Cave man muffler job

Cave man muffler job

A few weeks back we were on the way home and the muffler fell off the car. It decided to hang on by the barest of thread and so it dragged all the way home and made a hell of a racket.

I consider myself a do-it-yourself guy. Sort of like a modern day cave man: Even if I can’t do it well, shouldn’t do it; been warned not to do it, I’m doing it. So I got on-line found the parts locally: Muffler and tail-pipe turn down piece and after nearly having to take a nitro over the price I looked on Amazon, where I buy everything, and found the same parts for less than a third of the local discount auto bargain fix-it-yourself guys price. I determined that since I have Prime and free shipping I could get the parts in two days and so I ordered them.

The parts came after much finger clicking and tapping and cat petting (I didn’t have to pet the cat the cat just wanted to be petted). I spent two hours on a piece of cardboard from a shipping box wrestling the parts into submission. Ye-Haw, I thought. I know, not very caveman like, but I am not sure exactly what a caveman would say since they didn’t have Chevy’s to work on. I believe back then all they had was Fords.

 

Mom drove the car into town… Well toward town… She made it a mile and then I heard one hell of a racket out front. I was in the back in my office. It sounded like someone started a lawn mower: One of those old ones that the muffler had rotted off of. Well, I was half right, it did have something to do with mufflers. Curiosity lead me to the front of the house where mom informed me the muffler had fallen off.

If you are a caveman you do not believe in this. Things you fix stay fixed. Bears sleep through winter. Naked bodies should have hair on them… So, I refused to believe this. I went outside and looked under the car and sure enough the muffler had fallen off. Impossible I said, yet there was the evidence in front of me. A new muffler all scraped up from being dragged home by the tailpipe hanger.

This is the part where I said some cuss words we have all never used and then I got out my trusty cardboard and crawled back under the car. Hmmm, I said. And hmmm again, and then I looked forward to see why the muffler had fallen off as it was obvious the muffler had been torn loose as the clamp was still attached. That was when I noticed that the entire exhaust was on the ground. All of it… All the way to the front of the car at the catalytic convertor.

They pay almost $550.00 scrap for a junk car now and I thought, well, ol’ Chevy you are dead meat. I had visions of Breaking Bad and Walter and Jessie crushing up the Bounder.

Sigh. But then I went back on-line, skipped the local’s this time and priced that front section of pipe to the header pipe. I assumed it was two pieces, maybe three. In the old days it would be, but it was all one piece. I found the same pipe, called the Resonator pipe because it has a built in resonator and a long pipe that joins to the catalytic converter and then extends to the wheel well and then all the way to the back of the car, for wide variances in the prices: From a few hundred to fifty bucks. I used a few more carefully chosen expletives having to do with things I use expletives for and then bought the pipe, a pair of ramps to drive the car up onto so my fat butt could crawl under the car, some clamps and some cat treats because the cat was right there and had seen the treats on my frequently ordered list and meowed. No stupid cat is my Houdini.

Yesterday I am editing a story and the last parts arrived and so I went out at noon and dragged out my now crumpled and smelly cardboard (It was rained on, and I think a neighborhood dog wizzed on it too) and went to work. Two things here: One; I am out of shape barely getting back on my feet, so I told myself I would go slowly, ha ha ha. Two, rotted, rusty pieces of metal are not having any happy thoughts at all, and this pipe system was no exception. I ended up having to cut the bolts off of the Catalytic converter where the resonator pipe joins to get it loose, that was after an hour of prep work, um, crawling around looking at this and that and wishing it would fall off. After I cut the pipe loose I realized there is a reason they do these things in a garage on a lift. How to get the pipe out? So I jacked one side of the car up and gained enough room to get the old pipe out and the new pipe in. I called that car so many names it turned from silver to red.

Anyway, in with the new pipe, back on with the muffler, all new hangers, bolts, clamps and voila a new system was in place. I went back into my cave with the other cave men and grunted with satisfaction. Tomorrow we are going hunting… er editing… Geo…



 

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Tragedy in the city A short story by Geo Dell

Tragedy in the city

A short story by Geo Dell

 

It was 5:00 PM Thursday night when Elsa’s phone rang in her Manhattan loft.

I am so unused to these cell phones, she thought as she picked the cell phone up. Imagine being able to be reached anywhere!

Elsa was used to the farm. She had just come to the big city. On the farm there was an old rotary phone in the barn that rang maybe once or twice a year. Never more than that. The big city had so much more than the farm had. It was amazing.

“Hello?” Elsa said as she picked up the phone and tried to hold it so she could both hear and be heard. She supposed regular users had no trouble with the things, but she was always uncertain whether she was being heard at all.

“Hello to you,” a pleasant male voice replied. “Elsa, I know you’re new in town and a few of us are getting together for a little celebration tonight and I thought to invite you.”

“Oh… My,” said Elsa. “I don’t know… Daddy said never to go anywhere with strangers…”

“Oh… I see… Well, Elsa, my name is Ron and I’m from your home town… The old McDonald farm?”

“Oh… That’s right… I remember hearing about that farm…  He had a duck, didn’t he?”

“Yes… He did… With a duck, duck here, and a duck, duck there…”

“Right… That’s the guy… I remember,” Elsa said happily.

“So, you see, Elsa, you do know me after all, so will you come to the party this evening? … After all you would be the main attraction,” Ron told her.

“Well, daddy did say it was perfectly alright to go somewhere with someone you know and I do have to get to know people… And the city… I’ll go,” Elsa decided.

It was 7:00 PM Thursday evening when Elsa the cow walked into the McDonalds restaurant. I’ll be fine now, thought Elsa the cow. The clown beside her began to laugh…

The End.


Check out Earth’s Survivors…

EARTH’S SURVIVORS

I-Tunes:

Book One: Apocalypse, free eBook. The end comes swiftly. Few will live, fewer still will survive

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/earths-survivors-apocalypse/id963866999?mt=11

Book Two: Rising From The Ashes: I-Tunes From L.A. To Manhattan lawlessness is the rule, eBook… https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/earths-survivors-rising-from/id595453162?mt=11

Book Three: The Nation #iTunes The Nation takes shape and the people who will build it #eBook #horror https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/earths-survivors-the-nation/id602902809?mt=11

Book Four: Home In The Valley. Building the first and most important settlement #Apocalypse https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/earths-survivors-home-in-valley/id1015548804?mt=11

Book Five: Plague #Undead Plague outlines the sudden rise of the dead across the country #eBooks https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/earths-survivors-plague/id1015630497?mt=11

Book Six: Watertown. A virus capable of raising the dead comes up missing at a top secret lab. #PAW

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/earths-survivors-watertown/id1086227131?mt=11

Book Seven: World Order. The final book. Will the Nation crumble or rise…? #Dystopian https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/earths-survivors-world-order/id1086393733?mt=11

EARTH’S SURVIVORS

Earth’s Survivors box set contains the entire Earth’s Survivors series in one volume. Get a FREE Preview right now!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/earths-survivors-box-set/id1154467599?mt=11



 

Walmart jokes and Zombie Plague links

Posted by Geo  07-21-17

Another weekend is here. I spent this past week working on a manuscript and taking care of guitar build updates.

I want to throw some congratulations to Andrea Scroggs. Her Graphic Novel, Invariant is doing well. She is working on another graphic story. Her artwork is as good as her writing and she knows how to bring both things together. Amazon: Invariant

The zombie Plagues books are doing very well.  https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/5280

What’s on the burner: I am working on a new novel right now. I have also completed one other novel, editing work for that one now. The fifth Zombie Plagues novel is now available on Nook too: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-zombie-plagues-geo-dell/1121785682

 

Free Books Today and tomorrow:

Guitar Works One for the Kindle on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Works-One-Finish-Work/dp/1502825678

Earth’s Survivors Life Stories: Jack & Maria: https://www.amazon.com/Earths-Survivors-Life-Stories-Maria-ebook/dp/B06XQFV63D

 

Writers and their websites:

Sotofo: http://www.sotofo.com/

Dell Sweet on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DellSweet

Geo Dell on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/George-Dell/e/B00T94K198

What else is going on: Summer is passing. It is hot here in northern New York but I’m sure back in the day the woolly mammoths thought it was warm enough too and then wham! They froze to death right in their fields… So, you know, maybe hit the winter coat aisle at Walmart before the prices go up…

Some absolute facts…

Absolute Fact:

Q: Who discovered America?

A: Richard Plambouise.

Huh? Richard was working at the local Walmart in 2011 when he was assigned to move some shelving during inventory. Behind the shelving he noticed a continent that had fallen from the shelf and lay dusty and disused. He recognized it for what it was, America.

Congratulations Richard Plambouise.

Absolute Fact:

Q: Is the Earth really round?

A: No.

Think about it, you’d fall off of it. The earth is flat. Been flat since I was a kid, I know ’cause I ran in my new sneakers, fast as hell and I didn’t fall of. The Earth is flat.

Absolute Fact:

Q: Is what mom feeds me actually good for me?

A: Yes.

Everything mom feeds you is good for you, now shut up and eat.

Absolute Fact:

Q: When a man loves a woman can he keep his mind on anything else?

A: No.

Just ask Percy Sledge who not only told us a man can not keep his mind on anything else, but that he would Sleep out in the rain if she says that’s the way it ought to be. Thanks Percy.

Absolute Fact:

Q: If my wife asks, should I tell her, Yes., her butt does look big?

A: Absolutely.

Relationships are built on respect, truth and honesty. Go ahead, tell her. You can even tell her I said to. In fact, Percy didn’t say otherwise either.

You can usually find myself or Dell on twitter throughout the day, Dell: @SweetDell or me, Geo: @GeorgeDell01

That is me for your Friday. I hope your weekend is good and the coming week is a good one for you. Check out the free books for the week and the websites. I’ll be back next Monday, Geo.

Mufflers, Chevy’s and Cave Men

A few weeks back we were on the way home and the muffler fell off the car. It decided to hang on by the barest of thread and so it dragged all the way home and made a hell of a racket.

I consider myself a do-it-yourself guy. Sort of like a modern day cave man: Even if I can’t do it well, shouldn’t do it; been warned not to do it, I’m doing it. So I got on-line found the parts locally: Muffler and tail-pipe turn down piece and after nearly having to take a nitro over the price I looked on Amazon, where I buy everything, and found the same parts for less than a third of the local discount auto bargain fix-it-yourself guys price. I determined that since I have Prime and free shipping I could get the parts in two days and so I ordered them.

The parts came after much finger clicking and tapping and cat petting (I didn’t have to pet the cat the cat just wanted to be petted). I spent two hours on a piece of cardboard from a shipping box wrestling the parts into submission. Ye-Haw, I thought. I know, not very caveman like, but I am not sure exactly what a caveman would say since they didn’t have Chevy’s to work on. I believe back then all they had was Fords.

Mom drove the car into town… Well toward town… She made it a mile and then I heard one hell of a racket out front. I was in the back in my office. It sounded like someone started a lawn mower: One of those old ones that the muffler had rotted off of. Well, I was half right, it did have something to do with mufflers. Curiosity lead me to the front of the house where mom informed me the muffler had fallen off.

If you are a caveman you do not believe in this. Things you fix stay fixed. Bears sleep through winter. Naked bodies should have hair on them… So, I refused to believe this. I went outside and looked under the car and sure enough the muffler had fallen off. Impossible I said, yet there was the evidence in front of me. A new muffler all scraped up from being dragged home by the tailpipe hanger.

This is the part where I said some cuss words we have all never used and then I got out my trusty cardboard and crawled back under the car. Hmmm, I said. And hmmm again, and then I looked forward to see why the muffler had fallen off as it was obvious the muffler had been torn loose as the clamp was still attached. That was when I noticed that the entire exhaust was on the ground. All of it… All the way to the front of the car at the catalytic convertor.

They pay almost $550.00 scrap for a junk car now and I thought, well, ol’ Chevy you are dead meat. I had visions of Breaking Bad and Walter and Jessie crushing up the Bounder. Sigh. But then I went back on-line, skipped the local’s this time and priced that front section of pipe to the header pipe. I assumed it was two pieces, maybe three. In the old days it would be, but it was all one piece. I found the same pipe, called the Resonator pipe because it has a built in resonator and a long pipe that joins to the catalytic converter and then extends to the wheel well and then all the way to the back of the car, for wide variances in the prices: From a few hundred to fifty bucks. I used a few more carefully chosen expletives having to do with things I use expletives for and then bought the pipe, a pair of ramps to drive the car up onto so my fat butt could crawl under the car, some clamps and some cat treats because the cat was right there and had seen the treats on my frequently ordered list and meowed. No stupid cat is my Houdini.

Yesterday I am editing a story and the last parts arrived and so I went out at noon and dragged out my now crumpled and smelly cardboard (It was rained on, and I think a neighborhood dog wizzed on it too) and went to work. Two things here: One; I am out of shape barely getting back on my feet, so I told myself I would go slowly, ha ha ha. Two, rotted, rusty pieces of metal are not having any happy thoughts at all, and this pipe system was no exception. I ended up having to cut the bolts off of the Catalytic convertor where the resonator pipe joins to get it loose, that was after an hour of prep work, um, crawling around looking at this and that and wishing it would fall off. After I cut the pipe loose I realized there is a reason they do these things in a garage on a lift. How to get the pipe out? So I jacked one side of the car up and gained enough room to get the old pipe out and the new pipe in. I called that car so many names it turned from silver to red.

Anyway, in with the new pipe, back on with the muffler, all new hangers, bolts, clamps and voila a new system was in place. I went back into my cave with the other cave men and grunted with satisfaction. Tomorrow we are going hunting… er editing…


Take a look at my new book Star Dancer:

Star Dancer

Dell Sweet

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

Michael Watson is the captain of an inner galaxy cruiser: He Purchased Star Dancer right out of school and has spent the last twenty years running people and supplies to outposts within the confines of the Solar System and the established bases on the Moon, Mars and Saturn’s moons. The times are changing though and the big money is in the longer out of system runs. To do that he’ll need a crew and a bigger ship, but he has the ambition and the rest just might fall into place.
A new navigator, the beautiful Petra starts him thinking in a new direction and not just about Star Cruising. Maybe the next few flights for Star Dancer will be her last and he and Petra can set their sights on bigger adventures out beyond the stars…


Get it at iTunes

Winter blues and the cell phone minute monsters

Earth’s Survivors Blog…

I spent today updating websites and working on interior files and covers for the ES series, so you are going to end up with a partially recycled blog from a few million years ago when Jesus and I were in grade school together. I mean, of course, Jesus, Wanda and Pedro’s son, so don’t write me and tell me I picked on religion, I picked on Spanish friends instead.

The snow here in New York is relentless. A foot a day lately. And that just drops out of the sky as though it has always done so. Sheesh.

Today the topic is Cell Phones…

Cell Phones: Tin cans and string: This Cell phone thing is my generations fault. I’ll fess up right here. We tied string to tin cans, pretended they were loud and clear radios, and dreamed of networks of tin cans and string. Okay, I dreamed of networks of tin cans and string. I think a few of my friends did too, but I won’t put them on the spot. But, someone must have besides me, because we grew up looking for that tin can.

We spawned children with that tin can thing embedded in their DNA. That and the Communicator from Star Trek. If that wasn’t a glimpse into the future and cell phones, I don’t know what it was. It was inevitable, and we should have known it as soon as some fool back in the fifties gave us Walki Talkies.

It was almost a reality right there. Probably good enough for some of us, but no, not for all of us. Some said…

“Hey, Bob. What if I could talk to Tim, Ellie and even my sister Sherry with these things?”

“Well, Bob says. “Why would you want to talk to your sister Sherry? She’s a girl.”

“Oh… Right… Never mind.”

But, then some other guy went… “Hey, Bob. What if I could talk to anyone I wanted to with this thing? I mean like anywhere?”

“Well,” Bob said. “We’d have to make them affordable… Put them in the hands of people everywhere.. We’d have to build relay stations… We’d… We could do it! We could!”

And so Marketing and the Cell Phone industry was born right there. And Bob probably headed it. Now we all have Cell Phones and we might as well be welded to them, or they to us.

Last week I remembered I had a cell phone for a reason. To make calls to people, or so that people could reach me. I was watching a really stupid movie at the time. Four young people stranded in the desert. The moron dude (There is always a moron dude who does the dumb thing that puts them all in the bad situation), so, the Moron Dude wrecks the truck and they’re stranded in the desert. So what does he do first? Tries his cell phone. And does it work? Of course not. And, I thought, hmm, I have a cell phone, what if I paid all this money for minutes, and, and (I tend to get excited when I think of stupid things that just might be possible) I get stranded in the desert, and I flip open my Cell phone, and I have, like, 300 minutes, so I sigh, relieved, I will not die in the desert and the young woman med student won’t have to pound a hole in my head to relieve the fluid buildup so I will live! That was what she (The med student) had just finished doing to one of the people in the movie, pounding a hole in her head to relieve the pressure buildup. Hmm. It didn’t work too well. The person still died. Now, my characters do things too. But I have yet to write a scene where one actually pounds a hole into another characters head with a frickin’ rock.

I’ll tell you, I was relieved. I have enough holes in my head (Some say). Then I remembered the scenario. Minutes don’t matter. Reception matters. So, in my head, in my little world in the desert with the Moron Guy, and the Med Student woman, I look down at my phone again. Damn. 300 minutes and no bars. But, like the Moron Dude I try it anyway. Doesn’t work. The young Med Student woman is looking at me funny. Like she can’t wait to pound that hole in my head. Son of a bitch, I think. This really sucks. Then I remember, it’s not real. I am relieved again, except I am still watching this pathetic movie, and I am looking at my cell phone and wondering why I welded myself to it.

Anyway, dumb movies aside, it really did get me thinking about my cell phone. I have this many friends. (I’m holding up fingers on one of my hands). Let’s just say it’s a small amount, I have fingers left over. Now, all of those friends never call me on my cell phone. If they need to reach me they send an email or call me on my land line. Yes, I have a land line. I know how pathetic that sounds. And I rarely ever use it either. But that’s another blog. So, my friends know my email address, and my home phone and my cell phone number, and they never call me on the cell phone. Yet every month I buy minutes and put them on the damn phone. So I must have thousands of minutes on the phone. Just then the phone rang.

“Hello?” I’m cautious. No one calls me here. “No one calls me here,” I say.

Turns out it is a new-old friend. IE: One I knew years before who just reconnected and does not realize no one calls me on my Cell Phone.

“Hey,” I say. What else can I say? “No, you’re not bothering me,” I lie. Then, the phone goes dead.

“Hello? Hello?” I take the phone away from my ear and stare at it as though that can fix it or at least tell me what is wrong. Nope. five bars. Hey, wait a minute, no minutes! How can that be? I just ran out of minutes on my cell phone. But I just put minutes on it. Hmm, a conundrum.

That lead right into the stupid movie, and I realized, if it was me, my luck would be that I would find I had a signal, and then discover that I had no minutes. And so, I asked myself, why is that? And that is the crux of the problem. Because, as I mentioned, no one calls me on my cell phone. So where do all the minutes go to? They go to all the other calls. The ones I didn’t ask for. The Cell Phone Spammers. Yes. Those guys/gals/machines. They call all of the time.

“Hi! did you know that for just three hundred dollars a month you can get an unlimited number of minutes,” the voice asks?

“Really,” I ask?

The voice just keeps yacking. It’s not a real voice. It’s a machine. But I’m lonely, they know it and they know I am stupid enough to listen to a machine… At least for a little while.

“Press One now for the Budget Plan. Press Two for the Super Business Package. Press three for the…”

I hang up. Cell Phone Hooker, I think.  I think some other unkind things too, even though I know it is a machine. An hour later the phone rings. I think, ‘I shouldn’t answer that. They probably just want to sell me something.’ But I am stupid, or I have a defective gene, or both.

“Hello? Is this a machine,”I ask right off the bat.

“No sir,” a female voice. Heavy accent. “I am calling regarding your account.”

“Oh… Oh, sorry… I get these machine generated phone calls you see…” I shut up, because of course it’s the Cell Phone. Yakking is money. “My account?”

“Yes sir… My records show that you have the Thrifty Budget plan. And I wanted to make you aware of the Super Business Travelers plan..”

“Huh?”

“Your Cell phone plan,” she explains.

“I don’t have the Thrifty Budget plan,” I say.

“Are you sure,” she asks?

“Mm, yes,” I decide.

“Hold on sir.” She sounds upset, leaves the line and like the idiot I am I wait for her to come back. Ten minutes later she does. “Sir?”

Probably she is checking only to see if I was stupid enough to hang on. But, no, I answer. “Yes… Ma’am.” I’m even polite. What an idiot.

“My records show that you do not have the Thrifty Budget plan. Please forgive me.”

And I am ready and willing to forgive her. It’s hot over there in New Delhi, I watch Big Bang Theory. I saw Slum Dog Millionaire. I know it’s got to be a hard job working half way around the worl… She interrupts me.

 So, Sir?” She waits until I answer. The minute monster is eating my phone alive.

“Yes?”

“So, wouldn’t this be a great time to get the Super Business plan?”

Finally it dawns on me. “Hey, are you from **** & ****?”(My phone provider)

“Well, no. I’m from **** *****.”

I hang up. I feel used. Dirty. ‘Damn,’ I think. I am even cussing. ‘Damn Dirty Ape. Frig!’ It is the most severe cussing I can come up with on short notice.

Okay, so I’m sitting there, and slow as I am, it finally dawns on me where all of my minutes go, they go to answering the phone so these guys can sell me more minutes so I can answer the phone, so they can sell me more minutes, so I can answer the phone IF one of my friends ever call, and, as evidenced, if one of my friends do call, I’ll have no minutes to talk to them. Boy am I dumb. Hmm… Then I think, well, I could just let the medical student woman in the movie pound the hole in my head. Might be quicker, smarter too.

Okay, that’s my week. I hope your week was good…

A message to all the bears out there…

A message to all the bears out there… Blog Humor…

This message is to all the brown bears, polar bears and black bears out there. Yes summer is drawing to a close and fall is nearly here. That means that you will need to start thinking about fattening yourselves up so you can make it through the coming winter. You certainly don’t want to take any short cuts there; starving to death while you’re sleeping would suck a lot, and we all know what it’s like to awaken after a long hibernation and being really hungry… Okay, we all don’t know, but you bears do. Anyway, hunger, fall, putting on the fat you need for winter.
I wanted to tell you that garbage cans are out. Around here they are bringing the cans in so that you won’t be lunching on old sushi and half eaten peanut butter sandwiches, as appealing as that may be. And you could get sick eating old food. There is a reason us humans threw it away. And if you get sick I’m sure you have pretty sucky medical insurance too. I mean you are a bear… You use the woods for a toilet… Yes, we know you shit in the woods, we even have a saying about it: Does a bear… Never mind, sorry I brought that up. Probably seems insensitive, after all we are both mammals and to be fair there was this one time when I was camping and I … Uh, anyway…
Hibernating, food, garbage cans… So, no garbage cans, okay? But I did have an alternative to offer… Ready? Old people. I know, they’re tough, but if they have a cane, no way are they out running you and most of them have bad hearts and so they can’t really run fast; you could catch one easily. Nursing homes are probably a good place to hang around… Malls… Walmart… The Social Security office… Hospitals… Okay… Gotta go. I hope I helped, did my little bit to get you through the winter. Always happy to help out one of my fur brothers…


New FREE release!

Just uploaded The Zombie Plagues Plague… A free eBook. It is the book that will introduce the series and most of the players in the plagues. It includes a bibliography that ties the books together and it is free from Smashwords and within the next week will be available free at Nook Kobo and iTunes and other book sellers that allow free eBooks.
Hey, if you download it plus it or rate it, would you? Thanks, Geo…

The Zombie Plagues: Plague. The latest book in the Zombie Plagues series and it’s free!

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/745613


The AIMP audio player…

I use AIMP to load and play songs. Freeware, lots of styles to choose from, works with XP, 7 and 10…
I like freeware stuff that actually works. I have used AIMP for several years now and love it. There is also an editor to create your own skins. Pretty cool…
https://www.aimp.ru/


This is a free short Western story from the Billy Jingo Collection book…

Billy Jingo

Collected Short Stories
………………………..

Billy Jingo: Collected Short Stories is Copyright © 2014 Dell Sweet

Copyright © 2014 by Dell Sweet All rights reserved

Cover Art © Copyright 2015 Wendell Sweet

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your bookseller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
………………………..

LEGAL

This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places or incidents depicted are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual living persons places, situations or events is purely coincidental.

This novel is Copyright © 2014 Wendell Sweet and his assignees. The Name Dell Sweet is a publishing construct used by Wendell Sweet. Portions of this text are copyright 2010, and 2011, all rights reserved by Wendell Sweet and his assignees. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the author’s or assignees permission.

Permission is granted to use short sections of text in reviews or critiques in standard or electronic print.
………………………………….
This excerpt has not been edited for content.

This excerpt is protected by copyright law both foreign and domestic
………………………………….
A DRESS FOR JANEY

I rode slowly watching the trail side. There wasn’t much to see in the moonlight, but enough to follow if you knew where to look, and I did.

The thing was, this fella was not no kind of careful anyways. And he was not no horse man neither.

I rubbed my geldings rump, patted a time, and silently promised him a little extra rest time once we caught up to this fool sometime later in the night.

Mister Johnson was a good horse. More used to plow than saddle, but circumstances dictate those positions more’n I do. And this man I was trackin’ had dictated tonight’s circumstances clear and straight.

I turned Mister Johnson down a short chute of a canyon, keeping him to the side so as not to mark the trail, and to keep his iron shoes from ringing out on the stone. We come to a little stream that cut the canyon and I stopped, rolled myself a smoke. I sat, hand cupped and smoked. Listening to the surrounding night.

If this was a smart fella, no way would I have lit no smoke. But this was no smart man at all. This, from what I could see, was a desperate man. Desperate or dumb. Or, possibly, both. I’d know for sure before dawn.

I finished the smoke, flipped it into the crik and went on my way again, following the trail of my own other horse, Mizz Johnson.

I had, had her as long as I had, had Mister Johnson. Truth be told I thought Mister Johnson might be even more pissed off about the situation that I was. He just didn’t know how to use a rope, if so I’m sure he’d a been out for a hangin’ too.

I worked my way sideways down a gully, leaving the actual trail behind me where it out and did a loop back onto itself. The direction was clear enough, and he was far enough ahead that I wouldn’t come up on him, and the shortcut would save me time considerable.

I had me a farm, a good woman and two boys old enough to help a little already. A girl child who made me feel like crying ever time I looked at her. I don’t figure how that is: That a girl child can do that, ‘cept I can see she will have to live her life, and it’s a hard one, and I wisht better than what I got to give her.

Men is men. The boys will grow up rough and tumble. That’s boys. That’s boys comin’ to be a man. But a girl child, seems to me, looks out at the world all pretty and hope, and then the world sort of breaks her down. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow.

I’d seen that truth in the eyes of a whore down in Dodge several years back. A young pretty whore, but resigned to be a whore. I’d paid my dollar and stayed for a little conversation as it was a slow night. I don’t never want to see that look in my Melissa’s eyes. But I can’t see that my Janey would ever let her go down that path. We learn from our mistakes, we do: If we don’t we don’t last long in this world.

I made the trail and walked Mister Johnson on the up-slope at a steady pace. He didn’t need much help or pointin’: I figured he could smell ol’ Mizz Johnson at that point, and he was, as I said, a might upset himself.

I was two days out from home. Me out from home meant that Janey had to do it all with no help from no man. Plow what she could with that goddamn, son-of-a-bitch mule we had. Be lucky if it didn’t kick her bad is what I’d be.

This life don’t slow down for no horse thief. The kids got to be fed. The chicks fed too. The cows milked. The other things a woman’s got to do. Cook, and clean, what all. But she’s got to do all the things a man’s got to do as well. All piled in there. No break at all. That was this life out here, how it had to be. How it was.

I caught the smell of fire and meat roastin’ on the air. Fresh, green wood. Not much of a woodsman either, I opinioned. But, considering the horsemanship, the theft itself and all of the rest of it, I’d say I was not too surprised. I stopped, rolled another smoke, kept it cupped to hide the flame, didn’t worry about the odor even though I was close now. The wind was at me after all, and his own, smokey fire would hide all other smells if the wind did shift. Chances were he had no idea of smells on the wind anyways.

I let my eyes travel the sky, lookin’ and I spotted a few stray sparks as they rose into the night sky not far away. All kinds of dumb. But I bet he considered himself some sort of woodsman just because he could light that fire.

Some figure if they can build a fire they’s a woodsman. I laugh at that. I have slept in snow banks and stayed warm. I tracked snowshoes in dead winter and got them. I have been lived in the wild with just a knife for two months while I was working out of the back country and my first horse dropped a leg in a chuck-hole and I had to shoot him.

I was green then. Used up one of my last four bullets on the horse, when I could’a used the knife and saved that bullet. Packed some out with me, dried over the fire, and et better those two months. I was young, dumb and life to come. And for me I was goddamn lucky to have lived through it that time. But, as I done said the one time, you learn or you die. Life, it don’t forgive a lot out here.

I finished the smoke, crushed it out between my thumb and forefinger, then angled Mister Johnson down toward the fire I’d seen. I could be, maybe, cocky and ride right up on him, but I don’t like to misjudge. I tied Mister Johnson to a tree to keep him out of it in case there was gun-play, which I intended there might be. I’d just have to hope there were none that got Mister Johnson. But he’d fare better hidden away. A man will always try in shoot a man’s horse at first sight if he can.

I walked the last hundred or so yards into his camp. My old sprung boots was so mushy and soft they was like walkin’ in Indian mocs anyhow. He never heard me comin’.

He had a chuck spitted over the fire, and probably ever cat, wolf, bear and wild dog for two miles around was sniffing on the air. He was stupid alright. I’d seen some green eyes, and two sets of red eyes as I had made my way into his camp.

He sat before the fire. A fat man: I’d knowed that from the depth of the hoof print though. And a stupid man just as I had guessed, as he had allowed me to walk right up to him, too busy tryin’ to twist the cap off’n a store bought bottle of whiskey he’d got from somewhere.

I decided on the spot to save the bullet: Put my gun away and pulled the rope that I had bought with me free from my shoulder. If a man ever works with cattle, branding, he don’t forget how to rope. And, as a younger man, I done my share of that. I had him in on one toss, and cinched it tight as I walked up on him face to face like.

“Hey,” he says, but me, I go about my business. I got me a limb picked out. We wrestle a little while I drag him to the limb, shift that rope quick like to his neck, and haul him up. He don’t say nothin’ after ‘Hey’, he tries to though.

Folks think hanging a man is easy. And, it can at times be easy, but this wasn’t no easy time: This was one a them hard times. A fat man, a thick neck, and me being plain tired out. He kicked and thrashed for all of ten minutes before he slowed. Me hanging on the end of that rope to keep him stretched, but I could not get him to swinging. And then, me being tired as I was, I looped that rope around Mizz Johnson’s saddle horn, the dumb bastard didn’t know enough to take a saddle off’n a horse, and walked her a bit to get him swinging free. Goddamn if he didn’t kick some more at that. I waited ten more minutes, ticked ’em off on my Elgin. I seen men come back if they neck ain’t broke, and I was sure it was not.

I let him down after that time, rope don’t come cheap to me, and left him laying there for the coyotes, wolves, bear and cats the damn fool had called down. Fat man might not be their favorite, but when times is tough it will do I’d bet.

I gathered up Mizz Johnson, went back and got Mister Johnson. They was happy to see each other. Blowing and touching noses to necks.

The fat man had two pair a saddle bags. The first had a food store, no surprise there, except why he’d been about to eat chuck when he had bacon. The second was a surprise: Gold, and not a little. I will tell you it was enough to sit me right down there by the fire to look it over.

I can count, but there’s a limit. What I knowed, I did, and then I had reached the limit and there was a long ways to go yet. A very long ways. And the trouble was I did not know for absolute what each piece was worth. Coin, stamped, but I could not read none. I could only say there was five times of counting to one hundred and a way to go after that.

Janey could read and write too. And she could cypher figures a sight farther than I could when it come to that. Whoring had taught her that. No whore could afford to get cheated.

I looked at it there in the moonlight for a piece, then put it all back in the saddlebags except a few pieces I kept for my pocket. Janey could count it; whatever it was we were a huge sight better off than we had been. It almost made me want to thank the fat man. I didn’t though. He stole my horse and he got what a horse thief is supposed to get.

I tied Mizz Johnson to the saddle horn of old Mister Johnson’s saddle by a longish lead and we rode out of there. I did put that fire out before we left. I left the chuck where it was, dug me out a piece of jerky my own Janey had made. I chewed thoughtful, thinking about the money as I rode. I was gonna stop at Abilene, which was on the way, and buy Janey a dress. She’d always had such pretty dresses when I’d met her, but times being as they was there weren’t no money for pretty dresses.

I smiled to myself thinkin’ about Janey’s eyes when she saw a new dress or two and then a saddlebag full a gold pieces. It made me feel good inside. I looked up at the moon, sent a prayer to God above up there somewhere, turned Mister Johnson for the next ridge and headed towards Abilene.
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Twilight Zone Day and other yackity

Twilight Zone Day :

First thing this morning, I mean seven something, and that is early for me, mom dragged me to Walmart. Walmart before eight a.m. is the Twilight Zone. Including barely dressed people in night type clothing. What? I felt I was in a dream and actually dreaded turning down each aisle. I hate Walmart and although I liked the Twilight Zone series back in the sixties (Yes I really am that old) I don’t actually like being in a Twilight Zone setting. I struggled through Walmart. Did my surreal shopping and was back home before nine a.m. shopping done. Whoa… Also Twilight Zoneish…

I came into the Living room earlier in the day, about to cook brunch and mom was watching some show where they kept talking about Mothers Day. I was thinking, What? We already had Mothers Day, didn’t we? Is there another one that someone started and didn’t tell me about? A sneaky let’s screw up all the men sort of a second Mothers Day? No, but it had me for a few moments just the same. I made brunch and went back to work…

I finished work late afternoon and came out to start dinner and see if mom needed anything. I sat down on the couch for a moment. The heat has been crazy, oppressive, I hate it. So a weather update comes on and the woman shows seventies across the board. The the weather girl says “And if you are worried about the rain affecting your July 4th weekend, rest assured the rain will be gone before then.” I looked at mom and mom looked stunned too. I said.
“You know, this has been a Twilight Zone sort of day… Did she just say July 4th?”

“I believe she did,” sez mom.

“Huh,” I sez back. I looked around the room to make sure Stephen King wasn’t standing in a corner with a crooked smile upon his face. And I am listening to the weather girl at the same time, hoping she will say something like “Did I say July 4th? Silly me…” But she keeps on smiling and talking about seventies and rain. Finally it dawns on me we must be watching an old weather forecast they are showing for some unknown reason because it has been in the eighties and high humidity all week long. So at that moment I stepped out of the Twilight Zone for, I hope, the final time today…


Dinner; breakfast and dinner again…

I made this the last two nights. I often cook for mom and I, but on the weekends I cook whatever she wants and so I get the same treatment. This was my part of the meal I planned…

Ingredients:
1 Ramen soup.
1 can Pulpo
2 Chicken breast strips uncooked
1 hot pepper
1 can of black beans
2 tortillas
2 slices American cheese
2 eggs
2 pre cooked sausages

I made this last night and used the balance up tonight.

In a 12″ pan combine half of the can of black beans, the can of pulpo and half the pepper sliced thinly and left in long pieces. Add the chicken in thin sliced strips. Cook on low heat covered.

In the microwave combine a cup of water and the Ramen in a bowl and cook to a boil, about 3 minutes. Cover the noodles and let set. Throw away the seasoning packet, that stuff will kill you.

Add salt and pepper to taste in the covered pan. Simmer until the chicken is completely cooked, about 7 minutes.

Drain the noodles and then stir them into the pan ingredients. Cover the pan once more and simmer an additional few minutes. Turn the flame off and leave the pan covered.

In a separate 12 inch pan add a tsp of Canola oil. Turn the flame to a medium heat and wait two minutes until water flicked into the pan sizzles. Cook the tortillas about thirty to forty five seconds on each side. Stuff the first one while the second is cooking.

Stuffing: Lay the tortilla flat, add the cheese slice first, then add one quarter of the cooked material. Fold the tortilla top and bottom and then roll it from the sides. You should have a sealed product that looks like a burrito when you are done. Do the second tortilla.

I made home made fries and a burger for mom…

Eat your first night dinner…

Breakfast the next morning:

In a 12 inch pan combine the other half of the can of black beans and leave space to cook two eggs. I also added two precooked sausages that I first microwaved for 1 minute to thaw. Let the beans and the sausages cook as long as it takes to cook the eggs.

In a second pan fry two tortillas, again 30 to 45 seconds per side. Load them up with the beans and one egg, one sausage each. Fold them into a burrito or leave them loose. Eat your breakfast.

I made eggs over easy and toast points for mom…

Dinner the second night. Reheat the other half of the beans, pulpo and Ramen. Serve it in a bowl or on a plate. Use a fork, don’t be an animal… 

I made Pizza for mom…

You can substitute rice instead of Ramen noodles, but I found Ramen fits nicer in the burritos, rice tends to fall out, at least if you are a slob like me. Also your mom might want something other than burgers, eggs and pizza…


A true story:
Back in the late seventies my brother Dave and I went for a ride one day. I saw a white Plymouth sitting in a field. It had been hit in the front and it looked as though it had been sitting a while. I was and still am a car fanatic. I have owned more muscle cars and plain fun to drive cars than anyone I know while I was growing up. And I grew up poor so I had to fall into deals as otherwise I would never have been able to afford any of those cars. We parked at the side of the road and went to the house. The woman that answered the door told us the sad tale of the car her son had bought new and wrecked with just a few hundred miles on it. For whatever reason it was parked in the mothers side yard and left for dead.
Over the years of sitting there the motor had set up. The back tires had been stolen or misappropriated for something too, but the interior and the entire car from the front doors back looked like new.
Dave and I worked on the car, but couldn’t get the motor to budge. I had a hundred bucks on me that was burning a hole in my pocket. On the way down this particular road I had seen a set of nice chrome rims for sale with tires that looked like they would fit the car. So we went back down the road to check them out. They looked right and so I bought them for twenty bucks and we went back to the wrecked Plymouth. I was a cheap guy so I offered the lady $60.00 for the car, even though it was worth a few thousand fixed. I pointed out that I might be buying junk as it wouldn’t even turn over and so she agreed.
I’m sure Dave thought I was stupid, but that probably wouldn’t have been the first time that sort of thought crossed his mind concerning me.
The rims fit. That was absolutely a fluke, or luck or something like that. We hooked up a chain to the back of my car and Dave began to tow me home. A mile down the road I thought… “Hey, what if I put it in gear and pop the clutch…? Maybe that would force the motor to turn over.”
I popped the clutch; the whole drive line held tight and then the motor let loose and a few seconds later the car coughed and began running.
I fixed the front fairly cheaply, I had some bodywork skills and sold the car for something like $800.00 dollars a week or so later. I made a good profit on the car. I tell the story because I took something that almost anyone who looked at it would have written off as junk and I made about a 600% profit.
I approach life that way and it almost always works out for me. It is a you-never-know-until-you-try situation. It builds skills and it teaches you to have faith and confidence in your own abilities…


Hope you enjoyed some of this. Come back often and check out my blog, Dell


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