Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Douggy Dilemma

Douggy comes into the shop today, hootin and hollerin. Normally, I woulda just offered him a donut, or maybe a fender from 63 Cadillac that I got sittin in the back that I was savin for a special occasion. This would only work with Douggy because he's a fender collector. I've got my suspicions that he kept the fenders he pulled off Mable Lou and that he's been hidin them from me somewhere, but I can't confirm anything. Sometimes, I pretend I'm just stoppin by to say hi, so that he doesn't have time to prepare or cover anything up or maybe hide the fenders in the root cellar or whatnot. Problem is, though, you can't sneak up on Douggy. He can hear people coming from a mile away. Now, I may be prone to exaggeration every now and again, but Douggy can really hear you coming a mile away. He's like an eagle, only with hearing. Or maybe it's a shark, but with hearing, not smelling blood. Albert's pretty good at smellin blood. 'Course, he can generally only smell it if it's inside a steak or something. I don't think Douggy really listens to steaks or anything, but I could be wrong, he does some weird stuff. It's pretty convenient for him, this hearin thing, because he lives out by the drive-in, and he can watch all the movies without payin nothin. Everyone else has to pay their two dollars, but Douggy gets his drive-in movies for free. When the drive-in first opened, though, he ended up goin to the city council to try and get a law passed that they couldn't sell nachos or popcorn or anything, but they didn't listen to him, partially because you gotta have popcorn at a movie and partly because he didn't actually talk to them in a meeting, he just waited around in the parking lot of City Hall until they came out and then he jumped out wearing a gorilla mask and ringing a bell. When they looked at him, he'd yell "Ain't this annoying? Not as annoying as hearin everyone chew their popcorn! No on 48!" His campaign lasted about a week or so in the fall of '82, but since then, he's not allowed to go near City Hall or contact government officials of any kind. If the cops come, and they do come, he's gotta stand 500 feet from them. This didn't work out at first because they used to shout their questions and answers back and forth. That got a little old for everyone, so now all the cops took a semaphore class and the city made Douggy take a semaphore correspondence course. Of course, then all his neighbors took the course, too, so they'd know what was goin on and they could gossip about it.

Anyway, like I says, I usually woulda just offered Douggy a donut and a fender to calm him down, but I seen he didn't have his flags with him, so I knew the police wasn't involved. I also never once heard him use the word "gummint", which is how he usually gets real worked up. So, instead, tell him to shut his yapper, sit his split ham down in a chair and try to git straight. Once he done that, I told him to tell me what got him so worked up this time. I woulda sat him down and asked about his feelings, but I'm not Oprah or anything.

"That durned internet!" he yelled.

"What's wrong with the internet?" I asked. "Do we need to call the guy to come clean the pipes out again?" We've got this guy who does that. He only charges $20 or so, unless they're really clogged up. He's good, too. He's usually only under the house for ten minutes or so and then it's all fixed.

"Nah," he scoffed, "there ain't nothin wrong with the pipes, 'cept they're too big."

Well, I didn't know what to say to that. I was kinda worried the guy had been adding extra pipes down there and charging me without tellin me, and I don't wanna get ripped off.

Finally, Douggy took a couple breaths, had a cup of coffee, which calms him down, but that's because Douggy's so hyped up all the time because of that moose attack or clown-drowning-in-the-toilet-when-he-was-nine nonsense that caffeine actually slows him down. Then, he told me. "They're closin the paper," he says, "All the guys from the back room are gettin laid off. They tell us there ain't a market for paper papers anymore and they're puttin the whole thing online. So, I shoot back, 'What're you gonna call it, the news screen?' and they tell me that's a good idea. So now I'm not only gettin laid off, but they stole my idea and I'm not gonna get paid jack for it! And, that smarmy reporter who doesn't do nothin but make lists gets to keep his job!"

"Wow, Douggy, that's terrible," I said, not knowin what else there was. "You want a donut? Maybe a fender?"

"Nah," he tells me, disconsolate, "they ain't gonna help me none. But I have an idea to get by."

"Oh yeah?" I asks, "What's that?"

"T-shirts," he tells me.

"T-shirts?" I ask.

"Last night, I designed a shirt for your grand opening, and I thought maybe you could sell 'em on your writin thingy that you do."

"Oh, you know about that?" I ask, worried the whole thing about the meth ninjas was out.

"Yeah, of course I know about it," he tells me, "everyone in the world knows about it these days."

"You're kiddin me," I respond, knowing full well I've got a readership of three, two of 'em bein myself and Albert, and Albert only read it a couple times and quit, mostly because it didn't have nothin about blood hounds and partially because he's illiterate. "Did you read it?"

"Nah," he replies, "I heard on MSN that it was pretty lame, so I didn't bother."

Well, that was a relief right there, so I diverted. "What's that got to do with shirts?" I asked.

"You can sell 'em for me," he tells me, "just put a link up there and people can get a shirt to wear to your grand opening. I put your picture on it and everything. 'Course, I'm not great at these picture things, so it might be a bit blurry. But, like I says, maybe they can wear it to your grand opening and it will be like a party. If that works out, maybe you could get an artist or somethin to design another shirt for you. You know, make a contest."

"Douggy," I says, "the grand opening was last week."

"Oh, right." he says, "well, we might as well try anyway. I hear kitsch is all the rage with the kids today."

Well, I don't know what kitsch is, but I assume it's got somethin to do with shirts. I hemmed and hawed for awhile, but Douggy's been my friend since we was three and he pulled me out of that tractor engine I got stuck in when I was lookin for the little men inside ridin tiny bicycles, like my dad told me. So, I'm obeyin his wishes. If you want a grand opening shirt, you can get one here. I also sorta liked his contest idea, so I'm gonna think about that some more, cuz I cannot draw a squimonk for the life of me. They're very oddly proportioned, and they don't have stick figure bodies, which is all I can draw. That and penguins.

After agreeing to that, I tell him, "Douggy, I don't think this thing is gonna work out. You may get enough to buy a donut or somethin out of it, but you don't need to be buyin donuts, so, you'll have enough to buy a donut and not have to buy a donut, which seems like slaughterin a pig when you have a BLT in your hand. Not only is it unneccessary, but it's hard to do, and your sandwich might get all soggy and you could get poisoned or whatnot. And, if it goes really poorly, you may fall slip and fall over and your sandwich would be inedible and you may get eaten by pigs. It happened to my great uncle, 'cept he was eatin a ham sandwich."

"I ain't followin you," he says.

"Yeah," I respond, "that metaphor breaks down after a bit, doesn't it?"

"Sure does," he says.

Then we sat in silence for a while.

"I know!" he burst out, startlin me, "I could work for you!"

"Whaddya mean?" I ask.

"Well, you got this body shop and stuff, and I got a tow truck. You know I could be on call 24 hours a day, and I would only ask for enough to get by, you know, until you hit the big time and everything."

I was trapped. On the one hand, Douggy's my best friend, he's been there for me through thick and thin. He was there when I had to carry Aunt Rita to the hospital in that snowstorm after the deer bit her leg off. He didn't help me carry her or nothin, but when I got home at 5:30 in the morning, he had coffee ready for me. He'd even already poured himself a cup to make sure it was good. Plus he made me some waffles. On the other hand, though, I don't know how Alistair and the squimonk clan will feel about this plan, seems like they wanna keep in the shadows. So, I told Douggy I had a silent partner that I would check with. He seemed to take that OK. Once he was gone, I asked Alistair, and he said he'd do some research and check Douggy out, to make sure he was clean. I said that clean is a pretty relative term when it comes to Douggy, but Alistair meant that he'd check to see that Douggy didn't have no connection to Clan Platypus. If Douggy comes out clean, then we can give him a job. 'Course, I don't know why he wouldn't. Meth would probably only make that guy sleep. So, I guess I'm gonna have to wait a couple of days to see how it all turns out.


Broke But Still Drinking said...

What happened to all the commentors? What a bunch of traitors.

Beverly said...

HA! OMG - I was crying I was laughing so hard. I swear to God - write a book dude!!

the Deck said...

nice work, i will check back often! if you need something to occupy sometime between posts:

~life is short, write it down~

poodlepaw said...

This is probably the most amazing thing I've ever read online. Lame? No, sir, not at all. I think I'm now addicted to this.

mobface said...

you, sir or madame, may just be one of the most fantastical writers of all time.
and sir or madame should submit thy stories to some kind of network for they would make an awesome show, of which i would purchase every season.

Brunhilda said...

I cannot get enough of your colloquialisms. Split ham? Beautiful.

I have one Camero hood in my garage I will donate to the cuase. I was gonna paint it up all pretty or something, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

garrett said...

Glad to pick it up again, and loved it. (i got worried after flabbergastery.) Wending my way backwards, as it's easier to navigate for some reason. Doesn't make any difference, as the beauty of the thing is not in the chronology.

John said...

Nice work with this blog and the stories. Found you by way of MSN, but I have to say that I don't see anything lame here. Your writing is right up my alley. Keep up the good work. And keep the stories coming!

RITom said...

There is a certain level of genius required to get to a few of your situations. Keep up the excellent writing. YOU ARE RIGHT, the world does need more ridiculousness.

Joe Fool said...

"A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men"
Willy Wonka was quoting someone when he said that, but I don't know who it was.

This is exactly the kind of blog I have been looking for for a long time. The hilariousness is astounding!

Anonymous said...

LOL! Damn list writers have all the good writing jobs nowadays....


zestypinto said...

I await the day your gas station offers its shirts with free samples of doughtnut and oil change on each shirt. In the meantime, I approve of your grand opening shirts!

Jonathan said...

Lame definitely isn't right right word for this. Amazing, yes. Odd, very much yes. But lame? Not at all. I salute you!

I look forward to the next installment muchly >.>

Anonymous said...

I love this