Sunday, August 8, 2010

Wolfman Rancheros and Story #24: Mechanic

If you woke up today like me, lazy and hungry, you might enjoy this recipe:

throw down some heated corn tortillas
throw down some tater tots
throw down some heated black beans, tomatoes, and red peppers
throw down 1-2 wolfman eggs (or regular eggs)
splash hot sauce everywhere

While you're tearing that meal apart, you might enjoy reading this story. What is it called? It is called "Mechanic." I wrote it last night after eating a sea of fish tacos. I also wrote one about sharks, and about eating dolphins, and about a cat with a drinking problem. Those fish tacos were really swimming around my head.

Robbie liked to talk too much when he was drunk or excited. He'd get all pulled thin on cigarettes and say anything so that you could never tell if he was being true or talking out of the hollow part of his head.

"Did you know," he said, "that you can increase your gas mileage with a simple potato?"

"Can you now," I said.

"What you do is you unclip that hose from the engine to the radiator. The starches filter and distribute the cooling fluids."

"You're full of gravy," I said.

"I'll show you," he said.

"Yes you will," I said. Lately I'd got this feeling that I ought to show Robbie I was wise to him and here was my chance. We went inside for a potato and then I lead him out to the workshop where he had his pick of junkers to surgery around in. We got the hood of this Aerostar open and a mess of machinery sprawled before us. "Have a go, buddy," I said.

Then I went inside and turned on the TV. Some people were running around in suits after other people with suits. I got to thinking about teaching Robbie a lesson and I looked up the number for the newspaper. Those people spent most of their days writing about dead trees and pumpkins found floating in the public pool anyway, and I told them about this automotive and dietary breakthrough going to occur in my very back yard.

"Hum," I said, when the newsman showed up. It was the editor himself, which was no surprise considering how many people the paper employed. "Right this way." I lead him through my house and into the backyard and the hood was still flung up on the van but Robbie was long gone. Even his car was gone. The only sign of him was a few cigarette stubs lying in the grass.

"This is it?" the newsman said. He got up to the van and lifted his camera and started shifting around like he was taking pictures even though the camera didn't make a sound.

"Hum," I said, but it seemed now the only thing to do was to try the trick. The potato was in the grass by one of the tires and I got it up into the guts of the engine and with some effort got the hose Robbie had talked about jammed up into the skin. "Now watch this," I said, and I opened the van's door and got up inside.

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