The Lone Stranger Writes Again

April 22, 2015

Yesterday afternoon, I played a phone message from my whiskey-voiced landlady, Bowling Ball, informing me that Genehouse was going to be landscaped. So I called her back and told her about Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal and their nest with three eggs (see the photos I posted last week) in my bush. Well, a bush.

Bowling Ball has been a nuisance since she was a teenager. Her parents couldn’t handle her or her brother, Penis Pump, so they put each kid in a separate, satellite house. According to the older neighbors, the kids threatened bodily harm, toted handguns, took drugs and bullied their way through adolescence.

Now the siblings don’t speak—Penis Pump has been banned from returning to the property—so Bowling Ball has more or less designated me as her stand-in enemy.

“The bush is not yours, Gene, the dang bush is mine,” Bowling Ball said. “What happens to it is none of your business.” “You’re not killing my babies,” I replied. “I will landscape the way I want,” she returned serve. “The way you want had better include cardinal infants,” I rejoined. “You talk awful bold for an old man,” she countered. “Damn straight,” I murmured. “You pussy,” she sneered. “You dried-up, fatso, foul-mouthed, hillbilly reject,” I shouted. “You pusillanimous, nabob of negativism,” she Spiro Agnewed.

This morning, the landscaper drove up in a truck and he and his comely teen daughter and manly son jumped out and started unloading hastas. I’m generally pro-hastas—I’d have preferred prairie plants, but okay.

I introduced myself and made my plea, whereupon the comely daughter squealed and said, “Baby birds!” Her father assured me that he would come back after the babies had left the nest. And we all dropped our assigned roles and waxed poetic about spring birds.

The end.

*Alternative ending

Bowling Ball came running from her rummage sale and showed me her two .45’s . . . and then pulled out a gun. (Buh-dum-dum!) The hefty landscaper fell on his children and yelled, “Save us!”

I reached behind me for my official Easton aluminum softball bat, thirty-two inches long and weighing twenty-six ounces, made in the USA, and Bowling Ball fired her Glock 9, and I batted each high hard one into the stratosphere. Her gun jammed and I ran forward and hit her in the back of the knees, doubling her up, and I rolled her ass down the hill where ten tree stumps were, and I got a 7-10 split.

Penis Pump rode up on his motorcycle, whereupon he saw his sobbing sister. He pulled off his motorcycle helmet and rolled it down the hill, getting a spare. He punched me on my good arm me and rode off.

Bowling Ball moaned and said, “Sorry, Gene, I underestimated you.”  I had heard that before.

The landscaper’s daughter kissed me by way of a thank you and slipped me her cell phone number, and I got a certificate for hastas for life.

And I and my official Easton aluminum softball bat, thirty-two inches long and weighing twenty-six ounces, made in the USA, now patrol the neighborhood, one notch scratched onto its surface and the letters “B.B.” etched onto the metal.

You don’t mess with Nature.

And you sure as hell don’t mess with The Lone Stranger.


About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *