Hey Sis – It’s 5:28 AM and purty (like mom used to say) damn quiet here so I thought I’d take advantage of nobody being on the computer.

Here’s something you need to tell Carl. He’ll love this, lemme tell you. Anyway, I’m trying to bust loose a high-pressure line coming off the diverter valve on one of my vac trucks. It’s all rusted in and I’ve squirted the shit out of it with WD-40 and put a 2-foot piece of pipe on my adjustable to get more torque and it’s still not breaking. Bitch. I look up from my misery and see Normal standing there watching me. He’s got an N95 on and ear buds taped to his ears, and this surprised look in his eyes. Like he just sharted. Ask FC if he remembers Normal. Remember Normal, Carl?

Norman “Normal” Witkowski. We call him Normal because he is about the furthest thing you could imagine from ‘normal’. Besides, it literally IS his name. Almost. There was a masking tape headband covering his ear holes and going all around his head. Blue, so it would match his mask, I suppose.

“They won’t stay in my ear holes.” He said, pointing to his ears.

 “Ear holes.” Fuckin’ a. And you know that voice people have when they talk when they have headphones on and they have to speak over the volume of what they are listening to? They talk to you and it sounds like when deaf people, or people who are mostly deaf talk. They can’t hear their own words. Unbelievable. Annoying.

I grinned at him and said, “Go ahead. Enjoy the shingles rash you gonna get from the tape on your forehead.”

He pulled his earphones out and said “Whad’d ya say?”

“I said ‘What are you listening to, Normy?’”

“A voicemail. From this really hot chick I’m hookin’ up with from Tinder.”

“Tinder? Are you shittin’ me? That’s a great plan, Normal. Let’s go bone somebody we talk to online. What could go wrong there? D’ja ever hear of the clap or syph?” I said. “Or maybe she’ll have a boyfriend named Lupe who would like nothing better than to cap your ass. And what about the ‘Rona?”

“You worry too much Mace. Doc Fauci cleared Tinder for the Covid 19 thing. I seen it on Snap-chat.” He said, then quoting Fauci, ‘If you’re looking for a friend, sit in a room and put a mask on.’ He went on. “And you know, chat a bit. And if you want to go a little bit more, he said, well, then that’s your choice. My choice. It’s all about acceptable risk. And this chick is acceptable to me.”

He put his buds back in and adjusted the tape and his mask.

WTF. So now it’s your choice to take the ‘Rona risk with some hottie on Tinder but I can’t go and sit at the bar and have a burger? That’s a risk me and a million other guys would be willing to take. Especially the folks selling the beer and burgers. And this is from the Doc who said we should never shake hands again? What happened to that?

Took me another 20 minutes to break that line. Honest to God, every day things just get more and more fucked up.  Fucked am I,


PS – I Skyped Uncle Scott the other night. It took a country minute to get him on video but it finally worked. Not that I was glad it did. He looked like shit. He was sitting in that big old tan Lazy Boy he’s had for fuckin’ ever. I could see about 4 or 5 empty long necks on the side table and his ashtray, which was actually a foil tin from one of those Swanson pot-pies he eats all the time was full to overflowing with stubbed out Winston’s. We loved to watch him blow smoke rings when we were kids, and try to put our fingers in them before they would fade away, remember?

 So, I asked him, “What’s up Unc?”

“Not a thing, Short Stuff. I was social distancing before it was cool. Don’t mean a thing. I’m just sitting around working on my blood clot.” He’s always that way, funny, but kind of scary too.

“You workin’?”

He had a beard (which I never saw on him before), and his greasy grey hair that was always combed back on the sides into a 50’s DA was, well, gone.  I always thought the Duck’s Ass was kind of cool but this was kind of cool, too. He looked a little bit like Bruce Willis.

“Yeah I’m workin’. Wrenchin’ nights for Veolia. It’s a cluster. Speaking of cluster, what happened to the ol’ DA?”

He coughed a loose phlegmy cough that kinda sounded like he had the virus already. “Yeah, check it out. Me and Bruce Willis.”

Now, that is the kind of shit’s amazing to me. Didn’t I just say he looked like Bruce? And here he was saying it too. What do you call that? Fuckin’ weird. That’s what you call it.

“I was just screwing around with the hair cutting attachments that came with the Norelco. Trying to trim my hair. Got a bit carried away.” He was laughing. I’m about ready to try that micelf.

“Working on my blood clot.”  That’s some funny shit. I can really see where Rat got some of his nuts-ness.

I’m falling asleep here. I better get going before the sun comes up and ruins my moon tan.



Author: hsderkin

H. Scott Derkin lives with his wife and a scruffy miniature poodle mix on the banks of a river in NW Michigan. By not taking into account his shortcomings, his wife has managed to stay with him for over half a century.