About Me

I feel the wanderlust and the call of the open highway. Which is good, because I drive cars for a living. But I'm a writer, and someday hope to once again make my living using my writing skills.

Saturday, April 29, 2017


I had been given a car to drive from Richmond, Virginia to Hays, Kansas.  I would be going right through Ohio on my way, so decided to call my friend Smokey.  I had been thinking about him a lot since I learned he had terminal, inoperable cancer, and was determined to get to Columbus one more time to see him.  But I couldn't get him on the phone, it had been very difficult to reach him for the past five months.

I called Smokey's best friend Dennis as I drove through West Virginia, and he sounded very happy to hear from me.  "Dude" he drawled.  "You picked the perfect time to come.  We are having a living wake for Smokey on Easter day."

"So tomorrow?"

"Is tomorrow Easter?  Damn you're right, seems like Christmas was just yesterday!  Anyhow, Smokey said he'd like to enjoy his wake while he is still alive."

"Sounds like a good idea."

Dennis went on to give me all the details, and when we were done I pulled into a Rest Area and stretched out in my seat to get some sleep.

I slept for seven hours, then I got out and used the restroom, then stretched my legs, and continued for Columbus.  I showed up at the bar Dennis had given me the info for, which just happened to be Smokey's all time favorite watering hole.  All of Smokey's friends were there, each one of them wanting to buy him a drink.  I walked up and gave him a big hug.

"Oh my stars," said Smokey, "Spanky is my special surprise guest star today."

I was surprised by how gaunt he looked since the last time I saw him.  We talked and caught up, but were constantly interrupted by friends insisting on buying him a cocktail.  I excused myself and went into the restroom.  When I came out, I nearly ran into an odd looking woman.  She was a brunette, and her hair was crazy frizzy as if she had stuck her finger into a light socket.  She had a patch over one eye and a large green parrot on her shoulder.  "Hey you!" she barked at me with a twang.

"Me?" I asked.

"No I meant you.  Have you seen my pirate hat?  Someone stole my damn pirate hat."

"No, sorry, I haven't seen it."  I began to walk away, but she grabbed me by the shoulder.

"Wait just a second.  You tell me you haven't seen my hat then you just walk away?"  The bird pooped and it hit the floor.  "You haven't even met my bird Thor yet."

"I think Thor needs to go potty."

She pointed to the floor.  "Are ya blind?  He already did take a crap."

"Take a crap, take a crap," said Thor.

"I'm looking for my soulmate, have you seen him?"

"I don't know who he is," I said.

"Neither do I," she said sullenly, and walked away.  Thor dropped another load. I went and found Dennis and the other boys in the band and told them about her.  I wondered if she knew any of the gang, and they all confirmed they had never seen her.  They did question the wisdom of bringing Thor into a bar.

I started back to the bar to speak to Smokey, and she stepped in my path again.  "By the way, I never introduced myself.  What's your name?"

"I'm Bill Thomas."

She nodded and jerked her thumb towards her bird.  "This is Thor."

I nodded.  She walked away, and Thor dropped another load.  I walked up to Smokey and he said to me "Just in time for shots.  Where have you been, off spanking the monkey somewhere?"

"No sir."

"Yeah, I'll just bet."

I saw her step up to the bar and she yelled far too loudly.  She could be heard over the music playing and over all the conversations in the place.  "What should I drink for an infection?"

The Bartender regarded her with trepidation, and asked what he could get for her.

"I want a drink, something to kill the infection," she shouted.  "I got a cyst in my vaj."

The Bartender clearly couldn't believe what he'd just heard.  "You're a who?"

"You heard me, I got a cyst in my vaj.  You know, my flower?  My special lady parts?  I want to drink something strong that will kill the infection."

The Bartender stared at her and didn't know what to say.  "We don't serve penicillin here.  And we don't serve birds, either."

"Don't be an idiot," she screamed.  "He's not a bird, he's Thor."  She turned and looked at me, and made a beeline for the end of the bar where Smokey and I were standing.  She marched right up to him and put her hands on her hips.  "Hello Thor, meet Thor!"

Smokey stared at her.  "Excuse me?"

"My friend riding on my shoulder is named Thor.  But you ought to be Thor, and I'm betting that just happens to be your God-given name.  Cuz you look just like him, tall and rugged and long flowing blonde hair.  You could be a demi-god."

Smokey shrugged.  "I've never been called that particular name."

She wagged her finger in his face.  "You had better get used to it if you're going to hang out with me.  I'm looking for a soulmate, are you interested in the job?"

Smokey smiled.  "Uh, no thanks."

"But how can you say that, you don't even know me?  You think I'm some kind of batshit crazy?"

"Batshit crazy" echoed Thor.

"I've taken enough abused since I arrived here.  My pirate hat was stolen, people keep on complaining because Thor is pooping everywhere.  Uh, hello, it's natures way.  When you gotta go, you gotta go.  I mean, when you have to do number two, do you clench your butt cheeks?  No sir, you find the nearest pot you can piss in and sit right down.  Am I right?"

Smokey shook his head, confused.  "Well, I--"

"Am I right?"

Thor dropped another load.  He must have had a very big breakfast.  The Bartender pointed at the lady and said, "You're going to have to take that bird outside now, he's making a mess everywhere."

"That bird has a name, he is Thor, the god of lightning and thunder and rain and sunshine.  You don't mess with Thor."  She was working herself into a frightening frenzy.

Smokey put his hand on her shoulder.  "Take it easy."

Then she completely flipped out, eyes bulging out and shouting at the top of her lungs.  "No, that's it!  I will not be treated this way!  I'm down and I'm thorough."

"Down and thorough?" asked Smokey, just as Dennis stepped up.

"Yes it's over, and I mean it this time!  I am down and thorough," she shrieked.

Dennis scratched his chin.  "I think she means done and through."

She turned on Dennis and seemed horribly mad at him.  "Don't you tell me what I mean, I mean exactly what I mean, and you do not want to see me when I'm mean!"

As she stormed out, Thor said "Crazy bitch.  Crazy bitch," and he dropped one last load.

Dennis held his bottle of beer high.  "OK folks, let's raise a glass to our friend Smokey, who has touched all our lives one way or the other.  And mostly for the good."

Smokey laughed at that one, as did most of the crowd.  Dennis had a way with humor and public speaking.  He would have made a good stand up comic, but chose instead a path of rock and roll.  I took a good long look at Smokey and wondered if I would ever see my friend again.