Roy L. Harbin : The DANG - DInGIE American aka,, The Evil White Man

Wee!Gee!prt17 by Roy L.Harbin

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Wee!Gee! part seventeen by Roy Harbin

  After stopping at the stop sign south of the house,,and turning west onto 19th that paralleled the north side of the Junior High I became aware of a sound coming from the trunk.It was a kind of 'thump-bump',pause,'thump-bump' that me think of the garbage can rolling back and forth as much as the space in the bottom of the trunk allowed for.

  My nagger decided to sound off with,,'yeah,,and ya better be careful to not let that distract you while driving.' which made me realize that I was really glad that schoolkids weren't all over the road like normal and prompted me to turn on the radio.

  As amazing to me as it was that the radio was off station and producing nothing but static that nagger shot out ' that's no surprise since ya got some kind of 'hoo-doo voo-doo' dooflicky in your trunk,,is it?' I simply turned it down a bit and jabbed the 'preset button' to see if it was simply twisted off of the station.

  The sounds of 'Riders on the Storm' came piping out of the speakers as soon as I did.And a little red sports car ran the stop sign at the corner of 19th and 19th,,making it in front of me by the amount of space I managed to keep between its rear fender and my cars front bumper by tapping the brakes hastily yet slightly.By the time it registered that the 'angry looking' black man who was staring dead ahead as though he didn't even want to see if someone was coming before he had squeeled his tires through the intersection,,I was allready through the acrid blue 'burnt rubber' smoke.

  Cold from the reaction to the sudden event,,my senses seemed to solidify as though coming out of a dozing nap or a 'fugue' like one gets from doing rapid bong hits.Glancing in the rear view while squirming my butt and back into a more erect position I could see Johns wide eyed face peering at me.

  Holding my hand up to my forehead and moving it away in the easily recognised 'whew' motion I returned my attention back to driving as nagger said,,'allmost got us,didn't it?don't get me,,er,,I mean us in a wreck dude,,pay attention.' which led me to respond to it with,'Hey,,I didn't even see it.It was like my foot just did that all on it's own.By the time I seen the car,,I was allready tapping the brake.'

  Paying strict attention for any other 'adverse' events I got to 27th and turned south.Trying to look all directions at once while driving about 5 miles per hour below the speed limit I made it all the way to Oslo with only one scare,,and that was from a 'mockingbird' flying right in front of the windshiled,,just barely making it across in time.Which allmost made me slam on the brake and did make me realize I had nothing at all to drink to help my now dry mouth.Getting to the intersection I turned into the Cumberland Farms and parked in the sandy area behind the building.

  Putting it in park and cutting off the engine.I listened to see if I could hear the 'thump-bump' from the trunk while John pulled up next to me on my left and shut off his car.I could.But that was all besides the sound of traffic,,no birds and none of the usual sound of chicadas begging for rain or complaining because they aren't gonna get any soon.

  I asked John,,"You hear that?" through his open passenger window.He paused,,then eyes narrowing and face gaining an allmost 'tired of being freaked out look' he asked,,"What's that?","The can in the trunk,dude.It's been doing that since we left the house."

  "It's just rocking from the car moving,man." was his response,,but the tone made it more of a question than a statement.

  "Yeah,John,,but the cars NOT moving now,,,is it?" Not waiting to hear a reply I asked him,"Do you want to wait out here while I run in and get a soda or something?My mouth is dryer than cotton mouth from that 'drift dope' we were smoking last month."

  "Uh,,okay,,get me a Yoohoo will ya?" , "Sure." Stepping out I shut the door,walked past the noisy trunk and headed around the building to the front of the store during which I heard music blare out of Johns car stereo.I didn't think it would take him long to do that.Smiling to myself about it as I rounded the front corner of the building stubbed my shoe toe on the perfectly smooth sidewalk.Catching my self on the wall corner I paused for a moment to steady myself a bit.

  Expecting the nagger to chime in with a smart aleck remark,,I looked around for a moment.There were several assorted cars and trucks at the pumps and the intersection was still fairly busy even though the morning rush had slacked off by then.

  The most common traffic was citrus grove related.Even more so during season.There would be lots of semis and grove equipment along with ranchhand trucks and many vans full of grove workers.But right at this moment it was not so much that kind of traffic,,pretty much just average cars and ranch hand trucks you seen pretty much year round.

  A red headed,petite,disco cow girl came around the front of a dark green Power Wagon parked at the head of the pump line with a squeegee in her hand.Suddenly stopping,,she looked at me and broke into a bright,beautiful smile before demurely dropping her eyes and turning her attention to climbing up on the bumper to reach the windshield with the sponge and rubber tool.

  Climbing up apparently forced her to assume a position which managed to give me a clear view up her short shiny skirt.

  Not adverse to enjoying the sudden view of her obviously unpantied,denuded ancestry,,I was so busy enjoying the delighful interlude that it took me a minute to realize that a fella who didn't look like he had any disco in his cowboy,, mainly due to the spurs he actually had on his well worn boots,,was looking at me with an evil eye while telling the girl to hurry up since,,"That long haired hippy freak over there can see right up that damn disco shit you're wearing!'

  Snapping out of it,,I said loudly to him while I resumed walking to the doors,"Sorry dude,,I came around the corner and got a free shot!But hey,,it sure is a cute little pretty ya got there,you lucky man you!" Carefully stepping quickly and trying not to look him in the eye,,as the handbook on 'How to stay safe in cow towns' advises I made it to the door and ducked into the store.

  After almost busting my butt from slipping on an invisible wet spot in front of the cooler where the Yoohoos were I decided that I would just get four of those rather than risk a broken buttbone getting a soda from further down the 'visibly dry' aisle.

  Lucking out,,I got to a line less register and quickly got through paying for the drinks even though the old fellow working the register seemed to have trouble keeping a grip on the change he counted back to me.And he had to lick his fingers so many times to seperate the bag for my drinks that I was allmost about to pick them up and go but then he got it working.

  Getting out the door with out tripping on the threshold I thought it was going good since the cowboy didn't holler at me,,and I didn't look to see if he was looking or if she was lookable.Everything was hunky dory,,untill I got around to the back of the building and seen four cats sitting on the trunk of my Skylark.That being surprising enough,the added sight of around a dozen or so crows,mockingbirds and bluejays that were circling in a squawking cloud above and around mine and Johns cars made for a major 'Hitchcockian moment'.

  All but one of the cats were ignoring the birds while the fourth,,a young looking java with two creams color on white shorthair,,was swatting and half jumping at the noisy avian squadron.Another,,a calico and white,egyptianly lithe female,,was watching them swoop overhead making little clicking,,'ki-ki-de-kik' sounds as they came directly over her.The other two,,a large round headed rusty 'turkish van' red and white male and a large orange tabby Opie Taylor looking male who were both looking at me with a steady non alarmed gaze.

  Not a single one seemed perturbed nor disturbed by the loud sounds of K.C.s "Fly Like an Eagle' coming from Johns car.

  While I was standing and staring in transfixed amazement,,and not just a little delight,,seeing as how I love cats,,a large black and white thick masculine looking female,,there were obvious baby factory style teats flapping as she moved,,that made me think of Dusty Rhodes,,pounced up onto the roof from the front of the car and leapt off the roof into the air while the calico and white patterned female launched herself up into the air off the trunk.

  Each aiming at a different flying squawk box,,the black and white,reddish hi-lites glinting off her black patches,,sailed in an arc outward from the back of the car nabbing a large mockingbird as she passed by the calico and white travelling straight up by scant inches.As the black and white hit the ground with the mockers head in her mouth the calico egyptian reached the top of her flight path about 6 feet above the trunk lid which intersected with the path of a large heavy set crow.

  Coming up directly in front of the bird she seemed to catch it much like a receiver would a well thrown spiralling football,,in the chest.There was one big difference though,,a football doesn't have a neck to be caught in the players needle sharp fanged mouth.

  Folding around the bird like a four prong felt clamp she flipped completely over and yet landed on the trunk in a perfect four paw stance,,crow twitching broken necked in her mouth like a fish on a hook.

  Allthough,,unlike the black and white,,which scooted off with her prize as soon as her paws hit the dirt,,she spied me,,froze,,yet not in an 'afraid fashion',,dropped her catch at her feet and began 'gazing at me' like the two males.

  The java colored youngster,,who had watched the calico intently,,bounded over to her and began batting at the bird after giving her a rubhug that made me think there was a family bond.Catching on to and appearing surprised at the older females lack of attention to the bird,,the young one followed her gaze,,and stared at me like them for a moment.

  But the lure off the still twitching crow was too much for it to ignore for more than a few fleeting moments so its attention quickly returned to the bird.Reaching out with both front paws while half rising on its hind legs in that fashion which allways makes me think of a monkey of some sort it double dapped the dying bird a few times then slapped it off the trunk and immediately dove after it as though the hunt was still on and the bird was running prey.

  As though that was a trigger of some sort all three of the others suddenly started as though they had seen a ghost and focused their look at a point behind me.As that occured I became aware of the sound of a vehicle coming past the corner of the building and skitching to a halt about 10 feet behind me and a female voice saying,,"Why do you have to be like this,Bobby?Didn't nothing happen."

  The cats disappeared like dew glints do when they dry up,,seemingly effortlessly and with no transition,,just gone with no sign of motion.Only the still slightly twitching crow making a little dust cloud around itself was left to prove the event occured.

  Taking three steps toward my car,,and patting my pocket to see if my keys were there or in the ignition before turning to look at the commotion behind me.I was relieved to see,,past the cowboy trying to get out of the half open truck door while his flirty little girl was hanging onto one arm and both were talking at once in arguementive tones,,that a deputy was pulling off of 27th into the Cumberland Farms parking lot.Since it wouldn't take the brightest badge in the department to see that the two in the truck were having some kind of 'conflict',,he simply continued his turn to swing his car up along side the truck to put it in park with the rear bumper about two feet in front of the trucks open drivers door and quickly step to his cars rear while asking loudly,,"Are you folks having problems?"

  Not taking time to reflect one bit about the turn of events for 'cowdude and his disco dudette' since the cat event was still reeling in my mind I turned on my heel sharp enouh to make a Marine D.I. proud I stepped to Johns passenger door,opened it,,said,,"Turn it down,,there's a cop." and dropped a Yoohoo on the passenger seat.

  Not waiting for a reply I shut the door,,pointed cross handed at the cop behind me,,turned,,opened my door and got in.Quickly cranking it and putting it in gear,,I drove straight ahead along the back side of the building and turned right to go around the far corner and exit through that side of the lot to get onto Oslo and go east to the intersection.

  John,,taking my quick start cue followed close enough behind me that we both got out into traffic together.Sitting at the corner waiting for a space long enough for us both to turn left together I watched the deputy defuse the couples conflict in typical 'cop' fashion.

  After 'talking' to the fella a moment or so,,during which time the guy hands him his license,,he motions for him to go to the front of his cruiser and turns to talk to the girl still in the truck.

  This of course places the guy in the perfect position to see me sitting at the corner draining a cold Yoohoo.As he proceeded to glare at me as though he was trying to use Superman style heat vision to fry me,,John tooted his horn causing me to look up and see that oncoming and turning traffic had passed leaving a very clear window of opportunity.

  Dropping the now empty bottle on the passenger floor I scooted around the corner and accelerated south down 27th with John close behind me.It didn't take long to get to the trailer park where I had spent a lot of the time in past years with a group of people who used to be 'the gang' in my life.

  Those days were past and none of them lived around there any more except the parents of a trio of brothers who were among that crew.Well,,one of them since they had split up.

  Johns place was on the south side of the park where a county 'canal' paralleling dirt grade road ran west off 27th.The last trailer on the road,,next to the 'scrub woods' that started there and continued out the the road primarily used by a semis,farm hands and grove crews who worked and or lived in the 'ag land' area a mile or so out,,and the 'late night cruising young of the county' of course.

  That wasn't a part of my lifestyle now.As with most things,,changes happen,,things end,,other things begin.But I remembered them 'oh so' fondly and allways will.They were my formative years.

  Pulling off 27th we kicked up a large cloud of dust from the summer dry marl and gravel road.Passing the few trailers between the turn off and Johns place generated a dusty fog that was just begining to drift on the miniscule morning breeze which was bound to pick up in an hour or so as it usually did.

  Parking in Johns drive closest to the trailer,,I waved to his mother who was sitting in a chair under the large oak in the yard that covered their trailers roof entirely along with a corresponding space around the property.They spent a lot of time outside under the oak as was attested to by the type and amount of 'yard furniture' scattered around the shady space.

  Her usually constant smile was barely discernable on her 'weathered islander' face.It was still there,,flashing at the corners of her mouth and in the crinkles of her eyes and it was still as sincere as ever but obscured by the weight of the matter facing her.As she stood up and walked slowly to the space between mine and Johns car which he parked to my left her head cocked into a 'listening pose' as she heard the 'thump-bump' from my Buicks trunk.Her face became an intensively frowning mask that could be considered a 'negative image' of her normally cheerful,sunny expression.

  That observation set the nagger into gear which produced,,'man,,she is bummed about this.' which led me to respond to it with the subvocalised,'duh,dip stick,,so am I.'

  Getting out I gestured at the noisy trunk and said,,"That's it.It keepsa knocking but I won't let it out." which illicited a smile from the woman whom I've called the 'nicest mean lady' I've ever met.

  "Hey mon,,I got somting for dat ting dat shore make it lay quiet." ,she said with a smile before continueing with "Even widdout da Name you know you don' wanna hear,,you betta be quiet in dat car boot for I tell yo loa you no do yo job,mon." she said in a loud authoritarian tone of voice which had a 'tinkling' sort of quality underlaying it.

  The 'rythymic' bumping abruptly stopped.And as a moment of seemingly profound silence settled down over us,,the dust floating in the still air seemed to become an insulative layer silencing the sounds from the nearby road still humming with traffic.

  A heart beat later the chicadas resumed their normal 'no rain till later,just heat right now' chorus that I didn't realize had ceased when we pulled up.

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Roy L. Harbin:The DANG - DInGIE American agrees with Robert Heinlein,,,'specialization is for insects'.And who want's to run with a pack of flea bitten butt sniffing mangey mutts when they can stay on the porch with the food and folks?
Hey,,you could run on over to and check out what I'm building over there.

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