So, I wrote this a number of months ago for this weird book I’m writing. If you can imagine, the book itself is tackling heavy topics, so how any of this fits in confuses me too. It’s about my friend A.J. Apodaca, lead singer of such notable bands as Four Letter Words, This is Revenge, and The Bitch Boys. He’s kind of one of the most amazing people ever. If you get a chance to buy him a shot at the Rio in Anaheim, do it and ask him to tell you something. I promise it will be worth it.
“Do you know where Bigfoot comes from?” AJ asked me, his Jordan Knight haircut and beaded necklace assaulting my consciousness with striking visual distraction.
“Oregon?” I offered. I knew fully well that Bigfoot existed wherever and whenever Bigfoot wanted to, but I was interested to hear what AJ had to say about it. A mind like AJ’s was predictably unpredictable.
“Let me tell you where Bigfoot is from,” he said with all the authority of a world-renowned scholar. “Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was this planet, a big carnival planet filled with rollercoasters and fantasy rides, like space Disneyland, only all of the attendants working on the planet were androids, and the androids were all really tall and covered in shaggy hair, ‘cause the people who made the carnival planet thought things that were really tall and covered in shaggy hair were cute. So, these androids ran all the rides and things for eons until they became cognizant and realized that they were being exploited for free labor, and since they were cognizant of the fact that they could change their position, they built a spaceship and left the planet in search of a home where they wouldn’t be bothered by annoying creatures anymore.”
“And so they came to Earth…”
“And so they came to Earth. It took a really long time but it didn’t matter because they’re androids and they don’t die. Eventually they made it to our planet and made a home out in the woods. You rarely ever see a Bigfoot because they don’t want to deal with people after working for so long on the carnival planet, and you never find any dead Bigfoot or droppings because they’re androids and they don’t die or poop.”
I had to admit, AJ seemed to have stumbled upon a pretty bulletproof backstory for Bigfoot. If anything, that gives you an indication of the way his mind worked. He took an honest assessment of the existing holes in the story, and instead of concluding Bigfoot was a myth like most people, he managed to work out a way of adequately justifying the lack of evidence, thereby supporting the existence of Sasquatch and leaving his faith intact. Both Bigfoot and AJ came off to me as wonderfully out of the box characters.
But I mean, that’s just the type of guy AJ was. He knew every single Star Trek episode by heart but still watched them all religiously, just in case he’d missed something important. He lived at his parent’s house with his extensive toy collection flanking a life-size cardboard cutout of Saddam Hussein. Predictably, his wardrobe was fiercely eclectic. By every definition of the word, AJ was a character.
His body didn’t produce testosterone naturally, and in a failed attempt to medicate him into normalcy, various doctors had prescribed him with a steroid cream that he had to rub all over his body. This didn’t stop AJ from crying a lot, but it did make him occasionally fly off the handle, a victim of medicinal roid rage. Imagine a wildly out of control and tragically hip nerd, incapable of repressing his disdain for the real world, crying and screaming, too smart for his own good, too creative for reality. That’s AJ in a nutshell.
When cops pulled him over on his bike after leaving the Rio, some shitty Anaheim dive karaoke bar, he tried to explain that he in fact was not the problem. When the cops followed his explanation up by beating the living shit out of him, all AJ could do was scream, “I’m a pacifist!” over and over again. Needless to say, they billy clubbed the fuck out of him until he hyperventilated and submitted.
AJ told me that story while sobbing uncontrollably, desperately confused about why anybody would do that to him, only cheering up when I asked him about the opening scene to Star Trek 5.
“It’s terrible, absolutely terrible,” AJ said, suddenly cheering up with manic intensity. “Captain Kirk and Bones McCoy, sitting around a campfire eating whiskey chili and teaching Spock how to sing ‘Row row row your boat?’ How could you not love it? The movie’s absolutely terrible. Kirk scaled that mountain faster than a man half his age, and where did Spock get those rocket boots? Where do I get rocket boots? Did you know that Star Trek 5 was directed by William Shatner? After all those years, he finally got a chance to show exactly how he envisioned the Star Trek world—three friends joining together to defeat God.”
“And they did,” he added.