This story is a continuation of Dave and the Raspberry Sword, which you can read here. Be sure to check it out. Seriously. This story will make no sense if you don’t.
Dave assumed that the way that he was going to “restore order to Arcadia,” as the Queen of all Berries had said, he would need to go to the Arcadian Castle. Arcadian Castle was the largest castle in the entire land of Arcadia. The fact that both the names of the land and the castle were “Arcadia” was completely coincidental. Do you know how at work there are two people with the last name Fisher, and they always are hanging out together but they are not related at all? You know no one else with the last name Fisher in the entire world, but two of them are working in your office building but aren’t related. It is uncanny, but it happens. Nevertheless, the largest castle in the land of Arcadia was the Arcadian Castle.
Arcadian Castle was built by King Arcadia. On second thought, I may have drained this joke dry. Arcadian Castle was built by King Hank the 3rd. He was a benevolent ruler, who would often walk through the gardens with the children of Arcadia. He won the love and affection of the people by often giving out gift cards to Olive Garden.
The Arcadian Castle was supposed to be nigh impenetrable. The only weak point was the thermal exhaust port. Curiously enough, this was a problem that they were fully aware of but did nothing about, assuming that no one would take advantage of said weakness. The orcs did.
Because the orcs now occupied Arcadian Castle, it made sense for Dave to storm the castle and win it back. But in order to get to Arcadian Castle, Dave would need to go through the Forest of Blistering Insults. Many years ago, an apprentice sorceress was practicing spells when she accidentally cursed an entire forest. Now the trees insult people whenever they try to walk through the forest. The trees don’t hold back either! They don’t say things like “You’re stupid” or “I know what you are but what am I?” instead they cut deep into your deepest fears and anxieties. They say things like “Your mother never loved you,” or, “You forgot to turn the stove off when you left the house.” It is for this reason that few people have successfully been able to walk through the Forest of Blistering Insults.
Dave was filled with fear and trepidation as he approached the forest. As he got closer, he saw a small building that looked like a toll booth. A short man with a beard was sitting in the building. When the short man saw Dave, his ears perked up and he sprang into action.
“Howdy stranger!” the little man said, “Do you plan on walking through the Forest of Blistering Insults today?”
“Yes sir!” Dave answered.
“And what business do you have traveling through the Forest of Blistering Insults on this fine day?” the little man probed.
Dave did not know how much of the story he should tell, or if he should tell it at all. He decided on the most simple answer possible, “I plan on going to the Arcadian Castle with this sword that was given to me by the Queen of All Berries that tastes like berries in order to overthrow the orcs and restore order into the land of Arcadia.”
The little man wrote down Dave’s answer on the form, “And just for clarification, does the castle, the sword, or the Queen taste like berries. Your last sentence was incredibly unclear.”
“The sword,” Dave replied, as he unsheathed the Raspberry Sword to show it off.
“Oh, wow, that doesn’t make any sense at all.”
“I know, right!”
“Sign here please,” the little man said as he handed Dave an official looking form.
“What is this?” Dave asked.
“Welp, this here is a medical release form. Signing this simply states that we are not responsible for any damages done to your person or possessions physical, emotional, or otherwise. And that you will not sue us in case of something really bad happening to you.”
Dave was getting nervous, “I don’t like signing things before reading them carefully. Give me a minute.”
After 10 minutes of meticulously reading over the contract, Dave signed.
“You may now proceed,” the little man said as he jumped back into his toll booth to continue his Janette Oke book.
Dave began to journey into the Forest of Blistering Insults. What would happen to him when he got into the forest? Dave feared what pains and fears in his life would be highlighted before his eyes.
Suddenly he heard a voice call out in a dark, lonesome way, “Your credit score is 452, you will never be approved for a loan!”
Dave had owned this unfortunate truth in his life, he had made some unwise financial decisions when he was younger. This did not faze him.
“Your nose is too big,” one said.
“Your hair cut is stupid,” said another
“You’re worthless, Dave” began a chorus of trees. The insults, personal jabs, and unkind observations grew into an inaudible cacophony of torture with a common theme being heard above all the rest, “You’re worthless, Dave. You’re worthless.”
Undeterred, Dave pressed on. Sal became so frightened that he cowered in fear and insisted for Dave to hold him with his sad little bleating sounds.
The noises of the forest began to subside. As the insults became quieter and quieter, the light at the end of the forest grew brighter and brighter. Dave reached the edge of the forest, having successfully made it through, whereas many before him, and many after him, were not able to do so.
The big question that may be on your mind is why Dave was able to handle the tortures of the Forest of Blistering Insults, after all, we have already established pretty well that Dave is a pathetic man. It is likely that the forces that be were preparing Dave for a very long time for this very moment. Someday, Dave would have to thank his mother in law for constantly insulting and belittling him, there was nothing that the forest could say that could possibly be any meaner than what she would often say.
However, as Dave exited the forest, he walked right into something that shook him to his core- An orc.
“Who goes there?”The orc asked.
Dave looked down at Sal, “It looks like we will have to wait for the next blog post to find out what happens to us,” he said, “Hopefully the writer will be kind enough to allow us to survive this!”
And with that, this chapter in the story of Dave and the Raspberry Sword was over.
Stay tuned for part 3 of this fascinating 4 part trilogy!
Dave lived in the land of Arcadia with his mother-in-law and his goat named Sal. He was a pretty pathetic man. When all of the other men in Arcadia enjoyed pastimes like jousting, slaying dragons, and playing rugby, Dave was more than content to tend to his berry garden; which was unfortunate, because Dave did not like the taste of berries, Sal had diverticulitis, and Dave’s mother-in-law didn’t like anything that Dave did. Despite his lack of desire to eat his own berries, his berry garden thrived and was the pride of all of Arcadia, which goes to show that Arcadia did not have much going for it.
Arcadia had once been a prosperous and happy land, until it was invaded by the orcs. Orcs were short, green creatures with pointy ears, buck teeth, and claws. The orcs were not the brightest of creatures, in fact, they were actually pretty stupid. It is a well-known fact that the orcs do not know how to tie their shoes, so they run around barefooted because they also do not have enough toes to make flip-flops work properly.
You may be wondering how such a stupid race of creatures was able overthrow a prosperous land like Arcadia. It is best not to ask these questions because no one really knows the answer. One day they were not here and then suddenly the next day they were. Everybody just assumes that Derek accidentally kept the back door open; everybody hates Derek.
Today was just like any other day. The suns were up, a cool autumn breeze swept through the air, and Dave was going to tend to his berry garden. He ate his daily bowl of bran cereal and walked out the door.
“You’re worthless, Dave!” His mother-in-law said as he walked outside. She would say this practically everyday.
“Love you too, ma!” He shouted back as he left his hut.
“I’m not your mother!” He could hear her yell back as he continued to walk to the garden.
Dave was proud of his berry garden because he had every berry imaginable: blueberries, lemonberries, snozberries, boysenberries, and elderberries. Of course, he did not have strawberries because those do not exist in Arcadia or any of the realms. But the one patch of berries that he was the most proud of was his raspberries. Dave’s raspberries were the plumpest in all the realms. One time, Dave even made the cover of Berry Magazine because of his raspberries, which, yes, is a real thing. As Dave pulled weeds and tended to his berries, suddenly a bright light shined down on him from the sky. Bewildered, Dave looked up to see where the light came from. Descending from the sky came a woman who was plump and blue, wearing a crown and holding a scepter.
“I am the Queen of all Berries,” said the strange woman, “And I am here to bestow on you the greatest honor to be bestowed in all berry-dom.”
Dave looked around to see who the queen was talking to. Upon realizing that she was talking to him, he said, “You are talking to me? You do know that I am a pretty pathetic person, right?”
The Queen of all Berries nodded, “Yes, you are an awfully pathetic man, but you are well versed in the berry arts and have caught the attention of the Counsel of Berries. It has been determined that you are the only one who is worthy of wielding the Raspberry Sword and restoring order to the Land of Arcadia.”
“This is all a little much. I have a few questions. Like, there is a Counsel of Berries? How do you choose who is in a counsel like that—”
“I don’t have time to answer your questions because I have a meeting with the Queen of Turnips in half an hour. Here’s the sword.”
The sword plopped down in front of him; it glowed with a mystical force, with the hilt giving off a deep purple color.
“This is a special sword, Dave. The Raspberry Sword actually tastes like raspberries. With it, you will change the world,” said the Queen of all Berries.
“For what possible reason would a sword taste like a berry?!?” Dave asked, “Is this one of those ‘you’re on candid camera’ things?”
“You are the chosen one, restore order to Arcadia and be the hero you are destined to be,” and with that, the Queen of the Berries disappeared as suddenly as she came.
“That did not answer any of my questions,” Dave said to himself. Dave picked up the sword and looked at it. He had never been on an adventure before, maybe now was his chance to make a difference in the world.
Dave looked down at Sal, “Are you ready for an adventure?”
The following are several unwritten rules that I have observed as an employee at Walmart. These rules explain how many people think they are supposed to shop at Walmart.
- Assume that anyone wearing blue is an employee.
- Assume that every employee knows (or should know) everything about every minute detail about all of Walmart.
- Play football throughout the entire store.
- Carry a gallon of milk to the opposite end of the store, then leave it sitting on an unrefrigerated shelf.
- Never look at the signs that tell you what kind of items are down an isle.
- Assume that if Walmart does not carry it, it must not exist in the universe.
- Open every box you touch, then decide not to buy whatever is inside after all.
- Blame the hourly associates for things that only the store manager can control.
- Get an associate’s attention by yelling, “Hey you!” rather than by calmly saying, “Excuse me.”
- Stick your used gum on the shelf.
- Let your toddler drool all over a toy, then put it back on the shelf.
- Respond to your irate and out of control child with, “Don’t make me count to three…”
- Repeat #12 five minutes later.
- Repeat #12 ten minutes later.
- Repeat #12-14 for the next half hour.
- Give up on controlling your child and pretend he is not screaming.
- Walk past several safety cones and an associate who is warning you of a wet floor, then threaten to sue Walmart when you slip.
- Use the store ladders that are labeled “for associate use only.”
- Ask obvious questions like, “Where are your registers?”
- Attempt to start a riot about the fact that there are only three registers open.
- Force an associate to help you shop for two hours.
- When an associate says that he is 100% sure that a particular is not in the back room, ask, “Well can you check?”
- Go through the express checkout lane with 100 items.
- Stand in front of the guy pulling 3000 pounds of freight behind him.
- Refuse to walk your shopping cart twelve more feet to the cart corral.
There is a fine line between being “unique” and being “…that guy.”
You all know what I mean. There’s that guy (or gal) on campus or at work who doesn’t seem to be in sync with reality. We often label people like this: “80s Girl,” that seems to think it’s still 1985; “Mullet Guy;” “The Dude with the Cape;” “Smells Like Burnt Tacos Lady;” “Ms. Know-It-All;” “The Habitual Organizer;” and so on and so forth. These people are not all totally strange and bizarre; some of them just have that one little quirk that has come to define them.
For example, when I was a freshman in college, I brought my unicycle to campus with me. Unicylcing, quite frankly, is not normal. It is a very rare skill. I thought it would be a lot of fun and that people would think it was super cool. Well, I certainly got the attention I expected, no doubt about it. Pretty girls actually talked to me! The upperclassmen actually took time to stop and watch! People invited me to things! Haters judged my motives (which I actually take great pleasure in)! I thought I was the stuff
But there was a price. You see, I soon noticed that people knew about me, but they didn’t actually know me! I became “The Unicycle Guy.” This was cool for a little bit, until I realized that I was not an individual. I had become something less than a person to the masses – I was, indeed, a circus act. People always stopped me and said, “Oh you’re “The Unicycle Guy!” That’s so cool! Show me a trick.” I felt like one of those organ-grinder monkeys that people gathered to watch and gawk at. My friends would ask people if they knew Kreig, and after a negative response, they would explain, “The Unicycle Guy.” Oh yes! Now they knew who I was! Unicycling had come to define me, and quite frankly, I didn’t like that. Like I said before, I had become something less than an individual. I was entertainment, like the funny guy playing with a fake lightsaber on Youtube (now known as “The Star Wars Kid”), or the Numa Numa guy (also Youtube).
The question followed, then: am I “unique,” or am I “…that guy?” But then I realized, is there really a difference? As far as how we use the term “unique,” no. After all, isn’t that the word we use when we want to politely explain that someone is weird? So I made a decision that I have yet to regret. I laid down my unicycle. I walked away from the label of “Unicycle Guy.” Something very critical became apparent to me that day. Having a name, being a person, is more important than being unique.
Because you know what? We’re all unique anyway. We all have strange hobbies, preferences, and quirks that make us unique. You are the only you there is. No one can possible be you, no matter how hard they try. So stop going for “unique!” Be content with who God made you. You’re unique enough as it is, and no one truly wants to be “…that guy.” It’s better to be an individual, to make an impact on people as a person, than to make an impact on people as the organ grinder monkey.
Some people think they have really bad luck. They think that if something crazy is going to happen, it is going to happen to them. I submit to you that they are wrong, because I am that person. If there is any chance of something going askew in an altogether unforeseeable manner, it will happen to me. Why? Why me, of all the people on planet earth? I haven’t the slightest idea! Maybe it’s that God has a sense of humor…
You want examples? Well fine then, Mr./Mrs./Ms./Mz. Critic, I would be more than happy to share.
1. When the health inspector came through the dorms, whose room just so happened to have a dead mouse in it that we didn’t even know was there? Mine.
2. On the day I left to come back home from college this summer, whose back hatch to their SUV decided to just not open when the vehicle was still only half-packed, causing a 3-hour delay in departure? Yup. Mine.
3. Who runs into a random 7/11 attendant that just so happens to guess his name because of some two-bit film that nobody has ever seen? Me.
4. Who goes out soulwinning with a friend and runs into three drunk/high/strung out guys, one of which repeats everything he says and laughs (and later drives away after drinking about four beers), another who just agrees vehemently with whomever is speaking at that exact moment, and another who just so happens to be some crazy pagan/atheist/agnostic/philosophical apologist (and was also rolling a joint while speaking to him)? You probably guessed it. Yours truly!
5. Who gets his debit card deactivated because he used it a couple too many times at Walmart, the place he works at? No surprise here. Me.
My point? I don’t think I have one. I just wanted to let you know, the next time you think crazy things happen to only you, just call me up and ask me about Birdman, Moose Lady, Lady Who Curses at Beef Tongue, and the Woman Who Makes You Help Her Shop for Three Hours.