Rat’s Ass


Hey Cuz, I looked at the date and decided it was a sign to check you out. Getting any, Rat? Better believe it! Actually, I don’t know if you are still referred to as Rat, or if you have gone back with the old original Christian name, Rathbone. Not that you are a Christian. Or have to be.

Sis used to call you Boner, remember?

So, what is happening out on the prairie? How’s the hydroponic weed business? It’s legal here. And guess what? Even though you can’t eat at a restaurant or go to your favorite mosque, temple, church or ashram due to all these Chinese virus rules, the pot stores are considered essential business. Medical and rec. Liquor stores too.  Don’t try to buy a can of paint though. Or a grow-light. You can’t get a hernia fixed but you can get an abortion. Well, not you, but you know what I mean. Does any of this make sense?

Of course, you don’t have anything like that where you are in South Dakota. Just a bunch of cowboys frackin’ the shit out of The Badlands, smoking that chronic shit you grow. I think I told you about my pal Ike that I work with. He kind of reminds me of you, except he’s Black and he never got his picture in the paper for being in possession of a kilo of weed and 15 grams of mushrooms. Ha ha. I’ll never forget that. That picture was right out of central casting for a loser dope dealer in one of those Scared Straight movies. Hilarious. You lucked out there, Rat. Never actually went to regular prison on that case, did you? I remember writing to you at some sort of detention center. That had to be better than Jackson, right? And also, Ike is not paranoid like you are, not that I don’t think people aren’t out to get you. In your line of work things get pretty dicey sometimes, I bet.

He came in the other day with his precious “I Like Ike” button pinned on his Carhartt. It’s from the 50’s. I guess his dad was about the only black Republican at Chevrolet and Ike was actually named for Dwight D. Eisenhour, 34thth president of the USA, nicknamed Ike. Not ‘Dwight’, or ‘Eisenhour’, which he could have been. I knew a lot of guys in high school had ‘Roosevelt’ or ‘Lincoln’ or ‘Jackson’ as their first name. ‘Ike’ was Eisenhour’s nickname. My man Ike is carrying on the family tradition.

I don’t do politics but I will admit that Ike comes up with some pretty bold shit.

“Do the math, Mace. Do the math. 535 times $174,000 a year equals $93,090,000. Plus all the other shit they get. We paying 535 members of Congress millions. And they don’t do shit. We paying Trump nothin’. That’s right. He don’t take his pay. Give it away. And he does everything. Got us working and makin’ more than ever, at least up to all this boo shit started.”

I kinda drifted off on him.

“You feel me, Mace?” he said.

“Yeah you oughta run for something.” I told him. “I’d vote your ass right into office.”

I like Ike.

But all I could think about was putting seals on that nasty roll off box. That’s a job I could do without. Not the worst though. Cleaning the tanks with MEK is the worst. You will get fucked up if you’re not careful. As in dead fucked up. Never go into a tank alone. Yeah. And have somebody spotting you on the outside, talking to you, making sure you all right. That’s where Clement got simple. How long exactly he was in the bottom of that tank nobody knows, but we were 15 minutes into lunch before somebody missed him.

And Clem was never late for lunch. He came around pretty quick after we got him out, but later that afternoon he’d begun to stare off in the corner of the room like he was waiting for someone. He couldn’t focus on anything. Can’t have a dude like that around. He ended up working at a car wash, last I heard. But hell, I just read where a bunch of Costco people died with the ‘Rona. Ain’t that a bitch? At least Clem is still alive.

Who still ain’t got his stinkin’ $1220 stimulus check?

Yours truly.


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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.