NOVEMBER 10, 2011 1:22PM

My Adventures in Bumphuck 2 (re-write)

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{This was my second adventure in Bumphuck county and I did a pretty extensive re-write and thought I'd throw it out there because I have another chapter coming soon and wanted to refresh your acquaintance with some of the back-story)

So I made another trip out to Bumphuck for an estate sale on the prowl for antique dolls in dire need of a doctor. I make house calls like that.

Naturally when I get off the exit ramp I got turned around and couldn't find the street I was looking for. I stopped to chat a while with Zeek at the produce stand. I bought some fine bananas, home grown tomatoes and of course, some peaches.

Zeek, then stepped up so close that, for a minute, I thought we were gonna dance. He's a close talker. He set my feet in the right direction but gave me a stern warning.

" When you leave to go home, you can't come back the way you went, on account of the one way streets. You'll have to hang a left outta the subdivide and then take a left on Bumphuck Lane, back out to the highway. But once you get out on Bumphuck Lane you better not be speedin', on account of ol' Farmer Bill lives out there and he's had a bee in his bonnet over the speed limit increase for a coupla months now.

"Say's he's worried someone'll get hurt, but I know he's really worried his cows might get hit because he don't keep 'em penned properly. He's too thrifty to fix his pen and he gets mad at everyone else if his cows get hurt.

"He's been gettin' stranger and stranger lately. One day he had a speed detector gun he made out of cardboard and duct tape, tryin' to scare the passersby into slowin down. Another time he set a doll in the road to scare the hell outta the speeders on his "hairpin turn," as he calls it,  just past his house. He nearly went to jail on that one. He'd come up with this idea that he would buy one o' them there baby dolls like they have up at the toy store that looks like a real baby and it comes in it's own carseat. Well he slipped on out one night after his wife went to bed and put that baby doll, strapped into it's car-seat, in the center of one lane of that sharp turn. Figured he'd teach them teenagers a lesson, he did.

"Well it just so happened that Ms. Bonnie Everett, a nervous and reclusive woman, who doesn't leave the house lessen she absolutely hastah ended up being the one to get schooled. Poor Ms. Bonnie is a hypochondriac and a nervous eater. She woke up in the middle of the night with an itchy and sore bite on her ankle. She thought it was a spider bite and went to her computer to look up spider bites on the innernet.

I can tell you, that's the one thing you should never do in the middle of the night. She saw all manner of terrifying images of brown recluse spider bites and set in t' worryin. She got so nervous, she musta been convinced she could feel the venom coursin through her veins and was sure she would either die of septicemia or gangrene that very night.

"When she saw the ice cream was all gone, no chips or snack cakes either, she knew she had to go out. It was the only way she could calm herself until the doctor's office opened in the morning. She won't go to a hospital on account of staph infections being so prevalent and her unshakable belief that should she ever set foot inside one, she'd most certainly become afflicted with the infirmity.

"Bonnie pulled on her coat and goulashes, hat and scarf and stole away into the night, looking wearily all around before darting to her car. She figured if she made the trip quickly enough she would not raise her blood pressure, thereby pumping more poison to her vital organs, and would be none the worse for wear by the time she got back. She was frantic by then, having stepped outside her comfort zone 10 fold in one night so she put the pedal to the metal and soon enough came to Farmer Bill's "hairpin turn."

"She didn't slow down, never even tapped the breaks. But when her headlights picked up an object in the road and her mind finally deciphered what she was seein, she locked 'em down and skidded off the road. The baby doll, car-seat, blanket and all hit the windshield face first on the driver's side so Ms. Bonnie looked her poor victim in the eye before it went flying over the top of the car and coming down with a smack that scattered limbs and plastic in every direction.

"When a traumatized Ms. Bonnie put in a call to 911 from her cell phone, Ol' Brett McGovern, the town Sheriff showed up. He knew exactly who was at the bottom o' that stunt and knocked on Ol' Bill's door. Bill was right sorry for it, seein how Ms. Bonnie had just come unglued by the idea that she had let her fears drive her to commit involuntary manslaughter. And she was carted away on a stretcher to procure her a goodly sized crop of staph bacteria that would surely be her undoing.

"Just watch it on that road. Ain't no telling what that lunatic'll do next."

I thanked Zeek for the produce and the 411 on Crazy Farmer Bill and was on my way.

When I finally got to the "estate," which was an Eames era bungalow, I was sorely disappointed. All they had was a knock-off of an antique doll (a fake) and a ziplock baggie of frozen (no moving parts) dollhouse babies. I figured since I was already there, I might as well take a look around and moseyed on back to the bedroom where there was an armed guard watching the customers. "Shoot, I musta hit the jackpot if they hired a cop to guard the room," I thought as I surveyed the vintage jewelry. One pair of earrings that were worth about $20, nothing signed or of any value, so I moved on and on around the room and never found anything worth guarding with a gun. However, there was a grouchy, elderly man in there that made the whole trip worthwhile.

He was surveying the merchandise and, like me, was finding nothing of any value at all. Only he wasn't merely moving on in quiet disappointment. He was throwing shit around the room and loudly exclaiming, "This ain't nothin' but a bunch of GARBAGE!" He was a loud talker anyway but each time he picked something up and examined it, only to find it was a fake or worthless, he'd throw it down like Nolan Ryan pitching a no-hitter, to show his disgust. If there was any dirt nearby, I dare-say he would have kicked some onto the cop's shoes.

I was now pretending to be interested in the thrift store fodder just so I could hang around and watch the show.

The man's wife, in her embarrassment, laughingly explained that she only just managed to convince her husband to come along because there was supposed to be a vintage and antique gun collection for sale. The old man piped up at this and shouted to the cop, "AND THIS PIECE OF CRAP RIGHT HERE," pointing disgustedly to a locked glass case the size of a phonebook, "IS A FAKE! THERE OUGHT TO BE A LAW AGAINST TRYING TO PASS OFF FAKES AS THE REAL McCOY AT ESTATE SALES!"

The officer was apologetic, but also reminded the man that he had no affiliation with the estate sale group that was facilitating the sale who had hired him to guard a bunch of junk. He conceded that he knew nothing about antique guns and could not tell if the gun in question was a phony or not.

The old man decided, it seemed, that since he had a sympathetic ear from law enforcement at the time, that he would go global with his complaints. He said, "You know we drove 20 miles out here for nothing! And gas ain't cheap ya know. But what's worse is you all down at the county courthouse have gone and raised the speed limits. The trucks pass you so fast on the highway now I'm afraid they are gonna spin me around in the slipstream! And the side roads ain't much better. We live off a country road that's flat and curvy and them damned teenagers like to get out there and just let 'err fly; You'd think it was a Nascar race. I'm just waitin' for the crash each time one of 'em takes that hairpin curve just past our house at breakneck speed."

This must be the dude Zeek warned me about. He was a right funny ol' feller, I'll admit. He sort of reminded me of a 80 year old Yosemite Sam.

Well, time was a wasting and I had to get back to the real world so I made my leave. Like Zeek instructed, I hung a left out of the subdivision and a left on Bumphuck. The road was indeed flat, lonely and curvy. I finally reached the Ol' Man Bill's farm on the right side of the road. There is no doubt in my mind it was Farmer Bill's place......




slow down

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Great story, great post, great writing. Very nice.