It was night time again. And Tangina was all hyped up because it was no ordinary night. It was Friday night!
How awesome can that be? It only meant one thing: Power Ranger night. And for guys like him, living in the outskirts of Manggaputol City, nothing is better than Power Ranger Night.
As the light on the horizon slowly faded, Tangina ate his dinner like he was on the freakin' Military Academy. He drank a glass of water and hurried towards the door. "Where's the other slipper?" he shouted, panicking as if someone was about to die. "Bahala na!" He said as he ran off half barefoot. "Come home early!" Mama shouted. But Tangina was no longer there.
Jigoy's nipa was oozing with Power Ranger fans - young and old, skinny and fat, strong and limp, fragrant and, well, not, the very pretty and the self-deceived - they were all there. And as Tangina approached the scene, he rushed right through this crowd of spectators awaiting that great moment, disregarding and loathing the commercials. For Power Ranger fans living in the barrios of the great city of rotten fruit, to be best friends with the only kid with a TV was a dream come true. And Jigoy was Tangina's best friend. At least on Fridays. On other days, they were just friends.
Tangina didn't care that he only had one half of the pair of generic tsinelas his dad bought him. It never really mattered to him that he left it outside swimming, wallowing with the multitude of other generic tsinelas the mob had left behind. He was all ready to go.
There were two reasons why Manggaputol was called the great city of rotten fruit. First, there was the people. Rotten values, rotten lives and whatnot. Second, there of course was rotten fruit. And like its people, the stench reeked. But really, it wasn't so bad.
It was on Power Ranger nights that one got a glimpse of this rottenness.
"Tommy's gonna be a Power Ranger! This is so cool." Kalang said.
"Tommy's a dick!" Karla protested."Why does every Power Ranger have a crush on him?"
"I don't think Jason does." Kalang laughed. There was an echo of laughter in the crowd.
"Well, you never know." Kawi said. "Tommy has long, straight, girly hair, right?"
Again, laughter came. And soon, there were discussions of all sorts in every corner of Jigoy's nipa. There was one about pronouncing Zack's morph: Mastadon? Mastodon? Mastidon? Another was about what it would look like if Wolverine fought the Megazord. And a lot of other trivial stuff like whether Trini was Filipino, and Kimberly's boobs.
It was a ruckus. But that was only because the commercials were too long and everybody was waiting for a week.
At last, silence. The screen slowly faded to black. And then, the Parental Advisory. Which was quite funny because no one really cared. And then everybody's cheeks widened with a smile that anticipated that glorious sound they were waiting to hear for seven days:
"It's Morphin' Time!"
Everybody got to hear each power ranger shout their prehistoric animal morph. Most of them tried their best to follow but the pace was too fast that they never got to begin with "Mastadon!" and only caught up at "Sabertooth Tiger!" But at least everyone had the chance to shout "TYRANNOSAURUS!"
Tangina's heart was racing fast. It was always the same for a year now. To him it was like a ritual of some sort. But a ritual he really, really enjoyed. "Go, Go Power Rangers!" the intro went on. It was a huge sing-along and Tangina loved every bit of it.
The song finally came to a halt and everybody's eyes and ears were frozen in one direction - to the TV. Nobody made a sound. Kawi tried to complain that someone's hand was on his armpit. But he was multiple-shushed by the anticipating crowd who were like sardines forced into a small can. Tangina was up front with his Friday best friend owner of the TV. It was an amazing sight. Earlier, it was chaos, now, tranquility. Serene, quiet, intense.
As the episode title began to unfold, everyone screamed!
It was horrible.
Nothing as frustrating as this has ever happened in the history of this part of town.
To some, it was a disaster.
To Tangina, it was unforgivable!
And 'with all the force of a raging fire' he screamed:
© Don, 2018. All rights reserved.