RON SCHALOW: I’m Not Ready For Unity

“I’m not ready, yet, Orv,” groans Stanley.

Orville sighs. “Everybody dies, Stan. We’ve been over this. Get over it.”

“No, it’s not that. I’m ready to bite the dust at the drop of hat. Wear shirts, wash shirts. It’s getting a bit monotonous. Who drops their hat, anyway? And what type of a hat does it have to be? I Imagine a fedora. One of the good ones. Humphrey Bogart style. Although, the wearer has to take some responsibility for the general appeal. What do you think, Orville? Did Bogart wear a fedora on the African Queen? I can’t recall. Kate didn’t. He never threw it in a ring.”

Orville sighs. “Forget about Humphrey. What is it you’re not ready for, Stan?”

“Where does a guy buy a hat, anyway?” quizzes Stan. “A good one. Probably not at a truck stop, although I do admire the general concept. I buy my, my, my … what’s that stuff you pour in your gas tank in the winter for some reason? Why don’t they just mix up the gas right in the first place? It’s a puzzlement.”

“It’s called HEET,” grouses Orville.

“What is? All I ever wash are white socks. Unless somebody dies or gets married, then it’s strictly black. Dark black. I’m not ready, yet, Orv.”

“For what?” shouts Orv. “I’m losing patience, here!”

“That’s terrible. How many patients did you have to start with?”


“Did you hear the humongous-boned kid on the Fargo radio? He sounds skinny, but he sure isn’t to a poorly sighted person. I’m startled every time I see his picture in the paper. I’d jump right out of my chair, if I could. Who needs an unappealing life-size mug staring back at a guy with pains in his chestal area?”

“Wait! What? Are you having chest pains, Stan? Check please, waiter!”

“I don’t think so, but it sure wouldn’t be helpful to someone who had a blockage in the one, or two, of the pipes. Thanks for picking up the tab, Orv. You used to need one of those gizmos with the magnifier glass to read a newspaper. They’re never ever close to clean, sticky fingerprint city, those convex buggers … now, you have to have one of the neighbor kids open the damn paper at a minimum of 30 feet, so you don’t suffer from a shock. Don’t ever hook up a jumper cable to any part of your body, Orv. I’m serious. Those clampy things are painful even without a full shot of the juice. I speak from the experience of a man who nearly had to pay, in advance, a pale dude to put my black socks on my dearly departed ivory hoofs for me.”

“I’m about ready to put you in commie coma … and I think the huge photos are just on the computer.”

“And I’m headed for a cremation, so that’s weird. Compayto, potahto. Stupid socks. I would love to hear the rationalization for that one. Nothing but pain and misery. What did I sign this time?”

Orville sighs. “Forget about your stupid socks, and the big face, willya? As a knee jerk of a lib%*@$, you already don’t like Po …”

“Not likely. Baby Huey dishonored my name over two years ago and I won’t forget. I’m going to make his life miserable until my deceasement … longer, if I can. I’ll have to see how it plays out. If there’s anything you need from the afterlife, make a list, Orv. Just in case I got it all wrong. Oh, did I mention that I have an obsessive frontal lobe?”

“Really? I hardly noticed. I would have pegged you for effing crazy, but what …”

“I take pills for that. I’m still loopie, but the pills are a pleasant diversion, from conversations with you, and similar chores. The only way to deal with the obsessive part is to take a swift conk to the forehead with a Louisville Slugger or a lesser bat. Aluminum is overdoing it. Just remember to keep the label up.”

“When do we get to the anyway part, anyway? Gawd, you’re a pain.”

“I’m not sure why it matters. I never hit a baseball hard enough to make the bat crack, except for last night when I was in deep REM sleep, and I drilled one. Over the right field fence at Corbett Field strangely enough, which was impossible with the body I inhabited because I’m formerly a pull hitter, with no power. None. Tough pitcher, too, but I never found my glove. Frustrating. And all the ones laying around were left handed. My dreams are always an ordeal. How about you, Orv?”

“I don’t even know why I’m here.”

“I don’t know, either. Anyway, the skinny-sounding Beefallo was yammering on the radio, just one day after the election, about how Democrats were calling anyone who supported Trump, a racist, or a misogynist, or a xenophobe, and his feelings were hurt. And, I was thinking …”
“He was right, you stupid libt@*#.”

“Trump is all of those things, plus 18 pounds of horse$#!, but ALL of us evil leftists have never called ALL of Donnie’s posse those things, and to suggest otherwise is a flat-out lie. And I see he thought that his brainwave deserved printed words, too. Maybe one guy did.”

“Oh, you leftist cr …”

“Good lord; the orange-lacquered marshmallow is a racist, misogynist, p*$$# grabber, adulterer, coveter, deadbeat, POW-bashing SOB, serial liar, sleaze, conman, birther, ignoramus, serial philanderer. narcissist, leach, homophobe, thief, draft dodger, deadbeat, sociopath, Chinese outsourcer, xenophobe, serial philanderer, mocker of the disabled, Putin buddy, torture advocate, ignorant, profane, megalomaniac, delusional, lawsuit magnet, science denier, creep, fake, Putin pal, impulsive, stupid, self-centered, selfish, arrogant, unqualified, smarmy, name-caller, Islamophobe, vain, divisive, heartless, thin-skinned, mooch, taker, redliner, bellicose, conspiratorial, toxic, irresponsible, dense, opportunist, incurious, traitor, nonreader, blowhard, not necessarily in that order, or in proper Dutch Those are the good things I could think about that foul creature elect.”

“How did you do that?”

“How do I do anything?”

“You’re just bitter,” opines Orville. “You Alinsky-warped showflake.”

“You got that right. Bitter, bitter, kitty litter, but the Portweasel isn’t going to dictate my speech, in volume, or content. If he thinks it isn’t PC to call a racist, a racist, that’s one of his many problems. Minot is hilly. Can you imagine the wheezing? It would be like a Harley squealing down the street at 3 a.m.”

“Everybody who …”

“I never said everybody is responsible, or shares ovious attributes, with the Trump. But the KKK, white nationalists, white supremacists and the so-called patriot groups are thrilled to do one of those crazy salutes to the flabby grabber, so bite me, Port! I’m calling them what they are.”

Orville sighs.

“I was nearly held in contempt of court for writing bite me on an official document. I answered the question in a truthful manner, but her highness was not tickled. It was three-story jump. Live and learn, huh?”

Orville sighs.

“Say, Orv? “How does this state feel about duels? My regular cop doesn’t know. Most of the Legislature is packing heat, like Bismarck is friggen Deadwood. One whack from my cane, and somebody is kissing cool marble. I loved that show. One season too short. Major Dad was going cause a ruckus … I’m sure of that. I’m figuring 12 gauges at 30 yards. Should compensate for the tremor, don’t you think? Shot number optional. I’m about as agile a dead possum, so the advantage should go to the panda, but whatever. I drop at least one pill every day under the chair, when my mind says zig, and my fingers zag. If I had a dog, the poor critter would be stoned to Gary Busey levels by noon every day. You have to figure he ain’t normal. Giuliani has few issues, too. And Pence? Seriously?”

Orville sighs. “I think the state frowns on duels. Legally. But I don’t think they would mind if you were perforated to death in a desolate field, somewhere, you Marxist nut-basket, and don’t you besmirch Pence.”
“That as my thinking. Sarah? And, if they get word of the combat, what’s a little mace? Jeesus, do they buy that stuff by the barrel? I’m pretty sure a fair percentage of the folks in the tall building were gunning for me anyway. I would kind of like a shot from one of their electric guns.”

“One less lib*%&# freak on the streets,” growls Orville.

“PC’d to death on my own petard. I never could hit a duck. I’m not ready for unity.”

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