gun Man! Thanks for asking! He’s started his first day of school today. We’re calling the school over and over all day just to see if he’s safe. He’ll be home this afternoon.”
“Can’t wait to hear about his big day,” Gun Man replied. “Say hello to your family for me!”
“No problem, Gun Man! See you later!” the townsman waved goodbye as Gun Man kept driving, but slowly, as he was driving on just the rims of his truck.
“Gun Man!” a local old woman yelled. “I made sure to save you some chocolate from the farmer’s market today! I hope you like chocolate.”
“I’d do anything, ANYTHING for your chocolate, Old Lady Tabitha. I’d kill a man, haha!”
Old Lady Tabitha laughed and handed Gun Man a piece of chocolate through the truck window. (He drove at a crawl because his tires were falling off). As he kept driving past his neighbors, he took a big bite out of the chocolate. It tasted like rotten chalk. He immediately spit it out onto the passenger’s seat of his truck. “Nasty!” he said to himself.
“How do you like it?” Old Lady Tabitha yelled, running after Gun Man.
“It’s great, I love it! You really have a talent there, Old Lady Tabitha! Gotta go!”
A moment later, Gun Man noticed a large crowd had gathered around the local horse well. People liked to ride horses there because they’re so nice.
Gun Man double parked his truck and opened the door, 300 guns flying out onto the ground below every which way. Some of the guns went off and wounded Gun Man’s best friend, Ted.
Gun Man ran over on his gun legs to Ted, who was clutching his stomach.
“I’m so sorry,” Gun Man cried out! “I shot my best friend! What am I gonna do??”
“Haha! It’s okay, Gun Man! I’m fine. It’s an honor to be shot by you,” Ted said cheerfully.
Gun Man asked about the crowd that had gathered around an even older woman than Old Lady Tabitha: Old Lady Thelma.
“Hey Ted, what’s all this about?”
Ted fell over onto the ground. “Old Lady Thelma’s talking about some troubles we’ve been having.”
“Are you sure you’re okay, Ted? You’re losing a lot of blood.” Gun Man seemed concerned.
“Haha, oh Gun Man! Always the worrier! I’m fine! I’m sure there’s a doctor somewhere in this crazy town!”
“Well okay,” Gun Man said as he sauntered over to the the crowd.
Right then, the people turned around and cleared a path for Gun Man. He hesitantly walked through the path to Old Lady Thelma. “What’s the meaning of all this?” Gun Man asked her.
“Well, Gun Man,” Old Lady Thelma began, “today the government rolled into town. They said they were there to take our guns!”
The audience gasped.
But not Gun Man.
“We will not stand for this,” Gun Man stood up proudly. “We will not let the government take our guns.”
“What are we supposed to do, Gun Man??” the entire crowd said in unison. They had to try a couple times to get the timing right, but eventually, they got it.
Gun Man quieted the crowd. When it was completely silent, he said “We need a cop.”
The audience gasped again. They probably had breathing problems from all the desert sand, I guess.
“But we hate the cops.” said a toddler.
A normal-aged man stood up. “Gun Man, if this town gets a cop, how are we any better than the government?”
“Well… I guess we’re not?” Gun Man replied, with a screwed-up look on his face.
“Oh ok,” said a normal man.
“But who will be our cop?” a voice shouted from the crowd.
“Well, let’s vote, I say,” yelled Gun Man back to the voice.
Old Lady Thelma took the mic. (They’d gotten a microphone by now). “Everyone in favor of Gun Man being our cop, raise your hands.” Slowly but surely, everyone raised their hands.
“What?” Gun Man was taken aback. “Me? Your cop? But why?”
“You’re made of guns!” someone yelled from the back.
“Oh right,” Gun Man remembered. “Then it’s settled,” he said, “I will be your new cop.”
Everyone celebrated with joy. Grandmas were breakdancing. The dogs were running around. People were putting milk in ice cube trays.
“First order of business,” Gun Man got a serious look on his face: “Get the government.”
“We love you, Gun Man!” someone exclaimed.
People started to shake Gun Man’s gun hand. A kid turned to Gun Man, “You’re my hero, Gun Man! I want to be made of guns when I grow up!”
“You sure will, son,” Gun Man replied, as he crouched down to the boy’s level.
Then, a bra landed on Gun Man’s head, covering his eyes. “Wooooo!!!” an attractive topless woman yelled.
“I can’t see! I can’t see!” Gun Man cried out as he fell backwards into the well, crashing into the water below.
“Shit! Someone get a rope! I’m rusting!”
Someone grabbed a rope and pulled up Gun Man. “Whew! That was a close one!” Gun Man laughed the whole thing off.
The next morning, starting early in the morning, at 3 AM, Gun Man got ready for work. Actually, he hadn’t slept all night, because he was so excited to get the government.
Gun Man put on his pants, one gun leg at a time.
This morning, he decided on toast.
Gun Man buttoned up his flannel shirt and walked out the front door of his trailer, forgetting to lock it on the way out. He loaded up his truck full of more guns he just found laying around. One was in his jeans pocket. One was in the glove compartment of his truck. Another was tucked away under his cowboy hat.
At that moment, he picked up a rifle. “Might need this to fight some bad guys today.” Looking wistfully directly into the sun, he spoke, “I hope to God not, though.”
Gun Man drove into the town, all the while scanning the landscape for the government.
He drove straight into the residential area after cruising the town for a while. Then suddenly, he realized his first job was standing before him. He pulled over his car and turned off the headlights. He pressed some binoculars up to his eyes.
In front of him, he saw a middle-aged man in a pink bathrobe throwing out a misshapen plastic bag into a giant can that was sitting at the end of the driveway.
“Interesting…” Gun Man said to himself. He took a spiral notepad and pencil out of his flannel front pocket, and started writing.
“It is 4am on a Thursday morning. Suspect is placing what appears to be a plastic bag into a receptacle of some kind. Interesting that he would do this in the early morning hours.
What’s in the bag? Drugs? What’s he doing awake at 4 AM? What’s he doing in a women’s bathrobe? And what’s so wrong with that?”
Clearly this man worked for the government, posing as an everyday man. It was in this moment that Gun Man realized what he had to do. He had to shoot the man in the finger.
Gun Man raised his miniature canon and shoved some gunpowder into it. He fished for a match in the front pocket of his flannel shirt, and lit the wick.
A big bang happened as a giant cannonball shot through the roof of the truck and into the sky. The cannonball landed through the roof of a house down the street, and into someone’s morning gruel.
That someone ran out of the house, clutching his leg and screaming.
The garbage man ran over to Gun Man. “What’s going on? Are you ok? That guy down there’s on fire. What are you going to do about your truck roof?”
“Uh, I gotta check this out, sorry,” Gun Man said as he peeled out.
He quickly arrived at the cannonball victim, where he lay in the yard.
Gun Man grabbed a blanket out of his car, wrapping the man in it, and rolling him on the ground back and forth.
“I saw this in a movie once,” Gun Man reassured him.
“G-G-Gun Man? Is that you?” the man said weakly.
“Yeah, it’s me, Gun Man. Now shhh… Don’t say a word. Let’s not speak.” he said, pressing his gun finger to the man’s lips.
“No, it’s really okay, Gun Man! I feel great. It’s just a little cannonball shrapnel.”
“Are you sure, Jarvis?”
“You’re out there just trying to protect us. We know you tried your best!”
“Well, if you insist.” Gun Man was honored.
“Haha, yeah buddy, just, let’s just make a tourniquet for my leg real quick and come on in for a cup of coffee!”
Gun Man started on the tourniquet for his friend. “Well, it’s true, you know how I like strong coffee. Coffee that tastes like it’s burned. My favorite. All right then! As long as you’ll have me as a guest!”
By then Gun Man had finished the tourniquet for his buddy’s leg and he and Jarvis put their arms around each others’ shoulders, walking into the house together.
After about 24 hours, Gun Man had accidentally wounded at least 3 of his friends, but it wasn’t as big of a deal as it sounds.
By the end of the day, Gun Man was exhausted. But the next day, he returned to the town main square to work and swore to himself to work until the government wasn’t a threat to the community anymore. The government would not take their guns.
As Gun Man was scanning the main street for the government, the kid from the other day (the one who had called Gun Man his hero) walked up to him.
“Hey Gun Man!” the 10-year-old exclaimed as he picked up speed. Gun Man, who was leaning on his truck, greeted him.
“Hey bud!” Gun Man said.
“How is catching bad guys going, Gun Man?” The kid seemed eager to know. Almost desperately.
“Well, the government is a complicated thing. But we’ll catch them. I’m going to turn this town around even if it takes my whole life,” Gun Man said, squeezing a peach he had been holding up to the sky, as the juice ran down his arms.
“Um, ok,” the kid replied.
“Let me tell you something, kid. Let me give you a little adult advice from your pal Gun Man.”
Gun Man began to crouch down to the kid’s level, but in that moment, something horrible happened.
A joint fell out of his arm gun barrel and landed into the cupped hands of the kid.
“W-what’s this?” the child asked.
“It’s nothing!” Gun Man replied, quickly trying to grab the joint out of the kid’s hands, but his gun fingers couldn’t grasp it in time. “Give it to me!” he said, “it’s expensive!”
At that moment, the town poured out of the main street stores, and walked slowly toward Gun Man.
Gun Man backed up away from the child, looking around fearfully at everyone walking toward him. Almost as if they were zombies. But they were not zombies. They were just a regular desert-dwelling people.
“What’s going on out here?” a medium-aged woman asked Gun Man and the kid.
“Is that a joint?!” a concerned citizen exclaimed.
The town, circling around Gun Man and the child, began chattering. “What’s a joint?” one really old lady asked. A toddler leaned over to her and whispered in her ear what a joint was.
The old lady gasped. “Gun Man. Get out of this town. We don’t need a stoner as our cop.”
“I’m holding it for a friend,” Gun Man said, defending himself.
The crowd didn’t seem to believe him. “Did you think you could just waltz in this town with a joint in your barrel? What if this kid had gone into the bathroom with the fan on and smoked the whole joint? Did you think we wouldn’t find out you were a pothead?”
“I’m… I’m sorry. I will never forget this. I’ll leave. But I’ll continue to fight for this town in other ways. Somehow. Goodbye. I’ll miss each and every one of you.”
And with that, Gun Man tried to get into his truck, at least 500 guns falling out of his driver’s side door, shooting every which way. But after that, he crawled into his truck and began driving away from the townsfolk, watching them from his rearview mirror.
As he was driving to nowhere, Gun Man thought to himself. “I gotta do something big. I gotta prove myself again. I gotta wound a bad guy this time and not my friends.”
For the next five years, Gun Man lobbied the government to get an initiative passed.
It never got out of committee.
One day, Gun Man was walking on his gun legs through Washington Square, staring at the Lincoln Memorial, which is a giant statue of Abraham Lincoln. He began talking to Abraham Lincoln.
“Hey, it’s me, Gun Man. I know we haven’t spoken in a while… I just, I’ve been busy. But today I learned my initiative won’t go through like I had planned. I’m a big failure and at this rate, I’ll never get the government. Well, that’s all I have to say, Abraham Lincoln.”
Gun Man walked aimlessly through a local farmer’s market, where the president just so happened to be giving a speech on the importance of farmers’ markets. Just as Gun Man was walking past a construction site, his leg got caught in a paint can, his guns shooting in all directions.
As Gun Man was trying to shake off the paint can, even more bullets were fired. “Damn it!” Gun Man yelled.
Then, at that very moment, an assassin tried to kill the president!
Luckily, one of the bullets Gun Man had accidentally fired hit the bullet of the assassin, knocking it out of the way and into a giant wheel of cheese.
The president was on the floor at this point, with secret service agents laying on his body. “I’m okay! I’m okay!” said the president, wiping mud off himself. (He had landed in the mud.)
“This man over here, this man made of guns, he saved my life! He shot a bullet at the assassin’s bullet, moving it out of the way and into that wheel of cheese over there.” The president pointed to the cheese.
Fourteen secret service agents showed up, the crowd parting for them. In the middle of them was the would-be assassin. “We got him, boys. Cuff him. Take him to jail.”
The President walked over to Gun Man. He took a purple heart medal out of his suit pocket and pinned it to Gun Man’s flannel shirt. “This is for you,” the President said.
“I’m, I’m, I don’t know if I deserve this, Mr. President.” Gun Man said nervously.
“Yes you do!” someone in the crowd yelled. Then someone clapped. Then slowly but surely, everyone in the crowd clapped. The applause went on for about an hour, hands red and bloody by the end.
“Let me help you,” the President said cheerfully. “You’re a local politician, right? I think I remember you.”
“Yes, that’s me.” Gun Man replied.
“Right, you’re the guy with the initiative. Well, if that’s what you want, I’ll do you a favor and make an executive order.”
“Y-you will?” Gun Man was honored.
“You bet,” the President winked at him. But not in a sexual way.
One week later the initiative was passed, and finally guns were allowed in schools.
The same day the executive order was signed, it made national news, with pundits calling Gun Man “crazy” and saying he was “going to ruin America forever.”
It was everything he could have hoped for. When he arrived at his office, he hung up his flannel, completely bare chested. He kept his pants on though.
That’s when he noticed an envelope on his desk. He looked around and opened the envelope. In it was a handwritten letter:
“Dear Gun Man,
We heard about your initiative allowing guns in schools. We just wanted to say… we love you Gun Man. Please come back.
All of us”
It was signed by one million people.
He knew what he had to do. He put on his flannel, and ran outside to the parking garage. He opened the truck door, a thousand splendid guns crashing to the ground, shattering all the car windows in the parking garage.
He got in his truck and began to drive to the desert three million miles away.
When he arrived, he drove his truck to the main street, near the horse well. “Is that Gun Man?” someone asked under their breath.
“Gun Man!” said a baby as its first words.
The townspeople poured out of their shops, at first slowly, then jogging, then running to Gun Man, who was leaning against the well. The people, very sweaty by now, began hugging him.
Gun Man sat on the edge of the well, with tears in his eyes. He was crying.
The kid who found the joint walked up to him. “Gun Man? Is that really you?”
“It’s me, buddy,” Gun Man took a deep breath. “Let’s sit down. I’ve got something to tell you.” The kid sat on the edge of the well next to Gun Man. “Drug safety is important. Always tell an adult when you see a heroin needle or a joint. And never hold drugs for a friend.”
“I never will, Gun Man.” the kid hugged him tight.
“Come on, Gun Man! Let’s celebrate and welcome you home!” The people started dancing in the street without music. Grandma was breakdancing. The dogs were running around. People were putting milk in ice cube trays. It was a great time had by all.
The next year, the town legalized marijuana.