Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Adventures Of The Great Willie Young: The Tragic Death Of The Cheetah God


Today’s tale comes down to us from various tribal sources and as such, it is riddled with holes and inconsistencies. It would seem that at some time in the mid-17th Century, The Great Willie Young decided to take a break. After all, he had been involved in all manner of crazy shit over the centuries ( much of which has been detailed here, and as always, if you need to catch up, just click the tag at the end of this post titled, appropriately, “Willie Young”) and if anybody deserved a rest, it was him. And so he responded to an invitation from his father, The Cheetah God, to come stay with him on his vast estate on the African Savannah. We cannot be sure exactly where this is located, as tribal accounts vary. Some insist that it was a real place, a palace that reached to the heavens and which was made of emeralds and the bones of the wicked. Still others seem to suggest that it was a metaphorical palace, one which existed in the hearts and minds of the people of Africa. We cannot be entirely sure, especially when Cheetah Gods are involved, but we will assume that this was a real place because we know that The Great Willie Young is real and therefore, his father must be real which means that his father’s palace was no doubt a real place, and some of our scientists here at Armchair Linebacker have even gone so far to suggest that the palace still exists, but it does so in a dimension beyond human understanding. This is an intriguing theory, but it is highly suspect since it came on the heels of several of our scientists – I won’t name names – getting high and watching Fringe again.

Anyway, what is important here is that The Great Willie Young had come to rest and relax and to commune with his father, the noble Cheetah God, who was worshipped by no less than 278 separate and distinct African tribes. The physical dimensions and appearance of the Cheetah God remain shrouded in mystery. Some say that he was an actual cheetah infused with the mind of a brilliant human, or that he was a cheetah/alien hybrid placed on Earth to serve as the guardian for all mankind. Still others say that he had the body of a man but the head of a cheetah. Others say the opposite, that he had the body of a cheetah but the head of a man. Some accounts claim that he was a giant man, ten feet tall, who cloaked himself in cheetah furs and stalked lions and elephants in the night and wrestled silverback apes for fun. So we cannot be certain just what the noble Cheetah God looked like. We can guess, however. I mean, it is obvious that The Great Willie Young inherited his athleticism and his speed, speed which allows him to close on an opposing quarterback, from his noble Cheetah God father. Therefore, it would seem that the Cheetah God likely possessed at least the legs of a cheetah. So, for our purposes, let’s assume that the Cheetah God had the legs of a cheetah, the upper torso of a dude like Schwarzenegger and the head of a man. Hey, why not? Let’s also assume that the Sphinx in Egypt was based on him. Yeah, let’s do that.

The Great Willie Young spent several glorious years with his father, years which seemed to be mere days to the awestruck African tribesmen, who would crawl on their faces and bellies to make their supplications at the door of the Cheetah God’s palace and who would leave gifts of gold and animal pelts for his son, The Great Willie Young. The tribesmen left accounts of watching the Cheetah God and The Great Willie Young frolic on the Savannah underneath the hot, enormous sun and they claim that when the two ran together, their feet struck the earth with such force that it was as if the world was alive with the sound of a great, heavenly thunder, and when they spoke to one another, the world would ring with the sound of trumpets and the heavens would sing with the sound of the voices of a thousand angels. At night, the tribesmen spoke of great lightning and a dancing of lights in the sky and some claimed that they could even see the faces of the Cheetah God and The Great Willie Young in these lights and it overwhelmed them and they fell on their faces and they moaned in rapturous joy.

Occasionally, The Great Willie Young would come among them and he would teach them and he would hunt with them and he would take his pick of their wives and daughters and he would take these ladies back to the Cheetah God’s palace and in the morning they would return, unable to walk, with a light in their eyes that never faded and with a sense of great peace in their souls. The menfolk were astounded when nine months later, little men would emerge from these women, all with faces akin to The Great Willie Young, and they would bow deeply and would then evaporate into the air like Jedi warriors or some shit. It was crazy. Whoa, this has kinda gotten weird, even for The Great Willie Young, hasn’t it?

But the truth often is strange and exotic, especially to the mind of mortal men, who are incapable of comprehending the great mysteries of the universe which lie at the heart of The Great Willie Young and his glorious people. And let’s not forget that this tale is gleaned from the accounts of people who were just doing their best to make sense out of the fabulous wonders which had taken hold of their ordinary, mundane mortal lives. To them, The Great Willie Young and his father, the Cheetah God must have been so great as to be almost unexplainable. Still, they tried their best and if the result are stories about little Willie Youngs popping out of ladies and bowing before disappearing into another dimension, then hey, fuck it, you know? Look, this has gotten weird as hell, but you try digging through the tattered remains of some forgotten tribe’s historical scrolls. Those motherfuckers didn’t even write in English! How the hell am I supposed to accurately translate a language which involves pictures of birds and monkeys eating bananas? Huh? You tell me that? I think I’m doing a damn fine job considering the circumstances.

Ahem. Anyway, The Great Willie Young and his father, the Cheetah God, were well on their way to turning the African Savannah into a veritable Eden. The African civilization was on the verge of a golden age when one day, a large ship appeared in the distance. The people prepared to welcome these travelers, but The Great Willie Young was no fool. He existed in both the past and the future, as well as the present and so he knew that these ships didn’t exactly have the, uh, best interests shall we say of the African people in mind. He took to the villages and he tirelessly implored their chieftains to resist this new ship. He told them to take up arms and drive it back into the ocean. But the people were gentle and kind and had become filled with such goodness due to the Cheetah God and his son, The Great Willie Young, that they could not conceive of anything but that goodness. Their hearts had been made so pure that it threatened them. They knew nothing of fear or of treachery. They knew only love and friendship.

And so the people did not listen to The Great Willie Young, who with a troubled heart and mind returned to his father, who told The Great Willie Young to relax and to let the ships come, that they would deal with whatever lived on those ships together, as father and son. His heart lifted by his father’s words, The Great Willie Young took to his bedchamber, along with several tribeswomen, where [redacted due to gross indecency.] After this marathon session, The Great Willie Young was naturally quite tired and he fell into a deep slumber.

While asleep, The Great Willie Young was visited by the spirit of his dead mother, the Greek Sea Siren, the tale of whose death was recounted in the tale of The Great Willie Young and the Battle of Lepanto, who warned him that his father was in imminent danger. The Great Willie Young arose with a start, drenched in a terrible sweat and he heaved the sleeping naked bodies of several tribeswomen off of him and he ran naked through the halls of the Cheetah God, his pythonic (that’s right, I just made up a word, like Cervantes or some shit) junk swinging like the pendulum of a great grandfather clock as he did so. Finally, he reached his father’s chamber, just in time to see a gang of heathen Englishmen dressed in red coats dragging his father out of his room. His father had been drugged, as it would seem that his servant - who bore a suspicious resemblance to Wu Pei, The Great Willie Young’s friend and father in law, although the man claimed to have never even heard of Wu Pei when questioned by The Great Willie Young – had been bribed with sacks of gold to slip a poison made from meteor rocks found in Iceland (It would seem as though I am ripping off Superman here, but remember, these accounts are centuries old and so, if anything, Superman ripped me off. I want my money, damn it!) into the late night bourbon of the Cheetah God. This poison did not kill the Cheetah God, but it did weaken him enough so that he could be dragged out of his bed by a platoon of British redcoat soldiers.

The Great Willie Young sprang into battle and it was said that a terrible clamor arose, so great that the tribal people could hear it miles away. The people trembled and fell on their faces and wept and prayed for it to stop, but it only grew louder and it was said that there was a mighty tumult and the earth shook and the skies opened up and great riders, astride horses of flame, streaked across the sky and evil chariots awoke from the earth and they rode through the Savannah and they butchered the animals and scared the people and there was a furious battle and when it was over The Great Willie Young came to the people, soaked in blood and announced that his father, The Cheetah God, had been taken.

At once, the people took up arms, but they were a gentle folk who would be swept away in a tide of great villainy and blood by the evil Englishmen, and The Great Willie Young knew that he had to rescue his father on his own. But he was faced with an evil dilemma, for the ships on the horizon had multiplied and they would be upon the people within hours. If he raced to save his father, then these people would all be taken, for The Great Willie Young knew all too well the ambitions of these terrible ships and the red coated fiends that they carried. But he could not leave his father to die either. During the terrible battle the night before, The Great Willie Young had slain hundreds of the red coats but he could not reach his father in time, who was placed in one of the hell chariots, accompanied by a great British nobleman named Lord Pennywinkle, a dour man with a thin mustache and a giant monocle which gave him the appearance of a man with one terrible grotesque eye which unnerved and horrified all who dared to stand in front of him. He carried a long rifle and was equipped with a bloody sword, which he waved around, taunting The Great Willie Young as his terrible hell chariot thundered into the distance.

The Great Willie Young stood naked on the Savannah and with a mighty roar he screamed towards the heavens. The people sank to their knees in fear and miles away, Lord Pennywinkle’s eardrums burst and blood poured out of his ears, while his giant monocle exploded into a million shards of glass, blinding him in one way and making him appear as old and pathetic as he really was. The Great Willie Young began to run, faster than he had ever run before. He was determined to save both his father and his people and although in his heart he knew this was impossible, he tricked himself into believing, and he told himself that he was The Great Willie Young and that he could bend the very laws of time if only he tried hard enough. (Note: Although he himself is not bound by these laws, the rest of the world is, and he cannot change the fate of man, who is tethered to this earth and to those terrible laws of time.)

And so The Great Willie Young ran, and it was said that the cheetah in him was never more apparent than in that moment, but the world is harsh and unforgiving and it slows down for no man, even one so great as The Great Willie Young and so as he reached his father, it was only in time to see Lord Pennywinkle raise his long rifle and put a bullet through the heart of his weakened father, the Cheetah God, who had been made mortal via the poison of the meteor rock. The Great Willie Young screamed in agony and fell to his knees, and it was said that his anguished voice was so terrible and traveled so far that it could be heard by the Inuits of the Arctic, who trembled and pissed themselves in fear.

The Great Willie Young wept. Both of his parents were dead and before him, Lord Pennywinkle smirked and then began to skin his father so that he could take his pelt and hang it on his wall as a trophy. Enraged, The Great Willie Young rose to his feet and with all the fury of his glorious spirit he rushed Lord Pennywinkle and he delivered a mighty sack. Lord Pennywinkle exploded into dust and the faces of his servants and men all melted in the presence of the full glory of The Great Willie Young like the faces of the Nazis at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. (Again, these are centuries old accounts. If anything, Raiders and its sequels were inspired by them. Well, except for the last one with Shia LaBeouf. What the fuck was that all about?)

The Great Willie Young collapsed to the ground and he lay there, in pain and agony, for what felt like days. He finally allowed himself to look at the corpse of his father, the Cheetah God, and he wept. But it wasn’t long before the tears began to feel hot on his face, for the fires of his heart had been stoked and he was overcome with a furious anger. Remembering the tribal people who he had taken as his own, The Great Willie Young rose to his mighty feet and he ran, faster than even before, back towards their villages. But alas, he was too late. When he arrived, he found the ground scattered with dead bodies. Their homes were burnt to the ground and deep in the horizon he could see the ships of the heathen redcoats sailing towards America, the bulk of his people stuffed inside of them like cattle waiting to be auctioned off. The Great Willie Young fell to his knees, numb with pain and he cursed himself for his own failure. His was a noble cause, but it was a lost one. It was an unwinnable fight, an impossible scenario, and he was forced to internalize the harsh lesson that although he was The Great Willie Young, some things were still beyond his control. He could not change the fate of man and he could not change the fate of his own father. Perhaps if he had chosen one or the other, he might have had some measure of success. But to a man like The Great Willie Young, such a choice would have defeated him. For The Great Willie Young would not have been able to live with half-measures and compromises. He could not and would not choose one over the other. Such is his burden and it is one which he must carry with him every day of his glorious life.

All that was left to The Great Willie Young was to return to his father’s great palace. There, he found a note from the Cheetah God’s duplicitous servant. It read:

“Sorry, bro. Shit got out of hand. Needed the money. You know me, I gots to get paid. Later, bro.”

It was signed simply “Your boy, Wu.”

The Great Willie Young shook his head sadly. He and Wu Pei had been through a lot together and he understood all too well Wu Pei’s basic and intransigent nature. The man was consumed with greed. He lived for it. It guided him in all that he did. But, the man was his father law (see here) and hey, at least he apologized. Sure, he had just been directly responsible for the death of The Great Willie Young’s father and had also been partially responsible for the death of his mother, but what the hell, he was a solid wingman and those are hard to find, you know? He would bitch him out later, but he knew, deep in his heart, that he would eventually forgive Wu Pei. The old Chinaman was just a loveable old rascal, you know?

The Great Willie Young sighed and he said goodbye to his father’s palace, and when he did, it was said that the palace disappeared in a flash, into another dimension unknowable to mortal man. The Great Willie Young, exhausted, his heart broken, trudged through the Savannah. He knew what he had to do. He would go to America, and he would fight the red coats wherever he found them. He also knew a stripper named Savannah and he figured he would honor the memory of his dead father and enslaved friends by [redacted due to gross indecency.] And so ends another tale of The Great Willie Young. It is a tragic tale. Of that there is no doubt, but it’s important to remember that even a glorious being like The Great Willie Young has felt pain and sadness. It is this that fortifies his indomitable spirit. It is this that gives his being great weight. And it is this that makes him what he is today, which the protector of all mankind and a hero to all. For of all the immortals, he alone feels our pain. He alone knows the sadness which lies at the core of our beings. He alone is one of us even as he exists separately from us. He alone is The Great Willie Young.

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