by Chris Rostenberg
After playing D&D back in 1984, my neighbor Brendan got his mother to drive us over to Greenburgh so he could buy drumsticks. He was in a band with his brothers Jim and Dennis. They came out with an album and ended up on MTV with that song, “Mr. Penis.” Brendan had a great voice, “Mr. Penis, Mr. Penis, your penis is mighty long! ‘Yes indeed, it’s put on wrong!’”
I went to the Greenburgh Public Library and read the only Dragon Magazines around because someone had donated them. I read the comic in it called “Wormy” by Tramp, which was sensational. Now, dwarves live to be 200, and elves live to be 300. Humans pass on culture through their institutions like schools, governments, churches and libraries. And you know, today Greenburgh Library has countless books on D&D as well as a huge comic book collection. That original contribution 40 years earlier had become a thing in the institution of the library. This suggests that the Greenburgh Public Library is run by human beings. What do you think? Inquiring minds want to know!
Brendan was a small Irish guy with big nostrils. We were young and innocent and Brendan thought women urinated out their rectums. He was actually my first friend in Mamaroneck. Brendan and I lived next to Walter’s Hot Dog Stand, which was owned by the family of a girl, Cindy, who was in my class at Central School and had great tits. There was this other kid who lived at our condominium named Adam, and he shook his head back and forth when he talked to you. Adam had a cat called Nibbles and Brendan called the cat “Nipples.”
I told Brendan about Dungeons and Dragons, and that the game had no board and no pieces, just rules and dice, and he didn’t believe me. If you ever want to steal Dungeons and Dragons modules, do it at Anderson’s Book Shoppe in Larchmont, because their security sucks and stealing from libraries is immoral. Stealing is very important for a boy because it gives him balls. Brendan didn’t believe I was a thief and also didn’t believe that I once sled down a hill and went under a car. “You wouldn’t be alive!” he said. I responded: “Who said the car was moving?!”
He also didn’t believe this: I was once down in Manhattan and was impressed by the size of the full moon. A little light was heading for the moon. It turned out that an airplane flew right under the moon between the moon and me, so the plane eclipsed the moon. The light was on the plane’s undercarriage. But it was especially bizarre because I couldn’t see the plane at night except for its silhouette across the moon and I figured the event was magic. Brendan didn’t believe me, which made me really mad. I was a thief but not a liar.
Brendan and I played this weird game where we would pretend to be spies from another galaxy hunting Qoo-Tayrians, who looked like people. We would go over to Walter’s and Brendan would say, “I think Cindy is a Qoo-Tayrian.” I would secretly zap her with my energy analyzer like she was a dire-wraith from “Rom: Space-Knight,” but the energy analyzer was actually a very powerful magnet I stole from the overhead projector in Mrs. Adler’s class. The magnet is now on my mother’s refrigerator. Brendan was embarrassed that we played Qoo-Tayrians and I promised him I would never tell anybody or write about it. He knew he could trust me since I had explained to him I wasn’t a liar.
Later, Brendan, Adam, and a fat girl whose name I don’t remember went out to Harbor Island and the fat girl sat in a puddle. I wasn’t there so I wouldn’t know. In fact, I don’t believe it. You weren’t there, so what would you know? Who asked you? I was at home playing with actor Matt Dillon’s old German shepherd, who was always wandering around town with no leash.
Matt Dillon had been discovered at the local Hommacks Middle School. He was in acting class at the middle school, where Brendan’s older brothers, Jim and Dennis acted too, with Matt, and they got Brendan into acting. So in a way, Matt Dillon got me into acting. Brendan and I went down to see Dillon’s first movie, My Bodyguard, about all these teenaged punks. I used to see the actor down at Sal’s Pizzeria flirting with the girls. Dillon’s publicist had told Teen Beat Magazine that the dog’s name was Hitter, which is what they wrote, but his real name was Hitler.
Now, Brendan had a newspaper delivery route. He would bring the papers to the apartments and one family had a little dog in the hall and Brendan was scared of dogs, so he secretly put the dog in a big box by the stairs. The people who lived there found the dog, of course, and were like, “What the hell is wrong with that kid?”
Me and Brendan went to Walter’s Hot Dog Stand and I got one of their great chocolate shakes, which are way better than Mc Donald’s shakes, which are made of seaweed. I was sucking through the straw and at the bottom, up came a little thing into my mouth. “Oh a chocolate chip!” I thought. “Wait. They don’t make chocolate shakes out of chocolate chips. I wonder what this thing in my mouth is? I know! I’ll spit it into my hand and then I’ll be able to see what it is!” And that’s exactly what I did! “Oh, it’s a bee! I had a dead bee in my mouth! Good job it didn’t sting me!” I outsmarted them again!
So, I wanted to take Mrs. X to Walter’s Hot Dog Stand, so I paid Brendan to do his newspaper job so I could make money. So I took over the newspaper route and it was terrible. Every day, a truck would dump a stack of papers at the corner, and I would put the sections of the paper together and deliver them to all these apartments and I had to remember who got a paper and who didn’t, even though all the apartments looked the same. I swore I would never have another shit-job like this in my life.
Every Friday I had to go and collect the money that the customers owed and most of the time they weren’t home and I had to keep going back or get fired. I got sick of it and made my mother go and collect. The people would see my mother come over to collect $10.50 and would be like, “What the hell is wrong with that kid?”
One day, I went to the apartment with the family who had the little dog that Brendan had hidden. I brought over Matt Dillon’s dog, put it in the box, and took the little dog home with me. The people heard the big dog in the box, opened it, and there was Hitler.