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The Adventures of Fred, Part III

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The Adventures of Fred, Part III
 
By Nick Jurkowski
 
 
When last we left our intrepid hero, he was shocked to find that he was enjoying his ride in a limousine – a vehicle of which he had always disapproved. Fred vowed to use the rest of his ride to test his Hummer Limo’s features and amenities, and to decide once and for all whether he should become a convert to the limo cause or remain as he was: a crusader against them.
 
Fred leaned back and stretched out. He gazed up at himself in the full-length mirrored ceiling. “An interesting touch,” Fred thought. Fred, rather bland and agreeable on the surface, actually tended towards vanity, though he tried to keep this hidden with humility and unfunny, self-deprecating jokes. Looking for a distraction from this familiar but troubling inner conflict, his eyes fell on the wet-bar area. He looked closer; there were 18 crystal glasses (as well as ice and mixers), all right there. Beside the bar, he found a package, addressed to him. He carefully unwrapped it to find a bottle of 2004 Dobbes Family Pinot Gris. The Turk had done his work well – it was one of Fred’s favorites. He opened the bottle with the corkscrew on his pocketknife and poured himself a glass.
 
 
Realizing that he might have missed something else, he decided to undertake a full tour of the limousine. He made his way to the back to the “VIP Room,” which seemed quite comfortable. He made himself comfortable as Andy Williams continued to croon. “Remarkable,” mused Fred. “The sound is great no matter where I go. What a stereo system!” Never one to remain sedentary, Fred got up and moved to the front. Along the way, he noticed the fiber optic lighting (which ran the entire length of the limousine), and found interesting the fact that it really helped to set a mood of excitement. Fred mused about the effective contrast between the darkness and the light in the limo as he sipped his wine, and at once realized that this twenty-minute ride would not be enough time to take full advantage of the Hummer Limo. He wished he had some friends with whom to enjoy this ride.
 
Fred stopped himself suddenly. “Enjoy,” thought Fred. Before he even knew what was happening, before he had even fully explored this vehicle’s full potential, Fred became conscious that his frosty attitude towards limousines was already melting into a sort of affection. Attempting to reflect on all of his previous criticisms of limousines, he realized that they too, were melting away.
 
With so little time remaining in the ride, Fred decided that the best course of action was to turn on every gadget and amenity that the limousine offered. He cranked up the music, and poured more wine into his glass. He turned on all six TVs, and activated the laser light show as he turned on the PS 2 to play his favorite game – Dynasty Warriors 5. The world turned into a blur for Fred. Overcome by a sort of sensory overload – induced madness, Fred frantically mashed at the controller, listening to the music while lasers danced around him.
 
The limo ground to a halt in front of Fred’s hotel. The chauffeur dutifully made his way to the passenger compartment and opened Fred’s door. Fred now sat in a daze (it was unclear whether it was induced by euphoria or despair, but it was clear to the chauffeur that Fred had been overcome by a kind of mania). At the sight of natural light, Fred regained his composure. He staggered out of the vehicle, and tried to tip the driver. When the driver had told him that, “It had all been taken care of,” Fred smiled, grabbed his bag, and made his way into the hotel. As he was checking in, his mind raced. Fred was sure that the limousine bewitched him, and all of his warm feelings for the vehicle vanished, to be replaced by feelings of humiliation and shame for having abandoned his convictions so easily. Wearily cursing himself as he made his way to the room, he opened the door and collapsed on his bed in a troubled sleep. To be Continued…