A Hang at Darryl’s Dad’s House

October 19, 2010

[C.O.D.Y. The Robot Who Hangs Out is outside the front door. He rings the doorbell. He can hear Darryl’s dad walk toward the door. C.O.D.Y is nervous. Terry’s hang rules are folded up in C.O.D.Y.’s front pocket. What will Darryl’s dad say about them? Will he have the cojones to hang them? The door opens. C.O.D.Y. needs tunes to chill out. “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” by Jim Croce blasts out of C.O.D.Y.]

Darryl’s dad: Turn that horseshit off. Jim Croce is a pussy with a mustache.

CODY: I play Jim Croce when I’m nervous. But I’ll turn it off. [He turns it off. Darryl’s dad leads him into the house and towards the stairs down to the basement.]

Darryl’s dad: What you nervous about?

CODY: Sometimes I’ll get nervous before a hang that I’ve been looking forward to but once I start hanging the nerves go away.

Darryl’s dad: You’re one hell of a weirdo, CODY.

CODY: Niiice.

[They walk down to the basement. There are two ladybots chatting with two hangbots. CODY doesn’t recognize the hangbots, but he does recognize one of the ladybots. It’s Josephine. His Josephine. The same Josephine who said she was sick and couldn’t hang all weekend. CODY is bummed. Before they notice him he quickly walks into the bathroom to collect himself and softly plays “Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce. This calms him. He thinks about time and how it makes fools of everyone, especially lovesick fools like him. Why does he fall so easily for every ladybot who pets him behind the ears? Will he ever get a chance to hang with Sarah again? He thinks: Don’t think. Just hang. Make every hang the best hang of your life. He splashes water on his face and returns to the hang. He approaches Josephine.]

CODY: Are you feeling better?

Josephine: Much better. You know Darryl’s dad too?

CODY: I introduced you to Darryl’s dad last time you were here.

Josephine: That’s right. Sorry, all these hangs blur together. If you remember a hang then you weren’t hanging hard enough. That’s what they say about hanging, right?

CODY: I guess that’s what they say about hanging.

[Josephine turns to the hangbot she’s with and pulls him over to her.]

Josephine: CODY. Meet Julius. [the two hangbots shake hands, limply.] Julius runs a magazine.

Julius: It’s more of a zine than a magazine.

CODY: What’s your zine about?

Julius: Darts. And hanging out.

[CODY thinks: Oh God. This must be THE Julius. Dayton’s IT hangbot. The editor and publisher of Dayton Hangs, THE Dayton hangzine. Rumor has it, Julius hangs with all of his ladybot interns until the interns can’t stand to hang with him anymore because if they see him hanging with other ladybots they break down in tears. And rumor has it that Dayton Hangs throws the best hang out sessions in town on the roof of their office building. These hangs have darts, beer, ladybots and bands. These hangs are legendary. Everyone gets laid. And CODY’s never been invited. Like CODY, Julius wears a poncho  and jeans. But the pattern on Julius’ poncho is more intricate than the one of CODY’s and Julius’ jeans are significantly more distressed than CODY’s.]

CODY: Is your zine called Dayton Hangs?

Julius: You’re a fan? Niiice.

[CODY doesn’t like that he said niiice. CODY says niiice.]

CODY: I’ve read it a few times. The article about the tornado hang in Xenia was especially gnarly.

Julius: We lost an intern in that tornado. But I like to think that it was worth it. Do you play darts?

CODY: Uh, am I hangbot?

Julius: Let’s do this. Whoever lands closest to the bull goes first.

[The hangbots stand behind the line of duct tape on the floor. CODY tosses first and the darts lands in single 20, near the bullseye. Julius steps up. He tosses the dart and it also lands in single 20, closer to the bull than CODY’s dart.]

Julius: Looks like I’m starting this party.

[Julius retrieves the darts from the board and walks back to the line. He opens 20 with a triple and lands two more 20's. CODY is bummed. CODY looks at Josephine; she is beaming with pride. Her two men are fighting over her and she could not be happier. CODY tosses a single 20 and two single 19’s. Julius lands one more 20, scoring on it, and opens 19. On his next turn Julius opens both 18 and 17. CODY opens 16 but doesn’t score on it. Julius decides to dance with Lady 15 and scores on her twice. CODY misses the board completely on his next toss and then closes Lady 20, finally. Julius scores on 18 once more and lands a bullseye. CODY closes 17 and scores on 16, but it’s no use. The score is 40 to 4, and on his next turn Julius opens bullseye and scores on it, ending the game.]

Julius: That has to be the quickest cricket match EVER.

CODY: I’m a little off my game, I think. Hey. Do you know where Darryl’s dad went?

Julius: I think he drove to Kroger to buy more Stroh’s. I can’t believe his hangs ONLY have Stroh’s. He’s getting a mediocre review.

CODY: You write reviews of all the hangs you go to?

Julius: Most of them. Darryl’s dad’s house is getting a reputation as nice spot so I figured it’s time to review it in the zine. Have you been hanging here long?

CODY: I was at his first hang back in 1999. It was a New Year’s hang. That was a long time ago. Before Darryl dad’s son Darryl did the bad thing at summer camp.

Julius: I’ve heard that was a great hang.

CODY: It was the best hang of my life. I hung out with two different ladybots in the shower. I won three darts matches. And the next morning we all hung at Perkins. The hang lasted until 11 a.m.

Julius: Maybe one day I’ll interview you about that hang. It would make for a good look-back-kinda piece, you know? And as one of Dayton’s most famous hangbots you should be profiled in the zine. It’s a shame we haven’t written about you yet.

CODY: Thanks. So. Hey. Can I tell the real reason I’m here?

Julius: Uh, sure.

CODY: You can’t write about it, though.

Julius: Fine. I won’t.

[Cody takes the hang rules from his pocket and unfolds them. He hands them to Julius.]

CODY: I’m going to hang these hang rules near the dart board. Last time I was here there were hangbots hanging out who did not know how to hang whatsoever. They were bragging and probing about people’s sex life and doing all sorts on ungnarly stuff. So my boss Teddy wrote up these hang rules and wants me to post them next to the dart board. He thinks they will make the hangs better. I don’t think people will obey them, or even read them, but he’s my boss and if I don’t hang them, he’ll fire me. So I’m in a rough stop here.

[Julius scans the hang rules. He’s intrigued. Although he’s a hang expert he’d never before thought of hang rules. He takes out a phone from his pocket and takes three pictures of the hang rules.]

CODY: Hey, what are you doing?

Julius: Just in case I want to look over them later.

CODY: So, do you think I should post them?

Julius: You do what you need to do. I’m not a part of this.

CODY: You have any tape or glue or something?

Julius: Who shows up to a hang with tape or glue?

[CODY looks around. There’s a slim chance that any of these ladybots have tape. Asking a ladybot for tape would be a weird thing to do at a hang. He looks at the floor. There’s the line o duct tape you have to stand behind when you play darts. He could pick off a strip of that. But what would Darryl’s dad say? Oh man. He was in a rough spot. He remembers the advice Terry gave him on his first day of work: Fuck it. That is your new mantra. Fuck it. CODY thinks: Fuck it. He bends down and rips off a strip of duct tape and uses it to post the hang rules next to the dart board.]

Julius: Bold.

[Josephine walks over to the dart board to check out what’s up. She starts reading the hang rules.]

Josephine: What is this?

CODY: Hang rules. Rules for hanging. Some people and some bots don’t know how to hang so it was time somebody posted some hang rules to tell everyone what’s what.

Josephine: CODY, my goodness. I never knew you were such a stickler for manners. [She puts her arm around CODY. This makes him feel alright.] I’ve always thought that bots our age have no manners. so I’m glad to know we feel the same way.

Julius: I love manners.

Josephine: I heard that you’ve hung out with four ladybots in one weekend. That means you don’t have manners. Three would be OK. Maybe. But four?

Julius: That was a fluke. A glorious fluke.

[Darryl’s dad walks down the stairs with a case of Stroh’s. He says:]

Darryl’s dad: Who’s ready to get Strohed?

CODY: I am.

[Darryl’s dad sees the piece of paper hanging near the dart board. He notices that it’s hung up with a strip of duct tape. He looks at the darts line and sees a strip missing.]

Darryl’s dad: What the fuck? What the fuck is going on here. Hang rules?

CODY: Those are mine. People need to learn how to hang so I’ve posted some hang rules. Is that alright?

Darryl’s dad: Effing hangbots. This is my house. There is one rule here and it’s this: there are no rules. And if I did have any rules, the first one would be: don’t destroy the darts line to hang up rules. Godammit, CODY. This is horseshit and you know it.

CODY: Drag. I just thought that people could use some rules for hanging, that’s all. They are pretty fair. Read them. You’ll see.

Darryl’s dad: I don’t want to read them. I don’t care about your rules. I would never hang wherever you live and post rules next to your dart board. It’s a dick-slap in the face, is what it is. So. You should leave. Come back next time and we’ll see if you can hang here without pissing me off.

CODY: Come on, Darryl’s dad. We go way back, man.

Darryl’s dad: I know we do. Which is why it’s such a dick-slap in the face for you to be posting these rules in my basement. Come back when you want to hang like a real hangbot.

[CODY is more bummed than he’s ever been. He’s more bummed than the time Sarah said he couldn’t hang at the laundromat. He’s been hanging at Darryl’s dad's house for over ten years. He spends more time here than he does at his own home. He plays “Time in a Bottle” at a low volume. His head drops. He looks into Josephine’s eyes.]

CODY: Josephine. Will you come with me?

Josephine: I would. You know I would. But I want to hang here. This is an alright spot.

CODY: Drag.

[CODY walks up the stairs by himself. He thinks: that was a bad hang.]

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