Monday, May 16, 2005

Equilibrating Ear Fluid

It was important to Latigo Flint that the pretty woman he'd just met outside the local convenience store didn't go away mad. It was important to the pretty woman that she be allowed to go away mad, that very instant -- and she was willing to risk vehicular manslaughter to ensure it.

She emerged from the store, a diet soda and a pack of menthol cigarettes in hand, just in time to hear Latigo Flint speaking to a group of bewildered children: "I don't get it little buckaroos, those animal fun facts on Discovery for Kids dot com were very clear about this: Cocker Spaniels always land on their feet. You know, I must not have been holding him up high enough the first time."

The pretty woman shrieked just as I released the cocker spaniel. "What are you doing to my dog!!!" Her scream must have distracted the pup, 'cause it landed flat on its back with a whimper and a moan. The woman heaved her unopened soda can at my face, striking me on the bridge of the nose, and then I felt like whimpering. I wanted to cry. Truth be told, it hurt so dern bad I completely forgot how to do either.

I stood there blinking and mumbling Dwight Yoakam lyrics to myself for no discernable reason while she scooped up the staggering spaniel, kneed me in the groin for good measure and stomped off in a huff to her Chevy Tahoe. I fought off the pain-blurries and tried to flag her down in the driveway. "Ma'am wait, I just want to-" She gunned it and the glancing blow to the hip sent me headfirst into the side of a dumpster.

When I came to I was staring up into the children's inquisitive faces. (Except for the one who was crouched at my feet, stuffing scraps of rotting garbage into the tops of my boots - I didn't see that little bastard until I tried to sit up.)

One of the cherubs smiled when she saw my eyes were open. "Hey stupid. You're thinking of cats!" I struggled to rise, mentally marking garbage stuffer's face. He'd be seeing me again in about eight years.

"Child, I'm not stupid. I'm Latigo Flint." Her companions chimed in: "Yeah, stupid. It's cats that always land on their feet, not cocker spaniels." What the hell were they talking about? "Children, what the hell are you talking about, cats?"

"Cats have an equilibrating fluid in their ear you smelly dummy, that's why they always land on their feet."

They were speaking in tongues. I hardly knew how to respond. "Well... um... what if you dropped a cat off a hundred story building? What about then?" They rolled their eyes in disgust. "Now you're just being stupid... Stupid."

I crawled over to the space between the dumpster and the wall, and managed to stand by bracing with my arms on either side. "Children, I'm Latigo Flint, quickest quickdraw the world has ever known. If I'd been born 150 years earlier I'd have been a near deity in the American Old West."

"Well you look like a hobo to me."

I felt very tired right about then. "Children I'm weary. Weary with a fatigue that sleep can't cure."

"A stupid, smelly hobo."

I squinted up at the noon sun. God did I need a drink. "Good day children, I'm going to the bar now." I slowly limped out of the parking lot, pausing at the sidewalk to turn back and stare at them. "I'm sure I'll see at least one of your fathers there."

Yeeeeeah, that did it! Two of those mean little snots abruptly stared at the ground, lower lips beginning to tremble.


At 8:17 AM, Blogger Dave Morris said...

I think it was Hickock that once lamented his limited experience at breaking the spirit of kids.

They had it coming to them, it's just not nice to call an adult names.

"...mumbling Dwight Yoakam lyrics..." Classic!

At 8:40 AM, Blogger Gil The Carnie said...

I thought it was Basset Hounds?

At 9:12 AM, Blogger Cad Grublygold said...

No no gil, it's babies, their the ones that allways land on their feet........ or was it that they allways land on their heads..... dang now I'll have to try it and find out which it is.....

At 10:57 AM, Blogger Blog ho said...

abusing dogs and making kids cry. yes, yes. 2 fine things. what would latigo do? that's what I'll be asking from now on. unless i'm angry then probably..what would relish do.

At 12:12 PM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Another classic for the Reader! One of my personal favorites.

At 12:12 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Only Mastiffs have the equilibrating fluid.

Unfortunately, they're too big to lift so you can't get the drop on them. I don't know why that is. God moves in mysterious ways.

At 10:56 AM, Blogger Cindy-Lou said...

Run away with me, Latigo!

At 11:32 PM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

Exactly right Dave, discourteous I say, discourteous is what it was.

Come on Gil my fine carnie friend, only a psychopath would drop adorable basset hounds from high overhead.

Hello Grublygold, be with you in a second. Of course like I was saying Gil, there's psychopaths, and then there's psychopaths...

Fine, fine indeed Ho. And good question, what would Relish do?

Thanks LBB. I liked it okay at the part when I got the last laugh on those little bastards - I could have done without the knee in the groin.

Dern straight Old Hoss... and remember, if you want to kiss the sky, better learn how to kneel. (And something or other about your sister and some rain.)

Sounds good to me Cindy-Lou. I'll meet you at the Taco-Bell in Mohave.


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