Once upon a time, there was a family.
Actually, to clarify, there are millions of families, but we’re only going to focus on one for this story.
This family was the Daring family. It was ironic that their names were “Daring” because they were probably the least exciting family in all of London, Ohio.
The father, Joe Daring, had only one rule for his three children: Grow up as fast as you can. This was very difficult because it’s impossible to age yourself any faster than the earth decides to rotate. Mr. Daring, however, had unrealistic expectations and didn’t care what scientists said. He also thought the earth was flat. But that’s probably because he lived his whole life in Ohio. His scientific viewpoints are also irrelevant to this story, but I thought you might find them amusing.
One day, Mr. and Mrs. Daring had to go to a work function because Mr. Daring worked for a company that always had work functions. The couple left their three children, Windy, Don, and Michelangelo home alone while they went to the work function, but figured the children would be fine because they also left their dog, Vanna, at home.
What the parents were forgetting is that 1) dogs are ineffective babysitters, 2) their daughter may have been 16 years old, but she was incompetent because she was going through a rebellious phase, and 3) their dog was named after a person on a game show (but that’s really of no consequence. I just wanted to point out that they forgot).
That night, Windy was awoken by the sound of something tapping on her window. She quickly went to her window to check the noise, but saw only the shadows of the trees and the outline of a guy who looked incredibly attractive.
Windy did a double-take because the shadow of an incredibly attractive man can only mean good things about the actual man who was casting the shadow.
She threw open the window and yelled, “Hey! Who are you?”
She was not incredibly well-versed, but she was working on it.
As soon as she yelled, the shadow darted into her room– it wasn’t attached to a person at all! However, Windy’s yelling had woken up her brothers, who, at the ages of 14 and 5, were very protective of their sister. They saw the shadow leaping through Windy’s room and tackled it to the ground.
No sooner had they captured the shadow than Windy heard a knock at her window again. This time, it was the shadow’s owner: Cheater Stan. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
“Hello,” the shadow owner said, “I believe you have something which belongs to me?”
“Yes, I do,” answered Windy. She knew it was his shadow for he was the most attractive guy she had ever seen. But then again, she had never been out of Ohio.
“My name is Cheater Stan, and I have been 17 years old for 3 decades,” said Cheater Stan.
He was named Cheater Stan because his name was Stan and he always cheated people. Basically, he was a terrible person, but Windy did not care because he was really attractive.
Windy replied, “My name is Windy and I have been 16 years old for 200 days.”
Just then, Windy and her brothers heard a sound which they had never heard before. It was like the sound of several small farts, but cuter somehow.
Then, Michelangelo noticed a small fairy sitting next to Cheater Stan.
“Hey! Who are you?” Michelangelo asked.
“Oh!” Cheater Stan responded, “That’s Stinker Bell. She’s my fairy friend!”
“How cute!” replied Windy, “Does she have any magical powers?”
“Of course!” said Cheater Stan, “She possesses magical farts, which, when released, can make anyone in close proximity fly to a place called Neverplan– the land where you never have to plan anything for your future. You can basically just wing it or whatever! There’s never any stress, so I’ve never even thrown up in my life! Not once!”
Windy liked the sound of this place. She wanted to go there. And, because she was the babysitter, her brothers had to do whatever she said.
“Let’s go!” exclaimed Windy, “Is there anything else we need to do to fly?”
“What. Of course not,” said Cheater Stan, “Magical farts are enough. I thought I just explained that to you.”
And so he did. Windy wasn’t the best listener, but what 16 year-old is?
Stinker Bell went around the room, farting in close enough proximity to the children so as to make them fly, but not so close that it was un-ladylike and they all followed Cheater Stan out the window.
Past Columbus, Ohio.
Over Lebron James’ house.
All the way to the border of Ohio and Pennsylvania.
And then over the ocean.
Until they saw a small island: Neverplan.
But they were not greeted with a party, for 1) no one on the island was motivated enough to plan parties, and 2) instead, they were greeted unhappily by cannon balls flying through the sky– wait no–
Those aren’t cannon balls–
Giant bagels, eggs, sausage patties, and potatoes were hurling through the air at the Daring children, Cheater Stan, and Stinker Bell!
This must be the work of CAPTAIN COOK!
Captain Cook was a nefarious fellow who lived on a pirate ship and cooked only breakfast food– which is the worst kind of food on the island of Neverplan because it belongs to the meal which is the most planned of the day: Breakfast. Those on Neverplan never ate breakfast because they never planned and never never never set alarms.
But that’s not why he was named Captain Cook.
You see, Captain Cook’s largest enemy was Cheater Stan because Stan once cheated him out of winning a card game, which was a jerk move. After this, Captain Cook got angry and punched Cheater Stan in the stomach, but, because of Stan’s rock-solid abs, Captain Cook’s hand was irreparably damaged and he had to get it amputated. When he awoke from the procedure, Captain Cook looked at his arm and saw that, for a prosthetic, he was given a frying pan. The reason was that they were in the middle of the ocean and did not have a hook just lying around or whatever. But they had a lot of frying pans because everyone on the ship really loved food.
The Darings, Cheater Stan, and Stinker Bell dove through the sky, dodging breakfast food left and right. They flew to the island as fast as they could and, when they were on the ground, Captain Cook stopped pelting them with breakfast food and left them alone because all he had left on board was bacon and nobody should ever waste bacon.
Once on land, the Darings got a tour of the island. They saw lazy mermaids, soaking up the sun on the beach; a group of boys, affectionately called the Lazy Boys, reclining in chairs– which they made themselves solely for the purpose of being lazy– beneath the shade of the forest; a lazy pride of lions yawning the day away; and the president of Neverplan, who, because he was a politician, was the laziest of all.
All the while, Windy and Cheater Stan began flirting with each other because they were close in age and attractive. Stinker Bell became jealous, for she was in love with Cheater Stan. However, she knew she was at a disadvantage because Cheater Stan had recently friend-zoned her, citing her short stature, awkward gastrointestinal issues, and the fact that she was not a natural blonde as deal-breakers (Cheater Stan was super shallow, guys).
Stinker Bell’s jealousy drove her to fly to the edge of the island. Little did she know that–
Cheater Stan did not even notice she was missing because, hey, that’s what happens to girls who are friends with a guy who gets a girlfriend.
Cheater Stan wanted to take Windy and her brothers to dinner at a nearby village inhabited prominently by women who wear leopard print, by hot dog truck owners, and by Italian Americans. It was a loud village, but there was always killer food, so that made up for everything.
For dinner, they ate so much pasta that they nearly burst! (Don’t worry, guys. That’s a figure of speech. They did not almost burst. They were just so full that they felt like they might not fit in their pants again for about 2 hours).
However, the children and Stan were eating so much food and stuffing their faces so rapidly (not a figure of speech, their faces were veritably taxidermied), that they did not even notice that the village was being surrounded by the smell of maple syrup.
When the children ate so much that they had a difficult time getting up from a sitting position– and the rest of the village had gone to sleep because they had to arise early to open their bakeries and hot dog trucks the following morning– Captain Cook’s crew captured the children!
But they did not capture Cheater Stan because he was stealthy and also a coward, so he ran away and did not even stay to fight for his friends. No matter, Windy still loved him. She was a terrible judge of character.
The children were taken to Captain Cook’s boat and forced to do terrible things like make sunny-side up eggs without enough butter, cook pancakes with incorrect batter-to-water ratios, and eat only toaster strudels without any icing.
Cheater Stan realized that he had to save his friends from this misery, if for no other reason than to be the center of attention. Also, he was quickly losing his ability to fly and realized that Captain Cook must have taken Stinker Bell too.
He walked briskly to the shore and floated toward Captain Cook’s ship. When he climbed aboard, he devised a plan– which he hadn’t done for more than 30 years.
Here was his plan:
- Find a burrito.
- Find Stinker Bell.
- Feed Stinker Bell the burrito.
- Have Stinker Bell “make” the entire ship fly.
This SEEMS like a useless plan, but what I have neglected to tell you is that Captain Cook’s greatest fear was heights. There’s no particular reason– people are just afraid of ridiculous things sometimes and we have to choose to either accept them for it or use it against them.
So, Cheater Stan sneaked into Captain Cook’s cabin. It was easy for him because Captain Cook rarely locked his cabin door because it’s kind of hard to unlock a door with one hand and he was often just like forget it.
Cheater Stan found Stinker Bell within the cabin, locked in a Glade air freshener wall plug-in.
Poor Stinker Bell. But, from then on, her farts smelled like lavender meadows, so who was the real winner here?
Stinker Bell flew around the ship, dousing each section with her magical lavender powers– from the starboard to the poop deck– and the ship began to fly.
The crew began to abandon ship, but Captain Cook became frightened and confused. He had always vowed that he’d go down with his ship, but had never before contemplated what would happen if he was in a situation in which he’d have to go up with his ship.
No matter, Cheater Stan knew exactly what to do with Captain Cook: They would drop him off to work at a Dairy Queen because Dairy Queen never serves breakfast. And so they did. Captain Cook was veritably tortured by working in this place for the rest of his life.
After this, the ship flew back to the Darings’ house.
Windy was sad, for she had hoped to stay in the place where she never had to plan, or throw up, for the rest of her life.
“Windy,” Cheater Stan said, “You must stay here.”
“I don’t want to stay here, Cheater Stan,” Windy said, “I love you and I love Neverplan!”
Cheater Stan realized that he must tell Windy the truth, both because he felt bad that she was so naive, and because he was terrified of commitment, so when she said that she loved him it really freaked him out.
“Oh my naive girl,” Cheater Stan grinned, “There is no Neverplan!”
“What?! How?!” Windy replied.
“My dear Windy,” he explained, “There is no Neverplan for we were in Manhattan all along.”
Windy confusedly retorted– “But the mermaids?”
“Hudson River mutants–” Stan replied,
“The Lazy Boys?”
“Entrepreneurs,” he quickly snapped.
“And the lions?”
“Central Park Zoo,” he explained.
“But surely the lazy president–”
“Oh, yes, that was real. All politicians are lazy,” he laughed.
Windy began to sob. In hindsight, she should’ve realized that the strange people she feasted with in that village seemed like those she’d seen on Jersey Shore, Cake Boss, and in the televised Coney Island hot dog eating contest, but she had wanted so badly for the magical island to be true.
And she then realized that Cheater Stan’s name was CHEATER Stan, so she really should’ve seen this coming, dang it.
Cheater Stan left that night, without so much as a goodbye hug.
But Windy went to sleep that night, understanding that it’s okay to plan sometimes and that life is to be lived in moderation– which is probably why people decide to live in places like Ohio anyway.
And that was okay.
She also understood that Cheater Stan was probably 47 years old, come to think of it. In addition to being a terrible judge of character, she was a terrible judge of age and if he lied about everything else, Cheater Stan probably lied about his age.
Or, did he?