To the extent that anything can ever be said to begin at any one specific moment, I suppose you could say it all began a couple of weeks ago at my friend Arik's birthday party at Rojo. No! Actually, let's say it began on a mountain in Japan and, like, it's storming and stuff and lightning strikes a tree and an old man carrying a wicker basket on his back screams and falls on his backside. That seems like a pretty cool place to start, and somehow fitting, because the event I referenced earlier, the one that almost started at Rojo but which really started in Japan on a cool-looking mountain, is about Ninjas, four of them, and their foolish (in a Bad News Bears kind of way) adventure.
What happened was--a couple of hundred years after the storm on the mountain--my friend Arik asked his friends to give him Samurai/Ninja related accoutrements in celebration of his birthday. To be honest, I thought he was joking. So instead I made him four throwing stars out of aluminum foil (okay, I also did this because I am broke). Much to my surprise, I ventured to Rojo that fateful night only to discover boxes and boxes of real honest-to-God Ninja gear. There was a Samurai sword, some throwing knives, throwing stars, a wicked grappling hook, nunchakus, and my personal favorite, this weird-looking finger hook thing that looked like something that one of the Skeksis would wear in The Dark Crystal.
Being stuck in a suspended state of adolescence, I found this gear to be "cool" and/or "awesome." So we planned to get together the following weekend to "test" it all out over bar-b-que and the movie Beastmaster, the former because we all like bar-b-que (even though I guess it's not very Ninja-like, considering the risk of spilling bar-b-que sauce on your black tunic-thing), and the latter because...well, do I really need a reason to watch Beastmaster? I guess, though, Marc Singer's character from the film is sort of Ninja-like, at least in his propensity for vigilantism. Plus, he has these two pet ferrets and this thing that looks like the thing from the movie Krull that is sort of like a sharp, metal boomerang and which is decidedly awesome.
Executing foresight, my friends and I first journeyed to the grocery store to purchase a selection of fruits and vegetables that we could thrash with Arik's selection of Ninja weaponry. We brought them back to Arik's house, our bellies full of delicious Golden Rule bar-b-que (from the original location, of course). Then, we stuck the cabbages and potatoes on sticks and commenced thrashing them with our weapons. Not being the most athletic amateur Ninjas in the world, we had difficulty effectively thrashing our makeshift enemies, the fruits and vegetables.
Nevertheless, we managed to brutalize them pretty well, sending leaves of cabbage flying over Arik's front yard, shards of sweet potato flying out into the street, cantaloupe juice spraying all over our clothes like yellow blood. If someone had driven by Arik's front yard at that moment (incidentally, the hour was well past midnight), it would have looked either like a vegetable massacre, or like four dudes had decided to make a salad in their front yard but instead had gotten into a vicious food fight.
Next, having conquered our pray and saved our village from certain destruction from the hands of the Jun Horde, we four heroes walked back to Arik's door, only to realize that we had locked ourselves out. So there we stood, four calamity-prone and mostly chubby heroes, standing about foolishly, covered in cabbage, mouths agape, staring at the door in mute disbelief. One by one we tried the door handle, as if one of our grips would magically unlock it.
After about five minutes of inaction, Kyle and Arik decided to take action. Using the Samurai sword, Kyle stuck his arm up through the doggy-door and began dismantling the locks. Ingeniously using the light from our cell phones to guide his sword, after probably half an hour Kyle managed to un-do all of the locks on the door. We had done it. We were officially Ninjas. We celebrated our achievement by opening a bag of jellybeans and watching the movie Beastmaster. And that was the end of the night.
No! Wait...actually, the night ended with we four scaling this cool-looking mountain while lightning hits all around us and we're, like, wearing our Ninja gear and we each have these AWESOME grappling hooks and, well, you get the picture.
Now where did I put that bag of jelly beans...