The Return of the Native


Kris Johnson, OverlordWhen I asked Chris Miller if his return to Cleveland would be similar to his arrival in Los Angeles nine months ago—specifically, heralded by the blasts of ten thousand trumpets as he rode atop an eight-story-tall flaming lion-bear-shark hybrid attended by a squadron of Mark V rocket-propelled android shock troopers—I was not at all surprised at his simple, yet elegant, response.

“No,” he said.

I asked if he would instead descend from the sky in a massive dirigible, bristling with armaments such as have never been seen even in the pages of Soldier of Fortune magazine, surrounded by a swarm of insectoid attack drones, and again he responded in the negative.

“Besides,” he said. “That’s David‘s schtick.”

Would he rise from the depths of Lake Erie in a submersible, escorted by an exotic array of cephalopods, cyborg sharks and the entire race of freshwater mermen we recently subjugated? Again, no.

“I get a little queasy around watercraft,” he said. “And that’s more Natalie‘s bailiwick, anyway.”

Yes, the man said “bailiwick”.

“So what’s the plan?” I asked. “Ride a spout of molten lava through the Earth’s core?”

“I’m not going for a big entrance,” he said. “Nothing too flashy this time.”

“Well how the hell am I supposed to know you’re back?” I asked.

“I will slip in quietly,” he said, “like a ninja in a minivan. The setting of the sun in the West will announce me, and as dusk descends upon northeast Ohio you will know that the passing of the light marks my arrival, for as the day is laid to its eternal rest so shall I rise again to conquer all upon which I have set my eye, my heart and my will.”

“Sounds good,” I said.

“Also,” he said. “I’ll send you a text.”

If you’re wondering whether I received that text, the answer is yes. Nearly two days ago, in fact. Why did I not disclose its receipt until now? Because I wanted to let the feeling of dread that undoubtedly descended upon you at 11:33pm on Monday the 20th of April sink in—absorbed like so much moisturizing cream of evil into your parched skin—for a while before I let you know what caused it. That’s how I roll.

Mr. Miller is back.

Brace yourselves.

3 responses to “The Return of the Native”

  1. Rachel Avatar

    All the good entrances and lairs are taken!

    IHOJ Game Night (now with extra Miller) was very fun, as always, according to prophecy.

    1. Kris Avatar

      @Rachel — Mr. Miller : Game Night :: Arby-Q : Arby’s

      Allow me to elaborate: In the halcyon days of fast food roast beef, Arby’s offered a barbecue beef sandwich called the Arby-Q. Then, they didn’t. I wandered in to the Arby’s in Painesville one afternoon to find that my go-to sandwich was no longer on the menu. What was I left with? Beef ‘n’ Cheddar, that’s what. Beef ‘n’ Cheddar. Now, don’t get me wrong, the Beef ‘n’ Cheddar is a fine sandwich—when I wanted to change things up a bit, I would get the seventeen Beef ‘n’ Cheddars for a nickel deal (a nickel went a long way back in the late 1990s)—but it’s certainly no Arby-Q. I was understandably dismayed; more so when I discovered that the little comment cards you fill out don’t go directly to your congressman but rather to management of the local franchise, who are wholly incapable of introducing the legislature necessary to ensure that the Arby-Q remains on the menu until the sun goes supernova.

      It was a dark time.

      Then, Arby’s brought the Arby-Q back and…well, this is where the analogy really falls apart, because they only brought it back for a limited time and it really wasn’t the same Arby-Q I remembered—the barbecue sauce was just…off—but for a brief, shining moment it seemed as though everything was going to be all right again, and order had been restored to the universe.

      So I guess right now I’m just hoping that no one has been messing with Chris’ sauce.

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