In case you've been living under a rock: the Internet is full of these stories called 'lost episodes', in which somebody claims they've found a DVD or VHS tape that contains eerie, sometimes even paranormal stuff that changed their lives for the worse forever. Well, I have something to tell you: They're all FAKE! They're LIES! Or at least, that's what I thought... until one of them happened to me. Yes, me. The great Richard XVII. I'm a direct descendent of King Richard III, you see. He had a love child with an eagle. This is why I have wings. ... Regardless, allow me to continue my story, if I may. Thank you for being such a polite audience. It means a lot to me.
Yes... I found a VHS tape. I was an intern at the James Avery Garbage Collection Co. in Provo, Utah. I was searching an inner-city recycling bin to check if someone threw non-recyclables into the recyclables. I care very deeply about the environment, and this is one of the many little ways in which I feel I can make a difference. Some people call up Nickelodeon's The Big Help... but me, I really *do* help. ... Anyway, I found a VHS tape in the trash, lying next to an empty pretzel stix box, and the casing of a pack of Grape Kool-Aid Jammers. 'The Lost Episode of Deal or No Deal', it said. I went to Goodwill and bought a VHS player and popped in the tape when I got home. I was happy at the time that it was still in working condition.Little did I know that I'd learn a lesson or two about what's fake and what's real.
First of all, Deal or No Deal host Howie Mandel... didn't look like his normal self. He had a fuzzy Hitler mustache, his eyes were bloodshot, and his chin looked like it had been dipped in... some sort of red and brown fluid. I guess you could say he looked... disheveled, but I'm not sure what that word really means. He definitely looked unhappy, though. Like he could murder someone. I had the feeling Howie Mandel was going to murder someone, but I was probably just being presumptious. Still, he may've wanted to wipe his chin.
As for the contestant, he was an African American male in his mid-20s I guess, named Reynold. He told some story about how his nickname is 'Reynold-O', because he was famous among his friends for swiftly achieving orgasm no matter what he was thinking about. Well, uh, I didn't find this introduction to be very family friendly, or relevant to Deal or No Deal for that matter, but I continued watching anyway. That was yet another mistake I made.
"I'd like to try Case 23, please."
"Is that your final answer?", Howie inquired, ripping off Pat Sajak, ehr, I mean, Regis Philbin from 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?'. He had a stack of bills in one hand, and brass knuckles on the other. They seemed to be covered in some kind of red substance, matching whatever it was on his chin.
Well, hey, something good and clean and fun happened for once in this episode: Reynold-o had won $576! I thought it was kind of an arbitrary number, and not a very high one at that, but he screamed and squealed, though the audience didn't clap at all. At first, I figured Rey's reaction was out of sheer joy, so I felt very happy for the guy. Who wouldn't be happy if they won money on a nationally broadcasted game show? Unfortunately, that was when... I noticed something terribly, terribly wrong had actually occurred.
Instead of the usual hot chicks they hire to display the cases... they were all skeletons. They didn't look like they were in costume or anything: they literally looked like skeletons. I felt a little bothered, but I popped a Haribo frog into my mouth and continued watching the tape. The gelatinous goodness almost made me forget that I was watching some less than stellar TV.
"I'd like to donate all of my winnings to charity.", Reynold-O said with a smirk. What a guy.
"And I'd like for you to just pick a fucking number.", Howie starkly responded.
Reynold-O paused. He was clearly suffering from some very serious anxiety. "I, uh... I have an option to talk to The Banker and not continue, right? I mean, those kids... they could really use the money..."
Well, that was when Howie Mandel really flipped his shit. He threw the stack of bills in one of the skeleton ladies' faces, and he walked up so closely to Reynold-O that he had to have felt Howie's breath.
"You smell like a penguin with fetal alcohol syndrome", Howie explained. "Now just choose a fucking CASE!"
Cursing and insensitivity? I spit out the Haribo frog I had been previously enjoying; only the frog's soggy, saliva-drenched legs remained. I ran up to my VHS player and attempted to shut it off, but the cokes, uh, I mean co-ax cables, didn't want to give way. I guess I could've just hit the power button then, but the thought didn't occur to me. I was just too scared, I guess.
"E... eleven. Eleven. Final answer, Howie. Final answer..."
Howie told the skeleton to open the case. She did. I closed my eyes and sighed. Then I opened them and chewed my fingernails. I simply wasn't prepared for what happened next.
Highly realistic gore dripped out of the case and onto the floor! Howie's eyes rolled back in his head, and he started to slow walk like a zombie! He performed various dances in a zombie-like fashion; the belly dance, ballet, the Charleston, square dances... even disco. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before!
Reynold emptied his pockets so fast that it must've been instinct. He threw chocolate covered pretzels, a pencil sharpener, and a collection of marbles and jacks at Howie. Howie tripped and fell and held up a sign that said 'Screwball', like they do in the cartoons. Now, you know about the Banker in Deal or No Deal, right? The guy in the shadows pulling all the strings who we're not allowed to see? You could definitely hear ominous laughing in the background, but that was it. Not even this time could we catch a glimpse of who this guy truly is. That was when Reynold-O and Howie Mandel just... vaporized from the screen. The screen immediately went to darkness. I was scared, but I waited for something else to happen before assuming the tape had run out of footage. ... Just when I was ready to get up and turn the damned thing off, a shadow figure appeared on the screen. Slowly, he was revealed to be wearing a uniform kind of like the footclan from the older Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. In a deep, throaty voice, I heard the following: "He didn't murder anyone. That man was a whore. He had it coming. He should've kept it in his pants." Uh. ... There was a pause. "Two minutes. You have two minutes to select the final answer of your own slutty life. Will you go for the deal, or no deal? You have a chance to survive: Make your time." Well, that was it; I had enough of this tape and its lack of making any sense at all! I felt really bad about all of the dead girls and whoever they killed and packed into a suitcase, but enough was enough, and I was ready to call the police! I remembered the power button and hit it--no, I'm not going to tell you that some sort of mythical or paranormal force kept my VHS player from being turned off. It turned off.
And with that, I thought I was out of the woods, as I went to my old-fashioned candlestick phone and prepared to speed dial the cops. However, it turned out that I couldn't tell the forest from the trees. I turned around, and I was face to face with a confrontation beyond all horror.
"Hello again, you little midget with a jerry curl."
Bob Saget. In my house. "I don't believe we've ever met before. ... Now get the FUCK off my property before I call a nice, friendly police officer to escort you." Bob Saget stuck out a hairy horse arm, hoof and all. He shaked his head in great displeasure.
"... Enough. I told you that we would all turn into horses. And what did you do? You stopped being one of the 'we'. And beyond all that, you stole my shit. My fucking VHS tape...
... it's all over. Michelle..."
I tried to flap my wings, but someway, somehow, they didn't do anything. I tried slashing Bob Dylan, I mean Bob Saget with my claws, and he simply laughed. He proceeded to pick me up with his grubby horse paws and slam me the ground for what felt like 576 times. 576. ... Wait a minute...
"Stop, Bob! Stop! Just, stop! PLEASE!"
Bob Saget stopped beating me, and held my bleeding, barely conscious body to the ground.
"What is it, Stephanie?"
"576... it was in the tape! And you're here, and you're a horse, and..."
"... I think you finally get it. ... Come along now, little pony."
Bob Saget picked me up off the ground. He helped me take off my clothes and he washed the blood out of them. He nursed me back to health, preparing delicious Campbell's soup for me whenever I was feeling hungry. Now, don't be fooled into thinking all of this simply concerns me, because it's about all of us. Every last person in existence... in our universe. Where are we now? Who's to say? I believe I'm riding along the desert sunset in a sexy convertible, with Bob Saget and his horse-based companions. I believe we're heading for a bigger and better tomorrow. I believe that man, horse, or eagle... we're all in this together, and that some things are worth much more than money. Here we are everyday, in our safe suburban homes watching TV shows about people winning money, but who are we, and what do we really want? Greed should not go unpunished, and those who truly understand it--truly get it--...the rewards of love and life will be theirs.
And that's when they took me to the mental ward.
Written by Cjaymarch84