Memoir 2.3

by Larry Strattner

Coffee comes in KCups, breakfast is a Mocha bar, some girls are boys, gas is five dollars a gallon, you can't fight five wars at the same time.  His note said, Succinct. He left out his views on the cost of ammo. He didn't think many readers of his Memoirs would care.

Engine idling sounds caused him to peek out his front window. No one idles an engine any more. It screws up gas mileage. These days it's balls to the wall, or light up the brakes cherry red. Katy bar the door. Either full bore or screaming stop. No in-between. Idling engines signal a tweaker, someone stopping for an inappropriate quickie or a pervert doing whatever they do.

Old people got high gas mileage because they drove slowly. He'd heard talk about taking away old people's driving rights for creating a public menace. What's wrong with this picture, he thought? Only old people obey the speed limit. They should take away everyone else's driver's license. He made a note: simple solution.

Sure enough, as he peeped through the front curtain, a big green monstrosity with a pointed front, looking like a Martian with a ducktail hairdo backing up, crept down the street. Twelve guys in helmets scuttled along behind the Martian.

TrĂ©s weird, he made a note to add it to his Memoirs. He wrote,“The Day of the Ducktail Dingleberries.” Then added, “shitty gas mileage,” noting, “Gas has gotten so expensive the rats are carpooling in from the waterfront.” He shoved his three fifty seven down the back of his pants, felt its muzzle snuggle in against his left glute and stepped out the front door to watch the procession bump and grind past.

They were heading for the Horribles' house. On his horseshit scale that house smelled worse than the Anarchists' who, despite their name just walked around yelling and carrying signs. At least so far.

He leaned to the conservative. This did not include anti-abortion anti-government or anti-gay, maybe he was a reincarnated, fallen-way Quaker. He had meant to ask his neighbor Sylvia about this. She claimed to be psychic but she died. He wondered if she had seen that one coming.

He was tempted  toward his front yard to get a better look at the fun, but hung back in the doorjamb to avoid stray bullets. One promptly thwacked into something nearby. Too close for comfort, like the outcome of most of his bad decisions. He wrote, lots of bad decisions. Like most other people in this respect.

The duck-tailed Martian turned onto the flower bordered walk leading up to the Horrible house. Huge tires under the duck-tail flattened the flowers and the machine plowed through the front of the building without knocking. There were shouts and cascades of gunshots. So many guns around, he thought and so few brains. Horribles poured out the back door, deserting the sinking ship and dispersing over hedges and fences. Cheers came from adjacent houses. This would make an upbeat chapter.

Duck-tail first, the breaching vehicle emerged through the back wall, still at idle speed, made a U turn and came back through, out the front, the helmet dweebles in lock-step behind. To be good at fighting you have to fight a lot and the dweebles seemed to have done more than the Horribles. It sounded as if the Horribles who stayed to fight were losing. He wondered, if ignorance is in fact bliss, why weren't the Horribles more uniformly good natured? No doubt the neighborhood would be more benign without them.

 Unearthly quiet reigned down at the Anarchist's house on the other end of the block. They were probably all cowering in their cellar. He missed the Girl Scout. He was almost out of cookies.

The fight seemed over; he laughed in appreciation, like he would at a Jordanian wedding and fired his three fifty seven in the air, once. Three fifty seven ammo cost a dollar forty a shot. You better really like the bride and groom before you shoot a full clip into the sky, even at a Jordanian wedding. He made a note to put this in his Memoirs. In a few years a bullet would probably be two dollars eighty. It would give his Memoirs some historical context and maybe Wow Factor.

As the Martian crept past his house again he realized on top of the duck-tail was a Christmas tree with some presents scattered around its base. Most of the ornaments seemed to still be hanging from the branches. The first five or six dweebles  were trailing strings of lights and tinsel. He had forgotten it would be Christmas in two days. He looked for any traces of Santa but saw none. The Horribles had gotten coal stuck up their butts.  

His Memoir was getting crowded with bullshit. Writing was not as easy as he had envisioned. Most lives have a boatload of stupid stuff in them. He had read Tom Cruise's Memoirs and found them boring. No need to go overboard, he thought. Keep it short, like Tom. He'd noticed a new book was coming out this year with a portion devoted to Tom.  Maybe it would provide some answers.

His 2.3 Memoirs were revealing a crazy world beyond, in no way his fault. Perhaps the San Andreas fault? He looked down his street again, hoping he'd see the Girl Scout.