Pilot's voice stretched and distorted the letters of my last name, sounding like mix between a xylophone and grinding of metal on metal. He stared at me from the doorway, pointing at me.
"....I AM ON TO YOU," he added. "YOU THEEEENK YOU CEEN JUST COME IN HERE AND TAKE MY JEEEERB?"
"I did no such thing. I don't want your job. Take it easy," I responded as calmly as possible. The man was clearly bonkers and all I had to defend myself with was a pair of rusty scissors.
"OH I'LL TAKE IT EASY. I'LL TAKE IT SO EASY, YOU'LL BE SORRY... LIKE A CANADIAN!" he threatened.
I was already sorry that I'd involved myself with Captain. Overnight, my gun had vanished and had been replaced with a very rusty pair of scissors, located on an extremely dusty, purple velvet pillow with a note attached stating:
"SNIPPING DEVICE: SCIZZORR-BLADE.
DO NOT USE WHILE OPERATING HEAVY MACHINERY.
LOSING YOUR WAY WHILE HOLDING THESE IS NOT PERMITTED."
When I asked for my gun back, Captain shoved a massive stack of moldy, yellowish papers into my hands.
"What is...?" I started to inquire.
"APPLICATION FOR CAPTANIA CITIZENSHIP, OF COURSE!
FOREIGNERS SUCH AS YOURSELF WHO RE-DISCOVER THEMSELVES UPON OUR SOIL ARE NOT ALLOWED TO ARM BEARS!"
"But, I have no plans to arm bears, can I just have my..."
"NOT UNTIL YOU ARE A TRUE CITIZEN!" Captain said, wagging a finger at me. "JUST BE GLAD THAT YOUR CAREER PATH OF CHOICE ALLOWS YOU TO CARRY A SNIPPING DEVICE!"
Captain pointed to the rusty blue child-proof scissors. I realized that I wasn't going to get my rifle back until I'd filled out the forms.
I sighed and looked at the first page of the "CITIZENSHIP APP." It said "DRAW THE FLAG OF CAPTANIA IN THE FIELD BELOW".
"What does the flag of Captania look like?" I asked.
"THAT'S A NATIONAL SECRET!" Captain replied.
"Then how am I supposed to...?"
"USE THE POWER OF IMAGINATION, BOOB!"
With this, Captain reached deep into the trench coat pocket, pulled out a box of watercolors, thrust them at me, turned and marched off straight through a wall, covering me in a cloud of paint chips, plaster and asbestos.
I stared at the hole in the wall. Captain was nowhere to be found. I sighed again and returned to the citizenship application:
APPLICATION FOR CAPTANIA CITIZENSHIP APP QUESTIONNAIRE (FOR A SNIPPING DIVISION INTERNSHIP):
1. DO YOU ENJOY THE FINE ART OF SNIPPING?
2. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT QUILTING?
3. ARE YOU ABLE TO WIELD THE SCISSOR-BLADE?
4. ARE YOU ABLE TO DEFEND CAPTANIA AGAINST MOST SUDDEN UPRIZING OF CLOTHES?
5. CAN YOU DEFEND YOURSELF WITH A NEEDLE?
6. IS THE SEWING MACHINE YOUR FRIEND OR ENEMY?
7. DO YOU LIKE BUILDING SAND CASTLES?
8. HOW MANY JOINTS DOES A SCISSOR TRULY HAVE?"
I flipped through the page. The questions went on and on and on. While I was occupied with the questionnaire/scissors, Pilot emerged from a doorway with demands for his job back.
"...IS THAT A CITIZENSHIP APPLICATION?!"
He somehow must have noticed the citizenship papers I'd put down on the table amidst the time-worn "WHITEN YOUR TEETH" brochures.
"Ummm... no?" I replied, realizing that if Pilot took the papers away I'd likely never see my gun again.
"GIVE THEMS HERER!" Pilot shouted, suddenly lurching forward towards the papers.
"Stay back!" I cried out, and rose from the chair. "These scissors are very sharp! I will... uhhh... give you a very bad haircut!" I sounded like a fool.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooOOO." Pilot stumbled, screeching.
"That's right! Don't come any closer or that's a haircut for you!" I pressed on. I couldn't believe my ridiculous strategy was working.
"CURSE YOU, SCISSOR-HANDS!" Pilot shrieked, shaking his fist at me, stepping backwards. "YOU'LL NEVER BE A TRUE CITIZEN OF CAPTANIA, YOU JERB-STEELING-CRABSTACEAN! I'LL MAKE SURE THOSE PAPERS NEVER MAKE IT TO CAPTAIN'S DESK! IT'LL BE THE UNEMPLOYMENT OFFICE FOR YOU, SOONER OR LATER!"
"Shoo now. Shooo."
I waved the scissors at Pilot as he retreated into the hallway, stumbling and grumbling how United Postal Service was on his side because his cousin works there. Pilot was clearly (and luckily for me) deathly afraid of either scissors or haircuts. Perhaps this was Captain's plan all along, I pondered, staring at the citizenship papers. Now, if I could just find a pen... and perhaps a paintbrush for these watercolors. I looked around the Dental office for such.
Green goggles glinted at me from a far off window. Pilot was watching me.
"AHA, PINCER-HAND! YOU'LL NEVER BE ABLE TO FILL THEMS FORMS OUTS!" he shouted, gleefully. "NOT IF I ERADICATE AND HARVEST ALL TEH WRITING SUPPLIES IN THIS NATION FIRST!"
I cursed, I must have been speaking out loud again... or Pilot was smarter than he looked.
I searched the dental office thoroughly for a pen or pencil. There were none to be found. "Writing utensils," I thought, "hmmm... where can I find such.... Aha!" I walked to the western wall and looked out of the broken window, searching for a certain art supplies shop that Captain and I passed on our way to this building.
It was now on fire.
G-damn it, Pilot!
Well, considering that was no longer an option, I looked at the blackened office wall. The old wooden panels were cracked and carbonised almost silver, and, clinging to them, a torn poster of a kitten doctor encouraged, "YOU CAN MEW IT!"
Hmmm... you're right Dr. Kitty, that just might do!
I tore a piece of blackened wood off the wall and began to scribble on the papers, laughing maniacally at having defeated Pilot's machinations. Nobody said it had to be perfectly legible...