Stories by rosewater 49

Monday, October 10, 2011

Rocket O mine

by rosewater49

I answered the door and there stood six foot six officer Murphy and a man dressed in street clothes named Smith. “Come in”, I stammered.

“You mister Goddard?” Murphy asked.

“Yes, is there anything wrong?”

“You have something in your back yard that has your neighbors concerned, Mr. Goddard.”

I looked at Smith but he was busy memorizing my front room. “Oh, you must mean my rocket”, I admitted proudly.

“That’s exactly what I mean”, was Murphy’s stern retort.

Before I could respond, Smith broke in,
“I’ll take it from here Murphy”. Murphy nodded and stepped back with his fingers dancing a jig on the grip of his pistol.

Smith looked at me, squinting like uncle Max, after he’d had a snoot full, “So you admit you have a rocket on your property?”

“Well, yeah”, I offered, “Frank next door has a skateboard trough in his backyard, so what?”

“So nobody’s going to blow something up with a skateboard is so what!” hissed Smith.

“Have you ever been hit in the chins by one of…” was all I could get out before I was staring into Smith’s sweaty palm.

“Shut it!” boomed forth from an obviously agitated Smith. “You have a serious problem here, pal, the FBI and the local SWAT team are outside waiting for my signal!”

I began to realize that my wife’s warning about my plan to travel to the moon was much more prophetic than her usual, “Just keep overcooking your bacon and your liver will resemble lychee nuts!”, although I suppose she could be right about that too.

My space obsession began when, as a boy, I watched the TV show, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. I should be honest by stating that I was really obsessed with Erin Grey, occasionally hyperventilating during scenes in which she was sashaying around some very obviously chilly planet.  My parents finally required that my viewing be chaperoned by great aunt Milspickle and it was then that I noticed the show was about space travel and that there were other characters involved as well.

Since that time, I have dreamed of traveling through space. I built model rockets and space stations as a boy and hung them from strings in my bedroom. I brought home library books on the subject of space travel. I built and launched model rockets from my back yard, only occasionally setting afire a neighbor’s roof. My hobby became so expensive, I got part-time jobs in the mornings, evenings, and weekends to support it.

My parents became concerned when, one day, I tried to go to school dressed as Gort the unpredictable but obedient robot. They were further troubled when I insisted on calling our dog, Jud, Captain Kirk, and the goldfish, Death Star.

Upon my eighteenth birthday I changed my name from Frank Hutsenfruth to Bob Goddard for obvious reasons. Apparently that was more than my father could endure for I was raised to bear proudly the Hutsenfruth cognomen. The source of this pride was that the family had traced the Hutsenfruth surname to a 14th century itinerate barber, Clum Hutsenfruth.

I can clearly recall my grandfather, Kurt Hutsenfruth, when reveling at holidays, saturated with whatever libation he could get his hands on, “You think Galileo took a chance sticking the sun at the center of the universe? Ha! What do you think your forebear risked when he invented the flat-top hair style in renaissance Florence? You watch, one day movies will be made about Clum Hutsenfruth, staring Marlon Brando or Charles Laughton!”. After which my grandfather usually feel face first into the mashed potatoes.

“How,” asked my father, shaking with shame, “could you end the Hutsenfruth line here?” My father was the lone male Hutsenfruth direct decendent and expected me to litter the future with male Hutsenfruth breeders. I was forthwith banished from the home and family until I might come to my senses and once more bear the Hutsenfruth appellation.

Homeless but not penniless I went forth to face what I expected to be the great adventures of my future. I still retained a part-time job but weeks sleeping under an overpass with Shaky Joe and Gimble Foot Frank jarred me to the realization that, although shopping-cart rodeo and games like what’s-in-the-bindle had been fun, I should probably be more serious about my future.

Tearful good byes were exchanged with my overpass mates, with Frank reminding me that grab-ass is a sign of manly respect.  I then straightened up, squared my shoulders, and assertively pushed my shopping cart to the employment office.

Once the cart was secured to a light pole with a bicycle chain, I entered looking to score big in the job market. An office worker approached me smiling, but when he entered my olfactory orb he started to gag and mutter something like “rotting offal is not a scent that is likely lead to gainful employment”. I was then deposited upon the curb, the noise of the office door slamming and locking behind me.

So this is what is meant by rock bottom, I thought. Why had my employer at Hal’s Limburger Emporium not discussed my toilette? I must muster my wits and think my way to a better life, surely things can’t get any worse; at which point I stepped into the street and was sideswiped by an express bus.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Veggies - an Unadorned Dialog

W: Waiter
C: Customer
M: Manager

W: Welcome to Rich’s, May I take your order?

C: I’m a vegetarian and I watch what I eat. Are your chickens free-range?

W: Free range, ma’am? Do you mean do they run around unfenced?

C: No, it means they are not caged, they run around in a fenced enclosure, I am sure.

W: You mean before they are killed and plucked?

C: Of course, I know they are killed! Are you being impertinent?

W: No, ma’am, I just never heard of the term. But I can ask.

C: Well if you don’t know, then they probably aren’t.

W: Well then, we do serve venison which is harvested by local hunters.

C: Oh No! That would not do at all; I don’t eat animals!

W: What do you call chickens, ma’am?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

River Folk - Part 1 Family Roots

Part 1 - Family Roots

Leder tied Hissy around his britches and headed out for a day of adventure. Hissy was a water moccasin Leder used for a belt. This arrangement was the result of his mother, known to all as Ma Minnie, who insisted that her family would live naturally and would not allow ‘store-bought’ items to be used or even worn. Clothes were woven by Ma Minnie out of cattail leaves and various vines. Pa Henry accepted this arrangement without question for it was Minnie that had save Pa from certain death.

Leder’s older brother Pend, had grown to the age that he was expected to assist his Pa in gathering enough edible plants for them to survive. Ma Minnie also would not allow the killing of other creatures and that included fish and frogs. Ma Minnie had preached this vegan style living from the day she found Pa Henry laying over a log that was floating down the river. Henry, as she named him, was found unconscious with a large lump on his head and, upon being revived by Minnie, claimed to know nothing of his past, not even his name.

At that time Minnie was a young woman living alone in a hole in the bank of a quiet tributary off a large river running through Ozark Mountain country. Upon her arrival at this place she had seen muskrats living in holes and figured if it was good enough for them it was good enough.  Minnie had a hard life up to this point and wanted little to do with others. That ‘Henry’ had no past encouraged her that he would be free of the taint of what she derisively called ‘man unkind’. Henry was about her age and she suggested to him that he should live with her in the hole in the bank. Henry, having no memory of living any other way, eagerly accepted.

Henry, from the first day, regarded Minnie with awe. He felt secure with her because of her deliberate and forceful personality. He eventually fell in love with her but he remained awestruck. Minnie for her part admired Henry’s strong back and his willingness to work hard to please her. Whether or not she loved him didn’t really matter to Henry; what did matter was that she would have him.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Star Lites


*Those irritating little profiles of some recently famous actress you see in Airline magazines

When she is in town Carla Stoneweather can often be found in “The Blank Look”, her favorite LA eatery. The current Most-Watched New Starlet claims the Look may not have the best gnocchi in town but that at least “they have good intentions”. 

Ms. Stoneweather, formerly of Clay Pot, Arkansas, migrated to LA in search of her true calling, to open a feed & seed emporium specializing in exotic varieties of corn and chicken scratch. Unfortunately for Carla, in the late 60’s a very similar idea was brought to fruition in southern California by Karl Blankenhammer, when he opened up a string of unforgettable specialty shops under the name of “Hog Slop AGoGo”.  Once our starlet was made aware of this fact and that local memories of these establishments occasionally foment mini riots, she was forced to alter her focus.

Undaunted by her disappointment but aware that one meal a week results in a tendency to pal around with pigeons, the former southern belle set off on a series of shoplifting excursions.  This line of work too proved to be unrewarding.  Unlike most filchers who are satisfied to sell their booty on the street for food money, Carla was driven by a creative zeal that interfered with the actual point of her enterprise.  The future actress was unable to accumulate her booty due to the fact that she would replace each purloined prize with what she had filched in the previous shop. Carla’s sensitivities were such that this reordering of merchandise from one establishment to the next was her way of “bringing order to a chaotic world”.  However strong her artistic urges were they proved unsatisfactory in her quest for succor because at the end of a week’s incessant stealing she had kept only a Precious Moments figurine of a boy cloyingly e-trading small caps on Nasdaq.

To make matters worse for her, or so it seemed at the time, a security camera in a Starbucks caught her replacing a pound of coffee with a salami.  Since Carla visited this Starbucks several times a day, it took the police only twelve weeks to crack the case and pin the heist on Carla.  As fate would have it though, Carla’s fortunes were to take a dramatic turn for the better.  The manager of the violated coffee house, Jack Dorkin while reviewing the video with police, noticed the hauntingly balletic movements Carla employed in making her switch and decided not to press charges (plus he felt a good salami for a pound of coffee was more than a fair trade). 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Strategies for Drunken Louts

These economic times coincide with an increase in the sale of all types of alcoholic beverages. And I feel it is in the best interest of mankind to suggest some strategies that a man can use to mitigate marital strife caused by his occasional drunken and intemperate proclamations that he may not remember the next morning.

After a night of over indulgence, a man must be on guard for signs (some barely perceptible and others glaringly obvious) that alcohol dissolved the barrier between his better judgment and the baser elements of his psyche.

If the man notices any sign of indignation or anger in his wife’s demeanor he must proceed with caution. Never ask, ‘what’s the matter?’ because the answer will generally be, ‘nothing!’. Probing further is as productive as poking a hornet’s nest with a stick. The more cautious approach is to bring up some benign subject and let her take the lead. Once it has been established that she is sufficiently pissed, the man will then know he had said something he shouldn’t have. Again, It is best to let the wife take the lead.

As she begins the unfolding of his embarrassing indiscretions, the man should never object that he didn’t say what she is recounting, because she could probably tell him anything and he would have no way of disproving it. He should also not become angry because he will then open the flood gates of her wrath.

My strategy can take some practice to perfect. If a man begins employing this strategy and realizes he is in over his head, he must bail and begin groveling. To continue will cause suspicion, especially if poor implementation of this strategy is attempted on successive occasions. It is best that a man practice on a friend before diving into a strategy that could backfire into divorce (unless that is the goal).

The man must learn to draw out clues from his wife in an attempt to shed light on his actions of the previous night. The more quick witted man will use these clues to reweave the fabric of his misdeeds. Those less able must practice enough to develop some ‘canned’ responses for most any impropriety for which he feels he is capable.

The following dialog between a drunken lout and his wife provides a good example of a quick thinker employing my strategy.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Village Idiot

This blog is named after a story I recently wrote and posted on scribd.com under the psuedonym rosewater49. Anyway, here goes:

In a small county in a very rural area of a southern state lives Tater McPlank, widely known as the Village Idiot. He has worn this distinction for 10 years running. You might think it a derogatory appellation but in this area it is a boon to the McPlank family, for people come to the McPlank farm for miles around just to get a glimpse of Tater. All those people mean nice paydays for the McPlanks, who sell vegetables, lemonade, moonshine (behind the barn) and knickknacks pertaining to idiotdom.

Tater isn’t the first village idiot of his county. No, the commerical trade that a Village Idiot elicits has been known to the locals for decades. The honor of being the Village Idiot is bestowed by a panel of judges, all of whom must not have children nor be related to Idiot contenders. To be designated as the Village Idiot, a person must possess a prodigious amount of dullness. No ordinary dullard can expect to be selected.

When Tater’s parents challenged the then-current Village Idiot, Olaf Gunderstuble, the people of the county felt the excitement generated from the first genuine challenge to Olaf in a decade. Tater had grown into manhood with a most admirable string of failures. Never progressing past the first grade, Tater had only learned three letters of the alphabet and the number eight. He came into notoriety when he received a lower SAT score than did Harmon, the family mule. Olaf’s family protested this feat by reminding the McPlanks that it was well known that Harmon had only to fall in the family well once before he learned to avoid it making him a right smart mule indeed. Pa McPlank countered with the fact that Harmon was reacting to fear, not revelation, for the mule passed gas when frightened, and had been passing gas since his fall whenever he was near the well. In addition, he explained, Tater had fallen in the well most every day since Harmon ceased and had shown no sign of changing. Indeed, Pa McPlank said Tater’s well mishaps were so common that the chickens had been congregating around the well in anticipation of the eventual plunges. He insisted the chickens found this amusing due to their incessant cluckings after each splash, and he was forced to move the chicken coop adjacent to the well so they would return to laying. The Gunderstubles were well aware of the relocated chicken coop and conceded this point.