You know that viral sensation on YouTube and Vine right now where you perform a ritual to summon former President of the United States Lyndon B. Johnson? Well please, for the love of all that his holy understand it is NOT A JOKE. Me and my friends Thurston and Thad tried it last night and it is some real shit. I wish I had never even HEARD of Lyndon B. Johnson now.
My two old college buddies Thurston and Thad happened to be in town last night, and we all got together in the hotel bar where Thad was staying and had a few drinks and talked about old times.
Our lives have turned out very differently (Thad works on Wall Street, Thurston is a prominent academic, and I'm a failed novelist who lives in a studio apartment over a liquor store) but the bonds of friendship were as tight as ever. I proposed a toast, "Here's to America...land of the free, as long as y'all are buying!"
We all ended up back in Thad's suite talking about how we all used to bond over an interest in the paranormal. It was Thurston who said, "Hey, have you guys ever done the LBJ challenge?"
"Thurston," I answered, "you babbling brook of bullshit, what in God's name are you talking about?"
He explained that, as everyone knows, Lyndon B Johnson had been the most ruthless, straight up evil man ever to be elected President of the United States. Even Richard M Nixon would piss his pants and make the sign of the cross when LBJ strutted into a room. Because LBJ was so ruthless an so ambitious, the Devil didn't want him hanging around hell in case he tried to launch a coup and take the joint over--the Devil's reasoning being that if the only gig you can get is ruling in hell you'd better hang onto it like grim death. So the Devil cursed LBJ to wander the earth as a spirit and, just to piss the old boy off, further stipulated that any time a certain ritual was performed LBJ HAD to appear.
I'm not even going to tell you what the ritual is. I don't want to be responsible on the off chance you haven't already heard about it through the Facebook or the Twitter. A bare bones sketch of it involves sitting around in a dark room drinking bourbon (check and check!), listening to America the Beautiful at a high volume, placing four pencils in the sign of the cross on top of a map of Southeast Asia, and somebody doing an impersonation of Bobby Kennedy doing "Your mama jokes" (which LBJ always took personally because he loved his mama and hated Bobby Kennedy).
So we did the ritual and we got squat. Bupkes. Nada. Zilch. Fuck it dudes, that was a waste of time. We still enjoyed the rest of the evening and Thad had the hotel's car service drop me off back home. It was cute seeing how nervous the driver got as we went through my neighborhood.
Anyway I staggered over to my couch and fell asleep, but I must have left the window open because I woke up a little later when a squirrel bit my ear. It was a gentle bite, like my cat used to do when she wanted me to get up to feed her, but it got my attention.
I sat straight up and stared at the squirrel who stared back at me, languidly chewing on a nut or whatever. So I said "Scram squirrel, I'm tired and drunk," but before I could lay back down the squirrel spoke unto me with a familiar Texas drawl.
"Son," the squirrel said, "prick up y'all's ears and listen to me good. You and your piss ant friends summoned me and now y'all are stuck with me. Feels mighty good to be back on the earth, even if I am trapped in the body of a varmint. From now on, I got me three lil white slaves and y'all are gonna do every last goddamm thing I tell you to and you're gonna thank me for the privilege. I got your pecker in my pocket, son. Await further instructions." Then the squirrel stared blankly at me for a minute and hopped off.
I tried to convince myself it had just been a dream but when I woke up I had 20 text messages from Thad and another 32 from Thurston. All of the messages were panicked, all were a variaton on "What the fuck did we get ourselves into?"