The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Flash Fiction Effort

Tumbling Tumblers

"The trouble with me is that I never realize how "in deep sh*t" I am until I'm choking on the stuff."
I said to Phil, my drinking buddy, as we sat at the lodge bar.

"Well, that's how it always is, ya know what I'm saying?" Phil said in a slurry sort of way. He was quite a few ahead of me in the boilermaker count thus far.

However, I was doing my best to catch up to Phil. Taking my pipe out of my mouth and gripping it by the bowl with my left hand, I reached over and grabbed the double shot-glass of whiskey setting before me and drank it down in a single gulp before chasing it equally as fast with a beer.

I waved at the barkeep to come over and give us both refills, and the fellow nodded. He was busy though at the other end of the long, U-shaped bar. It would be a while before he got back to us.

Phil hollered out to the barkeep, "Hurry up,why don't ya?"

"Shhhhh! Don't bother him, or he'll short our shots!" I genuinely guffawed at my comment. The booze was helping to shape my perceptions of humor.

Sticking the pipe back in my mouth, I relighted it, and then taking a hard stare at Phil, I said, "Tell you what, you haven't heard the half of it! Let me finish..."

I looked at Phil. His eyes swam around a bit loosely as he attempted to force focus onto my face. "All right." he said.

I took on the vestiges of fierceness. Pulling the brim of my snap-brimmed English cap down closer to my eyes, I tried my best to squint and stare at Phil simultaneously. I hunkered down in my barstool a bit and grimmaced, clenching the stem of my pipe more tightly between my teeth as I talked out of the other side of my mouth.

"I was at the crest of the long slope, staring down into the muddy crevasse far, far below"

Phil nodded, he remembered the area.

Making steering motions with my hands, I said, "And the hell of it was that I'd seen a sh*tload of people do something similar before, so I though I could do it too!

I glanced over and the barkeep was still far away. I itched at my cheek, where only an hour before my beard was caked thick in mud. A mud made from a soil of heavy clay. I could not believe how thick the mud had been. In the shower, I had allowed the stream from the showerhead to run down my face and through my beard and moustache for over 10 minutes, but even that still did not get it all washed out. The clay mud was tenacious, clingy, and vicious, Akin to an old lover, scorned.

Taking a long, deep pull from the stem of my pipe, I watched as Phil's eyes started to track towards the young waitress across the room, the one with the silicone enhancements.

"Sh*t! Stay focused, man!" I said animatedly as I pounded my fist on the bar, "This is the good part!"

The waitress flittered by, and her elbow brushed against Phil's as she brought a tray of food across the room. Again his focus diverted away from my story.

"I hadn't driven a Jeep in years!" I started, "And, yet it all came back to me, so easy."

I told Phil how I had found the 35 year old Wrangler for sale at an auction. I reiterated how I found it at a bargain basement price. And, I retold him about how I just had to have it, much to the chagrin of my wife.

"It brought back so many memories! And, hell, it ran like a top!" I added.

"Yeah, it was a good deal." yawned Phil, having heard all this before. "And now you drove it up here to the Jeep Jamboree, just like all of us did. That's what we're all here for."

"Fine." I stated, a bit chagrined at Phil's apparent boredom. I look away towards the bartender, "Hey, barkeep, can we get a couple more rounds here!" I holler, trying to change the mood.

The bartender eventually works his way over, and he pours both Phil and I each a double shot of Maker's Mark, and pours each of us a draft and places them before us.

"Make us another round too, so we don't have to keep bothering you. You're a busy man." I say trying to be lighthearted, but it comes out more with a tone of residual frustration because of my disappointment at Phil's lack of interest in my story.

The bartender fulfills my request. I say thanks, and pay for the rounds.

I keep trying to tell my story to Phil. I work hard to weave a brave yet beautiful tapestry about how I was facing a challenge in the Jeep and how I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, that I could traverse the muddy span. I attempt to draw him in with humor about how as I ever so slowly inched down the crevasse into the muddy pit, about how my tire caught and flipped the Jeep on its side, landing it sideways in the mud, caking myself and the whole of the Jeep in the process. But Phil wasn't really paying attention. He was too far ahead of me in the beverage count.

I gave up in frustration. Phil and I both finished our drinks in silence. A little while after that, he stumbled off to his room.

I ordered another boilermaker, drank, and brooded.

The door to the lodge opened abruptly, and in streamed three young fellows. I recognized them at once as the trio I left at the crevasse with my Jeep. They hadn't seen my mishap, fortunately, for it was actually very foolish of me. They came along later as I was standing by the vehicle, up to near my hips in mud. They had arrived on a nearby trail, together in a trio tag-team. Their Jeeps looked mean and tough and capable of damn near anything. Seeing me, they stopped and told me they could get mine out of the mud for me, but it would take a while.

The biggest fellow of the three told me to wipe off as much mud as I could and to take and drive his Jeep up the trail and down to lodge. It was about 10 miles away. He said to wait for him there.

Thinking to myself as I drove the kid's Jeep to the lodge, "I hope they are able to get it out. I don't know what I would tell my insurance company about the situation if it was forever stuck in that damn mud hole."

But here they were, a few hours later. Hopefully it worked...

"Professor, we got it out for you. It looks pretty good, just a little dent on the hood." said the big fellow. He had a bulky body and a short crew-cut. He smiled amiably.

"Yeah, with the winch on mine, and Tom's winch on his, we got yours upright and out of the mud real easy." said another as he motioned toward the third friend in the back of the cluster of three. Apparently, that was Tom.

"How'd you flip it like that, going down that hill anyhow?" stated Tom.

I hesitated a moment, thinking of a comparison between reality and a real... story.

I smiled a broad, furry-faced grin, and motioned them to sit down. Then I thought it even better to move to a table. I ordered drinks all around for each of us.

"Sh*t...." I drawled out slowly, "Let me tell you how...." I started to reweave the story as I unzipped my tobacco pouch and filled my pipe.

* * * * *



Blogger Paul D. Brazill said...

Arf!Very dry!

Tuesday, 13 April, 2010  
Blogger Flannery Alden said...

Wow! Now, that's being in the shit!

Tuesday, 13 April, 2010  
Blogger David Barber said...

More than up to his neck in it. Great piece, Prof.

Tuesday, 13 April, 2010  
Blogger Crybbe666 said...

Very clever piece, Prof. Enjoyed that a lot.

Tuesday, 13 April, 2010  
Blogger BBC said...

"The trouble with me is that I never realize how "in deep sh*t" I am until I'm choking on the stuff."

Age has given me enough wisdom, mostly because I've learned my lessons so that I don't keep getting them over and over again.

So I often turn around after going down a path a ways and return to my main path or try another fork.

Getting in shit with four wheel drive rigs was something my idiot brother excelled at, it's a wonder he didn't kill himself at times.

I stopped going out on rides with him many years ago. Many many years ago.

Tuesday, 13 April, 2010  
Blogger chad rohrbacher said...

Sounds like you have a lot of tales from your adventures with your brother. I liked this one. The absolute need to tell his story was clear and cool.

Wednesday, 14 April, 2010  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

The inspiration for that T. Rex song.

Wednesday, 14 April, 2010  
Blogger zirelda said...

Oh My..... :)

Saturday, 17 April, 2010  

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