Thursday, March 20, 2014

loco gringos ch7

CHAPTER SEVEN

“Observe the Yuppie in his natural habitat, the herd members while seemingly complacent are actually at all times timid, unsettled and nervous, clustering around their pack Alpha Leader who by his or her natural charisma seems to have a calming effect on the others, allowing them to eat or drink in quick darting fashion. While the pack forever remains jittery, moments of tranquility are achieved under the leaders auspices. Notice the leaders mate, forever at the center of any gathering of other females, seemingly a cohesive force of unity, although some scientists believe that she is also using her position in a defensive capacity as the other members act as roadblocks who fall first under the attack of predators. And the leader, notice his lack of fitness. His balding head, his assorted blotches of body fat, his pale skin. While most herds are led by the strongest and most able, unique among the Yuppie is the propensity to elect the least fit to leadership. It seems their ability to mislead and fake is all that is needed, and others cluster around, almost as if confidence is contagious. So panicky are the Yuppie, so afraid of all and sundry, the multitudes of threats never ending, that they seem to crave any kind of respite from their fears however fleeting.”

“Randy, what the fuck are you babbling about?”

“I’m gazing down upon a pack of Yuppie over yonder and informing you of their background to give you an idea of the threat level, or lack thereof, that we face.”

“I think your wild imagination is all the threat level we face right now.”

“Ingrate.”

Randy was a bit miffed at John’s lack of appreciation for his ad hoc recital which while of course clever and witty was also a wonderful way of putting his friend at ease and elicit at least a slight smile, even in the face of their situation. They were finally at the edge of town where the true suburbs were-such as they were for a municipality this size- officially part of the city as they used the water mains and had paved roads as opposed to the county population who all had dirt roads and usually but not always off-grid power ( you could always be assured that at any highway exit almost everyone would be tightly clustered around a lone power line, those further away the working poor or retired who were in sight of the lines but too poor to pay the thousands of dollars to hook up to them was a clear social-economic benchmark separating everyone ). Their longish journey nearly done ( of course, they still had to muck about town and then worry about going back ). And all he got rather than joy and thankfulness was grumpiness. Well, John could just be tired from all the excitement. Might need a nap. And Randy was about to subtly remind John he was being a flaming bitch, perhaps not as bad as homo’s in prison gladly selling their asses as a defense mechanism, and perhaps merely for the sheer joy of competing for the largest rumored African-American, but nearly as bad as a free hetro was going to get close to that standard, but decided at the last minute to refrain if for no other reason that it might set about a tidal wave of further whining and right about now while the residual smell of plastics and sagebrush being burned was slightly overpowering there was also the sight of a barbeque being conducted downhill and while Randy was sure he couldn’t actually smell cooking dead animal flesh over the other odors his mind was beginning to play tricks on him and he imagined he was detecting the delectable aroma of charring bovine.

“Dude. Yonder Yuppies are in fact conducting an outdoor barbeque. That is as real as the pungent reminder that you didn’t bathe after peddling a little girls pink bicycle half way across the county.”

“I’m not seeing shit. This scopes too high powered. I should have stuck with a four powered. Give me a landmark to focus on so I can get a gander.”
“See what happens when you forego a pair of binoculars? Tunnel vision even worse than your usual.”
“I’m saving weight. Shut up. Where is this alleged cook-out?”
“To the right of Idaho street. Umm, a pale blue trim house. Shit, almost every one of the bastards looks identical. He must be using propane cause I’m barely seeing any smoke.”
“It’s friggin first light, early as Hell in the morning. This guy is going to stomach a pound or two of T-Bone?”
“Perhaps he is one of the smarter ones, knows this is more than a temporary power down. Although, big ass fires last night and you’d think he’d have other concerns than emptying his freezer.”
“I say we go on down there. Hold up, I got ‘em. Looks harmless enough. I don’t see any long guns although I’m sure they are packing handguns.”
“So, what? We are going to get some breakfast? I still stipulate that Yuppies are quite tame and harmless as a general rule but I don’t like them enough to go break bread with them. Fucking assholes think they are better than us po folk.”
“Randy, think on it. The last corn fed fat riddled tender ass lot fed beef you are ever going to eat.”


“Okay, I see your point. Now my stomach is starting to grumble. Jerk.”
“We need something to offer up in trade if we get invited to sit down. Which we should if he is cooking up the entire freezer and hasn’t invited ALL his neighbors. And since he probably hates most of his neighbors as much as you do, even not knowing them, it should be a good bet. Do you still have that one ounce round on your keychain fob?”
“You want me to pay $20 for a steak? The Dead Lion Casino is still offering them up at $4 at breakfast.”
“You cheap tight ass fucker, you only paid $5 an ounce at the time and no, I want you to buy BOTH of us a steak. And, seriously? The Red Lion serves the worse hunk of chuck outside my ten year old scuffed moldy leather boots.”


“So now it’s a crime to reject quality over quantity? And I’m pretty sure I paid closer to six, maybe even six and a quarter. After which I pretty much stopped buying any precious metals. The higher price didn’t signal an increase in quality to me. And shouldn’t we be saving silver for a high QUANTITY of food like when we get to the feed store?”
“I’d normally say you are smarter than you look, but if I’m right and all the transformers blew at the same time I’m betting you at least one whole donut that the feed store and most of the town is a smoldering ruin. We over-pay for some of the last Industrial Age factory raised meat, we might get better intel before we risk our necks. If not, perhaps this guy, if he isn’t as stupid as most, might be an ally. And for humps sake, are we really going to have this kind of conversation every time you use a resource that can’t ever be replaced? Six months from now you are going to treasure this BBQ as you are slowing dying of malnutrition. Are you going to bitch about using a bullet to save my ass?”
“Well, I would kind of prefer to use them to save MY ass. And, hey, I’ve been using some of my own irreplaceable assets before you even showed back up. But, to your point, it will be more like three months rather than six if we pick up a few of your female friends and we have to feed them. Not that I’m arguing. Or rather, not that my Little Brain is arguing, but just pointing out the price to pay.”
“And a cheap price at twice the cost, if you ask me. By your reckoning in the Old Currency Unit, it will cost roughly five bucks a month to feed said companionship. That should make looking at them eat your food easier to handle. Last I checked, Mona’s was charging over two hundred for a half hour with a girl. You get one for a month for five bucks.”


“Hmmm. You put it that way, I’ll take two! Wait, that would be my food. Never mind. We are going to check out the feed store, just in case, right?”

“Sure, baring riots or other unforeseen developments. And the animal shop across the river, although they were usually infamous for never having whole wheat in stock. IAG is always much better about it and they are stand alone with all metal building. Not that that keeps everything inside safe from 220 arching. And we can try Bonanza, they usually carry a bunch of bulk rice and beans and some #10 cans. I’m just not getting my hopes up.”

“So, with all that walking and biking, lets go get to eating, like you suggested.”

“If I didn’t already have hemorrhoids, Randy would have been their names.”
“You already named them?”


*

“Hello! Hello, the house!”

“Isn’t that what they yelled at the campfire-of course saying “campfire” instead of “house”- in every cheesy Western ever made?”
“Exactly, which is why the salutation will be recognized as the offering for peaceful palaver that it is“
“Palaver?”
“You’re not going to infer its meaning from context?”


“You’re still passively aggressively punishing me for the suggestion of using your silver, aren’t you?”

“I’m merely wondering how necessary it is going to be. YO, BBQ Dude! Two at the back gate. Rifles slung. Just passing through looking for information.”

“Where the hell did he disappear to? It would be a shame to burn all that fine meat. Looks like he’s marinating, too. Won’t be as good as mine was, I’m sure. We would be more like super ninja dudes if you’d ever shut your trap. Do you actually talk all day to Bush, or do you let loose like a flood whenever a real human shows up, making up for lost time?”
“Having a conversation with Bush is a waste of time. Fucker is so busy slopping on his testicles he can’t hear a word I’m saying.”


Randy was about to continue in that richly ored vein, once again describing for all and sundry, even the less stout of stomach, the whole process in which his dog spent most of his waking hours grooming his privates, but just then the back door of the house creaked open and out boomed a voice. “How about I get you fellers with your hands up I can see them above the fence. I’ll open the gate while I’m armed and you still have yours on your back. Not to be rude, but you don’t usually go around armed on a pleasure stroll.”
“Randy, you dumb ass. Had to announce our weaponry status.”


“Like he couldn’t see if he was looking down out the window.”
“You boys want to come on in, or just stand here shooting the shit with each other?”
“Well, thinking on it a bit…”
“Randy!”


“Just goofing mister. Coming on in.”
The home owner was clearly a retiree, wrinkled up a bit and not one dark hair on his head. He stood back with a seriously larger revolver in hand, ready but pointed down. He looked Randy and John over, shook his head sadly as if he’d already seen all the wonders and perplexities of the human race in all its flaws, yet was still surprised at two new examples, tucked his handgun into his pants waistband and went back over to the barbeque to continue administering to his charges. “You boys care to explain why you are going around so well heeled? I served once upon a time with a few SAS Limey fellows, used those same types as sniper rifles. You usually see everyone packing around a China-Man SKS, every swinging dick around bought a pair or three for a hundred bucks before that asshole Clinton banned their importation. Not that his kissing cousin Blue Blood East Coast fucker Bush is all that much better. He’s about as much a Texan as my shriveled left testicle. I hale from Oklahoma, case you needed a reference for that. And yes, my one testicle is much smaller than the other. Not the natural difference in size like is normal, hell my dear beloved departed may she rest in peace wife used to fondle the crap out of that one as she would tell me how abnormal it was but obviously I wasn’t complaining while she was talkin ifin you know what I mean. So I know a thing or two about small nuts and big wanna-be Texas nuts, I’ll tell ya.”


“Randy, any chance this guy is your true biological father?”
“Mom never got close to Oklahoma.”


“But as I was telling you boys, every bad ass dumb ass around has a Commie Carbine, acting like the thing can hit outside a pie plate past a hundred yards. And yet here you two are with real thirty caliber rifles. It might not hit a sqeeters nuts out to five hundred like the pros wanna do for when they are lining up on innocent women holding their babes to their bosoms, extra points if the kid don’t get crushed under the falling weight of a corpse, but it sure gets the job done.”
“Why were the folks you worked with using them as sniper rifles then, if they aren’t up to professional standards?”
“Well, you gotta remember this was Britain after two world wars. Poor as a sharecropper a day after harvest and a night after moonshine. They weren’t shopping for new rifles at thousands a pop after cost plus bidding, they just picked and choosed the best bored surplus, had their armorers mix and match. Near free sniper rifle good enough. Sure, they were going to the FN-FAL, but your average shooter is going to stick to bolt and your average Bloke then was still madly in love with his old warhorse. Our stupid as fuck brass threw away a couple of great Garand and derivatives to go with the Mattel Plastic Poodle Shooter. I imagine that change was favored as much over here as was the European switch to the Belgium rifle. Those boys surely loved their Smelly’s and I wouldn’t be surprised it was a closer bond than with their wives. Those Krauts and their Mausers? What’s to love? A mere precession machine, a tool. Like a Swiss watch, perfect but impersonal. The Lee? Like a battered cracked and sweaty band Timex you never want to replace. Cause it has an imperfect but human feel to it. It grows on you. It has soul. I wax eloquently over the old.”


“Crap, I just bought it because John told me it was a good rifle. And I got it a hundred bucks retail. That’s John by the way and I’m Randy as you probably already heard.”
“Wayne. Wayne Smith. Believe it or not, still a lot of Smith’s and Jones out there. Not that it gets me a discount at Smith’s, HA! Anyway, let’s get to eating as I chew your ears off. Sit down and we’ll talk about why you are here. I know you didn’t go hunting and get lost. Current events! Much more pertinent than tales of old when I was a young lad serving alphabet agencies in the drug wars over in southeast Asia way before anybody ever heard of Vietnam or Tonkin.”


“We were involved even before ‘65?”
“Oh, WAY before that. Just the intelligence services mind you. No military unless they were TDY and officially in Japan and on vacation elsewhere. But let’s go to yesterday. Solar flare? I know this ain’t a power outage, not with every electronic device I own blank and non functional.”
“You were trained in EMP?”
“No, course not. I read Popular Mechanics. National Geographic. You read enough, you can grasp enough basics on most things. Condensed from the experts presented to the layperson. And hell, I think I even read a fiction book once on solar flares, written around ten years ago. A bit Fundamentalism judgmental, if you ask me. No offence if either of you is religious, but I prefer my fire and brimstone in moderation. I could head back home if I wanted that nonsense poured down my throat. But, I’ve read enough since retirement to follow these kinds of things. No surprise here. Things stopped working, I climbed up on the roof to look into town, see if traffic lights or what not were working to confirm. Wow! The place was already on fire. And I mean, everywhere. I figured I was going to be pretty much okay here, the cleared lots between me and town on account of the newer construction. Plus a pretty goods ravine the fire would have to jump. Transformers here took out a home or two but I just stood around with a big ass extinguisher I’d strapped to an old golf caddy and hit any hot spots that started from sparks. All this is stucco and metal roofs, hard to get any good fire going. Not like town with so many older all wooden homes. That beetle wiping out half the West’s forests did us a good deed here. Well, that and the tight ass contractors. Throw them up cheap and charge a half million. Suckers. Mine was free and clear, I just signed over a couple of acres to the developer and he built me this one in payment. And I paid a couple hundred an acre back in the day! Location, right?”


“How long had you lived here?”

“Oh, most of my second career. Worked for the railroad after helping Dad as a ranch hand as a kid back east and after my stint in college and in the government. Went in on a ROTC scholarship but I got out after a few months after being recruited to a higher calling. Had a bit of a medical condition develop after I stopped a couple of bullets. The railroad was a favor of a Congress-Critter owed me a few, and I fell in love with this sagebrush covered frozen ball of windy mud although God knows why. Well, there was the wife who hailed from these parts which might have had something to do with it. Uncle Bush owns most of the land, BLM, Indian Affairs, Interior, military. So land is a bit dear in price for some of the most God awful worthless dead soil I’ve ever seen. But a man gets both elbow room and modern comforts here. Giving up the old place with all the upkeep wasn‘t a hard decision. This place is a craphole with not much between me and the elements but fake wood and a bit of cement, but I‘m old and tired and didn‘t want another Spring of fixing a leaky roof at 38 degrees. Between sitting in my recliner reading and sitting in the same fart stinking hole watching a hundred channels of nothing on cable, I don‘t notice much what a shallow substitute it is.”

“Can I grow up to be as cynical and bitter as you?”
“You’ll have to earn that privilege, son. I like your spark. You said it with a real smile, so have a tri-tip. Best damn cut of beef in all of creation. John, you’re a bit more polite than your friend. Have two pieces.”


“Mom always did like you best!”

“So what’s your two’s game plan?”

“Well, we know about the solar flare. Or, we think it is that rather than an EMP although who’s ever going to know, right? I was stuck half way from Utah and I had to bike back here. Randy actually had honest to goodness gang-bangers show up at his place five miles from the highway to attack him for his supplies they thought all rural White boys in this county have. I guess like all northern Idahoans are White Supremacists or everyone in a Louisiana swap is an inbred. I’ve got a girlfriend in town and we really need to get more grain from the feed store if we are going to feed everyone.”

“I take it our Randy was successful against this attack?”

“Hello, I’m right here guys.”

“Oh, he kicked ass. And turned around like it was nothing and went on with his day. I guess an Apocalypse and a criminal gang attacking upset him less than most ordinary people did before yesterday. The boy would get an ingrown ass hair from the simplest things. I still love him, though.”
“Still right here, even if my mouth is full. Wayne, you put on a mean BBQ!”
“The last meal of a condemned old man. Glad you boys are enjoying it. Can’t believe none of the neighbors are sniffing around for a plate. I don’t want to be wasting any of this.”


“You don’t have any food outside frozen stuff, Wayne?”
“Oh, I’ve got a smidge. Don’t much care for the prospect of starving, though. Looking like one of those bloated African kids, flies in my eyeballs. I’ll just eat my revolver after a bit. Go join my Helen. They say suicide is a sin, but of course they don’t want the peasants taking the easy way out. Got to serve the King until the bitter end. Fuck em all, I’ve lived a pretty decent life. I can’t believe I’d go to Hell for leaving what food I’ve got to a family with kids and saving myself some suffering.”
“Dude, you are seriously bumming me out. How am I supposed to be enjoying your fine grub here?”
“Shit, son. You get my age, your pecker been broke for awhile, you can’t piss half the time. I’m ready to clock out of this dive. This is just a good excuse.”
“Oh, well, if your junk ain’t working I guess I don’t blame you then. Another steak, please.”


END

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11 comments:

  1. Stupid and boring.

    Yesterday was better subject. (your presidential campaing). as a matter of fact. YOU should give 3 biscuits to Dr. Shitfinger.

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    1. Three is too high. Two is about as much as I'd go.

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    2. Only two.

      You haven't been elected and you are acting presidential.

      Remember "promise" , that does not means that you going to deliver.

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    3. Stupid and boring? I think not.It's called "plot development" and it establishes the contexts that are necessary for any good story.

      Great job, LB, thanks for keeping these coming. I look forward to each new chapter.

      Delete
    4. Thank you, I needed that. Without encouragement ( but no toadying please ) I'd stop the fiction quick. It seems to be a lot of work for a free novel. I need the practice, and I'd like to see if I can pull off more and better ones since non-fiction is getting thin interest wise to me, but I can't do it without ego-boost/minion love.

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  2. http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2014/03/an-open-letter-to-legislatures-of-new.html

    Thursday, March 20, 2014
    An Open Letter to the Legislatures of New Jersey and Rhode Island: Are you seriously proposing to have your own skulls turned into soap dishes?

    To the legislators of the states of New Jersey and Rhode Island, upon the approach of your votes for firearm confiscation:

    The firearm owners of your respective states tell me that you are busy men and women with short attention spans so I will try to make this brief, beginning with an instructive story from the history of my adopted state, Alabama. Some still tell it with pride in the hills of north Alabama. Like all the best stories, it has the advantage of being true.

    In 1863, eight duly sworn and appointed law officers of the state government, acting with the authority of their nation's congress, executed a search of the homestead of one Henry Brooks. They were there searching for Brooks' son who was evading the draft and to execute the tax-in-kind law, which stated that everyone, no matter how poor, had to support the national government, even if that meant having half their crop and farm animals stolen for government purposes. At the homestead were Brooks, his wife Jenny and their eight children. The oldest son was just 17 and was hiding in the barn. The youngest was suckling at his mother's breast. The men disarmed the Brooks at gunpoint and commenced their work. In order to find out where the eldest son was, the Confederate Home Guard posse put a rope around Henry's neck, threw it over a limb of the tree in their front yard and slowly raised and lowered him, torturing him for the whereabouts of his son as the entire family was forced to watch.

    Shortly, the oldest boy could take no more and charged the men in a hopeless sally from the barn. He was shot to death. Henry Brooks, still hanging from the rope and strangling to death, was shot as well. The lawful and duly sworn search party then rode away. They were laughing as they left.

    Had they understood who they were messing with, they wouldn't have been laughing. Jenny lowered her husband's body from the tree, laid it out beside that of her oldest son, and had all of her sons place their hands in the blood on their daddy's chest (or, in the case of the baby, she placed it there herself). She then had them swear a blood oath that they would not rest until all eight men were dead. This began a feud that lasted forty years, the last shots of which were fired in McCurtain County, Oklahoma in 1904. By that time seven of the eight "law officers" were dead, as well as no less than twenty-four others who got in the way of the Brooks' and their quarry. (The eighth disappeared, leaving his family and all his property behind, apparently changed his name and was never seen in these parts again.)

    What does this have to do with you? Well, I'm getting to that. Stick with me here.

    Jenny, a full-blooded Cherokee girl whose family had avoided the Trail of Tears by hiding up in the mountains, loved her dead husband. She demonstrated the depth of that love by ambushing the leader of the lawful posse a couple months later, shooting him off his horse as he rode out alone from his own home. She then dragged his body into the woods, cut the "lawman's" head clean off, put it in a tote sack, took it home and put it in the lye boiling pot, cooking it until all that was left was the man's skull, minus the jawbone. She then turned it upside down, put it on the sideboard and used it as a soap dish the rest of her life, right up until the day she died many, many years later.

    more ...................

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    Replies
    1. Excellant story. I hope in a hundred years there are stories recalled of a few of us in a similar vein. Our politicians are retarded spineless twats. Expect no logical thought process from them.

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  3. The story is picking up. Don't kill off Mr. Cynical Ol' Buzzard, Jim. Can't the boys adopt him?
    KUTGW (Keep Up The Good Work)!

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    Replies
    1. I'm kinda worried he is too much like the boys, character wise. The advantage of writing as I do, free flow, is speed and weird turns. Disadvantage, I have to learn to stifle that a bit when developing characters or they all sound like clones.

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  4. a bit long winded but good and moving (slowly) forward. I like it like the girl I finally ended up taking to the prom- no cheerleader or putang but a handjob and a face that didn't need a bag.
    Keep going, but keep it more succinct if you can please.

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    Replies
    1. Whats wroing with a face that needs a bag? Still got the right parts. I kind of veered off with the old dude. It was fun but I'll get back at a faster pace as everything turns south for our hero's. I'm only 6k away from official novel length, so no one should expect this to last a whole lot longer.

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