“Another one of Johnny’s famously dumb ideas,” your ex-wife is thinking as she watches you on her badass big screen TV. “He’d sign up for anything.”
It’s true, you would. You like to be picked for stuff. You always stop on the sidewalk when activists ask you if you have a minute to listen to them rattle off statistics about the environment and hungry children. You love when you get a phone call out of the blue from someone who picked you to take their survey. And yes, eleven years ago when the show Death Race was the biggest thing on TV, you happily added your name to the millions of Americans writing in to become contestants. They finally got back to you last week.
Back when you signed up, Death Race was a ratings giant. Everyone wanted to watch people speed across the country with the goal of murdering their fellow contestants, with the last living driver to make it across the finish line winning a prize of ten million dollars (if more than one driver made it across, they all had to split the money, so it’s important to kill your opponents).
Death Race has fallen in the ratings over the years, which is why the prize this season is a large pizza with toppings of your choice. You’re pretty sure that since the prize is so measly you and the other drivers are on the same page about pretty much making this a cross-country road trip that ends with all of you having a fun little pizza party. No reason to kill people just to get the whole pie.
“I bet he thinks this is just gonna be a cross-country road trip that ends in a pizza party,” your ex-wife says to her new and very successful husband while watching you on their huge and awesome television. “Jesus what a sap.”
Just then, the driver to your right tosses a grenade into your passenger seat.
“That guy must be real hungry,” you think. Then you quickly toss the grenade back into his car and smash into his side to make him keep control of the wheel so he can’t toss the grenade back. His car goes off the road and slams into a tree, throwing the driver through his windshield and against the tree at 80 MPH. The driver collapses in parts on the hood of his car just a beat before the grenade detonates and you watch the blast in your rear view mirror.
“Extra cheese. Mushrooms. And sausage.” You repeat your topping choices out loud as you drive. That pie is yours. That pie is yours alone. The sign by the side of the road says, “You Are Now Entering New Mexico.”
Happy Death Race For Pizza Day!
PS: Become a Facebook fan of Bob Powers’ next book, “You Are A Miserable Excuse For a Hero.”