Part 2 of a story that really happened to me.
AJ had just finished showing Kanye West the video of the Hatersaurus terrorizing his street, and Kanye couldn’t have possibly been more confused.
“A Hatersaurus, Ye!”
Kanye looked skeptical.
“You mean like a dinosaur? I dunno about that shit, fam. I thought they was all dead for the last 65 million years.”
“Nah man, they’ve been chillin’. My boy Brex is a t-rex.”
Kanye laughed at this.
“Ya boy Brex is a t-rex? Damn AJ, you sure you ain’t a rapper?”
“Come on Ye,” AJ said, “This is serious! I’ve gotta fight this fucking guy at midnight!”
“Chill fam, you know Yeezy always got your back!”
Kanye walked across the room and grabbed his laptop. He sat down next to AJ and began scrolling through a folder containing sound files, which AJ assumed were beats made by Ye himself. Kanye was no slouch when it came to making beats, and it was this ability that got him noticed by Jay-Z and earned him his subsequent signing with Roc-A-Fella Records. Ye scrolled through what seemed like hundreds of beats, occasionally pausing and murmuring to himself, before shaking his head and moving on.
While it was very easy to write Kanye West off as an idiot due to his less-than-eloquent way of speaking in public, AJ knew better. What Kanye lacked in speaking he more than made up for through his music. The man was a genius, he just had a hard time articulating his thoughts unless he put them into music. When Kanye wanted to get a point across, he hit the studio and recorded a track. This skill, coupled with the fact that he routinely pissed people off and upset the apple cart, was what led to Kanye West’s recruitment into AJnet.
After scrolling for several minutes, Kanye finally came to the beat he wanted.
“Yeah, this that shit.”
He looked over to AJ.
“Ya boy Yeezus about to drop a sermon, playa. Get ready.”
Kanye played the beat, and began rapping:
Why this old ass dinosaur gotta hate?
Why can’t he see that you great?
Can’t see nothing through them shutters I guess so he throwin’ that shade
With them tiny ass arms man how he drinkin’ all that haterade?
But AJ, playa, you gotta listen
There’s something right in front of your face that I think you missin’
Dre said “Bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks”
Ye said “Haters ain’t shit but jealous dicks”
Hatersaurus just mad that he don’t know how to write
Huh, guess it’s harder to show respect than it is to throw spite
But AJ, for real homie, you got the high ground like Obi Wan
Why you fightin’ this clown man, just laugh at him and move on
Remember went they sent you hatemail back in the day?
And you’d just laugh them off and call them gay?
Or when Alban Abendroth sent you all that crazy ass text
About killing you and your family and using the corpses to have sex?
Then you went and found his MySpace with all them corny ass pictures and songs
Used them to slay him dead then went back to writing about all of society’s wrongs?
Or how about that British guy Ruggy Burnstead?
Started off hatin’ but you turned him into a friend instead
AJ, fam, how you gonna take shit from this Jurassic ass?
Look back at your past, put this bitch ass lizard on blast!
It’s time for war dawg, now lace up your boots
Meet that Hatersaurus on the battlefield and get back to your roots
Take charge of the situation just like Captain Kirk
And show that Jurassic punk why you called “Angry_Jerk”!
AJ and Juan sat awestruck.
Finally, AJ reached out and shook Kanye’s hand.
“Keeping it real like always, Ye.” AJ said, smiling warmly. “You always knock it out of the park, every fucking time.”
Señor Juan nodded in agreement.
“Yeah man, that was pretty good.”
“You feel me though, AJ?”
“For sure, Yeezy.” replied AJ. “Haters always gonna hate. I didn’t sweat it before, so why sweat it now?”
Kanye fist-bumped AJ.
“Yeah, now you gettin’ it homie.”
AJ turned to Juan.
“One last stop on the way back Juan. If we’re going to the Linc, I need to pick up some liquor.”
Ye pointed behind him at the absurdly large bar, which AJ and Juan hadn’t noticed until now.
“Whatchu guys need? Help yourselves, I got you.”
AJ turned to Juan and smiled.
“Never mind, looks like we’re covered.”
AJ went behind the bar and grabbed three bottles. He looked to Kanye.
“I just need three things, Ye.”
AJ sat the bottles on the counter: Yukon Jack, Fireball Whiskey, and Jack Daniels. Juan’s eyes widened as he looked at the three liquors and recognized them as the Unholy Trinity of Whiskey, the three ingredients that made up a drink known as The Abomination of Desolation, an elixir that the deities of old once drank to attain their immortality.
AJ had consumed this concoction only one other time, at a release party for an article back in July of 2013. That night ended with AJ waking up the following morning in a Chinese prison camp, followed by a daring rescue mission by Juan and a year-long drinking binge, during which time AJ forgot that he had a website. Upon his return to the internet, he wrote an article about it. But this time, things would be different. The AJ of 2013 was way different from the AJ of 2022. Whereas 2013 AJ had been impulsive, brash, irrationally angry, and perpetually drunk, 2022 AJ was much more in control of his emotions, and only got drunk on the weekends. Plus, AJ had pre-gamed pretty hard that night before consuming the Abomination of Desolation.
This time around, there would be no article release party. There would be no reckless galivanting. There would be no sex with fat paraplegic women. There would only be divine justice. This Hatersaurus had no idea what unholy wrath he had unleashed upon himself. AJ’s return to the Linc would be glorious and triumphant, and the dinosaur would be no more.
AJ bagged up the liquor and turned to Juan.
“Alright, let’s roll out.”
Turning back to Kanye, AJ smiled.
“Thanks again Ye. Sorry I can’t stick around for your show.”
The two shook hands.
“Don’t even trip AJ,” Kanye replied. “Fuck that bitch ass lizard up!”
“Word. Rock that mic, Yeezy.”
With that, AJ and Juan headed back to the Huey and took off for Philly.
Juan landed the Huey right in front of AJ’s house, much to the annoyance of neighborhood traffic. As AJ stepped out of the helicopter, he was greeted by a cacophony of car horns and obscenities. Being completely used to this, AJ continued towards his house, his middle fingers blazing in all directions. As he reached for his keys, the door opened and Frosty Mugg stood there beer in hand.
“AYYYYYYYYYY JAYYYYYYYYYYY! YOU’RE HOME!”
AJ rolled his eyes and entered, not bothering to question how exactly Frosty had entered his home in the first place. Frosty did crazy shit all the time, and AJ was used to this sort of thing by now. Pushing past Frosty, AJ entered his kitchen and headed for the fridge.
“I know I shouldn’t even bother looking, but…”
As he opened his fridge, Frosty yelled out from the living room.
“Oh shit, sorry man, I drank the last of your beer!”
“Of course you did,” AJ grumbled. “Of fucking course you did.”
AJ grabbed a Dr. Pepper and sat down on the couch next to Frosty. He checked the clock. Three hours until he had to be at the Linc to face off against the Hatersaurus.
“Hey, where’s Juan at?” asked Frosty.
“Dropping the Huey back off at the airport.”
“Oh,” said Frosty, sounding slightly confused. “You should have mentioned that in the first paragraph.”
“Enough with the fourth wall shit, Frosty,” AJ replied sharply. “I’ve got a fight in a few hours, I’ve gotta get into the right headspace.”
“You know what I like to do before a big thing?” Frosty asked, smiling.
“Don’t have to tell me twice!” Frosty took a swig of his beer.
“I actually have a strategy already Frosty,” AJ said. “I’m going to mix these three liquors and make-”
“The Abomination of Desolation.” Frosty finished for AJ. “Yeah dude, I remember that article! You know, I had a similar experience too back when I went sober after losing that bet to Edwin. I got sober and went to China and burnt down a monastery. You basically just rehashed that old article-”
As Frosty began another long and annoying diatribe about how him and everyone else in their group were just fictional characters on AJ’s personal website, AJ spaced out. Can I really handle the Hatersaurus? AJ thought to himself. Will the Abomination of Desolation be enough? He thought back to the early years of his website, when he routinely received hatemail from people like Alban Abendroth and Michael Bradshaw. The hate didn’t bother him back then, so why did it bother him now?
Perhaps the passage of time had softened AJ up, made him grow complacent and lose his way. 12 years ago, AJ would rapid-fire halfcocked articles with little to no thought about things like accuracy, quality, factuality, or SEO ranking. He had no concern about the opinions of the religious right or the woke left. Everything and everyone was fair game, public opinion be damned. And if someone tried to attack him for his views? They received a hearty dose of “Go fuck yourself”. The few people that had managed to dox AJ were cordially invited to visit him at his house to either have a few drinks or suck his dick.
Over the course of the last five or six years, AJ had grown more concerned with numbers. How many hits a day was the site getting? What keywords could be used to generate the most traffic? How many people watched him on Twitch and YouTube? What would those people think of his wording, and how would it affect his Google ranking? Was he cursing too much? As these concerns swirled through AJ’s head, content became fewer and farther between, and making articles and videos became less of a passion and more of a chore. Eventually, so dissuaded by low numbers and poor Google rankings, AJ had all but given up on making content for his website, instead preferring to spend his free time getting drunk and listening to music. In a pursuit of vanity, AJ had forgotten why he started writing in the first place: For fun.
No more, AJ thought to himself, this ends now. The Hatersaurus’s attack had awoken something from deep within AJ, something that had been buried for years under a mountain of numbers and self-doubt. He was the king of internet ranting, and it was time to retake his throne. It didn’t matter what the Hatersaurus thought. It didn’t matter what some crybabies on Reddit thought. It didn’t matter what the Google results said. Ever since AJ stopped writing for fun, the world had went to shit. Not only had Donald Trump been elected president, but for some reason people thought it was a good idea to follow that up with Joe Biden, who was even worse than Trump and barely knew where the fuck he was half the time. Now assholes like Vladimir Putin were running roughshod over the world, and the western world was too busy whining about things like gender identity and racial politics to do anything about it. The world needed an angry jerk to stand up and call out the bullshit. The world needed AJ.
As AJ began to contemplate a new era of AJnet supremacy, he was brought-to by Frosty slamming his beer mug on the table.
“-GILLIGAN NEVER GOT TO LEAVE THAT ISLAND, AJ, AND IT’S FUCKING BULLSHIT!”
AJ, unsure of what drunken thought process had led Frosty from existential contemplation to the television show Gilligan’s Island, looked to Frosty.
“No, they did get off the island, remember?” AJ replied. In situations like this, it was always best to try to console Frosty before he got too emotional. “They made that movie in the 70’s that has them getting off the island, then they go back and turn it into a resort.”
Frosty smiled and took another swig of his beer.
“There IS a god!”
AJ rolled his eyes. Why do I put up with this guy again?
It was 11:50 at night, and AJ, Juan, and Frosty stood inside the empty Lincoln Financial Field. AJ turned to Juan.
“Remember the last time we were in here?”
“Yeah,” Juan replied, “It was a lot noisier.”
“Ooh, you guys are talking about that one article again!” chimed Frosty.
AJ looked to Juan, and the two just shook their heads.
“Where did it all go wrong, Juan? When did I lose my edge?”
“I blame white people,” Juan replied with a grin. “You gringos ruin everything.”
“True that, amigo.” AJ said. “Think our dino buddy will be early?”
“I hope so,” responded Frosty, taking a swig of his beer. “I only have a few more beers left in the cooler! Say, how did we get in here anyway? Doesn’t this place have security?”
“AJnet operatives everywhere, Frosty. EVERYWHERE.”
Frosty paused for a moment, as if contemplating the idea of AJnet operatives.
“You know AJ, if you’re really the mastermind behind some global network of operatives who do your bidding, why are you still living in an apartment in the middle of the ghetto in Philadelphia?”
“Last place anyone would think to look for me,” replied AJ. “If they even thought to look for me.”
AJ reached into Frosty’s cooler and pulled out the bottles of Yukon Jack, Fireball, and Jack Daniels. He looked at his phone. 11:55.
“Guess I should mix these up now.”
Juan held up a glass, and AJ poured in equal parts Yukon, Fireball, and Jack. He gave the drink a stir, then held it for a moment.
“Guys,” AJ said resolutely, “I just want to say, y’all are the best friends an angry jerk can have. Once I win this battle, things are going back to the way they used to be. No more giving a fuck what other people think. No more keeping my mouth shut. The internet needs me now more than ever. The world needs me now more than ever.”
AJ looked again at his phone. 11:58.
“Nice,” AJ said, amused. “Two minutes to midnight.”
With that, AJ chugged the Abomination of Desolation. As he finished the last drop, he slammed the glass to the ground, shattering it. As energy began coursing through AJ’s body, he noted that this felt way different from the last time he had consumed the drink. This time, AJ felt more in control of his power. More importantly though, he hadn’t blacked out, which was important if he was going to face the Hatersaurus in a minute.
“How do you feel?” asked Juan.
“I’m feeling… FROSTY!”
AJ turned to Frosty, who had began picking up the pieces of broken glass on the ground.
“Are you stupid? You’re gonna cut yourself!”
Frosty laughed. “Heh, you referenced my old website.”
AJ looked at his phone. 12:02.
Juan looked around anxiously.
“Maybe he’s not going to show…”
“Guess I’ve been ‘le epically trolled’ or whatever.”
AJ started walking towards the exit.
“Let’s go guys, I don’t have time for this shit.”
As the group began walking for the exit, a deafening roar permeated the sky.
“AJ YOU BITCH, WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU’RE FUCKING GOING?”
The Hatersaurus entered the stadium, blocking the group’s exit. AJ turned to Juan and Frosty.
“Thanks for having my back guys, but this is my fight. Go wait in the stands.”
Juan nodded, and grabbed Frosty, who was busy trying to open another beer.
“HEY, YOU’RE GONNA MAKE ME SPILL MY BEER! DAMNIT JUAN, THAT’S ALCOHOL ABUSE!”
“Come on, you drunk pendejo.”
AJ watched as the two headed for the stands a safe distance away. He turned back to the Hatersaurus.
“Well, I’m here.”
“YOU’RE FUCKING QUEER!” the Hatersaurus roared back.
AJ cocked his head to the side.
“Mind telling me what your problem is, buddy?”
The dinosaur roared loudly.
“MY PROBLEM IS YOU, AJ!”
The Hatersaurus leaned in close to AJ’s face. AJ didn’t move.
“Well then, I suggest you solve that problem.”
The Hatersaurus huffed, he foul breath blasting AJ in the face. AJ stepped back.
“Damn dude, did you eat rotten pussy with a side salad of shit?”
“I ATE YOUR MOM’S PUSSY YOU LITTLE BITCH!”
“Yeah, so has everyone else bro. Might wanna get yourself checked, she’s got-”
“FUCK YOU, AJ!”
“So are you gonna actually fight, or are we just gonna talk shit all night?”
The dinosaur roared, but didn’t make a move. This fight was going nowhere, and AJ was getting annoyed. He felt the energy from the Abomination of Desolation coursing through him, begging for release. It was beginning to hurt, actually. And that made AJ angry.
“Look dude, I don’t know who the fuck you are or what your fucking problem is, but this is starting to piss me the fuck off!”
The Hatersaurus opened his mouth to say something, but AJ pointed at him and continued yelling.
“You show up at my goddamn house looking for a fight in your stupid ass fucking get-up looking like a retard with your stupid ass shades, your dumb ass Snapback, and the corniest fucking chain straight outta fucking Walmart! That’s the gayest shit I’ve ever seen bro. And you show up, you challenge me to this fucking fight, then I get here and you’re fucking late! How’re you gonna call me out when you’re dressed like a Polack and can’t even be on fucking time?”
The Hatersaurus tried to roar again, but again AJ shut him down.
“No, shut the fuck up! I ain’t fucking done yet! You’re here talking all this fucking shit, but you can’t even tell me why you’re here talking that shit! You said you’re gonna fuck me up. I stepped, but you won’t swing! You just keep running your mouth with your stank-ass breath and I have no fucking idea why! So what is it then? What’s got you so pissed off at me that you wanna show up here to go at it with me? Did I curse too much? Was it my politics? Did I breach your safe space or something? Please, tell me how I fucking offended you!”
The Hatersaurus looked AJ firmly in the eyes, and AJ braced for an imminent attack.
Instead, the giant dinosaur began crying.
“MAN, I JUST WANTED TO BE LIKE YOU, AJ!”
AJ stepped back, confused. Frosty yelled something from the distance, and Juan nudged him discouragingly.
“AJ, I JUST HATE YOU BECAUSE I KNOW I’LL NEVER BE LIKE YOU.”
AJ shook his head. There was no way this could be real. The Hatersaurus was just jealous?
“Wait a minute, you’re telling me the whole reason you picked a fight with me was because you’re jealous? Why are you jealous of me, exactly?”
“BECAUSE,” the Hatersaurus sobbed, “YOU SPEAK YOUR MIND NO MATTER WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK! I’M AFRAID TO DO THAT, PEOPLE MIGHT HATE ME!”
“You’re afraid of being hated, so instead you hate?”
“I JUST WANNA FIT IN MAN! WHAT IF I HAVE A DIFFERENT OPINION FROM EVERYONE ELSE? THEY’LL MAKE FUN OF ME AND TRY TO BRING ME DOWN!”
The dinosaur had a point. In this day and age, anyone who went against the crowd (or rather, what the media said was the crowd) was often ostracized and attacked relentlessly until they either backed down or lost everything. AJ had grappled with this same fear for the last several years.
“I know how you feel, bro.” AJ said sympathetically. “I spent years suppressing who I was in fear of the internet lynch mob. But I’m done. They can take my job, they can take my freedom, but if they want to take my voice then they’re going to have to cut my tongue from my mouth!”
AJ extended a hand towards the dinosaur.
“Let’s squash this beef. Come join me.”
The Hatersaurus sniffled.
“R-REALLY? YOU’D LET ME JOIN YOU?”
“Yeah man,” AJ replied. “My other t-rex got married and got a life and shit. I could use another one.”
“CAN YOU TEACH ME TO BE LIKE YOU?”
AJ shook his head.
“Nope, but I can teach you to be like yourself.”
The two looked at each other for a moment. Off in the distance, Frosty yelled “GAYYYYYYYYYY!” and threw an empty beer can. Juan just shook his head. The Hatersaurus reached down in a vain attempt to shake AJ’s hand, but came up short. AJ laughed.
“Second time today I made that mistake. My bad, homie.”
He patted the Hatersaurus on the thigh (no homo tho), and the two began walking towards the exit. As they met up with Señor Juan and Frosty, AJ smiled.
This was the beginning of a new era.