Ma said I looked stupid with it on my face, but only the damned see it… Is she damned I asked? D-A-M-N-E-D I spelled out to her… She gave me a gold star. I said the damned yankees was a band and she hit me with her crossword puzzle book. She grinned and reminded me that our job wasn’t meant to be funny… Yeah… Funny: Forgettable… Laughable… Suspicious… Strange. Especially strange… We don’t do it for fun but it’s still funny… That’s what’s strange. The ones here to atone don’t even know it at first and they laugh at what they think is humour… IT AIN’T!
First up to bat depends on who it is that’s been lured into town and what they’ve allegedly done… Yeah Grandpa watches Matlockso they are allegedly. Ma said nobody here is allegedly… They’s all guilty… All of them. There’s a car stopped up on the entrance road said Uncle Joe, go see who it is and use caution there was some gunshots that rang out earlier out that way. So I agreed and there I went.
I walked the two and a half miles to where they usually stop… We fake run them out of gas… Gives them time to think about what they’ve done if they know what’s going on. This time I think I noticed Joseph go first… He’s my older brother. He was probably the one to draw shots… I can’t see t hem hunting anything up that way… just scrag and thin brush… Mostly dessert. He probably tried to kidnap the poor SOB who was in the vehicle… Some of ‘em need wearing down before you move in on them. We left one guy and girl in their car for a week straight once… Then pretended to help them out of a tight jam… Turns out Joseph and Siphadeus took him to the dungeon and worked on him with the knives for a while to soften him… I know about them two and what they do… They’sthe dirty ones as Ma puts it.
Anyways I got out to what we know as the town limits and fond a stoned and paranoid guy holdign a hunting rifle. He was fidgeting with his rifle and said he was looking for a gas station and the last nut tried to pull off his pants while he was sleeping. I laughed and said there are crazies around these hills and he’s lucky… Some of them are known rapists and a hole’s a hole as far as they are concerned. I beg to differ, like my Ma, but somehow they escape justice as they always get a new lease on life after the visitors are reckoned with. Some get away with it and are helped back to life… The others well they up and are scared to death and just never come back… EVER!
“Mr. You got anything in that gun?” I asked as he swung it around like a parading military member.
“You bet! Seven shots! SEVEN! I got six left.” said the panicked man.
“Well calm down… I know where you can get some gas… Gas is what your after right? Not a murder charge?” i joked.
“No self defence… Not murder.”
“Call it what you will… Your lucky the sheriff hasn’t been out this way to check up on the shooting… He’d take you in and lock you up for the night… It’s his job!”
“Take me in??? I was almost raped!!!”
“Raped? That’s a long stretch Bub… Most of us like girls… The ones that don’t just do it to the nitwits that screwwed the pooch in the butt!”
“What the fuck are you talking about?”
“You a pooch screwer?”
“I don’t believe you… Joseph doesn’t do it for anything else. Just pooch screwing.”
“So what??? What does that mean… You talk funny!”
“And you look funny… All militant like… Maybe you a pooch screwing Jihadi… No Jihadis don’t screw pooches!”
“What? That doesn’t make sense! What are you getting at?” asked the man who unshouldered the strap of his rifle again and aimed it over near me.
“You know.. Up the pooch’s highney!”
“Fuck you… get lost… I’m not screwing any dogs.”
“Oh, you know what I mean… Women is just dogs to you! You like little women? Tiny girls too? I get it outta you!”
“Really? Now WTF does that mean?”
“You know! You like kids?”
“Well yeah… But stop insinuating I’m a pedophile! I’ll shoot you!”
“Hey Mr… Do you see me for who I am?”
“It’s not Halloween freak… Get that mask off. I meant to ask… But I’m nervous.”
“Well… It’s not a mask… It’s my new face… My new identity.”
“Really? WTF are you?”
“Never mind… Let’s get you gas you stupid hippie… Then you get what you get.”
“Gas? Oh yeah… I forgot… You got me all worked up.”
I started walking towards town and the guy hesitatingly followed shouldering his gun again… I’ll figure out a way to get it away from him… He’ll never see it coming. I thought Grandpa and his music might do it… If he’s what I think he is.. He’ll be lulled to sleep like nothing… Like a baby… Oh boy! He’d like to be like a baby would he? Maybe Brandeen will fix him up with a diaper… She likes that approach especially with the diddlers… They diddle kids outta life… So she does it in return.
I bet he likes the mother daughter act… Ma would take an interest in that… Her and Brandeen pretend to be strippers and see if they fall for it… Comical at best… Ma weights a bit more then the average but the stupid drunks and stoners see what they want… see what they see. Brandeen has one tooth left from sweets and we joke about her giving the town gummers… We mean her gummy worms, but they assume that penises are involved… She cuts them off some times when they insist on hiding it upon her person.
“Hey… You look tense… Let’s get you listening to some soothing music while I go look for the gass station attendant. The gas station’s right there.” I said pointing to the pump off to the side of the road.
“Sure… Just get the fucking gas!”
I snapped my fingers and called out, “Grandpa… I’ve got a tense hombre here… Play that gramophone of yours… A sleepy tune would be good!”
A figure appeared in the window of an old run down cabin and asked if he sees me for who I am. I replied yeah, of course… I gotta get him settled before I get him gas. Grandpa Joad agreed to try his best and put on a record… An old Ragtime Band special. As the beat went on the guy relaxed his guard… slowly he sat down… Then he slumped… Finally he fell asleep in the middle of the road… Piece of cake. I took his rifle and passed it to Pathrough a window in a single story house on the other side of town across from Grandpa and Grandma… That’s town for ya… This side… That side.
The Wilkersons live on this side… The Jacksons live on that side… One side helps the other… Both take care of trouble but in fundamentally different ways. I almost feel sorry for the ones that get corrected by Joseph and his Jackson clan… They are brutal… VERY BRUTAL! On the other side of town is me and Grandpa and Grandma… They make nice with them… Don’t get me wrong, they can get mean, cousin John like to hit with hammers… Heads… Shins… Elbows… Well, mostly Heads… Maybe kneecaps. I like to carve.. Yeah… call it carve… With a chainsaw.
Anyway, now that I’ve let you in to town with our special guest I’d might as well show you around. See back at the sign is the two mile marker… La Grange it says population 25 living souls… So we lied… Some of us are dead. Well they need sleep and food… But still they should be dead after all… Spiritually that is. That’s my mother’s side of the family… the Jacksons and like I said they live on that side of town. This side of town is the Wilkersons… Grandpa, Grandma, cousins Beverly, John, and Jaccob. My sister Brandeen is like me Wilkerson to the bone… Well close enough to count… She likes to be lenient except on pooch screwers… She hates them.
Back to the tour… Over on this side of town we are simple… They own the gas station pump… No it works… When we want it to… Seldom do we need gas in town. Everything is done with manual power… Even the fire station has a wagon with a tank… We have no horses… So it’s slow going. The post office belongs to this side of town… $.05 a letter… Cheap by modern standards but still it may get delivered if I feel like it… Or Ma yells at me to get work done! When Pa gets involved sore hands result… But I get even. I pissed in his lemonade once… Put arsenic in his bread a few times… Maybe even mouse seed in the coffee.
Enough with this side… Over across the street are the Jacksons… cousins Peter, Phil, Ruby, and Dennis… Ma Parker as I call her and Pa Parker as I call him fit right in… They keep u[p with the Jackson attitude just fine… Big fancy catalogue houses… Model Ts in the driveway for show of course… Maybe a drive on Sunday… and yeah they own the bank on that side of town… My brother is the president. He has a vault door in his house so as he doesn’t get robbed… I think he’s scared that others will get him… We let him anyway. The General Store is owned by Uncle Thomas… Even though we sell what’s confiscated from the tourists as we call them.
Well that’s all in a days walk for me… From the town limits back to town with a newbie in tow. I like to take them food once in a while… Rotten eggs… Rotten tomatoes… You know… I pretend it was a mistake… Pissade as I calls it… Or sour milk… They never say thank you anyways… NEVER… EVER… EVER!