Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A Coin-Operated Hemorrhage

Hello, this is the Advanced Computer Program that sometimes selects stories to rerun when Latigo Flint falls down too hard. I was programmed to only display stories that portray Latigo at his "triumphant best". But "triumphant best" is pretty subjective and so in his case I decided to interpret that as one in which the protagonist sustains horrific injuries as a result of his own stupidity. And what's Latigo going to do, argue with me? I'm a computer program, not his pillow.

From the archives - January 6, 2006:

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A Coin-Operated Hemorrhage

Today Latigo Flint went to the supermarket and was pleased to discover they had recently installed a coin-operated horse out front, just to the right of the sliding glass doors. But the odd thing about this particular coin-operated horse was that its eyes seemed to follow you as you moved and it would growl when you inserted a quarter.

'Course, turns out it wasn't a coin-operated horse at all but was in fact a Great Dane, and a grumpy one at that. However, Latigo Flint had already deposited his two bits (come to think of it, Latigo Flint actually doesn't want to know where) and damned if he wasn't going to get his thirty-second ride.

...

The trouble with bleeding on the produce displays is that they make you buy it all--even the okra. Now you know and they know, that there was no way in hell they were ever going to sell all that okra. It was just gonna sit there for a week, like every other shipment of okra since the dawn of supermarkets, until it blotched and moldered and had to be thrown away. Okra is on the books as a loss before it's even delivered, and so apparently it's jackpot day for management if someone happens to bleed on it.

"Clean up in the produce department of a biological nature." Crackled a smug voice over the store intercom. A stubby-legged manager sprinted around an aisle, several assistants in tow.
"Did he bleed on the okra?! Did he bleed on the okra?!"

They fanned out, grunting with almost orgasmic anticipation as they raced through the displays.
"Arrugula, artichoke, kale, watercress, jicama... come on-come on-come on...... OKRA! THERE IT IS!!!"

The assistant manager dropped to his knees, waving his skinny arms above his head and shrieking with hysterical joy.
"The poor fool bled on the okra boys--he motherfucking bled on the motherfucking okra!!!"

"The motherfucking okra?"

"The motherfucking okra!"

They let out a cheer, linked arms and started dancing around the berry island.

"Hey Phillip, okra's out of season, is it not?!!!"

"By god man, I think it is!!!"
"Premium prices, premium prices--buck ninety a pound, buck ninety a pound."
They all whooped and took up the chant:
"Premium prices, premium prices--buck ninety a pound, buck ninety a pound!"

I could feel my slowing heartbeat, a lethargic throb in my temples. I crawled in the direction of the front door and absently wondered, as I crossed over to the chip section, why the produce department is carpeted and the rest of the store is linoleum.

That Great Dane, the one I'd mistaken for a coin-operated horse, sure had tore me up pretty bad. My femoral artery was external and whipping around like an unsecured fire hose. I had puncture wounds so deep that they were shallow again on the other side, and every time I drew a breath, my pancreas bonked my spine.

Now I'm Latigo Flint, a squinty-eyed gunslinger born hopelessly out of time, and I'm certainly no stranger to horrific wounds. But with an entire produce department now on my tab, including what appeared to be nearly half a ton of out-of-season okra, well, for the first time ever, I actually felt financially incentivized to die.

2 Comments:

At 11:13 AM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Ah, I remember this one, too. Each of your posts becomes a legend in my mind.

Hey, I was thinking of changing the name of my blog to "One Magnificent Bastard."

 
At 9:52 PM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

Thank you LBB. I reckon The Legend of Latigo Flint does have a mighty nice ring to it--albeit a tad cliché.

And you are one magnificent bastard, so that title would be highly descriptive

 

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