Breakdown Lane

by Dianne McKnight-Warren

I'm on my way to work the Saturday night dinner shift at Slug's and, like that's not bad enough, I have a flat on the interstate. Then to make matters possibly much worse a big guy with a bald head walks up out of nowhere, says he's starting a campaign to spray Viet Cong troups with immobilizing glue.

"We already have the tanks. We can fill them with glue," he says and hands me a piece of paper. "CAPTURE DON' T KILL" is scrawled in bold black letters across the top. He bends down and picks up the lug wrench. His finger traces the edge of the circle lightly like it's the rim of a glass he wants to make sing.

He says he's reading my mind, that he can do that. "Will you sign my petition?" His eyes are on bright, high beam. I'm thinking this guy could definitely be crazy enough to get his way by breaking things, like maybe my head, but I know I better think something else quick just in case.

I imagine a pile of soldiers alive and laughing like they're playing Twister, except for the glue.

"Sure," I say but not just because of the lug wrench.