Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Day 17 - "Why Wolves Eat Their Young"

The statute of limitations has long since run out so I'm gonna come clean.  I did it.  By the time the sun came up everybody in town knew I did it.  The old-timers were already bitchin' a blue streak and pitchin' a fit, all over me, by the time 10 o'clock Mass started at The Sacred Heart Catholic Church that morning.

"The crazy little bastards gone too far this time" ......................"we should drown him" "let's pray". Incidentally - it wasn't the first time this same discussion had been on the table.

In our little town a sparrow fart didn't go un-noticed.  Half of the older folks could tell you what the damn thing had for dinner. There are no secrets in a community of 300 souls, give-or-take. Everybody knows everybody, and most everybody's related in some direction or another. By marriage, by birth, or by accident.

The fella's down at the Hot Spot were having a bit of a chuckle  that morning at my expense.  They could see the damage in the little town park across the street ,right out the front window. The juniper bushes looked like they were goners.  There were big circular tire tracks in the grass and big chunks of mud all over the apple blossoms. And to top it off, there sat my Malibu SS, covered in mud, parked side-ways in front of the old hotel next door.  It didn't take Perry Mason to figure this shit out.

Pretty soon the boys were off telling stories about some of the stupid shit they had done under similar  influence of youth and alcohol. It sounded adventurous when they said it.  That was really what started this whole mess to begin with.

I was an impressionable, adventurous lad of  21; and I looked up to these people.  I admired these men from the Hot Spot. They  were good solid , salt-of-the-earth" ranchers, farmers, cowhands, and truck drivers.  They were honest, to-a-man,  and stood for God, Country, Family, Church, and high school football. Good decent Christian fellas saddled on those bar stools, but they were also a bunch of barn-yard comedians and nearly-prosecutable knotheads. Here they were tellin' me war stories about their mis-spent youth, and making horrendously dangerous feats of stupidity and bad taste, sound adventurous and heroic - romantic even.  What was I supposed to think?  What was I supposed to do?

Clem and I had been to Sidney on this particular evening, as was our Friday/Saturday night custom.  Clem and I had both drank too much at the Branding Iron, narrowly escaped getting the shit kicked out of us for something one of us may or may not have actually done or said,  and somehow arrived miraculously back in Peetz  without the aid of the police or an ambulance - as was our Friday / Saturday night custom as well.

As it was, He and I were already legendary across 5 counties for our well-documented idiocy by the time we were freshmen in high school. No one around town  really had any great expectations of either of us. "Put 'em in a home" -It still hurts.

 He had asthma and psoriasis - bad for a farm kid. I didn't have the common sense God gave geese.  When either of us were exposed to even miniscule amounts of 3.2 beer, we turned into "Super-Doofus and Dingle Balls"

We had been in some sort of trouble for something, always together, since the 7th grade. We were creative. A pair to draw to, and after awhile folks just let us be, for the most part.  "Just don't give them matches". No one else in the community could ever make heads or tails of what Clem and I were up to, or smoking. We had no idea either.  We were just surviving by being  idiots and laughing at each other - and everyone else as well. We didn't pay a lot of attention to the noise.

It wasn't always fun and games with my compadre though.  He was a projectile puker.  When Clem was full up on liquor, beer, and truck-stop eggs, he was a ticking time-bomb. And talk about sheer force.  I once saw him, with my own eyes, throw a 12" stream of yak over 8 feet directly into  the open window of an adjoining car at the drive-in movie theatre without even hitting the window trim.  (Right before we left at approximately the velocity of a 30-06 slug)  I think he probably still feels bad about jackin' up movie night for that car load of Brownies. I sure do.( I still hear their frightened little squeals in my sleep.)

On the night in question, my dear friend and runnin' buddy, had indeed, imbibed well beyond the full mark.  He was set to blow and I, preoccupied, failed to acknowledge the gravity of the situation.  The fault is mine. Cardinal rule: drooling precedes puking.

He went off inside the Chevelle at about 60 mph.  It was a mess.  All over the dash,  the windshield,  the seat, the floorboard .  I had corn on my shirt. The window beside him was wide open but his neck would no longer turn to the right due to tequila poisoning.  The puddle in the floor board was sloshing.

I made a snap decision - not a good one. I don't know why it seemed like a good idea, even now.  I was whippin cookies in the middle of the street with the passenger door open to try to get the puddle on the floor  to fly out of the car - so I wouldn't have to clean as much up.  That's stupid with a capital P right there. I was givin' that 327 hell and we were spinning like a merry go around.  Fear having sobered him some. Clem was hanging on to the steering wheel, my leg, the mirror and the headreast, all simultaneously - like a cat. His singing voice still worked pretty good too.

The car got away from me and we traversed the sidewalk and continued to spin until, having pulled Clems hands off of my head, had managed to come to a stop ..  We had come to rest in the center of the Garden Clubs finest work.  The Azalea garden. 3 large juniper bushes wrecked and every Azalea mangled.  To make matter worse, the Chevelle was high-centered on the juniper bushes.

My confederate friend, covered in puke and carrying what I'm nearly certain was a fresh steamer in his drawers, had had enough.  He wiped himself up as best he could with a beer can, and his took leave; walking  as proudly as a man trying not to make shit-gravy in his britches can, back to his own car to sleep off the "whirlies" till sun-up.

I has no choice but to engage my own mothers complicity that fateful night as well. Shameless.  After repeated attempts to get unstuck, I walked into the back door of my house at 3 a.m. and into my mothers bedroom.  As politely as I could I woke her from what I'm sure had been a delightful slumber. I explained to her that a cat had run in front of my car and that I had accidentally, through no fault of my own, after heroically swerving to avoid injuring the cat, had somehow gotten high centered on the junipers in the park next door.

She bought my story for about as long as it took to put her glasses on. Mother was cagey that way. She began chewin' on my bony ass that very minute, and didn't even begin to slow down for about a week. She did although , get out of bed, pull the car keys down, and put her coat on over her nightdress - all while hollering very curtly at me in her "special" voice,  "I don't suppose you're smart enough to find the tow rope on the porch  - are you there genius??""

She bitched to high heaven all the way, but in a cloud of dust and a hail of pea gravel, Mother did pull me out of the bushes.  I had previously witnessed my sweet mother deck a grown man with a hot cast iron skillet in a domestic altercation.  I knew what she was capable of when angered.  I might'a been 21 and grown, but when Momma was real pissed off, - chewin my haunches in a nightcoat and curlers, and holding my ear in a death grip with bony little fingers that felt like pliers - I just wanted help. She was mad enough by the time we got back to the house that she wasn't even talking - just blowing cigarette smoke out her ears and pointing.  I went up those stairs rubbing the sting out of  my aching ear-flaps, with my head hanging like I was 4 years old and just got caught .

A lot of bitching about me went on around town in the ensuing weeks. I was no stranger to the controversy. There was even discussion of filing charges, but none ever were.  I believe now no charges were filed because it would have implicated my mother. Everybody in town liked my mother and sorta felt sorry for her already, over me..

It was suggested to me that I repair the sod and the Azalea bed, and I did. I wish I could say that was the end of stupid for me,  but in truth , I was just getting warmed up.

I left home a few months after that park incident  with only the highest of aspirations - go play with the Eagle's, smoke weed with the Beatles, and have monkey sex with Farah Fawcett:-).  That didn't turn out the way I planned either.

When they were sure I was really gone, The town put up a heavy log chain barrier about 18" off the ground, all the way around the park. The old timers at Sacred Heart lit candles in thanks, and the boys at the Hot Spot just kept laughin' and carryin' on telling stories................about me:-)

Peace Out
"Don't take any wooden nickels"
"Until Manyana"

1 comment:

  1. I can just see her! God I am giggling out loud.
    Sorry it took so long to get to this one.


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