Thursday, June 27, 2013
Wrapping Up the Story (for now)
(Because we can’t leave Manscape Mike and his story hanging)
Mike stared out his kitchen window, unbelieving. “What the furballing hell?”
It was big. It was orange. It had a door and two little shuttered windows. The top appeared removable, like a lid.
It was also, as Mike discovered when he cautiously approached it, made of fiberglass.
He circled the structure warily, shaking his head. There were no wheels or drag marks. “How the hell did you get here?” he asked it. After all, eight-foot-high fiberglass pumpkins didn’t just wander into a dude’s back yard.
The door intrigued him. He tried the knob. The door opened. Inside the pumpkin was a little round room, bare but fairly clean except for snatches of graffiti scrawled on its painted walls. The messages were of the “Beth + Tommy 4ever” and “Spud wuz here ‘98” variety.
The longer he stared, the more the room beckoned to him. It was like the world’s smallest apartment, or the world’s biggest pet carrier.
Or a cardboard box with windows.
The cat in him had to explore.
He ducked through the doorway and stepped inside. He slid his hand over the smooth walls and his bare feet over the floor. Oh, this was fine. He could bring a six-pack and a tablet in here and watch TV, or just roll around on the floor or rub his furry cat body up against the walls or—
“Holy Joe, Mike! Where did you get this? When did you get this?”
Mike started, and nearly banged his head on the pumpkin house’s curved ceiling. “Barbie.”
“Hi. Yeah, I know, no warning, but I was out for a jog and I thought I saw orange … is this a pumpkin?”
“A fake one. Somebody must have heard I was looking for giant squash and decided to play a joke on me. I don’t know where it came from. I just woke up and here it was.”
Barbie caressed the pumpkin’s outer shell. “It’s so cute.”
So was Barbie, for a human. Mike was amazed he’d never noticed that before. “Would you like to come inside?”
She didn’t hesitate. Not even for a second. Mike debated whether he should offer her coffee and decided to wait until later.
# # #
Though Mike didn’t know it, his guess was correct. Word of his search for giant vegetables had reached the drinking crowd at Dante’s. A pack of bored coyotes, bored no longer, watched from two yards over. They elbowed each other and snickered, especially when the noises started.
# # #
“Pablo, man,” Hoover leaned on the counter of the Rocky Top Motel. “What’s happening?”
“Dude, you won’t believe this,” Pablo said. “Somebody got onto the miniature golf course last night and heisted the big pumpkin from the fourteenth hole.”
“For real? What the hell would anybody want with a giant pumpkin?”
“Giant pies? Maybe we should check if there’s been a run on whipped cream.” He added in a whisper, “I’m betting on aliens.”
“I’m telling you, man, this is a weird area. When ET phones home for your butt probe, don’t come crying to me.”
“Don’t you have cars to park?”
Pablo snorted and returned to the parking lot. Hoover thought it over and decided the perpetrators had to be frat boys or coyotes. He hadn’t scented any aliens coming off the highway exit. Yet. He and his sensitive nose returned to work.