Ron Schalow: These Melons Aren’t Ripe

“Orv, are you still fuming about not being invited to perform at the inauguration?” asks Stan. “You can still do that thing, right? Very entertaining, as I don’t recall. Was it a card trick? Was it an egg yoke? Hee hee.””

“I told you to shut up,” grouses Orville. “I’m busy drinking and thinking.”

“That was three minutes ago, if that clock is right. Bars don’t usually hang Swiss timepieces on the wall, and the manager always monkeys with the hands to confuse the drunks. It’s not hard. Most drunks don’t give a wit about the time. I never did. How about you, Orv? Do you give a nit?”

Orville hangs his head in defeat. “I’m not a drunk, you long-haired ancient hippy Marxist pain in the @$$! I’m not addicted, like you, so shut up!”

“Well, your driving isn’t as fancy as mine was, when I tried to get to point b, or g+, I’ll give you that, but you walk like a fat mallard when you’re up a few quarts. Say, did you hear? The Algonquin Round table in Bismarck wants people to drive faster for some reason. Of course, you always go as fast as as you please anyway, but now at least part of your unrepentant speed is being legalized.”


“I think they trashed the idea for cars to have one license plate, though, so your employees will still have to live through the horror of finding the proper screwdriver. Me, you ask? I think everyone should have a license plate on the roof, too, so we can unleash the drones to patrol the highways, cipher the speed of vehicles, and snap a photo. Fines should be a percentage of the Blue Book value of the auto, so rich scofflaws like you, who laugh off most things monetary, can share that sour pain in the gut, with the rabble. Drones are smart, and they don’t take no lip.”

“You stupid lib@#$%!,” growls Orv. “The North Dakota Legislature isn’t going to go for anything that would cost their base any money. Have you no awareness of their nature, you dumb bastard?”

Stanley hangs his head in defeat. “You’re right. Those @$$holes know where the money is and aren’t infected with the empathy virus. You must be happy that Trump is going to lower your health insurance rates and provide it to all of your farmhands, or ranch hands — maybe both. Do you put them all in a bunkhouse, like the Cartwrights, and let them go to town on occasion, to blow off some steam?”

“Trump can’t do that,”objects Orv. “The only way for everyone to have insurance is to put everyone on Medicare, and the Congress isn’t going stand for any leftist commie baloney, and nobody is going to mess with what I have. It’s un-American!”

“So, he’s a liar. That was my first guess.”

“I didn’t say that!”

“So, he’s stupid. A very close second.”

“I didn’t say that!”

“Well, there’s something wrong with creature of the orange lagoon,” barks Stan. “He’s not normal. That’s for sure. I don’t think his head is ripe. The Trump could be a few yards short of subintelligent. No shame in that, but the low-level intellects are rarely given the Oval Office. A cubicle, maybe, but nothing without corners. What’s your IQ, Orv? Or was before the alcohol killed most of the nerve endings in your coconut?”

“I don’t know. Those tests aren’t accurate, anyway. People have an aptitude for different things. Yours is being a pain in my @$$, you *#^%$!!”

Stan scratches his head and takes a sip of his Coke. “Point taken. The tests are biased. But let’s assume the IQ test is accurate, and the mean score is 100. That would put half above and half under. Lots of people are on the underside, aren’t there Hoss?”

“Yes, and why do they all gravitate towards me?”

“Well, you’re not exactly sitting in the library at Cambridge, so the stats might be skewed in this joint. The gentleman by the pool table is having a pleasant chat with the three ball. You might want to venture out into other parts of the world — anywhere your barstool isn’t, like across the street, maybe. It’s possible you might find a few people with triple-digit domes. I used to be smart, but there is just a hairy African horned melon sitting on old Donnie Trump’s shoulders. Have you ever tried to have an intelligent conversation with one of those African melons? It’s like talking to a Trump, without the BS, although there could be a language barrier. Don is definitely binary IQ-wise.”

“So, you used be smart, Stan, and now you just think you’re smart? Typical lib.”

“I have a burst every now and then. But as you may not recall, I was the one who always remembered where you lived, when you were driving all over the Ponderosa, with a stupid look on your face searching for something familiar. Finding my own way home after getting you within 10 feet of your door was more challenging, I admit.”

“What’s your IQ, smart guy,” demands Orville. “Or was at your peak?”

“I can’t remember, Orv, but ‘mountaintop removal’ took care of my peak, anyway. And they didn’t even find a seam of coal. I think I was in the meaty triple-digit area but squandered the extra amperage, which explains why I’m sitting here with you.”


“I was on a despair trip that ended in Milwaukee years ago and kinda joined the Army, but it didn’t take. I was brain-tested, though. Anyway, they said I had the second highest score they ever saw in Milwaukee. I pondered that sentence, which took awhile because I was a mess. If I was at the top of their smart chart, what the hell did the dumb ones look like this outfit? I slept on it and scrammed.”

“You’re AWOL,” yells Orv. “Damn snowflake!”

“Hey, Kempenich is one of your Legi-something buddies, right Orv? Even his suits are made out of oil — slippery, if anyone gets the urge to touch him. Anyhoo, he’s tired of demonstrators walking around like they own the place, so if you run one down — while they march in street, or dance, or whatever the in thing is, you won’t be held negligent in this state. There might even be a bounty. I think you get extra points if the deceased is one of the First People. They aren’t all rubbed out yet, I guess. You should be able to crush a few dozen with the monster truck you drive. Are you cheered up, yet?”

“That’s not true,”grumbles Orv. “Keith wouldn’t do that! Drivers are already held blameless for accidents.”

“It’s his Bill, dude. Even if the driver is negligent. Free pass. You should talk to him, or maybe a professional should. Anyway, if you see him, don’t walk in front of his truck if he’s behind the wheel. It seems to irritate him.”

Orv is befuddled. “But I’m not protesting anything!”

“Aren’t you, Orv? Aren’t you?”


“And, don’t be wearing a mask when you’re out not protesting. You might end up in the hoosegow — after they scrape you off the pavement.”

“What are you babbling, now, Stanley, you loony lunatic?”

“Oh, another one of your knucklehead buddies, Al Carlson, put in a bill that would make it illegal to protest with a mask on. I think you’re still allowed to rob a bank while wearing a mask, though — in fact, it’s recommended in some circles. I think some of the darker-skinned protesters frighten Al to a deathly shade. Blizzard white, I guess, on the color chart. He keeps locking down the Capitol building, whenever a masked cross country skier goes by in 20 below weather. Jumpy fella. And not just him. Some of the lawmakers who remember the expansion west, are really nervous. What they really needed down in Cannon Ball were gas masks, and some cups.”


“Yes, Orv, cups. It seems that some of lawmen, we call them LEO’s in the outside world, were aiming their bean bag guns, or rubber bullet shooters, at the private parts of protesters. That’ll bring a guy to his knees — and worse. All that’s left, then, is to douse the supine dude with some cold water and salsa mace. The fellow will remember to wear a supporter and an industrial strength cup the next time.”

“They had it coming,”scowls Orville.

“Sen. Janne Myrdal posted a gay swastika on her Facebook page, and Rep. Shannon Roers Jones compared Trump to Lincoln, and that was just today. You’ve got some deep thinkers in your ruling class, Orv.”

“Big deal!” you lib%$&*@ cuck. Leave me alone.”

“Yes,” says Stan. “This is probably nothing compared to what Roscoe and Oley got coming down the pike. I had to explain plagiarism to Oley one time. Like driving nails into a cue ball. You jokers picked good, Orv. I’ll keep you posted, since it appears you have no intention of ever leaving this dimly lit, information-free, den of gloom.”

“I like it this way, so get lost, Mr. %^@!#&*#!”

“Stay on the sidewalk, Orv, don’t wear any rainbow colors, and don’t forget to watch ol’ honest Abe this weekend. It’ll be fabulous. So fabulous you won’t believe how fabulous it will be. Oh, and the stooges want to tax your Mother’s time at the retirement village. You’ll get the bill.”


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