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Arch-Nemesis

Rich Cerow

Throughout the years, I have made way too many enemies (mostly women who I formerly dated). But, really, I don't think I've ever broken out of the pack; people tend to have a mild to moderate distaste for me, enough that they'd rather not see me at a party and have to do that obligatory catching up conversation while I bong seven beers and try to make out with their sister, but it won't kill them if they did. They'd probably jokingly toss off a bon mot at my expense when they were at home discussing the party with their wife, casting me a side as a "jerk" with a giggle and a knowing wink. I guess I should be happy that people don't actively despise me and devise ways to ruin my life and steal my girl, but, really, all I am is disappointed. I want to break out and become someone's arch-nemesis. I want to be the Skeletor to someone's He-Man, the Mumra to their Lion-O, the Misfits to their Jem & the Holograms. I want the driving force in someone's life to be to prove that SOB Cerow wrong. I mean, after all, if you're going to be bad at something (and I am definitely bad at having positive social relations with other people), then you might as well be the worst.
Okay, genie. I wish to be a pro basketball player, a rap star and have my very own fighting game on Super Nintendo.

I'm not really sure how to get started at being the worst person in the world to someone, the guy that, if a genie were to pop out of a magic lamp and offer to kill people for you and never have it traced back to you so you don't go to jail and make sure that God still lets you into Heaven, I'd be the first person to spring forth from their lips (the other two would be the girl who stood him up for the prom while he waited by the door in a tux and holding a stupid croissage all night, and that kid who always used to flick his boogers at him in high school biology. You hear that, Cindy and Dan? I am totally gonna get Kazaam on you if I come across him. Don't be surprised if you get your neck broke with some Shaq-Fu karate chops). Probably the reason I have no idea how to get started on this is because I have no arch-nemesis of my own, no one to drive me to the heights of the corporate ladder just so I can needlessly downsize them and send them home to their wife and the twins, Amanda and Peter, and have to break their little hearts that they won't be taking that vacation to Hershey, Pennsylvania this year, and why Daddy won't be changing out of these sweatpants for a long time. I think not having an arch-nemesis has robbed me of my ambition. Who knows where I'd be if, say, Dr. Claw was constantly trying to "get me next time"; I'd probably be bumbling my way to the top of a super-secret police force by now.

So, I should, on my first step to becoming somebody's arch-nemesis, get an arch-nemesis of my own. Somebody who, upon their death, would speak with their last breath their frustration that I have outlived them, but then leaves bundles of the cash they accumulated to build a laser gun to grafitti "Cerow Sucks" onto the moon just to slander me because, ultimately, they respect me. You know that if He-Man dies, Skeletor would show up and stand away from the crowd at the funeral, and shed a single tear for his fallen foe. And then he'd probably finish up taking over Eternia. That's what I'm going for - not frothing at the mouth, instantly throwing punches kind of hatred, but a stately and debonair kind of ongoing feud, where we smile to one another's faces and show a modicum of respect while planning how to sleep with one another's wives and possibly incriminate the other with a trunk full of dead hookers. Basically, I want my arch-nemesis to be less of an Exorcist Lucifer and more of a "Devil Went Down to Georgia" kind of Satan. Because playing the fiddle is a class move, and I bet he was wearing tails while he did it (although the song doesn't provide that kind of information). And he's got the courtesy to stick with his deals - it's a gentlemanly rivalry. Now, my arch-nemesis doesn't need to be musically inclined (although, if he was playing a grand piano when I entered his chambers, that'd be nice), but he should at least have
It's just like the Devil to be playing a fiddle of solid gold. Show off.
the courtesy to put on a suit when we meet for one of our tense pinkys-out while we drink tea discussions, during which the hatred seethes just under the surface. Frankly, I don't think anybody who dislikes me right now would be willing to do that.

When I think about it, finding my own arch-nemesis will probably lead to me being this other person's arch-nemesis, and then my problem of never quite being the worst person in somebody's life would be solved. At least, I would hope so. If I truly, passionately wanted to destroy somebody who could not care less about me, that would be much too devastating. I expect a degree of symbiosis in this relationship - we need each other, much like the Joker needs Batman and vice versa (an excellent film starring Judge Reinhold and Fred Savage). I would be pretty heartbroken if I spent my whole life attempting to ruin someone else's, only to find that when I've got their kids riding on a rollercoaster with pieces of track loosened that they only vaguely recall that one time they had 12 items in the speed lane at the grocery store and I had to wait five extra minutes to get my pint of Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey (although, this would probably be my own fault, as that's a pretty thin premise for dedicating your life to the destruciton of another. They need to at least try and pay with a check, and use coupons). So, essentially for this arch-nemesis relationship to work, it needs to be a former friend whom I've jilted so thoroughly that we've fallen out of friendship and are now bent on destroying one another. Of course, by the end of this, we can learn a lesson about forgiveness, and about our hearts not really being free until we let go of the hate. But, for now, we'll need such intimate knowledge of one another to know how to best break each other's hearts. This knowledge forces us to respect our opponent's abilities, and a gentleman's game begins. Somehow, this will result in me becoming a millionaire, if only to spend my fortune on an abusement park I build on my estate, loaded with carnival-themed death traps like a hall of mirrors that reflects lasers at you while my image cackles from all around you. But which is the real me?

Drew, I nominate you for this position - perhaps it can end in a daring dune buggy race through the Sahara to reach the lost city of Omanopour, where a genie rests who can grant us our final wish to see the other beaten and destroyed. In this case, you would be Scrooge McDuck, and I am Flintheart Glomgold. And my money pit is definitely filled with way more gold doubloons than yours. Anyway, if anybody out there genuinely despises me with all of their black, black herat, then let me know on the message board and we can call this whole search off. And I will see you with pistols at dawn, good sir, because I have sold my soul to the Devil for an unerring shot.


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