The Cannonball Run to End Them All

by November 23rd, 2010 - Culture » Film and TV »

Upon the highway of my Netflix queue, hot new releases have come and gone, but the Burt Reynolds classic The Cannonball Run – the crown of a genre to which I am currently drawn – still sits there, mocking me with an expected availability of “A Very Long Wait“.

It stands to reason that there must yet be multiple copies available. It is not simply that Burt Reynolds himself had rented the sole remaining copy in circulation and asphyxiated erotically to its looping bitter-sweetness until he died in some unknown hermitage, depriving all the world of that now entombed treasure.

It could, indeed be, a cartel of renters hell-bent on a master-plan to to control the price of “Zany Madcap Ensemble Comedy” on the International Movie Genre Exchange.

But I know better. There are, indeed, several copies that would be in circulation if it were not for one man who has crawled away into an underground, cement and steel, boiler-room sanctuary mixing sewage and rust into one fine paste to seal all the cracks of his ceremonial chamber.

He’s waited his whole life for this…

Hoarding 17 copies of the classic The Cannonball Run, this man who goes only by the name AGARN, meticulously suspends himself from the ceiling by sliding the unclean sheen of steel hooks through well-worn wounds in his back, the leather of his own body transformed into a mere accessory after years of pained preparation.

On every side of him, but not before his very eyes, on the periphery of his vision, there are arranged 17 CRT monitors and accompanying DVD players, consistently mismatching such brands as RCA, Zenith, and Daewoo. Painstakingly primed, they all play separate copies of The Cannonball Run, perfectly and impossibly – under the circumstances – in sync.

Could he have done better with a single copy of the DVD playing through a distributed system? Clearly. But he’s not a smart man. This IS, very nearly, a religious act, afterall…

He has never seen the movie. He knows it only only by the banging reverberation of the assailing soundtrack of unidentified laughter and foley effects…the hooks in his flesh…the bright flashes of color on the edge of his eyes he can’t hope to identify, but tearfully attemps anyway…and by straining just so he subjects his very being so a very special kind of alchemy.

Though a voluntary predicament…he does very much truly desire release. He desires the hooks from out his body. He desires to be free. He desires to SEE THE FUCKING MOVIE. But all he can do is struggle…

…flex…

…and yearn…

…and struggle…

…and strain…

Unrelenting…

…the process helps transform him, churning his butter into something more, his blood turns to semen, that seeps like sweat from his pores, collecting as a mass at his naval until gravity finally takes its turn and deposits a quantity in an empty wine bottle perfectly placed at the heart of the room.

The idea…

…would be…

…that sometime after his imminent death, someone would discover him, his room, and the contents of the bottle. And from it…they would know…would understand…would be given the secret that had been only his to carry until then…

That movie better be FUCKING incredible.

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