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His Own Private Idaho by Michael D. Davis
Looney read the name painted on the grimy window—Another Dead-End Diner—rolled his blue eyes and agreed. Mumbling to himself he wandered inside and plopped down at the sticky counter, next to another customer. A rodeo clown-face dude with a jagged overbite; cowboy shirt and Levis, brand new iPhone MS Max clipped to his leather belt.
“A chocolate lathered doughnut and a cherry soda from the heavens,” Looney told the waitress before she even glanced his way.
Bobbie Lee Walker scowled. Not that anyone noticed. Pushing stray hair behind an ear she ambled her size ten feet towards the pop machine. Odd ones came and went, but this guy took the crown. Two raggedy-ass suit coats, the larger one worn over the inner. A fedora that had been cut in two … then stitched back together. One half blue. The other like a severed tongue—pickled in a jar of piss and spicy mustard. And Jesus H. Christ, glasses ’bout as thick as space shuttle windows.
Setting the drink in front of him Bobbie Lee told Looney how much things were going to cost him.
Looney reached into his coats … slowly, then frantically. “Where’s my wallet?”
“You can’t pay?” Bobbie Lee feigned disbelief.
“Dear Jesus and Mother Mephistopheles. I had that wallet fifty years.”
“Look, this ain’t no soup kitchen. If you can’t—”
Clown-face gorilla with the overbite swung his stool around. “I’ll pay for the old-timer, Bobbie Lee.”
“Thank you,” Looney said. “I hate this. Downright embarrassing. But I will feast like a king and drink the blood of peasants in this cherry soda now that you’ve arrived on your white horse.”
“You seem a little disoriented. Do you know where you are? Can I call someone for you?”
Looney stood and shook his hand. “Why Grumpton, Idaho, of course, the place with blue dogs, yellow cats and a sun that shines twice a day.” Gone fifty years. And only back a week. The town wasn’t likely to erect a statue in his honor. But here Looney was—
And here he planned to stay.
“Don’t you worry none, sir knight. I’ll be the best this world has.”
“Okay, then, take care. Catch you later, Bobbie Lee.”
“Too ta loo to you and you,” Looney said. Condescending sumbitch. What Looney wanted was something hardier than a doughnut and more substantial than prechewed green beans. But for that he’d need to wait.
In a scraped up old Dodge Omni—the gas tank close to slurping fumes—Looney puttered south on state Highway 93 … until he spotted a kid shooting BBs at a squirrel.
Looney slowed to a crawl, rolled his window down. “Hey, pipsqueak shouldn’t you be in school?”
“Shouldn’t you be dust?”
“Eh, screw you, you little turd faced bastard.” Looney waggled the phone he’d slipped off of Magilla Gorilla’s belt. “Want a brand new iPhone?”
“Got one, old man.”
“Yeah, shitstain. But you sell this phone to some other rotten wood-smellin’ punk for a profit.”
“What you want for it?”
“The BB gun.”
“Only two BB’s left.”
“Don’t care, Furry Brick.”
“Alright,” said Looney tossing the phone and snatching the gun.
He aimed the Omni west, caught Gunther Ave back into town. Parked in the crumbling alley behind Just Cash.
Waited only seconds till a guy came out and lumbered to his car.
“Hug Volkswagen, Asscheek,” Looney said shoving the BB gun into the guy’s back.
“It’s a Chevy.”
“Don’t back sass me or I’ll blow your meatball into chunks a dust bunny wouldn’t eat. Now, where’s your wallet?”
“Right coat pocket.”
“Here we are. Ooh, good, Toadball, real good. I see a dozen hundreds. Bettin’ you get paid every two weeks. You goin’ anywhere after this?”
“Errands, errands got any more to run? Or you good for the weekend?”
“My mom needs groceries.”
“I’ll leave you half.”
“You deaf? Stupid? Said I’d leave half.”
“Now, put your head on the car and count to three-hundred and seventy-four, Paperliver.”
“One … two …”
Looney was back in the alley by the count of eighty-six. Ducking into a Gas-n-Go station he stopped and filled the tank. Then cranked a left on Juniper and deftly slid the Dodge into its usual spot.
Glancing at his cracked Timex, he snuck around the side of the building … and dropped on a bench out front.
He’d barely parked his keester when a stern-faced woman in pickle green scrubs joined him.
“I’ve been looking for you, Mr. Lloyd.”
Looney stared raptly at the brilliant blue sky. “Just wantchin’ the rain, Mizz Rambo.”
“That’s not my…never mind. We missed you at lunch again, Mr. Lloyd.”
“Had the squirts, Mizz Rambo. But seein’ your sweet cherry pie heiny has cured me praise the Lord.”
Steering him by the elbow she escorted him inside the Pleasant Vale Nursing Home. “Time to take your meds, Mr. Lloyd. And if you’re going to enjoy your Golden Years, you need to eat your lunch.” Looney shot her a goofy grin. Flush for cash again, tomorrow he’d snake over to The Stew Bowl too ta loo. Plenty of goodies there that he could sink his teeth into.
Like a big fried animal ass on a toasted bun—And who knew what kind of fun.