So last night I realized my navel was green. In actuality, my entire body was green but it was my navel I was staring at, so that’s what I noticed first. As I contemplated what might have caused my skin to change colors, I scratched the side of my head* and was startled to find my ears had relocated to a spot close to the top of my skull! My ankles and fingers had also become swollen and my face felt like it had been suddenly gifted with Angelina Jolie’s expensive lips.
“Holy shite! What in th’ bloody blazes is ‘appenin’ ta meh?” I don’t need to tell you the Scottish accent was a most unwelcome addition to this nightmarish surprise. I mean, I could hardly understand what I was saying!
I was so stunned by all that was happening, I didn’t even notice the dwarfed pack animal that had materialized before me until it was speaking to me in a voice that sounded remarkably like Eddie Murphy’s.
“You OK, Shrek?” said the talking donkey.
“Aye. ‘tis either a lousy side ‘fect of me meds or I’ve just come ‘round teh find meself in f’cking Toon Town.”
“Aw, Shrek, this ain’t Toon Town. This is Duloc.”
“Th' diff’rence, donkey?”
“Well, not much, I’m afraid.” The donkey looked at the ground for a moment; then his ears pricked up again. “But hey! Why don’t we go mess with Lord Farquaad? You always enjoy that.”
“Yeah, yeah! You’re always Farquaad’s a fucktard this and Farquaad’s a fucktard that.”
“Ah’m a ‘ateful and nasty person, then, is that wot yer tellin’ meh?”
“Naw, Shrek,” replied the annoying burro (whose teeth, by the way, were freakishly HUGE). “You’re a hateful, nasty ogre. Big difference.”
“But how did ah get this way?”
“Been that way long as I’ve known you.”
“But I’m NOT an ogre!”
“Uh, Shrek, you looked in the mirror lately?”
“Are people ah-frehd of meh?”
“What?” The donkey seemed genuinely confused by the question. “Hell yes, people are afraid of you! You. Are. An. Ogre! Get it?”
“Why don’ they jus’ tell meh ah frighten them?”
“Because they’re, oh, I don’t know, this is just a guess really, but, MAYBE THEY’RE AFRAID TO! What the hell’s wrong with you today, Shrek!?”
“Ah don’t want t’ be a nasty ogre, donkey.”
“Ah want t’ be tha ‘appy, excited boy ah was yesterday.”
“Hate to break this to you, Shrek old friend, but you were an ogre yesterday, too. And the day before that. I don’t know that you’ve ever been happy or excited…” The donkey paused mid-thought. “…or a boy, for that matter.”
“Ah was a boy once.”
“Well, you’re green and mean now, so can we cut this sentimental crap out and get back to doing what we always do?”
“An’ wot is that, donkey?”
“Fucking with the asshats! Taking power away from people like Farquaad! Kicking the shit out of all things stupid!”
“To wot end?”
The donkey was so confused this time he couldn’t even speak. Just showed me those gigantic chompers.
The bells of Duloc Castle began to ring then. Strangely, they sounded a lot like the rock band Muse.
I awoke to my cell phone ringing. The ringtone being “Plug In Baby,” told me it was time to get up and get ready for work. Rubbing the sleep-goop from the corner of my eye, I stumbled into the bathroom and stared at myself in the mirror. A few minutes later, it occurred to me that my skin had not even the slightest tinge of green to it.
“I’m not an ogre,” I said aloud.
To my great relief, no talking cartoon animals offered a reply. My normal-sized lips formed a weak smile. Maybe there’s hope for me yet.
*A symbolic gesture, I assure you; I don’t have fleas.