That day started like any other Saturday.
My Grandma was washin’ the back of my neck with all my family lookin’ on. When she got into rubbin’ real hard I would turn my neck a little so that I could see out the window. That morning was just like any other, Jake Van De Berghe was getting chased up Main Street by another angry husband. You’d have thought he’d have run out of married ladies by now. When my Grandma let my ears go, I met Buzz down at the corner of Lincoln Street.
Buzz was holdin’ something, which turned out to be his Maw’s curtains from her best room – it was called the ‘best room’ ‘cause Buzz wasn’t allowed anywhere near it. No sir-ee.
Apparently Buzz had to get the curtains back home before his Maw returned from Johnstown at sundown, or Buzz’s Maw would skin him like a desert rat. Now I know he ain’t tellin’ the whole truth ‘cause he’s used them curtains before and his Maw didn’t even see they were missin’.
Apparently Buzz had found a book with superheroes in it and that was what we were gonna be, this here Saturday.
I gotta say, at first, I kinda felt stupid with the cape around my neck but it started to feel good and I could see what Buzz was up talkin’ about.
We were just about to begin fightin’ crime when all of a sudden Jake Van De Berghe comes rushin’ around the corner and shoved me and Buzz into the Ice Cream & Sarsaparilla Café.
The minute we were through the doors, Jake shouts,
“Help me boys, keep this mad man out.” And by madman he means a mad husband – but like I say, it was just another Saturday in town. I hear tell that Jake has a wife of his own but that she don’t mind if he runs after other women on account that he really annoys her and has bad breath. Least ways that’s what Becky told me in school.
So there’s me, Buzz and Jake trying to hold the madman from breaking down the door. Every time he charges at the door, we move forward some and then we’d push back and then it starts all over again.
Crazy Eddie, who ran the café, was getting real worried about a madman getting’ loose in a Sarsaparilla store, and so he helped hold the door, too.
For a moment it all went real quiet and Jake was about to say that the madman had probably given up, when I turn my neck the way I do and look out of the window to see that the madman has gone all the way across the street to the Chip and Shoulder hardware store.
I was just about to tell them that the madman was gonna take the longest run ever in the whole world when the he burst through the door throwing me, Jake, Crazy Eddie and Buzz out of the way and got his head well and truly stuck in the Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream machine.
“I’m tuck,” was all the madman could holler.
“I’m really, really, really tuck.”
“I think he means he’s stuck,” said Crazy Eddie.
“Tat’s what I said,” hollered the Raspberry Ripple madman.
Buzz threw his cape around his back and decided it was the right time that me and him were superheroes.I pulled the man’s left leg and Buzz pulled the man’s right one.
“Sorry,” I shouted.
“Wot?” The madman hollered back.
It was no use, the man’s head wasn’t going anywhere and he was complainin’ that he was getting brain freeze. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?
“There’s nothing for it, I’ll need to call Stupid Larry,” Crazy Eddie said sadly, ‘cause apparently Stupid Larry wasn’t the cheapest in town, but he was sure good at getting’ people out of holes. When Buzz’s Maw fell down that Main Street drain and got stuck good, Stupid Larry got her out of there in two shakes of a lambs tail, although he did charge her fifty bucks.
When Stupid Larry saw the madman’s predicament, he looked at it one way, “Mmmm,” he said. Then he looked at it another way “Ohhh,” he said, shakin’ his head. Then he kinda crawled around in on all fours, “tut,tut,” he said. Now some of the less kind folks in town used to say that all this walking around the problem wasn’t exactly necessary and it was only to make you think that Stupid Larry was givin’ you your money’s worth.
“Nope, we’re going to have to get him back to my workshop and cut him out.”
So Stupid Larry unhooked and unscrewed the ice cream machine with more show than a magician, I kid you not. Once we’d bumped it down the stairs, Jake and Crazy Eddie pushed it up the street, with me holding one leg and Buzz the other. Stupid Larry ran ahead to get his workshop all fired up.
When we were just passing the courthouse, the wife of the madman came over to Jake and asked him how he was doing and had he seen her husband. She didn’t think to ask about the pair of legs that were sticking out of the ice cream machine. Jake said, he couldn’t help her and he was sorry but he was real busy and if she didn’t mind they’d like to be off real quick. Kinda trying to pretend that he didn’t really know her and all.
When Stupid Larry started using the torch to cut open the machine, Crazy Eddie kept saying “This is gonna cost you, mark my words, cost ya good,” to Jake. To be honest I don’t think that kinda talk helps much.
Anyways, when Stupid Larry got the bottom off the machine, the madman’s face was frozen stiff, I kid you not.
Buzz was sure that the madman was dead, but Crazy Eddie gave the madman the kiss of life by blowing into his mouth. He said it wasn’t the first time that someone had got stuck in his machines, last time it was the pineapple caramel. Crazy Eddie also said that the Rasberry Ripple did taste real good even if it was on another man’s lips.
The next time I saw the madman he was sitting in church with his wife and his face was Raspberry Ripple Red.
The curtains were a real mess, so Buzz told his Maw that someone must have broken into the house and stolen them.
She believed him.
bobby stevenson 2015