“Go ahead and take off your head and roll it into the center of the sink. That way you’ll be free of it. You can enter Pipersville unencumbered.”
“Of what?” Hucka Doobie speaks behind me in the void. “Yarns?”
Beyond the resourcefulness of its porcine citizens, there wasn’t much to recommend the small mining town of Rumpus Ridge. But even in such a hardscrabble place, they had created something they could be proud of: over the years they had collected the biggest ball of string in the world. Folks came from miles around to see it. But one night, a flood carries their prized string away and washes it ashore near the town of Cornwall. Rather than return it, the Cornwallians decide to keep the string for themselves.
“See what we did, Keith B.? I *told* you we couldn’t avoid Horns.”
It was a logical conclusion. Jim A. was the person in The Room when the Chip Shot bomb went off. Afterwards: both A. and B.; options if you will. Outside and in. Red and green. How it *was*.
With a couple clicks of the mouse (*not* moose!) he could reclaim his Jim Club on Main Street and revitalize Creepy Alley in a limited way. Reestablish a 2ndary beating, cultural heart for the community. Up it from human to alien status. Red to green: next level.
But who would be the centerpiece band? Certainly not Jenny and Keith again. Jenny had gone on to much higher things, although she seems on the downswing lately, having been displaced as the entertainment favorite in rival, upscale Starlite by newcomer Lena Horned. Black like him; good for her! You go girl.
It *could* be The Basterds. That could be a way out of his option maze. Keith B. The B.’s, himself included. Keith never was an A.
The sun was coming up. He decides to enter the ol’ underground bunker for further pondering…
“Sam? Samuel Hooker?” Pause. “Alvin Straight — you did say Alvin didn’t you, Preston?”
“Yeah, ma, heh.”
“Alvin Straight?” Your Mama pronounced more confidently toward the back of the tv store. “Samuel Hooker?”
I can’t face them, but I *gotta* face them,” experienced repairman Alvin Straight thinks just around the corner. If only Sam “Mr. Colored TV” Hooker would come out from hiding and *see* — actually *see* what’s in this thing. Truly understand the danger of what he has set forth into motion. Into *play*.
“Sam?” Your Mama calls again. “Alvin?”
Gotta go face them.
“A malfunctioning chip?” Your Mama questions. “What does that mean? How much will it cost to repair, Mr. Repairman?”
“I see lots of question marks,” replied Alvin Straight, shaking at what he estimates to be a ballpark figure.
“When did this barber shop get here? Anyway, we’re here.”
Cool, mama. I’m tired of falling into the tv set and losing a couple of hours each time. That, heh, thing *needed* to be fixed.”
“Well, we’ll see if, let’s see, what was his name again?”
“Sam Hooker?” responded Preston Weston, good on names if bad on grades.
“Hooker, yes,” responded Your Mama, proud to have a son for the moment.
“And Alvin Straight, the other one. The Straight Guy.”
“Very good. Such a good memory.” They were at the front door.
“Should have bought a Zenith all along,” she muttered before opening it.
They were in the room right next door, but had yet to run into Annie and Karl. Obviously, because Annie was more than ready to spill blood. Former husband Benny Right Horn was still standing, in other words. Must be something in the name Annie…
“Brother Benny,” Jer Left Horn called from within the laundry room. “Your underwear’s dry.”
“The alleyway is a keyboard,” spoke Marion Harding, deep in a ganja trance.
“What’s that Mario… Marion?” Philip Strevor — professional pill popper.
“I’d like to buy this place from you Pizza Boy II. I’d like to build a door about right over…
Afterwards she took off her shoes and sat beside the old motel pool, now closed for dysentery reasons. No details need be applied. She would immediately wash her feet in the Dari-Creme bathroom just behind. Mother had returned to their modest but clean downtown apartment, sterilized like all the rest during the Great Disinfection of ‘011.
Ahh, fate, she though. Having a beautiful mother who everyone is attracted to more than her, even her own classmates like Multiface, like Preston Weston. She then dwells on the brace burdened lad who sits behind her in geography class, taught by the same mother. It’s one of the reasons she got the tattoo — so that he would see it all the time. Satori, she pondered. *Not* Maebaleia. This would teach him and everyone else that she was a Northerner at heart and always would be, despite some dubious origins. Stamped in flesh, as it were. Fixated in time and space and… options. No option for her any longer. “The name — of the continent — is *Satori,*” she shouted at her mother one day. Then it was off to the parlor to ink some color on her neck and back.
She pondered more tonight while daring to dangle her feet in the pool a little longer, like the alley that use to center the village which was so ill of repute. Creepy Alley they called it for a reason. Before receiving her teaching certificate in ’08, her own mother use to hang out in that place. There were rumors — unsubstantiated for the most part. But it was beyond doubt that mother took the occasional walk on the wild side, playing Nico to any Lou Reed who decided to properly peel their banana. Where was Zappa when you needed him? But that was the province of Annie (Anorexia), who isn’t part of the present story. Shame, though. Maybe we’ll be able to fit her in later.
And there she is.
“Who’s out there, baby doll,” Karl gruffed. “Is it *him*?? Let me at him, let me at him!”
“It’s – not – him,” Annie metered out, trying to calm her latest husband down. “It’s *her*.”
Karl waited a beat for an explanation, then: “Her *who*?”