Y’all know me, know how I earn a livin’

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When I was a kid, I used to watch “Ghostbusters” every day. Eventually, I watched the movie so much that the VHS tape stopped working. My mom told me it “died,” so it was, understandably, no longer a part of her everyday life.

Over this past summer, I watched “JAWS” more times than I care to admit. I consider it my all-time favorite movie. I also watched “JAWS 2,” which was … not quite good. I think it’s pretty much impossible to do a sequel to JAWS, mostly because it’s a nearly perfect movie. HOWEVER, I do think it’s possible to write an entertaining opening scene to a JAWS sequel that will never be made. Last night, after drinking a few beers, I attempted to do so. It’s posted below. If you have your own attempt at an opening for a JAWS sequel, please send it my way, and I will likely post it.

“Come on down here and chum some of this shit,” — Chief Brody

Bruce put his headphones in, pet his cat, then headed out the door. He walked halfway up the block, then started to slowly jog. He had put this off over the past hour, checking Twitter, Facebook, Twitter again. But, as usual, once he got moving, he remembered how much he enjoyed going on a run.

It was the first warmish day in about two weeks. The snow was starting to melt, although Bruce had to keep an eye out for icy patches. Bruce had managed to get through the entire snowy winter without falling during a run, and he had no intention of breaking that streak today.

While waiting at the corner, Bruce adjusted the volume on his iPod. “Jump” was playing, and he was having a hard time hearing David Lee Roth tell him that he had to “roll with the punches and get to what’s real.” The light stopped flashing red, so he crossed the street. He jogged by a man holding a cardboard sign that said “Unemployed. Donations appreciated.”

After doing a half-walk, half-run to the trail on the other side of the street, Bruce turned left. He had been running this trail for the past month, since it was one of the few places near his apartment in Boston where they had plowed. The trail, which ran parallel to the Charles River, was only a few miles, but he’d rather run a few miles outside instead of 10 miles on a treadmill. Treadmills were the worst.

Bruce knew he was behind in his training for the Brooklyn half-marathon, but not so far behind that he couldn’t beat his younger brother Chris for the second straight year. Bruce knew Chris had been busy at work. He knew Chris had to attend two bachelor parties over the past month. But Bruce also remembered that he had stayed at the bar until closing last night and smoked a pack of cigarettes. He started to pick up speed.

After a few minutes, Bruce was running a steady pace. When he had started jogging a year ago, after seeing a picture of himself that brought memories of his high school nickname, “The Whale,” finding a steady pace was difficult. He would start running, then something would be off. His legs would hurt. Or his breathing would get too heavy. Or his mouth would feel too dry. Or he would think to himself, “Walking is a much more enjoyable experience.” But now, the early part of the run was fun. It was just a matter of how how far he could go.

A little bit ahead from Bruce was another runner. When he was younger, Bruce was a bit ambivalent when it came to competitive sports. As long as he was having a good time, Bruce didn’t really care how he did or if his team won or lost. He used to occasionally play air guitar on his bat when going to the plate during a baseball game. But, for whatever reason, if he saw someone running in front of him, Bruce, now 30 years old, was determined to outrun them. Didn’t matter if the person was an athletic college kid or some middle-aged dude, or the fact that the person running ahead had no idea Bruce all of a sudden considered them the enemy. He started to sprint.

Within a minute, Bruce passed the guy. He felt happier than he cared to admit. Then, his right calf started to cramp. You idiot, Bruce thought. Probably shouldn’t have drank that sixth tall boy of PBR last night. He stopped. Five seconds later, the guy ran by. Bruce shook his right leg and stared at the river.

He watched a group of young women rowing; the crew team for a local college. Trailing them, in a motorized boat, was a guy with a megaphone. He was yelling instructions. This was a familiar scene for Bruce, and he always harbored a hatred for the person holding the megaphone. I’m going to yell at him, he thought. I don’t care if it’s his job.

“Hey, jabroni,” Bruce said. But, right after he said that, something in the water caught his eye. It looked like a shark fin, but, Bruce assumed, sharks don’t swim in rivers. He shook his head. The fin was gone.

“Hey, jabroni,” Bruce yelled it this time. The guy with the megaphone looked in his direction. He started to gesture at Bruce, then fell over the side of the boat, which had jolted to a stop after hitting something. Bruce started to yell, “Are you …”  The fin reappeared. A second later, the man screamed, then was pulled under the water.

Despite the fact that the guitar solo in “Hot For Teacher” had just started, Bruce hit the pause button on his iPod.

Brian Cougar

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Y’all know me, know how I earn a livin’

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