by: George, The Giant Gorilla
A long overdue apology for The Rampage, a devastating period of time in American history….
Dear People of North America,
I don’t even know where to begin. I have sat down countless times in an effort to write this letter, on behalf of the three of us. To apologize for so much hurt. To come clean about what really happened during The Rampage, and to make you all aware of the circumstances surrounding our freakish transformation. I can only hope, now that we have come to grips with the error of our ways, that what I have to say will mean something. And that the information contained in this letter can help prevent anything like this from ever occurring again. Up until today, I haven’t been able to comfortably revisit this agonizing chapter of my life. It’s all been too much.
So before I move forward, allow me, on behalf of myself, Lizzie and Ralph – known to you as the giant gorilla, lizard, and wolf who treated your cities like the buffet line at Sizzler (do those still exist?) during that vociferous stretch in the mid 1980s – to say that we are sorry, from the bottom of our monstrous hearts.
I feel the need to come clean. On a great many things. But first off I must reveal something that will be shocking to hear, something that weighs heavily upon our conscience: We knew what we we doing. Many of you assumed that when we were turned into monsters (more on that later…), that we lost all control. That we somehow were not in charge of our bodies, like in the way that zombies change and unwittingly seek out human flesh. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. I know this makes things worse, and I understand how inexcusable this is, but I am not sure anyone who hasn’t been forcefully turned into a sixty-foot tall behemoth would ever understand. There is nothing that comes more natural to a monster, even novice monsters as we were, than carnage. So we just went for it. And it was fun. It was invigorating. Climbing straight to the top of those buildings and punching rapidly while descending, and then having that building topple to pieces around you, is a high I won’t soon be able to describe. Yeah, we did it for us. We were good at it. And we were, at that moment, truly alive.
There was some weird shit we couldn’t control though. Many of you have asked us about this, and I don’t have all the answers. But yes the rumors are true – for some reason we had no control over which individuals in particular we could pull from those ravaged buildings. For example, I could only pick up women, and one at a time. Lizzy could only pick up men, and Ralph – get this!, he kind of pulled the short stick on this deal – he could only pick up businessmen. We would talk about the unique particulars of our conditions a whole lot during those long walks between cities. It never made sense to us and kind of bummed us out. We got used to it after awhile of course, but to this day I still don’t get it.
For how we came to be who we were, well, there are many different theories. Some say that Lizzie was once a carefree young woman, who then became mutated while swimming in a lake contaminated with discarded radioactive waste, and turned into a giant lizard. And that coincidentally, at the same time, I was mutated by experimental vitamins that changed me into a giant sized gorilla. While simultaneously, Ralph ate a hot dog with some odd spices atop it and became an enormous wolf. That the public latched onto the idea that these three unique and life-altering events occurred to three different people at the same time, and then we converged perchance to rage hell on Earth, is beyond me. What a bunch of baloney! A bigger load of BS I cannot imagine. And I have dropped my fair share of elephantine loads, let me tell you.
But the truth of the matter is much more involved. Much more troublesome and I beg of you to pay attention to this. The genesis of The Rampage wasn’t with three freak accidents. What happened to us was in truth part of a secret government experiment aiming to create a team of super soldiers. Kind of like what they did to Steve Rogers, but with a more animalistic result. More ferocity, less hacky punchlines. The Department of Defense’s goal, working at a secret lab in the Appalachians known as Scumlabs, under the direction of three mad scientists, Brian Colin, Jeff Nauman, and Michael Bartlow1, was to create an enhanced soldier who could kill without remorse, show no fear, fight battle after battle without fatigue, and who had the strength of a wolf or a gorilla. One that performed more like a trained animal than a man. So, in the middle of the night us three regular citizens – and I assure you no one was more regular that Ralph, Lizzie and I before all this (particularly Ralph, you should hear him pronounce hors d’oeuvres!) – were kidnapped and then experimented on in order to find a way to turn even dullards like us into killers. Well the experiment worked, but not exactly as it had been intended. And I assure you we are not the last. The lab was full of unwitting experimentees while we were there. I feel I must warn you, this entire affair is not over. Not unless somebody does something about it. Unless people like you get involved and raise the alarm. I implore you. This is only the beginning.
Although what happened to us was loathsome, we fully take the blame for our role in The Rampage, and we are fully aware that an apology alone isn’t going to suffice. We can’t imagine what we could ever do to rectify the situation and the damage we have caused. But, we have joined you in the restoration efforts, The Rebuild as it has been straightforwardly labeled. Daily you can find all three of us hauling building materials – steel, concrete, metal, prefab facades, elevators, penthouse swimming pools, roof decks and even solar panels for the distraught one-percenters out there – to cities intent on bouncing back. And on top of being active participants in the rebuilding efforts throughout the continent, we have been heavily involved in fundraising. Strange as it is to say, we have actually become celebrities of sorts because of all this. The television coverage of our hedonistic romp through your metropolises filled the airwaves and for the first few weeks, you could hardly find anything on the boob-tube besides our horrendous mugs. We stretched our fifteen minutes of fame out a bit I guess you could say. From the early days in Peoria, Illinois, then as we traipsed across the country and finally, with that final bloodbath in Plano, Illinois, our rampage was relentless. God we were awful.
But yeah, we became famous – infamous I guess is the more appropriate word. We even did a few interviews along the way with some brave fucking reporters. I’ll admit, I ate a couple of them, but only when they asked the ignorant questions, trying to paint us into a corner and talking down to Lizzie or Ralph or me. No one makes Lizzie cry. No one puts baby in the corner. No matter how big her fangs may be, she still has a heart. But anyways, back to my point, we became famous and figured we could use this fame for good once we realized the error of our ways. So we began doing celebrity appearances, all the money going to The Rebuild of course. It was amazing how much organizations would pay to trot out a bunch of abominable monsters at conferences, office parties, birthdays, and bar mitzvahs. We made a fortune, and spent not a cent on ourselves I assure you. Soon, all three of us are slated to be a part of the next Celebrity Apprentice, and again – all proceeds of our stint on The Donald’s show will go to The Rebuild.
Some cities would even invite us in to be publicly shamed and ridiculed, which we usually allowed at no cost to them. This provided an outlet to those citizens who felt the need to really give us hell. Hundreds of thousands would show up for these “rally’s.” It was a strange experience. Some people wanted pictures with us, selfies or family shots with a trio of gigantic mass murders in the background, if you can believe it. Some would even want to shake our gargantuan hands. Again – amazingly enough. Others were understandably livid. They wanted revenge for the chaos, for the lives lost. And we let them have at us. If anyone wanted to lay into our bulbous feet or legs with all they had, if that would make them feel better, then so be it. We let them beat and kick and bite or whatever they wanted. We even left some weapons around so people could truly let out their aggression, pipes, clubs, rocks and the like. Ralph even let some guy bore into his pinky toe with an electric drill for hours. Lizzie and I are convinced he liked it, sick puppy that he is. He had a weird, cloddish smile across that bewhiskered mug of his the entire time. Anyways, we raised a bit of money. And I swear to you that we will raise much more, even if it has to be twenty-five cents at a time.
It is understandable the deep-seated hatred you citizens of the toppled cities must feel towards us. But when it comes to laying blame, there is a lot to go around. First and foremost, the government is at fault. I hope that this letter leads directly to an investigation that gets to the bottom of this gross abuse of power. Secondly, have you ever thought about how we arrived at your cities in the first place? Specifically, how we were able to return, time after time to your cities, even though we had been wounded, shrunk, and sulked off whilst covering our modesty? Those blimps that air-dropped us back into your cities weren’t piloted by monsters mind you. And in hindsight, the Blimp Unions hardly put up a fight when we came knocking on their door looking for lifts. We asked. They happily complied. No one got hurt. No blimp workers at least.
And lastly, I’ll never understand how many of you acted while we besieged your cities. Why wouldn’t you just leave your homes when we were en to route to your town to lay siege upon them? You knew were were coming, there were news choppers circling our every move during the seven hundred and sixty-eight days of The Rampage. Why did you hunker down in your apartments and throw bottles at us from your windows? And why the fuck were so many of you taking pictures of us? So often one of you would run up to us in the heat of annihilation, just to snap a quick shot. What the fuck was that? Run the fuck away man. We are giant fucking monsters!!
But, in all honesty, the brunt of the blame lies right here, on the chest of us three freaks who just couldn’t help ourselves. By the time we reached Plano, the thrill of it had begun to waiver. And soon after that the remorse sank in. Then came the dark days. The alcohol abuse. The drugs to bury the pain. But we are on the other side of that now, and we want to offer our help in anyway possible. We know we will never be forgiven, but any means of retribution that you see fit – we are happy to oblige.
With All Apologies,
George, The Giant Gorilla
- The three ingenious souls behind the original Rampage, the arcade game. [↩]