Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Plea for Understanding

Tonto often contemplates the sense of isolation the elusive Bigfoot must endure. The reality, in which he lives, must be so harsh that he must dissociate himself from the rest of the world. I can only imagine that such isolation comes from a complex psychological disorder that is influencing the formation of his identity. Some think he went mad, because of a woman. Only this could explain the sense of oppression. Others believe it was a result of his childhood, leaving him vulnerable and emotionally destroyed. Whatever the causes, I truly think that my friend finds comfort in his isolation, yet strives for attention and love. He reaches out, only to hide when spotted.

Hocus Pocus

Tonto participates in a séance every Halloween, on the anniversary of the death of the great magician and escape artist, Harry Houdini. Never before had anybody successfully communicated with his spirit. But this year I believe the Worlds Greatest Mystifier tapped me on the shoulder, as a disconcerting updraft swept across the table, and spoke these words into my ear, “About that Underwater Handcuff Escape—the key was hidden in my rectum.” I was rather disappointed, though, when the lights came back on, because what I really wanted to see was some of that cool ectoplasm all over the place, yet there was none.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

No Fresco Here

It did not take Tonto long to become exasperated, assembling and arranging outlines of features to form composite images for the local constabulary. Yes, as much as this sketch artisan hates to admit it, times were a little hard and extra cash came easily helping the fuzz to identify suspects. Of course that was until an artistic dispute ended the matter. Only a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world, like myself, could bring out the true superb draughtsman ship, subtle lifelike color and deft paint handling which brought the suspects to life and revealed their true character. My boss, on the other hand, said he wanted me to use the established system and prepare a series of simple line drawings conforming to description of suspect, only. Humpf?!

It Makes Us or It Mars Us

Founding Director, Tonto Fielding, of the Shakespeare in the Desert Festival was saddened to announce that this year’s season was cancelled due to the escalation of violence by unnamed drug cartels near Los Ramones. According to published reports, at the opening performance, gunmen fired more than 1,000 bullets and flung six grenades at the stage just at the point when Othello was having a hard time trying to talk himself into killing the sleeping Desdemona. When asked about the decision, Tonto responded to reporters saying, “It’s a shame Los Ramones will be losing this great cultural asset, but hey it’s pretty clear that old Bill’s theme struck a resonate chord with the groundlings. What we had here was a manifestation of the theme that the difference between reputation and honor is the difference between appearance and reality. In fact I thought it quite perceptive of them to pick up on how Othello came to think that the devil was in Desdemona.”

“O thou weed,
Who art so lovely fair and smell'st so sweet
That the sense aches at thee, would thou hadst ne'er been born.”

Friday, October 29, 2010

To Do This is Within the Compass of Man's Wit

Tonto broke into new territory when he took the art of the clown out of ancient times; a time when he was given permission to, and was even expected, to represent the deviant side of human nature. I realized there was already too much of that about. And the Pope was doing a good enough job of that on his own, anyway. The fool’s errand had become an overpopulated pursuit. What the world needed was a trickster, similar to that of the traditions in mythology. This seemed amusing for awhile--until quite by accident, I stumbled upon the character of the professional subordinate, beset by giggles and clumsiness, enjoying in his own helplessness almost as much the indignation and incomprehension of his superiors. It was a bathos everyone could appreciate: the sensitive soul in the makeup of a fool. That was--until I realized that it would be impossible for Tonto to be the true voice of the people. By nature, I am too idiosyncratic. Freakishly so! I passed the thing on to my old buddy, Charlie. The unicycle thing wasn’t working out for him the way he had hoped, and was looking for a new trick.

I'm Up in the Spotlight, Ohh Does it Feel Right

There's no denying that falling for someone forbidden can be a buzz. I had fallen head over heels for Aiko, the daughter of Koji Kobayashi, the Japanese visionary industrialist who guided the NEC Corp toward computers and other high-tech products. The problem for me was that after our passion was unmasked, she was subsequently sequestered in the family penthouse fifty stories above any discernable access points. That Koji was one cagey kikuza, but he did not take into account the enormous size of my kintama’s. Only the cable, connecting our buildings, separated us. As it turned out though, the buzz I got from crossing that high wire trumped her sexiness. I then took this skill on the road, walking the wire between the tallest buildings in the world, while poor Aiko ended up a spinster taking care of dear old daddy in his old age.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ode To Nanook

There was a time when snow, tundra, and North,
The Arctic, and every frozen sight
To me did seem
Apparelled in auroral light,
The kayak and paddling forth.
It is not now as it was of yore;--
Drive the Caribou to where I may,
By night or day,
The herd that I had seen I now can see no more.

from your good buddy Tonto--Those were some goodtimes, Nanook.

Arrgh!!! That Hurts

In order to be the most authentic peg-legged pirate in last year’s Court Street Costume Contest, in Athens, Ohio, I enlisted the services of my good friend, Dr. Lewsome of Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Center for Reconstructive Joint Surgery, who owed me a rather large favor. Not long ago I had given his puckish nephew Lionel an alibi, in what could have been a delicate matter. The good doctor returned the favor by removing my left leg at the knee joint (not above or below) in an experimental procedure that would greatly improve the technique surgeon’s use for knee replacement surgery. I showed up at the party with a real peg-leg and came home with the blue ribbon. After reattaching the limb, Dr. Lewsome received accolades and a patent that would put Lionel through Cambridge. Just wait to see what I’ve dreamt up for this year. Halloween is serious business in Athens.

Point, Counterpoint, and Fusion.

The 1925 silent film, The Battleship Potemkin directed by Sergei Eisenstein, was named the greatest film of all time at the Brussels World's Fair in 1958. The film is composed of five episodes or parts, one of which has the famous scene where Tsarist soldiers massacre the Odessans. In the most famous scene, N. Poltavseva played the “Woman With Pince-nez shot on steps.” But few know that Tonto Fielding made his acting debut as “Baby in Baby Carriage,” as the carriage rolls down the steps amidst the fleeing crowd. Lost in the credits, was that the use of montage was actually dad’s idea. This slight omission put Eisenstein on the map. The bastard took credit and my father never spoke of it until just before his death when he confided to me it was also him who talked Trotsky into writing the introduction.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Hands of Time

During the age of Voltaire, a select group of master toy makers and clock makers set about designing several automatons that were almost perfect facsimiles of the original. At first they were solely used as sex toys for a number of Russian Czarinas, but through time they had adapted new technologies and with enhanced AI, had blended into society so well that it was virtually impossible to identify any of them. It was only through exhaustive investigative work, that Tonto was able to search out one these marvels. I could instantly tell, when he answered one of my questions, during the interrogation, with a hint of a colloquial dialect from eighteenth century Leipzig. Also it became quite clear that I was correct, when at the stroke of the seventh hour, a door in his chest opened and a small bird emerged chirping seven times.

Pirates? I Think Not

Not even the Strait of Malacca could keep me and my faithful K-9, Banshee (fully trained in the skills of biting, loud barking and reducing attackers to inoffensive positions in which she has the power), from the investment potential in Singapore. Tonto would go to any length to secure a casino license before his competitors, even if it meant sabotaging their on board security systems and sinking some of their yachts. I heard there was $5 billion on the line. That’s a lot of Alpo.

The World is a Stage

Oh, I was such a fool… to be perceived as nothing but the plain and idiotic numskull, instead of the daring political jester. The fine line between the two, often times, may seem a specter; the William Kemp instead of the Robert Armin. I love fools’ experiments; perhaps that is why I am always making them. So if the distinction is lost, I say play the bumbling, fat, immoral, boastful ass. It is so much more fun, in the end.

Riding the Proverbial Broomstick

In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum wrote an allegory or metaphor for the political, economic and social events of America of the 1890s. To many, the Wicked Witch of the West represented a "malign nature," and the difficult physical environment in which farmers on the Great Plains were trying to make their living. To others, she symbolized left-wing Populism. Yet Tonto recently discovered a journal, which Baum kept when working as a journalist and editor of a small newspaper in Aberdeen, South Dakota, that reveals the true story of how the witch actually represented the infamous cowgirl stripper, Kitty Gonzalez, who repeatedly rebuffing his sexual advances. Kitty filed a lawsuit against Baum and the club, The Great Dakota Bush Company, saying she was "humiliated and degraded by that sleazebag and his cronies." Baum fired back, “just wait till I expose you to infamy in my new book, you ‘witch.’”
And so the literary detective work of Tonto Fielding once again sheds light into the landscape of implied meaning, and perhaps, ironic suggestion.

Just a footnote…It was Kitty Gonzalez who introduced to the world several moves which would go on to become part of the modern stripper’s repertoire: the pole spin; the slow walk; the fast walk; the boob smoosh; the bend over and look at the crowd from between your own legs; the spread eagle; the spread eagle with added suggestive finger placement; and most importantly the spread eagle with added dry hump of the floor.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Vocational Training

Here I am after emerging from the cave in Nepal with Dharma Master AAkash Dhakwa. I was being instructed in the Bodhisattva Precepts in order to learn how to be truly stupid. Where does wisdom come from anyway? It comes from stupidity. If you weren't stupid, you couldn't become wise. If you know that you are stupid, that means that your wisdom is starting to manifest. The lengths I went to, to prepare for my next job as a Greyhound bus driver, was extraordinary indeed. In order to pass the written exam to become a driver, you actually have to score in the "below average" level. They don’t want their drivers to think too much when staying on the roads for twenty hour shifts.

Not So Famous Actors

During the one act play, “Omissions from the Gospel,” starring Mark Twain Impersonator Max Reznik, the actor opened the stage prop book and read, “The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice." When he paused for the laugh, none came. So he peeked over the top of the prop to heed his audience. He was greeted only by blank stares. Poor Max never realized that he was actually reading from G.K. Chesterton’s, “A Defense of Humilities.” It closed that night.

Singing Cowboys

Tonto’s side kick of long ago and many cattle drives (not to be mistaken for the time I spent as a gaucho in Argentina), Ragshag Jim, wrote the famous cowboy song, “Days of 49.” The verse I am indebted to went like this—

“There is Tattooed Tonto, the roaring man,
Who could out-roar a buffalo you bet.
He roared all day, he roared all night,
And I guess he's roaring yet.
One night Tonto fell in a washout hole,
'Twas a roaring bad design,
And in that hole Tonto roared out his soul
In the days of Forty - Nine.”

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chainsaw Art

My first attempt at chainsaw sculpture drew rave reviews not just from the judges at the Athens County Rib fest and Saw-Off, but from several animal behaviorists, who were in attendance, as well. My piece sparked the supposition that the origins of human language could lie in gestures, not words. They took this intellectual breakthrough back to the University and later postulated that it went beyond simple postures or walking patterns - they are movements of the hand, limbs and feet, specifically directed at another individual. This is when Tonto became a foot note in the annals of Darwinism.

Bigfoot in Literature

Tonto Fielding, literary detective, once again finds arcane clues to Bigfoot in literature.

“Alone!-that worn-out word,
So idly spoken, and so coldly heard;
Yet all that poets sing and grief hath known
Of hopes laid waste, knells in that word ALONE!”—Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton

Growl It!

Tonto remembers all too well how history can repeat itself. I could recount to you the horrifying tales, told to me by my great-great grandfather, about how he barely survived the East Coast/West Coast Coronet Band Wars of the 1890’s--most notably the renowned square off between the Oxford and St. George’s bands. Grandpa explained how many people believed that brass band music was just a glorification of violence. He on the other hand saw how band music was simply showing how horrible and inhumane life was in the new industrialized age. It expressed what was really happening out there. And then it escalated into conflict between West Coast and East Coast “wild” players with balloon lungs. Unfortunately, since only a few years had passed from the gun slinging days of the “wild, wild west,” the fighting became a vicious cycle that left hundreds dead in the streets. Sadly, life went on and many people in our growing country felt there was only one answer to problems like this: retaliation.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What Ever It Takes, They Say

The evangelical stratagem surfacing this year on college campuses across America goes by the anagram FUBARS (Fundamentalists Uniting Blasphemers And Rapture Seekers) for Christ. The impact, so far—undetermined.

Here we have Sissy and Melissa, the chief officers of the Ohio University branch of FUBARS for Christ, just before the stomach pumps.

Bigfoot in Literatue

Tonto Fielding, literary detective, once again finds arcane clues to Bigfoot in literature. “It was food and drink to me to look, and look, and look at that demigod; scanning, searching, noting: the quietness, the reserve, the noble gravity of his countenance; the simple honesty that expressed itself all over him; the sweet unconsciousness of his greatness…” --Mark Twain.

Sayonara Sucker

Since Tonto was already well versed in many crafts, such as carpentry, woodworking, tanning, molding and casting; yet was feeling the need to express myself through the art of sculpture, painting and drawing; it was only a natural step which led me to the ancient art of taxidermy. But first I had to find a worthy adversary for the hunt. This meant that I had no other choice but to find and kill the illusive Ultraseven, who no doubt would be inimical to seizure, yet not impossible since his Ultra Eye had melted after the Magma attack while trying to stop Alien Magma and the Giras brothers. Once I tracked him down to the island of Ostrov Urip, I used the fact that Ultraseven's head could be detached and used as a throwing weapon against him. The projectile was captured in a modified, collapsible and telescoping net (a polygonal tubular frame formed by bending a length of tubular stock so that it forms an opening having a perimeter with angular corners and the ends of the tubular stock meet, now referred to as the Tonto net)). Hence we have this beautiful mount, just before being placed above my fire place.

Stroke of Genius

Unfortunately, Tonto’s idea for his personal aeronautic transportation system, which I dubbed, “Mono-Copter,” did not reinvent the air and space industry as I had expected. Yet it was not a total loss of time, energy, and shear genius, because when I turned on the TV in the middle of a sleepless night, I had my “ah-ha”... moment. I was watching this Australian bloke selling some cheap plastic and Indonesian technology as the greatest invention since the dirigible. It was at this moment that Tonto turned misfortune into opportunity, and the Mono-Copter became the SALAD SHREDDER, for the low, low price of only $19.99.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

"Goths are not Vampires," Revealed to Tonto

One time when Tonto went for a Sunday hike through the Jostedalsbreen National Park, in the Sognefjord region of central Norway, he happened upon Varg Folkestad, former lead singer for the Norwegian death metal band, Dark Throne of Gorgoroth. We had a lovely conversation about how he was not now or ever had been a vampire. This was probably perpetuated by the myth that members of the Goth sub-culture who want you to believe that listening to his band, dressing in long black clothing, and being a fan of vampire movies and/or blood would make them full-fledged vampires. In fact Vargy explained that he was no longer a spokesman for atheism, antitheism, paganism and Satanism, but was now providing his fans an alternative religious expression, with what he referred to as, the “Scrolls of the Megilloth.” We parted company and when I returned home, put on one of my favorite records, “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas,” by Mayhem, thinking to myself, “what a putz.”

Honest Tonto, the Candidate

I can remember when I had decided to run for political office. Unfortunately I never made it past the first debate. My adversary caught me off guard when he asked if it was true that (A) I had ever attempted to bug the offices of my opponent at any time, (B) had ever been involved in a political sexual harassment suit,... (C) had ever been an anarchist who attempted to blow up a member of Congress by strapping explosives to my body and then ringing the doorbell, (D) had ever killed a man with blow dart, (E) had ever thrown a sporting event, particularly an Olympic fencing competition in which I had placed a large bet against myself, and (F) had ever been convicted of falsely inflating a company’s revenue and stock price in which I was associated. I was fully aware that the word scandal came from the Greek σκάνδαλον, and that this line of inquiry was nothing more than a metaphor for how improper conduct can impede or "trip" the public’s trust or faith in a candidate. But since I was running on the platform of “Honest Tonto,” I had no other choice but to say “yes” to all the above.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bond Villain Debate

As Bond Week approached, Tonto found himself in a debate with an acquaintance about who the best Bond Villain was. He insisted that it was Goldfinger. I, on the other hand, was insistent that it was Ian’s stark-staring mad uncle, Old Bill Fleming, whose evil plan was to convince the world that God is a sock.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The King of Rock and Roll

Bail could not come quick enough, after I had been tossed into a Sri Lankan jail for heckling their premier Elvis impersonator, Sanjeewa Gunawarden. Having partaken in several nips of Kasippu, the local hooch, I said something like, “Hey Elvis, you a Malayali, or what?” And then things got a little thorny when someone... mistakenly referred to me as an Australian. I'm only saying--the offense certainly did not warrant the accommodations.

Just a footnote here…to add that it was not all bleakness. The constabulary chef, “one eyed” Dinesh, known to the population simply as, Pete, prepared the Curry exactly as I preferred it: bloody hot and rancid. One thimble’s worth could excommunicate the unsteadfast more effectually than a one month’s fast.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tonto's Fastball

It was a momentous day when Silas Plummer was in attendance for my pitching debut with the Pocatalico Possums minor league baseball team, As it turned out, Silas was scouting for the High Andes League of Ecuador at the time, and it was after five impressive innings pitched that a decision was made which eventually put in Valle de Guamuez, where I would come face to face with the infamous femme fatale, Bonita Flores. What happened next may some day become a required read in military academies.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Those Bohemian Days

Margaret Thatcher had begged me to destroy the sketches and oils in which she was the model, from back in those eupeptic bohemian days. I can only remember how we would work through the night dosed with coffee, the recurrent illnesses, and how the lack of success, would always remain the central material of our vocatio...n. The real lives behind the story were considerably more sordid than they would ever appear on the canvas. Back then our friendship could never have been more optimistic nor so generous and unselfish. Because of this, I had to decline her request.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Harvard Cannonball Team

It was when I attended Harvard University that I started the short lived Men’s Cannonball Team. We were a group of audacious and foolhardy illuminati, bent on testing the limits of human endurance by being shot out of the cannon located on the Yard. My academic pursuits were cut short, though, after that fateful incident when the cannoneer’s aim was slightly off target and my corpus was propelled through the stained glass windows of the Chapel of St John the Evangelist. Needless to say, Mr. Choate was not pleased.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Bathroom Encounter

I was coaching my student and good friend Slim Whitman the art of yodeling, between recording sessions, when I needed to use the bathroom. While standing at the urinal, I heard a strange sound and perceived an acrid smell coming from one of the stalls. Upon inspection, I came upon Keith Richards lying on the floor with a pint of Rebel Yell in one hand and a Mary Jane in the other. A needle and syringe were hanging from his left forearm. I said, “Is every thing alright here mate?” His answer—“BRILLIANT!?!”

Monday, October 4, 2010

Some Very Important Definitions

Hillbilly is a term referring to people who dwell in rural, mountainous areas of the United States, primarily Appalachia and the Ozarks. Contrary to what some people think, not all hillbillies live in trailer parks; otherwise they would all be isolated from modern culture. Not all hillbillies eat road kill; many are actually farmers and hunt for their food. They don’t pick it off the side of the road. Also, all hillbillies don’t go around sodomizing people, just the ones who have been at the jug (so to speak). Hillbillies don't give a shit what city folk think of them. Their appearance and what you think of them is not high on their priority list. The Modern Hillbilly is a true bohemian who is not constricted by what the mainstream considers acceptable. They live by their own rules—baby!

Vampires are supposedly dead humans who maintain a kind of life by biting the necks of living humans and sucking their blood; their victims also become vampires after death. It is a sad fact, unfortunately, that many members of the Goth subculture who think that listening to Norwegian death metal, dressing in long black clothing, and being a fan of vampire movies and/or blood will make them a full-fledged vampire. Not so. A vampire is someone who drinks the blood of others, and are part of a great confederacy (which unfortunately is on the verge of ruin, due to the popular mainstream phenomenon known as 'Twilight').

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Episode 3: The Peasnap Uprising

The Hillbilly Vampire Chronicles 2
The Peasnap Uprising

by Tonto Fielding © 2010. All rights reserved.


The Bilderback Family Farm had become his new favorite smorgasbord, especially when he was in the mood for lamb. The Bilderback’s raised the finest animals in all of the state, with bloodlines of the finest merit and fed only the best hormone-free grains and whatever else it is they feed livestock.

Of course, Gideon thought that he also was the only vampire in the county. Winnie, the head of the COUNCIL that was killed by the Gideon’s troupe, led him to believe this. But then, Winnie had no idea of Mealy Peasnap’s existence. Hence, Gideon was unaware of what awaited him at the Bilderback Family Farm, when he started out on one of his midnight rambles.

Feuding is a part of any hillbilly’s DNA. They just can’t help it. Most folk-lore would have you think that it is cultural. But genes never lie. Mealy’s family most likely had passed onto him the Von Hipple-Lindau disease, which deposits a small orange adrenal gland atop each kidney that makes adrenalin and tiny little buggers called catecholamines. They cause high blood pressure, pounding headaches, heart palpitations, facial flushing, nausea and vomiting. It can also lead to “hair trigger” rage and violent outbursts.

This little hillbilly secret has led many a family on the West Virginia/Kentucky border to have feuds lasting back to the civil war: fighting over land and timber rights, hidden stills and meth labs. Just ask the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s—a dispute over the ownership of a pig in 1878 is still in question, though nobody talks about it, at least openly.

Even though Mealy Peasnap had never met Gideon Chickenstalker, or even knew who he was, he had concocted a storied history of hatred and vengeance toward the nemesis in his imagination. Unfortunately for him though, he couldn’t just ambush the intruding vampire (stab him twenty-six times, then shoot him in the back) like the McCoy’s did to poor Ellison Hatfield back in 1882. A vampire can not perish that easily and Mealy knew this. He would have to be clever and make it clear to the new kid on the block, that there wasn’t enough room for two vampires in these parts.

Gideon was lost in thought when he entered the Bilderback barn. Back when the COUNCIL of vampires attacked the trailer, they employed the same tactics as the Klingons. I thought that they would. This is how we were able to mount a successful defense. Yet this disturbs me. If I’m a vampire, then does this mean that I also will develop Klingon inclinations?

God, I hope not! I must make a mental note to be the first vampire with Federation tendencies. Although, if I start feeding on humans, does this not violate the prime directive: Starfleet’s General Order #1, that there can be no interference with the internal affairs of other civilizations? But this only applies to civilizations that have not yet developed the technology for space travel. Now, we did put a man on the moon. Surely this should qualify. But wait! I think the directive actually applies to those civilizations that are incapable of interstellar space flight. Damn it—I really enjoyed feeding on human blood that one time.

“Ah Ha!” Mealy squealed, as he appeared from behind a bale of hay.

The foreign voice scared Gideon and he stopped short. He turned around to see who or what it was. Being lost in thought, as he was, it took a moment to gain his bearings.
Mealy walked into view.

“So! My nemesis finally decides to show himself.”

“What? Who are you?” Gideon said.

“As if--you didn’t know. Thought you could just saunter into my barn and help yourself to all the blood you want, is that right?”

“You own this barn? Listen, I can explain—I thought my cat had strayed in her and—”

“You can stop right there. I’m not the owner. But I think you know who I really am,” Mealy said.

“I’m sorry but I really don’t,” Gideon answered.

“Ha! That’s a good one. OK, if you want to play it that way, it’s fine with me. So, I’ll just spell it out for you. This is my territory. See! And these animals here are mine to feed on, partner. You may as well find some other county to move to. Athens is old Mealy’s turf. So stay away,” he said.

“Did you say feed?”

“That’s right! I live off their blood.”

“Which would make you a--”

“Vampire! That’s right,” Mealy said.

“Wow—I didn’t know about you. I swear! The COUNCIL never told me about you. I thought I was the only vampire in the county,” Gideon explained.

“You mean you ain’t one of them?” Mealy retorted.

“Hell—they recently tried to kill me. They sent a whole group of them there city vampires down here to kill me and my two friends, but it was us that killed them in the end”

“So why are you feeding on animals then, if you don’t have to fear the COUNCIL anymore?”

“It’s a long story, but you can probably guess by my size that it’s really hard for me to hunt down humans.”

“Ah—that would make sense. You are pretty large there.”

“In fact, I only tasted human blood for the first time not too long ago. But I have a friend who is a vampire in Columbus. She is going to teach me about killing humans. But until then, I’m still feeding on barn animals,” Gideon said.

“Alright, I’ll take your word on that for the mean time.”

“So who are you, and why do you feed on animals also?”

“I can kill humans anytime I want, but I prefer to live off these critters, cause
I’ve been keeping a low profile,” Mealy said.

Mealy told Gideon about his upbringing in West Virginia and how he happened to end up in Athens County.

Gideon started to feel better about himself, as the conversation unfolded. Gideon had previously fallen for the rhetoric of Winnie, the head of the COUNCIL, who had referred to him many times as a hillbilly. But Mealy was the real deal. This guy could easily have been related to the previous tenants of Gideon’s trailer, who had moved out when they came into, what was a fortune for them, by winning fifty dollars in the Rolling Cash lottery payout.

Gideon told Mealy about his past also, along with an explanation of the friendship with his two mortal friends, Esther and Amos. In the end, Mealy’s showdown ended up becoming the start of a new friendship. Or at least he thought so at the time. They had so much in common that the night just flew past.

When Morfin Bilderback came to milk the cows early in the morning, Gideon and Mealy had to surreptitiously retreat from the barn. They had lost track of time.

“Listen, why don’t you come back to my trailer? Didn’t you say you were living way out in the woods or something like that?” Gideon said.

“Yeah, I did. I actually feel more comfortable out in the woods, surrounded by nature. But, sure, I’ll stop by for a visit. This Esther, I mean Ginger, sounds kinda interesting,” Mealy said. “I wouldn’t mind meeting her.”

“Oh, you’ll love her. She’s quite a character. But I have to warn you, that Amos can be the jealous type,” Gideon said.

“So tell me about this vampire friend of yours—the Mistress of Eternity. You say that men pay her to lash them with leather straps?” Mealy inquired as they headed back Gideon’s abode.

“Golly! Is that the God’s honest truth?”