Vermal Carrens

by bernquist

Vermal Carrens was on a tear. He hadn’t felt this way since senior year in ’78 – every sinew linking together in exquisite harmony, his velour fibers twitching with unbelievable rigor. It was only competition that brought this feeling into essence, that primal drive that Vermal understood only top tier competitors could ever experience. The commoner would never know how this felt. And to Vermal, that was just fine. That was how it should be. He’d earned this exhilaration. All those years of training, of doubt, of sacrifice; all were essential motivators in creating the machine that he knew he was.

Over the decades he had alienated family, burned professional bridges, and lost love more than once. His wife Aranasass walked out in ’92, ending their seven year marriage. She just didn’t get it. And Vermal didn’t ever truly expect her to. He was fully aware from the early days that it would take a special breed to withstand his lifestyle, his dedication, his unwavering drive. He had thought Aranasass would be that special person, that bulwark that could provide the desperately needed stability in his life, but it was all for not. He was on his own now and probably would remain so forever, but he was willing – dare I say eager – to live with that. He had the passion of competition, the thrill of the game. And that was all that mattered.

There were three other worthy opponents this year and Vermal was acutely conscious of the fact that this time around was going to be no cakewalk. The arena was mammoth; an open floor plan, four titan couches in a row, all with their own entertainment centers. Adoulin Floust, the eight years running commentator, took to the center of the venue as always in his signature red, Doritos-stained sweatsuit. He raised a flare gun in triumph and exclaimed in his booming fat guy voice, “On the count of three: 1…2…3!!!” And a single flare was blasted through the drywall ceiling, a symbol that the 34th Annual Recklessly Aggressive Lounging Olympiad had begun!

Vermal looked around casually from his sofa-sprawled vantage point trying to size up the competition. One of the new comers, Chad Orvis, started off by pouring a family-sized bag of Cheetos down his throat with real, forceful aggression. Vermal chuckled with glee recognizing this as a foolhardy rookie error. He leaned back with his left leg propped forth on the back cushions like a baller and closed his eyes, falling directly into a trance of seven consecutive hours of hatred sleep! The crowd looked on in sheer awe, having not seen lounging like this since….well, they had never witnessed or heard of lounging at this level! Vermal awoke from the exhausting hatred sleep much to the pleasure of the crowd as they were on the tips of their rotund toes anticipating what he would do next. He rose just in time to witness Chad Orvis being wheeled briskly away on a stretcher. He would later learn that Orvis had followed up his man-handling of the behemoth Cheeto sack with nine espresso stouts, a full package of fig newtons, a 100 piece bag of Reese’s Pieces, and half of season seven of The Office. Without the esophageal hose nearby, physicians say Orvis’ vomit would have never stopped.

With round one of hatred sleep in the books, Vermal decided it was probably time to eat something disgusting as quickly as possible. He seamlessly located a can of processed oysters, positioned conveniently in a plastic Safeway bag on the floor at the base of the couch. He crammed the oysters into his barbed face with his hands (no utensils were used) making sure to lick forth all the menacing oyster juices from his fingers between each bite. All of this of course was capped off by drinking the remaining oily sludge from the can itself, the move of a real pro!! At this point it was time for some television; Vermal figured The Last Crusade would be a great place to start, mostly because it was on when he turned on the 62 inch flat screen TV with wooden megapixels. An ear-butchering silence slithered over the crowd as they gazed at Vermal’s form in reckless amazement wondering how one man could lounge with such insatiable voracity, such elegant form!! The way he took down Miller Lites while finishing The Last Crusade and moving directly on to Pretty in Pink was simply breathtaking!!

Meanwhile one of the other pugilists, Darren Urk, was disqualified in the 14th hour of lounging as the unbridled sloth finally got to him; the self-loathing after his third bag of Lays BBQ potato chips and a full, raucous viewing of the History Channel special, Inside the Kennedy Assassination, was too great. He collapsed to the floor drooling and weeping tears of pure salt! It was hour sixteen now and only one opponent, Stonky Clip, stood in the way of Vermal. Stonky was good. He had started off eating leftover croissants and watching two strait seasons of South Park, and now for the last 9 hours had been engaged in such brazen hatred sleep that the judging panel dared not go near for fear of…actual poop! But as hour ten drew nigh, everyone began to wonder if something was amiss. Stonky had not moved in forty-five minutes and the judges, fully clad in hazmat suits, approached Stonky’s davenport with the utmost of caution, being careful not to squish any of the auxiliary chip crumbs into the lush lounge carpet. It was then that the tragic call was made; Stonky’s hatred sleep had reached a point of such unheard of aggression that he had had real and actual death!!

Vermal couldn’t believe his crab flavored eyes!! As he gazed at Stonky’s useless red cadaver, a single tear of peanut butter rolled down his sullen face. Victory was his. Again! No one could lounge at his level!! No one!!!! He tore off his sweatpants and yes…there was poop!! But he didnt care! This was the poop of victory!! He graciously accepted his prize from Adoulin Floust (which for first place is one 15 lb dead tortoise) and staggered back to his own couch at home to lounge another day. Vermal Carrens. A huge brown Scandinavian hero.