Sunday, October 23, 2005

Sunday Morning Rabies

Latigo Flint doesn't care what the public health authorities say--there was rabies in that park today. He'd bet his glands on it. Mortal danger scampered somewhere and the thickets whispered peril. Oh, of course Latigo Flint couldn't prove it, but then the worst things hide their proof so cleverly. You must know this by now.

The barbequing families, the frisbee-throwing hippies, the teenage girl softball teams, the impoverished immigrant wedding -- hydrophobia stalked them all. The foaming death shows no mercy. It is a bestial dementia that knows only to savage and tear. The citizen humans have lived too long behind well-watered lawns. They had but one hope: His name, Latigo Flint.

I sprinted through the softball game and snatched the ball away from the young pitcher.
"Eyes on the ball!" I bellowed. "Eyes on the ball!" Then held it in front of my face for a moment to ensure I had everyone's undivided attention.
"Your lives are in danger. My keen ears have detected whispers of peril in the thickets!"

The coaches of both teams stormed from their respective dugouts, shouting and brandishing clipboards.
"Gentlemen," I addressed them. "I can see you are grumpy. That's good. Save it. Store it up. I'm going to need every fighter I can get if the rabid creatures attack before your girls are safely on busses."

They reached the mound and we discussed the matter. I explained that I could smell hydrophobia lurking somewhere in the undergrowth. Probably ground squirrels, possibly a badger or two. And they took turns punching me in the face. Now ordinarily I pistol-whip people who punch me in the face, but today I needed to keep moving--I had barbequing families and frisbee-throwing hippies to warn, not to mention the impoverished immigrant wedding party.

The barbequing families and frisbee-throwing hippies weren't nearly as violent as the coaches of the youth softball teams. (But then few are. Personally I blame repressed pedophiliac urges, but that's a theory no one seems to want to discuss.) However, they ignored my warning just the same.

On to the wedding party heroically I strode. The bride in the park was beautiful. Big, soft eyes in a dark, flawless face. I nearly wept when she also refused to flee to safety.

So I circled the park for hours, stumbling and cursing and swatting at the undergrowth. And you know what? You can't tell me I'm not the reason everyone survived.

The wedding party was the last to leave. I stepped from the shadow of a faux-brick restroom and approached the bride who was sitting in her car--a study of elegance and pride in the ripped front seat of a rusted Datsun.

"Congratulations Ma'am." My voice was low and husky.

She looked up. "Oh, it's you. So many rabid animals, yes? So many that we couldn't even see them there were so many, no?"
She grinned a bit as she said it. I chuckled slightly and nodded.
"Yeah Ma'am, something like that."

She glanced over at the picnic benches where her new husband stood, chatting with cousins and fumbling with a cooler, then looked back up at me.
"In my mind I hear you in the background of our vows. You're stumbling and cursing and hitting bushes with a stick."

"Sorry 'bout that."

She shrugged. "All the moments are the day, and the day is all the moments."

I had no idea what that meant, but I needed her to know something. I leaned forward and rested insistent fists on her car door.
"Ma'am, you actually weren't in any real danger today, because I was prepared to lick the rabies from your wounds."

She smiled sadly. "My brothers would have cut you."

"I know." I straightened then, and turned to face a purple sunset. "Well, good night Ma'am."

"Good night Cowboy."


At 6:25 AM, Blogger Peter said...

Well goodnight cowboy!

At 9:59 AM, Blogger tabitha jane said...

i love a good purple, rabid sunset.

At 10:04 AM, Blogger Blog ho said...

Mexicans can be so violent.

At 11:20 AM, Blogger Monkeypotpie said...

To hell with hippies.

I agree with your pseudophiliac theory on the softball coaches. Very insightful.

At 12:00 PM, Blogger Trevor Record said...

What has the world come to when the unpaid, self-sacrificing hero is punished? I fear this will turn out to be a case of the boy who cried wolf; when the time comes that the world calls out to Latigo Flint, he will be gone.

At 3:36 PM, Blogger darthmoridin said...

There were rabies in the park that day, alright. Fortunately the carrier bit no one...

At 7:06 PM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

One day, when he is nearly forgotten, I will built a statue of Latigo Flint, and folk will come from all around, and they will ask of him. I will say:

"He was the last gunslinger, a valiant hero of great honor."

At 8:48 PM, Blogger Ari said...

When I got to this part:

"Ma'am, you actually weren't in any real danger today, because I was prepared to lick the rabies from your wounds."

Tony Soprano shouted "WO!!!!" (like he does) from within my brain.

At 9:01 PM, Blogger Faceless Henchwoman said...

Latigo Flint, of all the heroes in the worlds, there are few I respect.

Just thought you should know that.

At 10:59 PM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

Peter, I realize now, that our nights do not align. You come from a land down under and I from near a shinning sea. New topic: Have you ever seen Quigley Down Under with Tom Selleck? That's a mighty fine film right there.

I thought you might Tabitha Jane.

Not it at all Ho.

It's one of the things I'm known for Monkeypotpie. (Insight, not pedophilia.)

Trevor Record--that is so true and beautiful and sad that I don't know what to do.

How the hell do you know tha-- wait a minute DMor... do you own a frisbee?!

This will be a stirring tribute Steve. I thank you in advance. For some reason it has the same feel and tone of one of my favorite documentary films--Kevin Costner's The Postman.

I'm letting you in on something now Ari--it's funny you should mention that particular line... it did in fact sit for weeks, scrawled across a cocktail napkin, and ultimately inspired the entire post.

Hello Faceless. With the inference being that I'm one of those few? I swell with pride if such is the case.

At 5:47 PM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Rabies is no joke. Rabies ARE? no joke.

Latigo, you're a wordsmith. Which sentence is right?


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