The Secret Griefs of Wild, Unknown Men (18)

18.

Chinstrap roams the forest like an old camel, trudging and spitting, with odd eyes dancing back and forth, seeking whomever he may entertain. He stumbles upon an old filling station, which accompanies a single winding road. No cars are there.
“Hmm”, he hmms, “I wonder what wonders lurk inside of such an establishment.”
And with that, he enters. Seeing no one, Chinstrap rings the bell on the counter, hoping for a friendly face to emerge from underneath. Perhaps even an attractive female for him to smooch upon in the moonlight! No. No, his wife wouldn’t like that, wherever she was. Chinstrap rang the bell again, which seemed to ring with a harshness that implied that the bell itself was annoyed to be handled more than once. He and the bell eyed each other like old adversaries.
“Fucking Bell”, Chinstrap voiced with disdain, “I shall ring you again at my whimsey, though the situation permits it not, to prove the more dominant participant in this debate of etiquette.” And with gusto, Chinstrap slapped the little golden bell on the top of its head as if disciplining a child. The bell screamed out in humiliation.
“Quit ringin’ the fuckin’ bell!” A voice rang out from a room behind the counter, “I heard you the first time!”
“Then I pray you, please, without quarrel or delay, make your motions to yonder counter top to discuss with yours truly the happenings of the day and, perhaps, answer a query or two as to whether or not a man, such as yourself, is privy to the goings on in a wicked wood such as this.”

A squat, quarrelsome-looking, badger of a man emerged from the rear room. “The fuck you just say?” he squawked like an old crow.

“Would you like to hear a story?” Chinstrap inquired, eyes gleaming.
“Absolutely not,” the badger man replied.
“My Gracious, Sir! My nature hath betrayed my intent, for if I’d presented it correctly, you’d never have rejected what was offered. I’ll reposition” Chinstrap repositioned. “My dear mud skipper, would you not only indulge the lowest aspects of myself, but the divine in yourself by allowing me the pleasure of presenting to you the gift of a performance so awe-inspiring and grand, that it cannot be denied?”

A silence.

“Sure, if you buy somethin'” The badger man chortled.

“Superb!” Chinstrap cheered, “I’ll take a Chick-O-Stick and a pack of Good N’ Plenty.”

 

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