Chapter 18 read by Aaron
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-So, ĀwhatÕre ya gonna do with him, Dad? He canÕt sing. He canÕt Ōtrip the light fantasticĶ. He canÕt even Ōshake his bootyĶ.
-DonÕt worry about it, Mike -My dad sure was a condescending prick sometimes-. I already know what IÕm going to do with him. ĀDid you expect less from the man who gave you the Museum of Misery and Hysteria? IÕm gonna have him eviscerated and served up as Matzo Ball Soup. It will be a fine addition to the museumÕs Misery Menu.
Dad sure was a brazen and seamy – as well as a condescending - little prick. Carly was more of a condescending little cunt. There was no denying the dad influence there.
-LetÕs go pry him open now -Dad said, sensing fear-. Just think: we could pry him open, eviscerate him, open the museum and hand out free Entrails oÕ Jackass to everyone.
Even Carly thought that extreme.
-He was a disagreeable maggot.
-LetÕs make him a dead, disagreeable maggot -I was my dadÕs son and my sisterÕs something.
-Wait until I tell your dead Uncle BasilÕs will all about this. IÕve been throwing salad at it, but tonight IÕm setting it on fire, and putting it out with ŌEntrails by TomĶ.
-ÁMr. Conway! -A sound was coming from the museumÕs front door-. Mr. Conway, IÕm Stanley, mundane and boring Stanley.
Stanley was not only mundane and boring, he was exceedingly trite and annoying.
I looked at Dad, like ŌGet rid of this jackassĶ. Dad looked at Carly, like ŌCarly, get rid of this assholeĶ. Carly looked at me, like ŌĀWhy are you staring like that?Ķ The three of us were incoherent and useless. But at least our Porsches were all being polished by a soon-to-be-eviscerated knighted cowboy.
We all turned and ran at Stanley like he was a human popsicle with headlights.
-ÁĀWhat the fuck?! -I was looking at an enormous coffin that stood where Stanley once stood. It had red letters that said ŌFuck... you... idiotsĶ ĀFuck you idiots? ÁThat bastard Stanley! It was Stanley and his type that made me pour coffee down my gullet like I was Arnold Schwarzenegger opening his wallet for payola-. ĀWho sent this shit?
-I donÕt know -Dad somehow knew the appropriate response. His usual, automated response was ŌĀWho the fuck cares?Ķ Ya gotta hand it to dad - the walking sack of shit could throw you a curve ball every once in a while. Anyone who opens a museum of misery and hysteria - on Fear Street no less - and moves his family into the basement - has got seriously brass balls.
It was a concept IÕd contemplated too many times: clanking DadÕs brass balls like those clickety-clack desk things from the 70Õs.
We pulled the coffin into the museum and opened it. It was full of corrugated paper llamas.
-I donÕt get it... -Carly was dumber than a lab rat-. I thought it would be something cool. I didnÕt think it would be a bunch of corrugated llamas. ThatÕs fucked-up.
-Usually IÕd say ŌShut the fuck up, CarlyĶ -Dad was insisting on being profound-. But I wouldÕve been leaving off ŌÁYou stupid cunt!Ķ -He said this and I thought even the paper llamas would start laughing.
We all continued breathing.
I was gonna ask Dad where he borrowed the brass to talk like that, but, hey, every dad knows they can beat-down their kids whenever and however they want.
So I lightened up.
Seriously, Āmaybe this was a casket for a ferocious man-eating styptic pencil? Or it might hold cold goo and human feces - DadÕs favorites. Or it could hold more purple charcoal, asbestos and baby seals.
Dad turned and kicked me in the balls. Everything went white.
-ĀWhat is this? -He was such a fucked-up cynic that he didnÕt know he was holding an envelope-. ĀFan mail from some fuckhead?
-ItÕs an envelope.
I was seeing white, but I knew that was Carly, and I also knew those were her last words and testaments.
But before Dad could kill Carly, or pummel her into compliance, a strange thing occurred.
Well, at least none of the old, ultra-violence.
-ItÕs a note from your dead Uncle BasilÕs will -Dad said solemnly.
-ĀWhat? -Carly and I had never learned when to shut up-. ĀHis freaking will is sending us notes? ĀWhat next? ĀItÕs gonna make our dentist appointments?
I saw dad raise his hand, but this time to the heavens, asking for help.
-ĀWhat does it say? -Carly asked.
I grabbed the envelope from Dad and opened it. And fuck me if I didnÕt get away with it.
-It says: ŌDear Barnaby Jones, Mannix and Kojak. I hope youÕre all still on television as the Spanish Armada is no longer up to its old tricks. I donÕt know if you all know this, but, my nephew and his family are the biggest jackasses this side of Manimal. I am not shitting you. ĀÁAre you fucking listening?!Ķ
Man, Uncle BasilÕs will was out of hand.
-ĀWhat are you reading and what are you thinking? -Carly said.
-HeÕs saying... -Dad was rugged when he wasnÕt thinking - or blitzed. ItÕs when he starts thinking that things get... well, salty-. I think heÕs saying that Sir Thomas was part of the Spanish Armada. Maybe heÕs really Sir Toms, or Sir Edmund Hillary, or C. Everett Koop. But, Āhow is any of this related to your dead Uncle BasilÕs will?
-ÁGwagghh! -I was somnambulant, bordering on coffee.
-ÁYes! -Dad agreed - with what I donÕt know-. ÁGwagghh!
-For fuckÕs sake, ĀwhatÕs ŌÁgwagghh!Ķ? -Carly asked.
-Wait, thereÕs some post-date: ŌMike, thereÕs a special prize in the coffin. ĀWhy donÕt you hop in?"
Carly tried to push me in.
ĀMore cold goo magics? ÁNooo!
Everyone fell asleep from lack of coffee. It was bad timing and totally inappropriate.
When we woke up, the coffin was gone. All that was left was a package. A bland, boring-ass package. It had apparently been propelled into the museum by accordion-playing marmots.
With a heart full of latent dumbness, I wrestled with the package, trying to get it open. But this package was tough. It had me in a choke-hold before I could say ŌĀWhat the FedEx is going on?Ķ
ÁThis was a package from hell!
I maneuvered out of its evil choke-hold, and slammed the package to the linoleum. It smashed into tiny Dalai Lamas.
And amidst the Dalai Lamas was a t-shirt. I picked it up. It was yellow with blue words on the front:
ŌMy uncle died and all I got from his will was a coffin filled with corrugated llamasĶ
And a fucking t-shirt.
-- back to Cab Driving --