Level 1


Like the laziest of O. Henry-scribed ironies, it turns out the only thing worse than losing the Street Fighter competition is winning.

After dispatching a feared warlord and being reunited with a long-lost mother, what could possible follow but fortune?

As it turns out, being a savage jungle man with no marketable skills other than mastery of a school of self-taught swamp Capoeira places one pretty low on the hireability index.

Endorsement deals are surprisingly difficult to land. I mean, it’s not like they put the champions of brutal, amoral fighting tournaments on the front of the Wheaties box. I know this because I called and asked. That’s specifically what they told me.

So what, then? Move to the US, try and break into film. Get a decent role as Moss Man in the big-budget Masters of the Universe movie. Land the lead in the gritty, urban How The Grinch Stole Christmas reboot. Watch it go down at the box office as ignobly as if it were pile-driven between Zangief’s meaty thighs.

The drinking, already…excessive… gets worse. I’m no longer capable of controlling the electrical powers I learned from the eels. No, I’m still not explaining how I learned it. Yes, I know how ridiculous it sounds. I am a pariah, shunned both socially and physically.  Since I exude a dangerous electrical halo and because I’m a belligerent drunk.

But then Allan finds me. We worked together on my cancelled project, Gumby Unleashed. He says he’s no stranger to the drink, and maybe, if I’d like, there’s a place I could go with him where I can begin putting my life back together.

It’s a little strange here. I don’t like these low, church basement ceilings. They make me claustrophobic. But Allan is being very kind and everyone here is being very kind and there are cookies.

If this doesn’t work out, Dhalsim has told me I could join him for a cleansing Yoga retreat at any time I feel ready. It’s a kind offer, but I’d rather not. Ugh. That guy…

From Ryan’s post: Blanka from Streetfighter at his first AA meeting.

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