Saturday, November 3, 2007

Roadkill Bob

I am not sure how many of you still subscribe to the automated source email alerts.

In case you don't, I am using the old cut and paste to let you know some news

Roadkill Bob, the long haired, bridge-of-nose pierced, beard colored, boot wearing biker looking dude who frequently was playing that extinct cardgame one table over, and who banks at Tim's bank is dying of brain cancer. They are passing around the hat because he wants to take his wife to disney world, where they had their honeymoon. 200% of donations will go to Roadkill, that is because the source is matching donations dollar-for-dollar.


Hello Everyone,

Quite possibly this is the most difficult e-mail we've ever had to send out. It's about
very bad news, it's about courage and ultimately hope.

Our very dear friend Robert Scott Aiken AKA "Roadkill the Troll" a fixture and blessing in our
personal and professional lives over the years has been diagnosed with an extremely deadly
form of brain cancer. We can't begin express to all of you in our community how this makes
us feel and how it will ultimately affect us. We love this man like a brother.

In typical Roadkill fashion he has expressed pity " on the poor disease that comes after me".
His courage and noble heart are quite simply the stuff from which legends are born and life
lessons are learned. It is our profound hope that as he fights the battle for his life that he truly
understands that he does not now or will he ever stand alone.

While fighting the good fight, Roadkill has expressed a wish that he, and his wife Susan, return
to the spot where they had their original honeymoon, Disney World (of course!) and that is why
we are writing to you, our community of family and friends, today. We come to you, hat in hand,
to make a couple of humble requests.

First, if you are of a faith whatever prayers or acknowledgements you could offer in support Roadkill
and Susan would be profoundly appreciated.

Second, as of this moment, the Source has initiated operation "Traveling Trolls". We are inviting
all of you to help us assemble the financial resources they need to make their dark days ahead a
little brighter and the opportunity to step up and stand with one of our very own.

We'll be collecting money at the store for the next couple of weeks to give to Roadkill and Susan.
100% of all proceeds will go directly to them. In addition to making our own donation, we at
the Source will also be matching any monies you folks are kind enough to offer. Donations
of cash,check, credit cards and Troll food will be accepted. You can send it, call it in or get it to us
anyway you can. Time is of the essence!

Finally, for those of you who may not know Roadkill and Susan personally, at the bottom of this
e-mail (see below), I've enclosed a note from a good friend of his that pretty much sums up how
we feel.

Thank you for your time, thoughtful considerations for allowing us to share this with you.

Your friends,

Jerry, Bob, Nick, Hans, Chad, Burl, John N., John K., Dan, Greg, Pat, Tim, Greg, Shawn
SOURCE COMICS & GAMES1601 West Larpenteur AveFalcon Heights, MN. 55113651.645.0386
bobsource@aol.com



Hi all,

Forgive me if this runs a little long-winded, but I need to get this out of me and committed to the written word.

On Friday, I drove up to the Twin Cities. The autumn colors of the trees grew closer to it's peak the further north I drove. An odd counterpoint, that as my surroundings grew more beautiful and serene the further I went, the more the feeling of dread and unease grew inside of me.

For I was going to see My Friend. And My Friend is dying.

The executioner is a brain tumor. The technical name is glioblastoma multiforme, or GBM. It's a tumor that started on one side of his brain and traveled rather quickly to the other. Surgery was performed about a week and a half ago, but they could only remove part of the tumor. The doctors are using a therapy known as wafer chemotherapy, where a small plastic disk imbedded with chemicals is placed directly on the tumor, which will dissolve over the next two to three weeks. At best, this will only slow the growth temporarily. Because the tumor is very aggressive.

Eventually, the tumor will spread to the parts of his brain that controls his heart and lungs. When this happens, his lungs and heart will stop, and he will die.

My Friend is Robert Scott Aiken. He is also known as Roadkill the Troll, and he is perhaps one of the most interesting, one of the most creative and whimsical, and one of the most unique people who has ever graced my life. In the words of Hunter S. Thompson, He Stomped The Terra.

I went to see him, and his wife Susan. Almost twenty years ago, I dragged Susan, who was a co-worker a the time and a science fiction fan, up to her first convention, a Minicon. There, she met a rather brash fellow with hair of many lengths and colors. "It looks like you put roadkill on your head", she told him, and thus a legend was born. She was not exactly enamored by him at first, but as time rode by, she melted the heart of the Beast, and the Beauty took him to be hers. At long last, after many trials and tribulations, they were wed (I was one of the Bridesmen).

And I went to be with them this weekend, and many tears were shed.

And yet, through the tears, I rejoice that Roadkill the Troll will fight this on his own terms. He chooses not to be ventilated or kept alive in the Eternal Twilight of the Machine. He chooses to die but one death. And it appears that he will not be doing any radiation or chemo-therapy. The doctors say that the odds are that it would not prolong his life by much, and would make him weak and unable to do very much.

And Trolls are not weak.

He is doing daily therapy. Occupational, Physical, and Speech therapy, so that he can re-learn how to do so many things. When I talked to him, he was there, but very tired (lots of therapy does that to you.) His words were measured, as if trying to find where that word or phrase is hiding. But he can still give the thumbs up, and sometimes he has to use hand signals, so he's still there, and working his way back.

For he has a plan.

"Hey, Roadkill... you've been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor! What are you going to do now?"

"I'm going to Disney World..."

Yes... Roadkill and his wife are planning to go back to Disney World. They went there for their honeymoon, and he plans to go there before the final scene of his life plays out. He wants to ride the rides, see the shows, dine at the restaurants... and hug Tigger.

For that is who Roadkill truly was... Tigger made real. He bounced from project to project, rarely keeping still, with the fire of one in whom the creative genius glows. Making costumes from everything from foam to shaped PVC... building the Guardian of Forever as a prop for a convention... making 3-D representations of magic items from 'Magic: The Gathering' cards... remodeling his house, including building a bathroom literally from scratch... making a smoking lounge, complete with TV and ventilation, in his basement so he could smoke stogies with his friends after smoking was banned in bars in the twin cities... and shopping at Goldmann's for Zoot Suits, and making them look Damn Stylish, especially with a pair of self-made, dental-quality 3-inch long troll tusks. He had the energy of ten, and attacked projects with an almost child-like exuberance.

And he has left his mark. Go rent a copy of Trekkers 2, and catch the part that was filmed in Minnesota. He's only on screen for about 5 seconds, but you can also see the Guardian of Forever. Go to
www.transylvania-tv.com, a site for a show that Roadkill helped to build props and sets for.

He wanted to get some cards made. I decided to do it for him, and send them up there. The cards, in a shiny blue finish, will say:
Piss Off!
I Have An Excuse...
It's Called a Brain Tumor

And now, the flame grows dim... but does not go out. For this is Roadkill, who will find a way to make it work. Who will stare into the Abyss and yell, "Bring It, Bitch!!!". Who will travel to see Mount Rushmore, and see the leaves turn one last time, and who will go to Disney World, and hug Tigger.

And he is not alone.

For his friends are Legion. His friends are coming to help out, to offer aid and comfort, to make his dreams real. A local game store is holding a silent auction. The people he works with are holding a fund raiser at a local bar. MISFITS, one of the local fannish organizations, chooses a family each year to help during the holidays. This year, they have chose Roadkill and Susan. And many friends are sending checks, large and small, to help them to achieve his last wish: to make every moment count.

And when the light finally flickers out, and the curtain is drawn down on the last act of this wondrous fellows life, even then he will laugh in the face of death. He plans to be cremated, and then have a New Orleans-style Jazz Funeral, umbrellas and all. For his will not have been a life of sorrow and pain, but a life of energy and whimsy and celebration of life itself. So, when the time comes, I will go and sing and dance and drink and smoke stogies in celebration of a wondrous life...

But today I weep...

When I went to see him, I brought a kringle from Racine. I brought a turtle kringle, because Trolls love chocolate. When I presented it to him, he grinned slightly, and said softly, "I would have preferred blueberry..." (of course, that didn't stop him from eating about 1/4 of it...)

So, I will go up to see him again around Christmas. And I will bring him a blueberry kringle. And we will talk, and laugh, and when he's not looking, tears will fall from my eyes.

For he is Robert Scott Aiken.

He is Roadkill the Troll.

He is My Friend.

And I shall miss him when he's gone.

3 comments:

Gus said...

Thanks for posting this, Andrew. I'll throw down when we're at the Source next Thursday.

w1ndst0rm said...

Susan has been on the board of directors for awhile now. Annual and special credit union meetings became fun again when he would come. People would stare and assume (even point) and then be proven wrong when he would speak.

Bad Cat! said...

I am *very* sad to hear this news!
Is there a way out-of-towners can donate to the cause?

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