"Please, you have to help us!"
Fuck. Of course I did it. To this day, I swear to God that lightning clapped dramatically behind me when I accepted.
It turned out that the kids had organized a fight in the park (childhood fistfights, if you've never attended one, are dignified events that one has to RSVP to well in advance), and they knew that they couldn't take the other boys. They were 12 years old. Only a year younger than me, but that particular year is very important. Being 13, I was technically in my teens, and to a 12-year-old, there is no more dangerous weapon in the world than a teenager. We waited for an hour or so, and when the other kids showed up, all hell broke loose. By which I mean that we called each other names for ten minutes, then I pushed one of them, and everybody scattered like black guys watching a magic trick. You know, standard little-kid fight procedure.
"Somebody touched somebody else! Never stop running!"
The boy who recruited me to the Great Outdoor Fight of '93 turned out to like Ninja Turtles as well. Who could've guessed? Of course we were immediate friends.
That night, he asked to sleep over. His mom dropped him off and met with my dad, and everything seemed on the level, so she left. After amping ourselves up with some Street Fighter II, we decided that those kids were probably out there right now, so enraged by their humiliating defeat that they were taking it out on the innocent townspeople. Bend, Oregon, was burning beneath the fiery rage of an evil band of sixth graders, and only this chubby barely-teen and his loyal 12-year-old sidekick could save it.
I reached under my bed, and as a symphony of mental electric guitars raged into life, revealed my little-kid arsenal:
"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds!"