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80 Years Ago

Archives 06-14-2000

North County Lines by Bob

An Award Winning Column

For comments or questions contact Bob at bobncl@hotmail.com



On the way into town from where he touched down, a vehicle pulled up beside him. "Hop in," the driver said. "It's too hot to be walking. You could fry eggs on the pavement."

"Fry eggs on the pavement," he said. "Fry eggs on the pavement."

He watched the driver shift gears. "What type of vehicle is this?" he asked.

"A Ford," the driver answered.

"Ford," he said. "Ford."

"That's right," the driver said, "a Ford. You got a problem with that?"

"No problem," he said. "What makes Ford go?"

"Gas," the driver replied.

"Please," he said, "be more specific."

"Are you pulling my leg?" the driver asked.

"I am not pulling anything," he said. "Want to know what makes Ford go."

"Rods," the driver said, "attached to pistons inside cylinders. Is that specific enough?"

"Yes," he said, "now I understand. Ford is propelled by internal combustion engine. We no longer use those where I am from."

"Where's that," the driver asked, "Mars?"

"Much farther than that," he said.

The driver laughed. "Just my luck, try doing a good deed and I end up talking to a nut case."

"Nut case," he said. "Nut case."

When they reached town, the driver swung into a parking place.

"Time to get out, buddy," the driver said. "Time to get out, buddy," he said. "Time to get out, buddy."

He looked at the vehicles parked around the square. "Fords," he said. "Fords."

He followed a line of people into a building, up the stairs, and into a room. He sat beside a female with blond hair and watched what was happening up front. Must be a theatrical production, he thought.

Turning to the blonde, he said, "Where are we?"

"In a courtroom, silly," she said. "Hi, I'm Thelma, my nickname is Blanch, but my friends call me Midge. What's your name?" "Buddy," he said.

"Buddy." "Nice to meet cha," Midge said.

"Nice to meet cha," he said.

"Nice to meet cha."

"What kind of charge you here on?" Midge asked.

"I don't understand," he said.

"Why are you in court?" Midge said. "What'd the cops charge you with?"

"Nothing," he said. "I am here to observe your species."

Midge arched her back and popped her gum.

"We'll have none of that in here," the Judge said.

"That man sounds angry," he said.

"He'll get over it," Midge said. "Get over it," he said.

"Get over it."

He observed the action up front. "Who are the ones who talk but don't listen with the strips of cloth knotted around their necks?"

"They're lawyers," Midge said.

"What do they do?" he asked.

"Not much," Midge said. "But they get paid a lot."

"A similar kind once inhabited where I am from. But they disappeared."

"How'd that happen?" Midge asked.

"They were prohibited from breeding."

"You're cute," Midge said. "Let's go to a bar and get a few beers when I'm done here."

"How will we go?" he asked.

"Drive," Midge said. "How else?"

"I don't have Ford," he said.

"That's okay," Midge said. "We'll take my Toyota."

"Toyota," he said. "Toyota."

On the way to the bar, he studied the Earth woman. Only two eyes and one nose. Not as beautiful as the females back home. But he could get past that with enough spurkles in him. He wondered if the beer Midge spoke of was anything like spurkle.

When they walked into the bar, he saw an electronic device with a slot for depositing some type of cylindrical objects. Music and a voice singing about somewhere called Dixie blared out of the device.

"What is that sound?" he asked. Midge said, "That's Hank Williams." "I like Hank Williams," he said.

The electronic device switched to another song. The sound reminded him of the howl of the meezlemert, a carrion eater that had to be muzzled during mating season.

"What is that sound?" he asked.

"That's Wynnona Judd," Midge said.

"I don't like Wynnona Judd," he said.

He sat next to Midge on a bar stool. The barmaid walked over to take their order.

"Hi," he said.

"Glad to meet cha." "Glad to meet you too," the barmaid said. "What'll it be?"

"A pitcher of Bud," Midge said.

"A pitcher of Bud," he said. "A pitcher of Bud."

The barmaid placed three pitchers of Bud on the bar. "Want to run a tab or pay for it now?"

Pay, he'd almost forgotten.

He pulled out a wallet, opened a compartment marked Earth-USA, removed five $100 bills, and handed them to the barmaid. "Keep one for yourself," he said, "and keep pitchers of Bud coming."

When he regained consciousness the following afternoon, he heard Midge screaming, "Where are we? Where are we?"

He looked around. They were in his room on his planet. The howls of meezlemerts must have frightened her, he thought. Almost mating season.

He removed a bottle of spurkle from a drawer beside the bed and handed it to Midge. "Sip this," he said. "You will feel better."

Midge gulped a big swig. She felt herself drifting away on a cloud of angel feathers. "I think I'm going to like it here," she said.

"Do not feel out of place when you meet my mother and sisters," he said.

"Why would I?" Midge asked.

"You will see," he said. "You will see."

Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
fax 931.823.6486

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