May 18, 2011 Rejected Book Plot #48
The Five Year Epiphany
Every five years on his birthday Tom meets Jerry (no relation) for a drink at Acme Bar. And every year it ends the same, Tom remembers what an asshole he was five years ago.
May 18th, 1976 (Age 25)
Tom: Can you believe what an asshole I was five years ago? How could anyone at the young age of 20 think they knew everything? What was with that afro? Or the fact I was protesting the Vietnam War? I should have been fighting not holding a sign.
Jerry: I know, but your pants were pretty sweet.
May 18th, 1981 (Age 30)
Tom: Can you believe what an asshole I was five years ago? I would refer to myself as “a quarter of a century”. I mean how hard is it to say 25? Or when I insisted that our parents see Taxi Driver because it was and I quote “The movie that will forever define a generation! Fuckin’ De Niro man”
Jerry: What about how you insisted on paying everything with a $2 bill insisting this was the currency of the future?
May 18th, 1986 (Age 35)
Tom: Can you believe what an asshole I was five years ago? I had that Regean movie marathon the night of his election. What was I even trying to prove with that? Or how I refused to use Post-It’s thinking it was just a fad and how I didn’t want another $2 bill fiasco.
Jerry: What about when you wrote your local television station 1000 letters that just said “I WANT MY MTV”. You were 30, dude.
May 18th, 1991 (Age 40)
Tom: Can you believe what an asshole I was five years ago? Between Chernobyl and the Challenger exploding I wouldn’t let my kids play outside. But then I saw Top Gun and swore I was going to join the air force.
Jerry: Yeah, all that cocaine really screwed you up.
May 18th, 1996 (Age 45)
Tom: Can you believe what an asshole I was five years ago? When my kids wouldn’t stop wasting and wouldn’t recycle I took them to the rainforest to show them that every year we destroy 1% of it and soon it’ll all be gone. Unfortunately, they just viewed it as a really cool family vacation.
Jerry: Or after you saw Father of the Bride and told your daughter she wasn’t allowed to get married and you were more than enough man for her.
Tom: When you say it like that it sounds creepy.
Jerry: It was.
May 18th, 2001 (Age 50)
Tom: Can you believe what an asshole I was five years ago? Jan and I almost got a divorce because now that Princess Di was single I could finally pursue her. Or that Ask Jeeves was going to be the search engine that would change the internet forever.
Jerry: You didn’t even know what a search engine was. Or the internet for that matter.
May 18th, 2006 (Age 55)
Tom: Can you believe what an asshole I was five years ago? I was so upset that life wasn’t like 2001: A Space Odyssey and I wouldn’t shut up about it. Or how I spent our life’s savings investing in Enron saying THIS IS THE COMPANY OF THE FUTURE!
Jerry: You were way off on that one.
May 18th, 2011 (Age 60)
Tom: Can you believe what an asshole I was five years ago? I refused to buy my grandkids a Wii because I didn’t want them to have a videogame named after piss. Or how I threw that Goodbye Pluto, You Were Our Favorite Planet party. I threw it like I knew Pluto personally. I took the downgrade from a planet very personally.
Jerry: Do you we will ever have a birthday drink and not remince about what an asshole you were five years ago?
Tom: Yes, the last five years of my life I won’t be an asshole because I won’t be able to reflect on what an asshole I really was. Plausable deniability.
Jerry: You may not be able to reflect, but you’ll still be an asshole.