Finally all the questions seemed to have been answered to mother’s satisfaction, and a price was agreed upon. She slipped her hand daintily into her fanny pack, and withdrew a fat envelope with a huge wad of $100 bills practically hanging out of it. I’m not exaggerating at all when I say that old lady must have been toting 5 grand in that fanny pack. She withdrew two bills, handed them to the clerk, and sat the envelope on the counter.
A statistical analysis of human intelligence will tell you that roughly one out of every twenty people is a moron. What statistics don’t tell you is that the position rotates around, so everybody gets to play the part sooner or later. Unfortunately, there’s no advance notice. You never know when it’s your day to be the moron.
Here are a few of the things I did not post as comments or replies on Facebook in 2010.
But sometimes I really wanted to.
See, when a dead body lays there in the heat for a couple of days, bad things happen. Internal organs decay. Things liquify. There’s putrefaction involved. Gases are produced as a result of all this, and if there’s no breach in the abdominal cavity to allow them to escape, the gas accumulates and the carcass can display a significant amount of swelling. When Scott and I pulled up at the subdivision entrance, there was a big, furry, venison balloon in the the ditch.
It was a Honda 750 Nighthawk. It was black, with silver stripes and red piping. It had a 16-valve, inline 4-cylinder engine and 4-into-4 exhaust, with a deep, throaty rumble that could wind all the way up to a banshee wail when you grabbed a handful of throttle and opened it up. It was a heavy beast, but it had a low center of gravity and wide tires that gripped the road and swallowed the curves. Great handling, good looks, power and speed to burn.
So what did I think? I’ll tell you what I thought. I liked the IKEA products. I despised the IKEA store. I was left with a new admiration for Swedish design, and a new desire to nuke the entire nation of Sweden until it’s nothing but a solid, unbroken slab of tastefully tinted glass.
I guess the most infuriating part of the whole deal was that I’d just blindly driven myself right to the Sheriff’s office and basically turned myself in. I mean, what kind of chickenshit crap is that? No trouble at all. Happy to help. Be right there, officer. Goddamnit. If I would have known the bastards wanted to arrest me (over a $1.86 check, let’s not forget) I would have at least made them come to my house. I could have shown my ass, gotten belligerent, made a scene, and made them drag me out in handcuffs or something. I could have turned the whole thing into the kind of huge, snarling debacle that would have made my ancestors proud.
The whole thing is simultaneously both absurd and exquisite. It’s also a little bit sad, when you’re standing there looking at it. Once upon a time there was this guy, and he built this amazing thing, and now he’s dead and it’s nothing but scrap metal. It’s like the biggest white elephant in the history of real estate. I can’t wait to hear a real estate agent try to put a positive spin on it. “Oh, you’ll love this place! Plenty of storage, great flow, spacious kitchen, plenty of natural light, and wait ’til you see the pipe organ! It’s just the most precious thing!”
When I say “they weren’t wearing very much” I don’t mean they were in swimsuits or anything. I think the kids call it ‘clubwear‘, which makes sense because presumably this group of girls was heading out clubbing. At the beach. In August. So whatever you call those outfits, there wasn’t a whole lot to them. I don’t know how to describe it without sounding like an idiot for using fashion terminology I don’t comprehend, but let’s just say there was a lot of flesh, and very little fabric, and the few scraps of fabric that were being utilized were stretched pretty tight. I’ve known strippers who would have felt indecent wearing what those girls had on.
When Joe really got going, everybody who happened to be within the blast radius knew about it. Grown men would flinch, women would weep, dogs and cats would flee, birds would fall from the trees and lay stunned on the ground. There was a strong temptation to rend one’s garments and gnash one’s teeth. If there happened to be any wax in your ears, it would melt, run down the side of your head, and stain your shirt collar.