By Veronica Toone
An excerpt from The Renonaissance!
Good evening, and again, my darlings, welcome to another round of CHOOSE YOUR OWN FUCKING ADVENTURE, where, true to its name, every decision is made for you and you realize that we’re all WORM FOOD.
While I’m sure that there are articles contained in this compendium that TICKLE YOUR G-SPOT infinitely more, I must say I’m truly honored that you would take the time to read the introduction. Now, unsheathe your sword from your ZIPPERED DENIM HOLSTER, mount your TRUSTY STEEDS, and adjust your FANNY PACKS, boys and girls, because this week’s adventure is:
START HERE: The year is 1420. You find yourself in the Ye Olde Towne of Hempsteade, and have no idea how you got there. You look around—trees for miles. You get up and rummage through the satchel you brought with you. In it is: a vape pen, a lighter, several Nonsense Humor magazines, a big honking bag of weed, and a crumpled piece of paper.
If you decide to smooth out the paper, go to PARAGRAPH 2.
If you decide to smoke the weed, go to PARAGRAPH 4.
PARAGRAPH 2: You put the paper on the ground and smooth it out. Reading it over, you discover it is a MAP (now equipped!). You look up at the late afternoon sky (which doesn’t have any smog or lights in it because this is 1420 and that kind of bullshit isn’t even a concept at this point) and realize it is getting dark. You’re going to need to start a fire to keep yourself warm! Do you combine the LIGHTER and NONSENSE HUMOR MAGAZINES to start a fire?
If you decide that Nonsense Humor magazines are far too funny to be burned, even in a survival situation, go to PARAGRAPH 3.
If you decide to burn the magazines, go to PARAGRAPH 5.
PARAGRAPH 3: You don’t burn the magazines, instead using the fading daylight to read them. You laugh haughtily at the rubbish therein and go to sleep in the dark. You’re eaten by hungry bears that see you as the fragile, tasty woodland creature you are.
YOU FUCKING DIED, DUDE. GO BACK TO PARAGRAPH 2.
PARAGRAPH 4: You smoke that DANK KUSH and get higher than you’ve ever been in your life. Zoinks, Scoob, you didn’t think a strain of such phenomenal, wondrous weed could find its way to your titillated taste buds. It tastes like the best pottage your mother never made, because she spent most of her time finagling with the turkey foot seller at the market or fucking the local plague doctor, didn’t she, John? You pass out and are eaten by hungry bears that see you as the fragile, tasty woodland creature you are.
YOU FUCKING DIED, DUDE. GO BACK TO START.
PARAGRAPH 5: You burn the magazines with unmitigated joy. As they crackle and curl in the fire, you find that the smell of burning self-indulgent jokes is very comforting, and you fall asleep to the sound of Ye Olde police sirens. You wake up the next morning and continue on with your journey. Suddenly, out of the brush, a wild HOFCAT appears. He stands in front of you in a way that vaguely reminds you of a Japanese pocket monster game, but offers no battle cry. Instead—“’Sup, player,” says the cat, “what’s good?”
If you decide to talk to the cat, go to PARAGRAPH 6.
If you decide to kill the cat, go to PARAGRAPH 7.
PARAGRAPH 6: “Um, hi,” you reply tentatively. “You must be a hofcat.” The cat approaches you and hops gracefully onto your shoulder. “That I am. Do you know where you are, traveller?” “No,” you confess. The cat smiles, or would if cats could do that, and continues. “Why, you’re at the HOFSTRA CASTLE, home to the fiercest beasts and rarest treasures.” You stare about in wonder before your eyes fall on blue sign directly to your left. Hofstra Castle, home to the fiercest beasts and rarest treasures. You step onto the cobblestone path and, as if on cue, several solidly-built, well-endowed knights cross your path. “Oh!” you exclaim, startled, and take a step backwards. One of the knights notices you. “Why, hello traveller!” He looks you up and down before slapping a gloved hand onto his firm, tasty chest. “I am Sir Brodius of Dudeshire. My compatriots and I are off for an evening of cavorting and gallivanting at the Ye Olde McHebe’s. Care you to join us, fellow countryman?”
If you decide to follow the knight, go to the DOPE ENDING.
If you decide to continue on your path, go to PARAGRAPH 8.
PARAGRAPH 7: Whoa, really? Like, that’s a fucking talking cat. You’re just gonna kill it? You sick bastard; your mother didn’t kiss you goodnight, did she?
GO BACK TO PARAGRAPH 5. I HATE YOU.
PARAGRAPH 8: You shake your head. “I’m sorry, Mister Brodius, but I’m on a quest,” you reply. The knight nods and adjusts his chain mail. “Ah, I understand, young man slash woman. We will think of you, brave traveler, in the midst of our rollicking. Come, gents,” he says to his fellow knights, “let this night be fucking lit!” The knights cheer and like a flash they’re gone, leaving a cloud of Axe™ Body Spray in their wake. You continue on until you come to a fork in the road. On the LEFT, the path is dirty, littered with empty potion bottles and horse shit. It does not seem to end. On the RIGHT, much of the same: discarded bowls of Freshen’s stew and human shit, yet it appears to end at a derelict building. Which path do you take?
If you decide to take the path on the LEFT, go to PARAGRAPH 9.
If you decide to take the path on the RIGHT, go to PARAGRAPH 10.
PARAGRAPH 9: Completely lost, you decide to take the path on the left. The trees look menacing above you, and your little Hofcat looks around cautiously. “Brave knight, I really think you should turn back,” he says, but you are set on going forward for some reason. After a while, crumpled on the sides of the path, are the SKELETONS OF PEASANTS PAST. You think you see one blink its empty eyeholes. Dread bubbles up in your stomach like Mother’s three week-old mashed peas, and you wish the Black Death had just killed you when it had the chance. Suddenly, a skeleton steps in front of you: he is wearing a tattered Attack on Titan cosplay and is clutching a Nerf gun. He aims it at your head and fires.
“Long live Hofstra versus Zombies.”
YOU FUCKING DIED, DUDE. GO BACK TO PARAGRAPH 8.
PARAGRAPH 10: You decide to follow the MAP you have in your satchel (remember that shit? You didn’t think I would bring that up again, did you?) and take the path on the right. A chilled wind blows through your hair and shakes you to your core. After walking along the dirty path, you approach the broken-down building. Scanning the façade carefully, you see it is a SBARRO’S PIZZA. The Hofcat on your shoulder hisses. “Brave knight,” he protests, “this does not feel right!” Ignoring your tiny compadre, you continue on. You kick down the splintery door, and at first, nothing seems out of the ordinary: chairs scattered about, with a lonely stand in the centre of the room. The trays are full of Sbarro’s food, still looking edible. Surrounding the stand are skeletons in various pained-looking positions, which are themselves surrounded by human fecal matter. Hofstra shits. Poor bastards. There’s a loud whoosh, and as you turn, the door behind you slams.
YOU ARE TRAPPED. What do you do?
If you decide to look around, go to PARAGRAPH 11.
If you decide to give up and live on Sbarro’s forever, go to the PUSSY ENDING.
PARAGRAPH 11: You look around. Carefully avoiding the stinky dead Hofstra shit people (because those jokes never die), you glance around the moldy walls in the hopes of finding a way out. Suddenly, you spot a LEVER on the wall. Deciding that well, nothing matters and Death is coming, you pull it, and a part of the wall slides back to reveal and entrance to a CAVE. Your Hofcat is shaking now. You turn and, fearing what lurks ahead, take a SWORD from a gross poop skeleton (now in Items!). Carefully, you enter the cave, because you didn’t take the pussy ending so that means you’re a tough guy, aren’t you? Descending a set of stone steps, you find yourself surrounded by THE BUBBLING PITS OF HOT SMELLY PIZZA GREASE. Careful! One touch and you’re dead: keep moving! You trek on, past more skeletons, pieces of discarded armor and cigarette butts. You turn a corner, and…
Before you, nestled amongst the pits of grease and leftover pizza crusts, is the dragon. He opens one eye. What do you do?
If you decide to fight the dragon, go to the BATTLE.
If you decide to run away, go to the PUSSY ENDING.
BATTLE: The dragon awakens, and boy, is it pissed. You equip your SWORD and hold it out menacingly, before it occurs to you that you have no idea how to use a sword. The dragon rises to its full height and, with a mighty roar, releases a cloud of Froot Loops™ flavored vape smoke, right in your face. You cough: dude, not cool. The dragon is moving slow. You’re certain you could kill it if not for the fucking smoke everywhere. It just keeps…breathing on you. Trying to find a patch of clean air, you spot scales and swing blindly. The dragon lets out a roar of pain, and you think you might have actually damaged that bad boy. The air starts to clear, and you swing again and again. With a final cry, the dragon’s head tumbles to the floor. But your trial is not done, brave homie. Underneath the dragon’s head is none other than RENOWNED CHEF, BOBBY FLAY. You now have to, quite literally, beat Bobby Flay, just like on his new show, Beat Bobby Flay, hosted by chef Bobby Flay, airing only on Food Network Thursdays at 10, after Food: Fact or Fiction with Michael McKean. This is worse than the dragon. You look around in a panic for something to use to defeat him with, but all you find is a PRE-MADE SBARRO PIZZA CRUST and a CHAMBER POT. He laughs in your face. Do you admit defeat?
If you decide that Bobby Flay is a fucking piece of human garbage that deserves to lose in his own dungeon, go to the FINAL BOSS.
If you decide to admit defeat, go to the PUSSY ENDING.
FINAL BOSS: By combing the PRE-MADE SBARRO’S PIZZA CRUST and the CHAMBER POT, you are able to create SBARRO’S PIZZA! Bobby Flay, shocked that you were able to so accurately make the best pizza on the island, uses the dragon’s head and creates DRAGON FLAMBÉ! He laughs at you again, the smug bastard, and you stab him in the chest.
Bobby Flay is defeated! You eat the Sbarro’s Pizza and rejoice!
THE END. NICE GOING, MY DUDE.
PUSSY ENDING: Really? You’re just gonna give up just like that? What the fuck? Look around! Explore, adventure—fight! That’s what the point of this fucking thing is! Why do you think I spent days writing this? So that you could give up? Fuck no!
What? You still wanna give up? Fine. I hope you’re happy not doing anything fun ever, you piece of shit. Go back to your Tumblr blog.
THE END. FUCK YOU.
DOPE ENDING: You nod firmly and follow close behind the knight. He leads you down the street to a dirty building (even though really, in retrospect, all buildings in 1420 were fucking filthy, but that’s putting the cart before the horse). The tacked up wooden sign on the door reads: “Ye Olde McHebe’s. Two shots $38.” You hear the thudding of bass inside, and enter to find swarms of underage peasants, grinding up against each other like they’re trying to fuse together. “Hallowéd be the name of McHebe’s!” one shouts, clearly having imbibed copious amounts of mead. The wasted young sir staggers out of the pub, and you want to get that crunk yourself. You raise a Ye Olde shot glass and scream to the heavens:
“I’m ready to get fucked up! Who wants to blow me?”
THE END, HOMIE. YOU’RE CLEARLY A LOVER OF ALL THINGS FUN; YOUR MOM WOULD BE PROUD.