#2. GPS Helmet
There are all sorts of mundane concerns that arise during the course of a vengeance bender: How do you isolate your victim? What's the best stage for your theater of despair? What outfit should you be wearing -- a torn devil costume, to let Gary Woobarth know that you are Satan himself come to claim his prize, or the bright green MC Hammer pants and Hypercolor T-shirt you wore to the zoo on that fateful day in 1991, to let him know that you have not forgotten his transgressions? Well, with the GPS Helmet from Kajimoto Laboratories, the one thing you won't have to worry about is guiding Gary to meet his doom. The helmet comes with two clips that fasten to the user's ears and tell the wearer which direction to go by painfully tugging on one or the other. Just imagine the fear and tension Gary Woobarth will build up as he's guided blindly along the road to his certain demise by the merciless, crab-like pincers of the robot strapped to his skull!
#1. Bitchin' Flamethrower Gloves
These are fully functional flamethrower gloves. I don't know what more you could possibly want from commerce, if it's not fully functional flamethrower gloves.
History is a vital component of revenge: I mean, that's what it's all about, right? History. Let me clarify a few things, just so you have a better idea of what I'm looking for in these products:
March 27, 1991, The San Diego Zoo.
Mrs. Davis' fifth grade class was visiting for their annual field trip. Most children were there simply for a good time. A few labored under foolish notions of an "education" -- as though any of us were going to read those boring plaques when there were sleeping lions to be almost half-glimpsed if you could find a high enough spot not blocked by a peanut cart. But one child was there for something more. One child was there ... for a dream.
That child was me, and that dream was to leave my awkward human life behind and become king of the monkeys.
To rule them fairly and justly, meting out fecal projectiles only when it is truly deserved ...
Looking back, I now know that was ill-informed and naive of me: The zookeepers probably wouldn't let a chubby 11-year-old sleep over in the monkey cage, and besides, I'm pretty sure the monkeys, if anything, work on a kind of socialist theocracy. But I didn't know that at the time. All I knew was that life was hard, homework was stupid, and nobody makes fun of the monkeys for wearing bright green Hammer pants. There I was, not 10 seconds from jimmying the lock and claiming my rightful place atop the tire swing, when a snotty little voice cried out.
"Mrs. Davis! Robert's trying to break into the monkey cage again!"
Gary Woobarth. A voice like two pieces of Styrofoam rubbing together. A face like somebody punched a pile of mashed potatoes. As Mrs. Davis led me away, he smiled, and sealed his fate.
So clearly I'm going for a loose animal theme to this whole vengeance quest: We've got the Octopus Throne, the suit of caffeinated cow jerky, the Singing-Bird Pistols, the crab-like claws of the navigation helmet, and the ... dragon-like ... flames of ... all right, fine: The flame gloves don't really fit in here. But they're friggin' flame gloves! They don't have to fit the theme; they shoot fireballs from your palms. Bitchin' palm-fireballs supersede all prerequisites.
"Oh, I need to have taken ECO301 to take this course? Well, I think you'll find that PALM FIREBALLS."
Anyway, to vengeance!
The first step in my cunning plan was to allow Gary Woobarth to have a very successful personal and professional life. This turned out not to be a problem, as Gary was a talented real estate agent and, according to my thousands of reconnaissance photos, hung like an aboriginal fertility statue. Seriously, there's "well-endowed," and then there's "Holy shit, I think your dick swallowed a baguette." Gary definitely fell on the "engorged snake" end of the Dong Scale. The combination of these two factors meant that Gary Woobarth had a wonderful home, a successful career, a beautiful wife, and plenty to lose when I rang his doorbell and left a mysterious box on his front porch. He opened it to find a small plastic monkey, a cellphone, and what looked like gynecological equipment hot-glued to a bike helmet. He barely had time to ponder the significance of the objects when the phone rang.
"Woobarth speaking," Gary answered, like a dickhead.
"You answer the phone like a dickhead," I observed astutely.
"Put the helmet on," I rasped.
"I ... will not do that," he answered. Clever girl.
Luckily I was prepared.
"There is a high-powered rifle trained on your heart right now, Mr. Woobarth," I answered, as the laser pointer that I bought at PetSmart lit up his salmon-colored polo.
"What? Who is this?"
"Do you think I'm bluffing? Look down at your chest, tell me what you see."
"A sweet shirt, some sick pecs, and a laser in the shape of a cartoon mouse."
"That's right. That's the sight of a Browning A-bolt .300, and it's trained on ..."
"Why's it shaped like a mouse?"
"I'm ... I'm going for an animal theme here. Just shut up and put on the fucking helmet!"
He did, and much to my chagrin, actually looked pretty good in a helmet covered in specula.
"Tell me what this is about!" he said, the first hint of worry finally creeping into his voice.
"This is a special helmet, Gary. It is comprised of the most cutting-edge technology money can buy. It will guide you upon a route of my choosing. It will do so by administering pain. Follow the pain, Gary, for you are Dante, and I am your Virgil. Enter the inferno!"
"Ow!" Gary answered, "this thing pulled on my ear."
"AHAHAHA! FOLLOW THE PAIN, GARY."
Gary opened his front door and stepped outside.
"Ow," he muttered, swiveled on his heel, and obediently turned left. Gary took six paces, followed another agonizing ear pull, and arrived at the storage shed in his own backyard.
"Hi," Gary said to me, having at last survived his pilgrimage of pain and arrived at the ... Mecca of ... Worse Pain?
"Hi," I answered reflexively, then corrected myself: "I mean Greetings, fool. Welcome to your inevitable karmic destiny."
"I think this is my Tuff Shed, actually," Gary said, looking around.
"No!" I screeched, "These are the scales of justice!"
I turned to swivel my Octopus Throne to face him, but found that it lacked swiveling capability. Really? I mean, really? Jesus Christ. Who manufactures a sinister Octopus Throne without the ability to swivel dramatically? I swear to God, there's just no sense of theater in Evil Furniture Makers these days.
Like, why even Evil Apprentice at the Evil Furniture Workshop if you're going to half-ass it like this?
Unfazed, I scooted and dragged the throne around to face my worthy opponent. It took three entire minutes, and one of the tentacles got jammed up in the lawnmower, so I ended up mostly facing the wall.
"This is the sepulcher of your fate!" I finally finished, taking my feet.
"Nah, this is definitely my garden shed. That's my Nordic Gym," Gary said, pointing.
"The Nordic Gym of your regret!"
"Ha, yeah. Tell me about it. I used that thing like once. Four hundred bucks, man! Right in the toilet."
"Sh-shut up, Gary! You're ruining our whole showdown." Sunlight streaming from the open doorway illuminated my face. It reflected off the silver packaging of my Jerkman Suit. Recognition hit Gary like a freight tr-
"Who are you?" Gary asked, squinting into the dazzling brilliance of my energetic meat cloak.
Literally the only time the terms "dazzling" and "brilliance" will ever be used to refer to dried caffeinated meat.
"Vengeance," I whispered, "and also Robert."
"Bobby? From Mrs. Davis' class? Hey man, how you been?" Gary's voice took on a sickening tone of easy acquaintance.
"FURIOUS! Do you think I've forgotten your transgressions, Gary? Do you think I've forgotten what you did that fateful day? Do you think I've forgotten the kingdom you robbed me of?!"
"What are you talking about?" Perhaps it was the overpowering stench of berry-and-pepper-infused jerked meat, or the hundreds of reconnaissance photos of his naked waist tacked up around the storage shed, but the seriousness of the situation was finally dawning on Gary. "Are you still on the monkey thing? I told you, man, monkeys work on a form of social theocracy -- without divine blessing, they would have torn you apart!"
"Then it would have been a glorious death! A death of my choosing! And now, I shall give you the opportunity you denied me! Gary Woobarth: Choose your demise."
I gestured to a low table, upon which sat a broken Xbox, a large Tupperware container full of dusty Christmas decorations, a pair of Singing-Bird Pistols in a fine rosewood box, and some bitchin' flamethrower gloves.
The illusion of choice was really just a formality. The correct answer to every challenge in life is always "bitchin' flamethrower gloves."
"Are those bitchin' flamethrower gloves?" He asked.
"Well hell yeah!" I answered. "Awesome, right?"
"Word! But what's the range on those things? Like three feet?"
"Generously," I responded.
"And those are pistols?" He said, pointing to the baroque instruments of beauteous murder.
"Yep. 19th century Swiss Singing-Bird Pistols. Animal theme, remember? The zoo stuff and all."
"Sure, sure. So standard dueling rules, right? I choose my weapon, and you take the one I don't use?"
"Of course! I'm not a savage. Rules are rules."
"OK, well, obviously I choose the pistols. Seriously, dude, flamethrower gloves are bitchin' and all, but they're going to lose to guns every time."
Poor Gary. Always lacking in imagination. It was his only weakness. Well, that and his flammable skin.
I sincerely hope the bird's gentle song lulls you to sleep in hell, Gary.
"Very well," I responded, slipping my hands into the silky embrace of Lady Flamethrowerglove. "Don your armor."
Gary glanced warily at the pile of dusty meat packages resting in his broken wheelbarrow.
"Is that caffeinated meat? Is that what smells like pina coladas and feet?"
"Do I have to?" Gary whined.
"It is ceremonial. You know the rules," I answered solemnly, the crisp hum of my hip-mounted fuel pumps kicking on.
"God, fine. Let's get this over with," Gary humped the bulk of the energy-beef tuxedo over his fine and muscled frame. He hefted his enormous dong out of the way, and grasped both dueling pistols. "Let's do this."
We exited to the lawn, stood back to back, and took our 10 paces -- which was roughly nine paces more than my bitchin' flamethrower gloves would reach. I knew my cause was just. I knew my anger would carry me through. But still, a sick mass of nerves snaked around my guts. I took what might be my last breath on this Earth. The air was cool and clear. The sun was just barely rising beyond the trees. It was a beautiful dawn.
I turned, and heard birdsong.
"What the fuck?!" Gary screamed, staring down at the merrily dancing robot canary that sprouted from the barrel of his pistol. "These aren't real guns! They're just fucking chirping bird toys!"
I smiled, and advanced upon him, flamethrower gloves spewing sultry licks of fire. I greeted the stench of burned flesh, pina coladas, and feet like an old lover.
Buy Robert's stunning, transcendental, orgasmic science fiction novel, Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity, right here. Or buy Robert's other (pretty OK) book, Everything Is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead. Follow him on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook.