TUESDAY: Am Not, Are Too

BY PEGGY BRACKEN

Copyright is held by the author.

 

“For Chrissakes Mel, shut up and lift.”

“Don’t tell me to shut up Lou. Why’d you have to be so nasty all the time? You constipated again?  You always get testy when you’re bunged up. I keep tellin’ you, more fruit and vegetables, but you never listen. Anyway, who died and made you the boss?”

“Cut the crap, Mel.”

“That’s funny, Lou. Cut the crap. You made a joke. How’bout that?”

“Irritable Bowel Syndrome is no laughing matter. Now grab his shoulders and I’ll get his feet. On the count of three. One, two, three.”

“Jeez Lou, you couldn’t a wacked a skinny guy. Oh no, not you. You gotta take out Mr. Big and Tall.”

“Clam up and lift; we ain’t got all night. Freddy wants the limo back by dawn. He’s got an early shift at the airport.”

“Oh, oh my back. Stop Lou. Wait. I can’t do this.  I have to put him down.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Think I pulled somethin’ in my back. Hurts like hell.”

“Stop your damn moanin’ and pick him up. You’re such a baby.”

“Am not.”

“Are too. Always whinin’ about somethin’. Now get a move on. If he stiffens up we’ll never get him out o’ the trunk.”

“How come I always get the heavy end Lou? You take the shoulders for a change. See how you like it.”

“Christ, my grandmother is tougher than you. Fine. Get out of my way. Anything to avoid a repeat of that guy in Jersey. He couldn’t a weighed more ‘n one-20 soakin’ wet and I had to listen to your bellyachin’ ‘bout your bad knees for the next month. We coulda had this sucker in the ground by now if you weren’t such a big fat whiner.”

“Am not.”

“Are too. Ready? One, two, thr . . .”

“Wait!” Are those headlights? They are. Jesus Lou, they’re comin’ this way. I thought you said nobody ever comes down this road. And it’s slowing down. Is that a cop car? I think it’s a cop. No, no, no. What are we gonna do? It’s a cop. I don’t wanna go back to jail.”

“Shit. I think it is a cop. Put him back, put him back.”

“Don’t let them take me Lou; I swear I can’t go back there again.”

“Don’t be such a wuss.”

“Big talk Lou, you never been in the slammer. You don’t know what it’s like. Those four stone walls closin’ in tighter and tighter until you can’t breathe. And the food. It was like eatin’ garbage.”

“You ass, it was county jail, and the cop brought you a large double double and a grilled, Panini sandwich. I bailed you out after three hours.”

“Go ahead and mock me Lou. I hope you’re never behind bars. No fruit and veg in the clink. You wouldn’t last a week with those bowels.”

“Shit. He’s slowin’ down. Close the trunk and try to act normal for once. Son-of-a-bitch!”

“Everything okay boys?”

“Evenin’ officer. Yeah. Just on our way home but my friend here is feelin’ poorly.  Between you and me it was too much moo goo guy pan at the Scarlett Lily. It’s the MSG.  Can’t handle the MSG. Got a delicate constitution.”

“Sure, he’s OK? Looks kind of pale and sweaty.”

“He’ll be fine once he’s had some fresh air.”

“Well if you’re sure . . .”

“I’m sure. Thanks for stoppin’ officer. Good night. Whew, that was close. Nice of him to stop though, wasn’t it Lou? I mean if we were really in trouble . . . Say Lou you don’t look so good.”

“You closed the trunk on my hand. I think you broke my damned hand. Just open the trunk, quick. What’s wrong? What’re ya doin’? Why aren’t you openin’ the trunk?”

“You’re probably not goin’ to believe this Lou but I can’t find the keys. Musta dropped them.”

“Whatdaya mean, you dropped the keys.”

“Well, that copper made me so darned nervous and you yellin’ all the time doesn’t help.  You know how I react to loud noises and stress. I keep tellin’ you Lou; get yourself into an anger management program. Worked wonders for me.”

“You idiot. You goddamned idiot. I’m in some big pain here. Break the window and pop the trunk then get down and look for the keys and you better not come up empty handed.”

“Jeez, that’ll be kinda hard on my knees, Lou. Remember Jersey?”

“OK, OK, just break the damn window an’ pop the trunk.  I’ll look for them myself. But I swear to God this is the last time I . . .”

“Guess you shoulda brought a flashlight eh? Well there’s no call for that kind of language Lou. No wonder your bowels are in such a mess. Say Lou?”

“WHAT?”

“Is it a skunk or a raccoon that has the white stripe down its back?”

***

“I said I was sorry Lou. How many times do I have to say it? Sheesh. Not my fault you didn’t know enough to get your hand outta the trunk. An’ anybody coulda lost the car keys.  Too bad I found them after I broke the car window, though. That’s gonna piss Freddy off somethin’ fierce. An’ imagine them bein’ in my pocket all along. Guess that’s what they call a coincidence eh? But the skunk definitely wasn’t my fault. Too bad for you he was loaded. It was kinda funny though, the look on your face when he let it rip. Say, Lou how much further do we gotta go? Don’t mind me sayin’ but you really stink, an’Mr. Big an’ Tall is getting pretty heavy. My back . . .”

“Put him down here. Christ, I can hardly breathe with this stench and my hand is killin’ me.  Where’s the shovel?”

“I thought you had it Lou. How could I be expected to carry the heavy end and the shovel?  I figured you would have the shovel bein’ as you took the light end. I can’t think of everything Lou. Say, Lou where ya goin’?”

“I’m goin’ back for the shovel, you ass.”

“Can I come with you?”

“No. Please no. Just stand right here an’ don’t move ‘til I get back. Got it?”

“Sure, Lou. But don’t be too long OK? You know how I feel about the dark.”

***

“How deep you think the holes gotta be, Lou?”

“Damned if I know. Just keep on diggin’.”

“Well that ain’t fair Lou. You wacked him, you should bury him: seems only right.  Besides my back is really seizin’ up. Ouch!”

“Now what?”

“I got a splinter from this stupid shovel. It really hurts. Hope it doesn’t get infected. I ain’t diggin’ no more. Nosiree. ‘Bout time you did your bit.”

“Awright, awright, I’ll give it a try. Anything to shut you up. Where’s the shovel?”

“Dropped it right there in that patch of white berries you’re standin’ in. I can’t pick it up on account o’ my splinter. You know I could get blood poisoning from something like this.”

“That’s the idea Lou. You know for someone with a bad hand; you’re doin’ pretty good with that shovel. An’ you thought you couldn’t do it. Just keep breathin’ through the pain like I tol’ you: Long deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. You know, you might benefit from some yoga classes Lou. It’s all about the breath.”

“Please I’m beggin’ you Mel, shut up for five minutes and help me roll this guy into the hole. All I wanna to do is go home, put some ice on my hand, have a large glass of scotch and forget this night ever happened. Oh man . . .”

“Somethin’ wrong Lou?”

“I don’t know. I’m itching all over. My hands, and my ankles, even my face. Christ what’s wrong now? Hell with this, I’m outta here. You finish buryin’ him. I’m on fire.”

“Lou, I can’t possibly use a shovel, what with the splinter and all. An’ you know what that will do to my back. Not to mention my knees. An’ you’re not leavin’ me here in the dark all by myself. This place gives me the creeps and I think it’s makin’ my allergies flare up. Nosiree, if you’re leavin’, I’m right behind you. Next time Lou; you need to plan these things a little better.”

“You’re a goddamned idiot.”

“Am not.”

“Are too.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 comments

  1. Connie Lynn Cook

    Loved this! Excellent use of dialogue only to move the story along. Couldn’t stop laughing!

  2. Geri Lalach

    I love this story, made me laugh out loud and grin the whole way through!!
    Just with dialogue this story told so much,
    Great job Peggy!

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