Sunday, September 23, 2018

443: Remorse

What can you do on a rainy day when you are cooped up with a restless alien who is in deep trouble with a third member of your household? The alien is nattily attired man of maybe 23 who looks like he just left a fraternity party at some expensive private college. The third member is my wife.

“I have no recollection of doing it.” he said. He was lounging on a couch drinking a beer.

“You say you didn’t break her priceless heirloom practicing your golf putt?”

“Isn’t that what I just said?”

“No,” I think you said you didn’t have a recollection of doing it.”

“There you go,” he said. “If I had done something that thoughtless, I would have remembered it. I have a photographic memory you know.”

“You always remember?”

“Of course.”

“Like the time you used her grandmother’s photograph to practice with your air rifle?”

“That’s ridiculous. I’m not going to honor that hypothetical question with the truth.”

While he seemed to be considering whether that sentence had turned out he way he intended, I broke in. “I seem to remember that’s what she claimed.”

“That was a long time ago and I hadn’t been here but a short time.”

“That excuses things?”

“Falloonians like to experiment when they first arrive on your planet. I was just having fun. Inipurtseeastrms will be Inipurtseeastrms. You can’t blame them for that. You would never allow us membership on your planet if you didn’t allow us a lane at sea that is a regularly used route for vessels. I am a man, after all.”

“I think,” I said, “that we allow you a good deal of ‘leeway’ as you tried to put it, man or no man.”

“Then you understand I was just trying to learn Earthiness by having a little fun.”

Earthiness? I would have to remember that. “Mischief is okay if you are just having fun?”

“I think so. Don't you?”

“Were you just having fun when you sold her battery-powered drill to the junk man?”

“Women aren’t supposed to have those kinds of things. They are supposed to have feminine things that keep them in the kitchen and bedroom. Your country would run a lot smoother if they did.”

“If I were you I wouldn’t let her hear you say that. She still remembers the time you and Rodney used her best colander to pan for gold in Bayou Meto.”

“A little adventure never hurt anyone. Why is she so sensitive?”

“I don’t know. Why don’t you return the ZZ Top CD you stole from her and ask her then?”

“It was someone else who did that. I have a witness.”

“And who might that be?”

“My counterpoint in Mississippi. He could vouch for me.”

“Why doesn’t he?”

“He had to return to Falloonia for a, uh, … conference. Yeah, a conference. But he definitely saw that it was someone else.”

“And who might that have been?”

“How should I know?” He sat up and looked at me with as serious a face as I’ve ever seen on him.

“Look,” he said.

Men, our biggest fear in America
today is gang warfare. - C.W.
“Us men got to stick together.”



“And if we don’t?”

“And if we don’t, it’s going to be hell to pay. What if Mrs. Big Dope forms a gang?”

“A gang of what?”

“Other pissed-off women.”


“Pretty soon, they’d be wanting to speak out loud in church.”

“You don’t even go to church.”

“I heard one of those guys on TV say it, so it must be true.”

“You believe TV preachers?”

“When they say things I can profit from.”

“I can tell you something you can profit from.”

“Don’t bother,” he said. “Mrs. Big Dope has given me three things already. I’m supposed to master them within three days or else.”

“Or else what?”

“She didn’t say, but it sounded bad.”

“And what were those three things?”

“Repentance, reflection, and remorse. She said they might, just might, lead to a fourth ‘R’ if I tried hard.”

“And that would the fourth be?”

“Redemption,” he said, “but that’s going to cost me a bundle.”

See also:
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