Hearing the clop of hooves, you peer out the window
to see Marty Stouffer riding merrily up the road aback
a massive deer, followed by an innumerable horde of
small bunnies and hedgehogs. He tells you to “climb
aboard!” but you explain that you have never ridden
a deer before. Stouffer grabs you by the scruff of your
neck as though you were a small animal, and hoists you
up. He then issues a command to the deer in a bizarre,
grunting language which it seems to understand, and
before you can properly situate yourself the animal
takes off at top speed, leaving you clinging desperately
to an antler.
While preparing for your date, you suddenly hear the
gunning of a massive diesel engine in the driveway.
Stepping outside, you find yourself face to face with
a hideous goblin truck, which bucks toward you menacingly
without the aid of a human driver. You try to introduce
yourself, but the goblin truck blinds you with high
beams and inches toward you, pinning you against the
wall. Just as you become sure that your death is imminent,
the passenger door opens of its own accord, and you
sense the only way to save your own life is to climb
in. Once inside, the evil truck barrels through fences
and gardens, forging its own road into the night.
Marty takes you to a woodland clearing and recites for
you some poems he has previously composed about love
and nature. “If you’d like, I can teach you how to start
a fire with squirrels,” he says. Before you can respond,
he snatches two squirrels from a bush and begins rubbing
them together violently. Amid their squeals of pain,
you see wisps of smoke rising, and then a few embers.
Before long, the squirrels are ablaze, and Marty warms
his hands over their still twitching corpses and encourages
you to do the same.
The goblin truck crashes back onto the road, where
a Plymouth breeze idles at a red light. The driver
looks remarkably like Emilio Estevez. Sensing what
the truck has in mind, you roll down the window and
scream for him to “get the hell out of the way!” The
seatbelt chokes you by the throat mid-sentence. As
you black out, you see the pseudo-Estevez leap from
his car and make for some nearby woods. You wake as
the belt loosens about your neck and see that you
are in the parking lot of a Blockbuster Video. You
unlock the door and as you leap from the cab you feel
something squish below your feet. You find yourself
standing on the pseudo-Estevez cadaver, which has
clearly been run over repeatedly.
Marty Stouffer tells you that he hasn’t been on a
"human date" for “many seasons of the long
moon.” You ask him how long that is in human years,
but he pretends he can’t hear you over the crackle
of the fire. Suddenly he snatches a small bat out
of midair, snaps its neck and throws it into the blaze.
Shocked, you ask if it wouldn’t be easier to put sticks
in the fire instead of wild animals, but Marty grinds
his teeth and calls you a fascist, accusing you of
“not enjoying our wild America.”
You run terrified into the Blockbuster as the truck
once again roars to life and begins smoking its tires
angrily. You plead desperately with the employees to
help you stop the demon-possessed truck, now circling
and doing maniacal wheelies in the parking lot. One
employee sprints to the horror section and comes back
seconds later, holding a VHS copy of Maximum Overdrive.
You speed-read the back of the box , but it affords
no clue as how to stop the evil machine.
You ask Marty to take you home. He grunts, and instantly
his deer-ally appears and the two of you get on. During
the ride, Marty asks if you would like to know the horrifying
truth about him. “What the hell,” you say. “I really
hate animals,” He hisses, and unsheathes a sharpened
stalactite, stabbing the galloping deer through the
neck and sending the two of you rolling into the bushes.
Now on top of you, he asks if you would permit him to
mate. You tell him to get the hell away from you, and
that he should never speak to you again. As you gather
your things and try to remember your way out of the
woods, Stouffer bellows a promise that his “legion of
sharp beaked chickadees” will see to it that you never
make it out alive. You don’t.
six days, you and the Blockbuster employees take shelter
in the store, never venturing outside, surviving on
hardened Raisinettes and warm Lime Coke. After a week,
you try to make your way home in the light of day.
After walking a few blocks, you hear the familiar
diesel drone and fear seizes you. You burst into full
sprint toward your home. You zigzag through the neighborhood
and manage to get home. You call your friend who set
up the date, cursing her. She casually explains that
you’ve got it all wrong; the truck was never demon-possessed.
It was simply a matter of someone leaving the radio
tuned to 930 AM, and Dr. Laura Schlesinger’s voice
had vibrated into the radiator, creating the illusion
of demon possession. She adds that the truck is “really
a nice guy,” and you should “give him another chance.”