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The following story comes from ADVENTURES WITH WAYNE by Writer Ray
# 15 The
"Wait up," Wayne called, "I need a ride."
My heart shriveled to the size of a stunted Hazelnut as Wayne opened the passenger door of my brand new $38,000.00 pickup. The speedometer only showed three miles, the passenger seat was yet to be used, and Wayne is Wayne.
Bathing is a spring and fall occurrence for Wayne - sometimes. I sighed, realizing he was going to get in. His jeans were mud to the pockets, his jacket the same plumb to the elbows. He looked like hed been wallowing in a pig pen.
Wayne is my best friend but the temptation to drive away was strong as he opened the door wider so Buster could get in. Buster came to town about three months ago. Hes been a big help to Wayne in that he provides a more sustainable diet than Wayne used to enjoy. Wayne eats chicken regularly, which is a good deal for Buster too, because Wayne skins the chickens Buster brings home so Busters teeth arent full of feathers like in the old days. I think Buster decided to stay in town because we have garbage cans, which are easier to get into than dumpsters. Wayne adopted Buster, and they make a good pair, almost as if they are meant for each other.
They look alike. Bushy eyebrows, scraggly, different length hair on their chins, and unruly hair growing in their ears. They even smell a lot alike when it rains. Its a match made in heaven for Buster is better at stealing chickens and Wayne is teaching Buster tricks such as throw and fetch games which they both seem to love.
Wayne was muddy but it had rained for two days, but when Buster eagerly leaped from the floor to the seat I realized he was muddy also. Additionally, he had pieces of chicken manure caught in his partial Wire Haired Terrier coat which added a certain ambiance.
Wayne slammed the door so hard it hurt my ears. "Where ya headed?"
"The Post Office," I answered as I wondered why the safety glass hadnt shattered from the sonic boom of Wayne closing he door.
"Ya got any dynomite?"
Apprehensively I looked into Waynes eyes, wondering if he thought he would need dynamite to re-open the door. His eyes looked the same as always, sort of vacant except for the spark of life common to eyes of chimpanzees everywhere.
"No," I reply, then ask, "What do you want with dynamite?"
"My springs run dry. Me and Buster been diggin it out but were down to bedrock. I figure dynomite will open it up so I have water again."
Tension drained from me like air from a balloon knowing he meant my new pickup no harm. Id only had it one day, hadnt made the first of forty eight monthly $400.00 payments yet. "Yeah, Wayne. Ive heard of people using dynamite to blow open a well or spring. Ive no idea where you might find dynamite in this town, though."
He settled back against the seat cushion, perhaps in an attempt to escape the odor Buster had just passed. Whatever he had eaten must have been dead for quite a while.
"This must be a used pickup huh?" Wayne asked, "It dont smell new."
Having difficulty breathing I failed to answer before he said, "Whoa up. Heres the Post Office."
The postal employee blanched as Wayne stared hard at her and asked, "What about dynomite?"
"Dynamite?" she quavered, her chalk white face devoid of everything except anticipated pending disaster. I wondered if she had recently fired an employee to be so nervous.
"Yeah. Dynomite. Ya got any?"
"Me? No... why would I.....Whatever do you think....." The churning of her mind allowed her voice to trail away into silence.
Wayne, being astute as any, understood the meaning of her broken phrases. "I heard you cant send explosives through the mail, so thought maybe you had some on hand people brought in. If you got any, I can take it off your hands."
A slight rosy tint returned to her fingers as she relaxed her grip on the counter. I thought to myself, "If a little color comes back to her face I think shell be okay," but Buster scented the air again and she turned a really awful shade of green.
As we drove away I saw her jot down my license plate number as she dialed the phone. Probably to call the cops, I thought.
As we drove away Wayne commented, "The Post Office smells a little like a used pickup."
We rode in silence except for a threatening rumble from Busters mid section. I rolled my window down and leaned to the left.
"Maybe I got enough," Wayne suggested.
"You have some dynamite?"
"One stick. Ive been saving it for going fishin but I now need water more than fish. Do ya think one stick is enough?"
"It might be. Could I drop you somewhere? I need to get home."
"Nope. Im done with town. Take me and Buster home, would ya?"
"Sure, but I cant stay."
"You aint afraid of explosives, are you?"
"Me? Afraid? Of course not. I only want to check the warranty on my pickup."
"Warranties aint no good. Park over there by that pile of dirt me and Buster dug up."
Figuring a hundred feet was close enough I turned off the ignition and set the brake. Wayne and Buster bailed out while I went to look at the hole. It was a nice hole, sort of round, about eight feet deep, solid rock in the bottom.
Wayne came back from his packing crate/used pallet lean-to carrying a tattered stick of dynamite. Nitroglycerine oozed as drops larger than those popping into the open on my forehead. "Good Grief, Wayne, dont you know old dynamite is dangerous. It can blow at any small bump."
"I think thats a story put out by conservationists to keep construction workers from building a bunch of new roads."
Despite a cautious retreat I could see the fuse was shorter than the tag end of a shoe lace. "Thats a pretty short fuse, Wayne. Do you think you can light it, drop it in the hole, and run away without getting hurt?"
"Nope. Im gonna let you light it while I hold it like this so I can throw it at once." He held his arm back as if to throw a ball.
"Can you throw it that well that you will hit the hole?"
"I been shootin hoops down to the park."
Being scared almost caused me to forget the sheriff might be looking for us even as we spoke. I hoped hed show up before Waynes plan turned into action. "I dont have any matches, Wayne."
"I got some in a pocket somewhere. Here hold this."
He thrust the dangerous dynamite into my hand. I stared at it, wondering if the shaking of my hand would set it off. I looked around, hoping to see some way to escape.
I heard a match flare to life, as Wayne said, "I wouldnt hold it too long. Its got a pretty short fuse."
I realized and saw two things at the same time. The fuse was burning at a rapid rate and the sheriff had just parked beside my pickup.
I threw the stick with all my might. Missed the hole by ten feet. Buster thought it was a fetch the stick game. After it he went, grinning from ear to ear.
I followed Waynes example. Buster never understood the barrage of gravel, clods, pocket change, anything we found to throw. He dodged and ducked, faithfully trying to return the stick. Sparks from the ever shorter fuse made him repeatedly blink one eye. I could see the end of the fuse and his arrival at our feet would be a tie.
I shouted to the sheriff, "Shoot him. Shoot him!" It confused the sheriff. He half drew his service revolver, glanced from me to Wayne. The postal employee had told him Wayne was dangerous and I was shouting for him to shoot. Hesitation was his ultimate downfall.
Buster must have felt bad to see humans friends try to drive him away for playing the fetch game so well. The only good thing was, he didnt feel bad for long.
To my dismay, Buster headed for my pickup for protection. I screamed desperately, "Shoot him," realized the sheriff was frozen with uncertainty. I ran his direction hoping to use his pistol on Buster. The poor sheriff was faced with a reportedly dangerous character, whose buddy was now charging his way with a wild look in his eyes. He put out a beefy hand to halt my advance, took two steps backward, stumbled, began to fall.
Noise of the dynamite exploding was the first clue people in town had that something was amiss. It probably made them even more attentive to hear my pickup disintegrate ten feet off the ground. The sheriffs car was a minor explosion but noticeable at least a mile away. Because of all the racket no one is sure when the sheriff squeezed the trigger of his revolver, and shot himself in the leg. The blast of dynamite opened a hole in the ground the size of a two-holer outhouse. Water geysered forty feet into the air.
My lawyer and insurance agent assure me Ill be totally cleared of all responsibility as soon as I buy the county a new car, finish making payments on my pickup, reimburse the county for the sheriffs lost wages and medical expenses, and cap Waynes brand new artesian well.. Wayne blames me for the loss of his dog.
Writer Ray - 2000
"That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I'm just the one to do it."
-- A congressional candidate in Texas
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